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LOCAL NEWS? BRIEFS

Cuomo asked to remove? blocks to I-86 project

LITTLE VALLEY – The Cattaraugus County Legislature is urging Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to remove the roadblocks that are delaying a $28.5 million reconstruction project on 11.5 miles of the Southern Tier Expressway across Seneca Nation land.

"Route I-86 is a primary artery for tourism and commerce," Legislature Chairman Norman L. Marsh wrote in a letter to Cuomo recently. "Tourism and travel into the county along Route I-86 is a large source of tax dollars not only for the county, but also for the state. We would not want to see any decreases in this revenue that might result by delaying repairs to this road."

The state Department of Transportation received bids May 18 for the project, which has been planned for two years.

The Senecas objected because it does not follow the rules set down in 1993 by the Nation's Tribal Employment Rights Office, which include monitoring by the Senecas, hiring of Seneca workers and a 3 or 3.5 percent administration fee. Under the 1976 agreement between the state and the Senecas that allowed the expressway to be built across Seneca territory, the state is required to maintain roads in the territory. Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter offered to negotiate the dispute last month but said that construction will not be allowed if the rules are not observed.

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Safe-biking group plans ?ride to raise awareness

GO Bike Buffalo, an organization dedicated to safe and more extensive cycling, is inviting the community to join in the Ride of Silence beginning at 5:30 p.m. Monday on Porter Avenue.

The goal of the event is to increase awareness about the need for all users to share the road and work with municipalities to establish complete and safer streets and honor those killed or injured in the last year on Buffalo area roadways.

The Ride gets under way at Symphony Circle and heads west along Porter Avenue, finishing with a news conference in Prospect Park.

Over the past year, more than a dozen young people walking, skateboarding or riding their bicycle were struck and killed or seriously injured on streets. According to the Institute of Traffic Safety Management and Research, in 2010 pedestrians and bicyclists represented 5 percent of the total number of crashes in Erie County but disproportionately include 31 percent of all injuries and fatalities.

"As a community we are making great strides towards the creation of a ‘culture of health' where we are motivating and enabling more healthy behaviors such as increased physical activity like bicycling, running and walking," said Dr. Michael Cropp, CEO and president of Independent Health.

To learn about how to commute safely, visit GOBuffalo.org.

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Centennial Pool is open ?today from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Centennial Pool will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, one day earlier than scheduled.

The City of Buffalo's seven other outdoor pools will open on Sunday. The city decided to open Centennial, the city's busiest pool, one day early because of expected high temperatures.