Mark Sommer, The Buffalo News
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Mark Sommer

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I have worked at the Buffalo News as an enterprise reporter, and as arts editor, for the past 17 years.

Vocalist Kristin Gilmet is nothing if not adventurous. She first regaled audiences with the Global Village idiots, the local band whose music had trace elements of avant-garde, surf, dance pop and improv, with the occasional sugary pop song or Broadway tune thrown in for good measure. The off-beat chanteuse performed early 20th-century novelty songs with the Parlor S…

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy's landscape work between the Marcy Casino and Rose Garden has relocated parking for people with disabilities and limited vehicle access to the park. “We are proud of this beautiful restoration, and as your Olmsted parks are on the National Register of Historic Places, we ask that the public be patient and respectful of our hard wo…

When Beatriz, a Mexican immigrant and unlikely guest at a posh dinner party, is asked to refill a man's drink, it's obvious things are about to go south. The only question in "Beatriz at Dinner" is how far, and how fast. It's not far-fetched that Beatriz (Salma Hayek) would be considered part of the help. Dressed in denim and a work shirt, she's there only because he…

The science museum's Kellogg Observatory hasn't opened to the stars since just before the start of the 21st century. But in the fall, planets like Saturn and Mars and the moons for Earth and Jupiter will be among the celestial bodies visible once again from atop the Buffalo Museum of Science. [Gallery: Kellogg Observatory dismantled for renovation] The new stainle…

A study on how to reuse the Central Terminal will begin Monday by the Urban Land Institute. A dozen panel members will conduct a detailed tour of the site and surrounding area, spend two days consulting with over 100 people from the public and private sector and produce a detailed analysis. Recommendations will be presented on June 30. The City of Buffalo and Empire …

The Nichols School has opened an investigation into a possible improper relationship between a teacher and student in the early 1990s. The school received a letter from a Nichols graduate detailing a sexual relationship with a Nichols teacher, followed by another letter from a student in the same class that supported those events, Nichols Chairman Jeremy M. Jacobs Jr. s…

A state preservation organization supports Ellicott Development's plan to demolish two of three dilapidated buildings at the former E. & B. Holmes Machine Co. Building, also known as the Cooperage, near Ohio Street. The Preservation League of NYS concluded two of the buildings at 55-59 Chicago St. – the Mill Building, circa 1870, and the Forge Building, 1912, were…

The McKinley Monument, which commemorates the 25th president's tragic assassination at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, has long been marred by the effects of over a century of exposure to the elements. Marble is missing or damaged. Mortar and joinery need replacing. Oxidation has caused yellowing. [Gallery: Iconic McKinley Monument gets restored] But all of tha…

Silos turned into a brewery at Buffalo RiverWorks. Efforts to promote Silo City as a national park. And, a grain elevator on the Outer Harbor illuminated each night of the year. The concrete behemoths are in the news, and efforts are being made to tell their story. The Industrial Heritage Committee has announced dates of its annual summer river tours, which pass by …

Three generations have been coming to the Allentown Art Festival, and not just for the art. People-watching is part of the attraction, too. Yes, tens of thousands look at art in the hundreds of booths that line several streets. And they buy food from vendors. But for many, it's about the people. "You see all kinds, and I can't believe some of the younger people…

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Circus may have called it quits last month, but there will be a chance to catch some of the circus magic this summer at Canalside. Aerialists, acrobats and fire performers are scheduled for the Boardwalk Bazaar series starting today, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Boardwalk Bazaar series will be held four more times: June 23, July…

NONFICTION Albright: The Life and Times of John J. Albright By Mark Goldman Buffalo Heritage Press 132 pages, $45.95 hardcover, $35.95 softcover. It's February 1929, and John J. Albright is being lavishly praised by the University of Buffalo in bestowing upon him its prestigious Chancellor's Medal. "The name of the recipient is well known to every citize…

Twenty thousand. That's about how many gold-infused glass tiles are in the naturalistic mosaic of branches, leaves and blossoms on the new fireplace in the Darwin Martin House. The replica of the fireplace that  Frank Lloyd Wright designed more than a century ago took two years to make and cost $300,000. The installation of the bronze, gold and green-colored firepla…

Frank Lloyd's 150th birthday is June 8, and two of the houses he designed – the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo and the Graycliff in Derby – will host a week of activities to celebrate the anniversary. There is good reason for the celebration, according a curator for the Museum of Modern Art, who will be in Buffalo on Monday as part of the weeklong anniversary. Th…

After 93 years, the animals in the park-style carousel coming to Canalside in 2018 are back in North Tonawanda, a few blocks from where they were built. On Thursday, a dozen volunteers for Buffalo Heritage Carousel were at work restoring three of the 31 Spillman Engineering Co. animals that until recently had been stowed away in storage since 1956. "They will leave t…