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.

Twenty-five architects have signed a letter backing the Central Terminal as the site for a new Buffalo train station. At a time when other cities go to great lengths to create a sense of "authenticity," Buffalo has the real thing with the Central Terminal and ought to capitalize on it, the architects said in their letter to the Buffalo train station site selection commi…

Polish pride will be celebrated during the 11th annual Dyngus Day Parade and other, day-long festivities on April 17, the day after Easter. The parade, which will start at 5 p.m. began with around 1,000 attendees and has grown to about 30,000 people, with thousands more attending other festivities, said Eddy Dobosiewicz, president of the company that organizes the event…

  CANASTOTA -- Two life-sized statues of boxers stand inside the International Boxing Hall of Fame Museum, located just off Exit 34 on the State Thruway, about 20 miles east of Syracuse. One might expect the likenesses of Muhammad Ali or Joe Louis, generally considered to be the greatest heavyweight champions. Or perhaps Sugar Ray Robinson, a champion in several…

Shirley MacLaine received a standing ovation at the recent Oscars, basking in the warmth bestowed on Hollywood royalty. Black-and-white footage recalled MacLaine's 1960 Academy Award-nominated performance in "The Apartment," one of five Best Actress nominations in a career that saw her win for "Terms of Endearment" in 1984. "The Last Word," directed by Mark Pellingto…

Like wine, 86-year-old Irish author Edna O'Brien seems to get better with age. O'Brien's latest novel, "The Little Red Chairs," is "her masterpiece," according to Philip Roth, one of the most celebrated American authors and two years her junior, who also proclaimed her "the most gifted woman now writing in English." O'Brien's career began with controversy. Her first …

Central Terminal supporters made up the majority of an overflow crowd at Tuesday's public meeting on where to put a new Buffalo train station. Many didn't like what they heard. The cost of putting the station at the East Side landmark was estimated at between $68 million and $149 million, compared to between $34 million and $86 million to put a station downtown, acco…

Supporters of a new train station at the Central Terminal show the most passion. They see returning train service to the art deco structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a last chance to restore the endangered building and breathe life into the surrounding neighborhood that hasn't seen significant investment in decades. "If we can follow throu…

The days could be numbered for Hostel Buffalo-Niagara, a fixture in the Theater District since 1996. With downtown on the upswing, the city's Urban Renewal Agency issued a request for proposals to developers last month to buy and redevelop the building it operates from. The responses are due Wednesday. Hostel officials fear the proposal's stated goal of finding a …

Warren T. Colville, publisher and president of The Buffalo News, has joined the Martin House Restoration Corp.'s board of directors. His involvement with the Martin House continues a legacy of support for the project associated with The Buffalo News begun by the late publisher Stanford Lipsey. Mr. Colville currently serves on the board of the Buffalo Niagara Partne…

A Jewish girl in a French orphanage lead her friends toward safety in Switzerland during World War II in "Fanny's Journey." Women congregants in a synagogue react against a new rabbi in "The Women's Balcony," a comedy that was the highest grossing film in Israel in 2016. In "The Ambassador's Wife," an Eritrean woman becomes an illegal refugee in a rundown area of Tel…

A Buffalo architectural firm has been selected to work on new Canalside features, including two open-air pavilions meant to evoke 18th-century buildings, a recreated historic facade for use as a stage backdrop and public restrooms. A selection committee on Monday picked HHL Architects from among 10 proposals sent to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. HHL will pr…

The Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino made an inauspicious start in July 2007, with 133 slot machines inside a 5,000-square-foot pre-fab metal building. It has come a long way since then. Now, a $40 million expansion will bring the number of slot machines to over 1,100, along with 32 table games. The gambling complex now covers 124,000 square feet – the equivalent of …

  A site selection committee will hold a public open house on the viable location options for a new Buffalo train station from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 21 at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Consultants from WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, hired to provide technical services, will provide an overview of test results for station sites, platforms and tracks. The commi…

In "Kong: Skull Island," the giant ape doesn't climb the Empire State Building. In this incarnation, King Kong appears nearly as tall as the New York skyscraper itself. Fortunately, for the colossal-sized Kong, he is able to stay out of New York, which was not very kind to him. But he has plenty to keep him busy on Skull Island. Kong's titanic battles with prehistori…

The NCAA basketball tournament returns to KeyBank Center next week, bringing the same challenge as it did three years ago:  How to best move people back and forth from the arena to area restaurants, breweries and bars during the 90-minute intermissions between the two sets of games on March 16 and March 18. It'll take volunteers and social media, Visit Buffalo Niagara…