Mark Sommer - The Buffalo News

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Mark Sommer

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


Buffalo

The elongated, oval-shaped Days Park has adorned a block of Allentown with green space since the mid-19th century. But when the park and the area around it fell into disarray a century later, it took a concerted effort mounted by residents to bring the park back. Earlier this month, the City Park Alliance, an independent, nationwide organization dedicated to urban pa…

Malcolm Rice, a 10th-grader at Frederick Law Olmsted School 156, remains hospitalized in "very serious condition" after going into cardiac arrest Sunday playing basketball, according to Olmsted Principal Michael Gruber. Gruber said Malcolm's family asked him to inform others of his condition. The principal has asked people to remember Malcolm and his family "in your tho…

Local News

Rep. Brian Higgins on Monday called preserving federal historic tax credits necessary for Buffalo's continued resurgence. "There is not a better national model for the success of this program than Buffalo, New York," Higgins said. Developers and preservationists joined him at the old Shea’s Seneca Theatre on Seneca Street in South Buffalo. Higgins, D-Buffalo, sa…

Local News

From the start, the quest to find Buffalo Police diver Craig Lehner was full of obstacles and headaches. That continued into the evening Sunday, after stormy weather led searchers to call off the official recovery effort for the day. Then, a motorist on the Niagara Parkway reported seeing what appeared to be a wetsuit floating in the Niagara River about 30 yards from th…

Local News

Jewish Family Service of Buffalo & Erie County will receive $25,000 as part of a $240,000 state effort to assist agencies across New York State serving aging Holocaust survivors with medical and counseling needs. "This was really spurred by The Buffalo News project featuring biographies of Holocaust survivors in Western New York," said Assemblyman Sean Ryan, part of…

Buffalo

Dozens of Buffalo's tarnished gems have been restored in recent years because of historic tax credits that came out of Washington. The Hotel @ the Lafayette. The Guaranty Building. And the Richardson Olmsted Campus to name just a few. Now the federal historic tax credit looks in danger of being eliminated. That worries developers and preservationists, who credit …

Local News

A panel of leading architecture critics will explore several issues at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Martin House's Greatbatch Pavilion. Christopher Hawthorne of the Los Angeles Times, Mark Lamster of the Dallas Morning News and Inga Saffron of the Philadelphia Inquirer will discuss the relationship between the media and architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright's historic place in th…

Local News

Sen. Charles E. Schumer on Monday called on the Environmental Protection Agency to resume cleanup efforts of radioactive locations in Lewiston and Niagara Falls, warning they still pose a serious threat to public health. The EPA recently abandoned cleanup activities to clean up hot spots that resulted from radioactive waste byproducts from prior industrial uses. The thr…

Erie County

What to do with Port Terminal A? That's the question facing the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. over the future of the mammoth and vacant building on 50 acres of prime Outer Harbor property. The site is eyed for future development, everything from apartments and condominiums to restaurants, bars, and light manufacturing. What happens to it would likely affect oth…

Gusto

Terry Tempest Williams is an acclaimed writer and advocate for conserving public lands. Her most recent book, "The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks," offers a collection of essays on the value of national parks, the regenerative power they offer and the need to fight for their preservation against private interests. Williams will be spe…

Local News

Explore & More Children’s Museum CEO Douglas Love on Friday announced his resignation, effective in November, due to a personal issue. “The decision to resign from Explore & More was an extremely difficult one and comes with a very heavy heart,” Love said in a statement. “I am leaving for a personal, private reason and nothing related to the museum promp…

Local News

The new pieces of art at the Botanical Gardens blend effortlessly with the nature surrounding them. The 16 sculptures are intended to accent the plant collection and help see the familiar in a new light. "Whispering from the Woods," on display through Nov. 5, was created by Finger Lakes artist Kim Bellavia. Her work is heavily influenced by nature, mythology and symb…

Gusto

NONFICTION Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to The Craziest Campaign In American History By Katy Tur Dey Street Books 291 Pages, $29.99 Katy Tur was the first national TV news reporter to cover Donald Trump's presidential campaign. She visited more than 40 states in 17 months and filed 3,800 live reports for NBC and MSNBC about his improbable campaign . Sh…

Local News

Alan and Judy Duchan love their backyard garden. A riot of Dutchman's pipe vines, holly, elephant-eared hostas and ornamental grass offer serenity, along with the gurgling sounds of a stone water fountain. Nine 12-foot-tall evergreen trees form a wall of privacy by the wooden patio table where the couple enjoy their morning coffee and lovely summer evenings. The shad…

Local News

A horse-drawn wagon used to sell Jell-O more than a century ago was unveiled Saturday at the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum. The wagon, which dates between 1902 and 1904, advertises Jello-O Ice Cream Powder, "America's Most Famous Dessert." It was purchased for the museum by Jim and Mary Ann Sandoro, the not-for-profit museum's founders. The story of the …