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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 money's there. Spend it. That was Rep. Brian Higgins' message to a state waterfront agency Thursday, as he called for six waterfront projects with a price tag of $42 million using funds secured from the New York Power Authority years ago. Higgins offered his wish list as the 20-year agreement with the power authority nears its halfway mark. As of last fall, nearl…

Buffalo

Partial demolition was underway Tuesday at the former E&B Holmes Machinery factory at 55-59 Chicago St., near Ohio Street. GALLERY: The Buffalo Left Behind: E&B Holmes Machinery Co. The property, also known as the Cooperage, is being converted into a distillery, brewery, adventure gym, apartments and retail by Ellicott Development. Part of the rundown, 19t…

Citizens For Regional Transit will host a discussion on current plans to connect Toronto and Niagara Falls with commuter rail and how to extend that to Buffalo. Panelists will be Rep. Brian Higgins; Patrick Whalen, director of the Niagara Falls Global Tourism Institute; and Bruce Becker, vice president of the National Association of Rail Passengers. The event will oc…

Buffalo

Buffalo could get a new downtown train station in a couple of years – but it could be closed when about half the trains come in and out. That's because Greyhound, Trailways and Megabus buses are not part of the plan for the new station on Exchange Street — at least, not yet. Without bus passengers, there would not be enough people to make it worth keeping the station op…

Buffalo

It's a rare egg and among the biggest in the world. But because it was mislabeled for decades, no one at the Buffalo Museum of Science even knew what they had. What the museum has is a fully-intact elephant bird egg. After decades of being out of view – possibly since the 1940s or '50s – the egg will be displayed in the museum's Rethink Extinct gallery starting May 1…

Buffalo

The largest concentration of tall ships to come to Buffalo in decades will arrive in 2019. Seven traditional rig-sailing vessels – expected from July 4 to July 7 as part of the "Port of Call: Buffalo" festival – will dock at Canalside and also near the Erie Basin Marina, Lighthouse Point and other nearby locations. "What we are hoping to establish is a recurring sign…

Buffalo

The shooting deaths of four Kent State University students by National Guardsmen was one of the most shocking events of the Vietnam War. Nine others were wounded. A new documentary, "Fire in the Heartland: Kent State, May 4th, and Student Protest in America" will be screened at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Burchfield Penney Art Center auditorium. The film will be follow…

Buffalo

Several projects to make the Outer Harbor more user-friendly moved forward Monday. The projects include a bike park with mountain-bike trails, events lawn, multi-use trails and three habitat restoration areas for the southern end of the Outer Harbor. The projects are expected to be completed in May 2019. Additional steps were taken to start improvements on 20 acres a…

Buffalo

Chadwick Boseman is a feather in his cap. So are Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale and Steve Buscemi. All have worn custom-made hats from Buffalo's master hatter, professionally known as Gary White, but whose real name is Gary Witkowski. Hat making may be a disappearing craft, but the Buffalo native's hats are still in demand after a 30-year career. Witkowski's…

Books

Four renowned writers – including Jesmyn Ward, the first woman to win two National Book Awards, and George Saunders, the acclaimed author of "Lincoln in the Bardo" – will be in Buffalo as part of Just Buffalo Literary Center's 2018-2019 BABEL series. "Ten years ago, when we started, people weren't sure that we could sustain a literary series that focused on such serious…

Buffalo

The proposed $20 million downtown train station would combine a classic and contemporary look, and would be nearly three times the size and in the same location as the current Exchange Street station. The three-story station will be at ground level after the land is built up six to nine feet in places – and moved closer to the street. That's according to renderings s…

Buffalo News photographer Mark Mulville, Cathaleeen Curtiss, director of photography, and reporters Mark Sommer and Gene Warner will be honored Sunday at the 2018 Yom HaShoah Commemoration at Temple Beth Tzedek, 621 Getzville Road, Amherst. The journalists and photojournalists are being recognized for their work on "The Survivors," a special section published by The New…

Buffalo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday the biggest investment in the Central Terminal since the last train pulled out in 1979. A $5 million grant from the Buffalo Billion Initiative will be used to restore the historic concourse and professionalize the non-profit trying to ensure the building's future.  The funding follows recommendations made last June by the Urban land…

Buffalo

The City of Buffalo returned the Market Arcade building to the tax rolls by selling it in 2014 to developer Nick Sinatra, who refurbished its interior and filled it with tenants. But his company owes $154,430 in city property taxes and fees on the historic Main Street building, according to city and county records. That's not the only property his companies are behin…

Buffalo

It's been a tumultuous couple of years for the Elmwood Village Association. Some merchants complain the Buffalo neighborhood improvement group hasn't done more to address Elmwood Avenue's empty storefronts or beautification efforts. "Sidewalk repairs, lighting, hanging plants on poles, Christmas wreaths – I used to joke that's all they did," said Michael Bowen, owner…