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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.


A public meeting will be held 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23 about a proposal to make a portion of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood a Certified Local Historic District. The meeting will be held at Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY, 1081 Broadway. Historic East Side Neighborhood Initiative and Preservation Buffalo Niagara, and project consultant Preservation St…

Local News

LiRo Engineers was chosen Monday by Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. to provide construction management services for the Pavilion and Union Block buildings that are coming to Canalside. LiRo's $775,000 contract includes a $232,000 contingency in the event LiRo's services need to be extended several months. LiRo will represent the state agency through pre-construct…

Buffalo

Signs of vitality and change on Grant Street are easy to find: Immigrant-owned businesses cater to recent West Side arrivals. Neighborhood mainstays are still going strong long after the West Side's Italian population moved north. There are places that appeal to young people and hipsters. And last year, a three-story apartment building by Potomac Street opened …

A man was stopped Friday in the Village of Delevan for driving a lawn tractor in the roadway. Troopers pulled Scott R. Chapman over on State Route 16, and placed him under arrest for driving while intoxicated after he failed multiple field sobriety tests. He reportedly recorded a 0.18 BAC after he was taken into custody. Chapman was arraigned in Town of Freedom C…

A North Tonawanda man was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest Friday after walking up to a City of Tonawanda police car and pouring a 24-ounce can of beer on the hood. Officer Eric Foels was inside the car writing a report on his car computer at Main and Niagara streets when the incident allegedly occurred. David L Serrano, 45 of Mead St., North …

Buffalo

Michelle Urbanczyk will take the reins as chief executive officer at Explore & More Children's Museum in mid-February. It's a position she didn't apply for, but found returning to a museum setting too appealing to turn down. The museum is slated to open at the end of the year at Canalside. "There are so many positive things that Explore & More Children's Muse…

Buffalo

The next projects planned for the Outer Harbor could appeal to a wide spectrum of visitors. For nature lovers, a 15-acre zone around the Bell Slip would soon be rid of invasive species and become more welcoming for butterflies. Trails would provide more recreational opportunities for cyclists, pedestrians and mountain bike riders. The soil at a 4-acre area on the …

Buffalo

The Bailey Green project on the East Side was started by a neighborhood business, guided by an internationally acclaimed plan and has had the involvement of the University at Buffalo and community organizations like Habitat for Humanity Buffalo. About two years ago Harmac Medical Products became the catalyst for a partnership pledging to bring new houses and apartments,…

Buffalo

An Outer Harbor marina on Fuhrmann Boulevard, across from Canalside, looks cluttered and unappealing, but a state agency wants to change that, making it more accessible and public-friendly, while also retaining marina services. A boat marina, launch locations and outdoor storage will remain, officials of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. said. But the layout of the si…

Buffalo

Explore & More Children's Museum is now $500,000 closer to meeting its fundraising goal for the new museum coming to Canalside. KeyBank and its partner, First Niagara Foundation, on Thursday announced the donation toward construction of the four-story museum. “It is through the generosity of KeyBank and many others that this community will see this remarkable fac…

Buffalo

Fire Wednesday destroyed a pre-Civil War building that was to become part of a new attraction in the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor. The two-story federal-style brick building at 68 Sycamore St. was to have been restored as an African-American art gallery with artist work spaces. Developer Rocco Termini, who bought the building in July, planned to co…

Preservationists and East Side residents Wednesday called on the owner of a circa 1876 building to make immediate repairs before the building is lost to demolition. Borderland Advantage purchased the building at 238 Carlton St. in 2017 after a fire damaged the back of the building. The owner has failed to stabilize the building, and the city is threatening emergency dem…

Buffalo

The state has put the brakes on a $101 million plan to convert the Scajaquada Expressway into a lower-speed boulevard after receiving public comments that were overwhelmingly in opposition. The decision by the state Department of Transportation comes at the end of a long design process to reshape 2.2 miles of Route 198 between Parkside Avenue and Grant Street, which has…

Buffalo

It's a good time to stop and smell the roses at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The cultural attraction in South Park had more paid admissions (82,750) and total attendance (more than 120,000)  in 2017 than any other year. Admissions jumped 31 percent from the year before. "We're becoming more and more of a tourist attraction," said David Swarts, president…

Buffalo

Jessica Chastain, Frances McDormand, Daniel Day-Lewis and Gary Oldman could be among those sinking their teeth into the Choco-Logo Confectionary Design's premium chocolate at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards. So might host Seth Meyers and presenters like Kerry Washington, Gal Gadot and Emma Watson. A customized bar made by the Buffalo chocolate maker will be in gift bags…