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Summer fun Back in the spring, City Hallways reported about a new playground that is being constructed on Buffalo's East Side. The Jami Masjid Mosque and the Universal School – an Islamic, faith-based elementary school – are building the new playground at the corner of Genesee and Forman streets, on a parking lot on the school's property. The playground will b…

Politics

The jazz party of the century It was a pleasure meeting Arianna Powell and Zuri Appleby of the group A2Z, a play on the first two letters of their first names. Appleby is from Buffalo. Powell hails from Pittsburgh. The two met in 2015 while touring together with Nick Jonas. The duo is in Buffalo performing in the Colored Musicians Club's Jazzfest, a weeklong party a…

Politics

Greetings Bienvenido. Herzlich willkommen. Benvenuto. These are just a few ways to say welcome in different languages. But a new mural on the side of a building in the Fillmore District was painted with 13 languages to make people feel really welcome. “Welcome Wall” is the name of the artwork. It was designed and installed by two Philadelphia-based artists …

Politics

Out for recess Tuesday marked the last Common Council meeting until Sept. 5. Until then, city lawmakers will be on break. Fillmore District Councilman David Franczyk shared with me that the concept of August recess dates as far back as Abraham Lincoln’s administration. D.C. summers would get so blistering hot – especially during August – that Congress just took…

Politics

Roll 'em on in It’s hard to miss the 28 sphere-shaped posts called “bollards” that were installed in front of City Hall last month. Well, 28 more of them were delivered last week and stationed on the side of building that faces the Turner Parking Ramp. In total, 160 bollards will be installed around City Hall over the next few months at cost of $129,489. A g…

Politics

Paid pathway Attention wanna-be carpenters, laborers, electricians, plumbers and iron workers. Applications are available for the pre-apprenticeship program for the Northland Corridor Project.  Construction experience not required. The paid training program includes construction-related mathematics, job search training and exposure to various fields of skilled la…

Politics

Security, please! The security guards at City Hall will be around for a second year. The Common Council likely will renew the contract with a private security company to provide uniformed, armed guards at City Hall through June 2018. The price tag is around $660,000. The guards do more than guide visitors through metal detectors and run bags through X-ray screenin…

Politics

That's a lot of bosses The Common Council's new chief of staff is no stranger to City Hall. And he’s already pretty familiar with his bosses – all nine of them. Malcolm Ertha started working for the City of Buffalo as an intern 10 years ago for Lovejoy Councilman Richard Fontana and moved up the ranks. He's worked in the City Clerk’s office, the Council’s …

Politics

Déjà vu all over again? Supermarket retailer Joe Dash converted the former Budwey’s supermarket at 400 Kenmore Ave. into a self-storage facility despite significant opposition from neighbors who wanted another grocery store at the location. But he apparently resolved the concerns because the self-storage facility – which is located in Council Member Rasheed Wy…

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Food truck washout Wild, wet weather on Thursday caused flash flooding, road closures and even swift water rescues by Buffalo firefighters of motorists trapped in vehicles stuck in water. Though not nearly as serious as those situations, the record-breaking deluge put a damper on Food Truck Thursdays. Only two of the six scheduled food trucks, Lloyd and Green Acres I…

Politics

Celebrating friendship Buffalo has a different festival to celebrate almost every ethnic group in America. And we have some really tasty food festivals here, too. Then again, you can usually get some really good food at the ethnic festivals. The point is, we’re not short on festivals here in Buffalo. And for the 31st year in a row, we’ll be celebrating our frie…

Politics

The Maryvale connection The leader of Seneca-Babcock Community Association is now the new leader at Maryvale schools in Cheektowaga. Brian Pilarski has been president of the South Buffalo organization since 2006. Under his leadership, the group has tripled in capacity and revenue, they say. Earlier this week, he was unanimously selected as the next president of th…

Politics

Spread the word In case you haven't heard, the much-anticipated Lexington Co-op Market will open its new Hertel Avenue location at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. There will be a ribbon-cutting at 6:55 a.m., right before the doors open to the public for business. Just for perks, the first 100 customers will receive a mug at the checkout counter that will entitle them to free…

Politics

Main Street medians So last year, City Hallways told you about an ongoing public discussion over whether the Main Street medians should stay or go. Some considered them an eyesore and a hazard. Others said they're safety tools to help protect pedestrians from getting hit by vehicles. In a City Hallways poll that was posted last October, a majority of you – 50…

Politics

Voila!  The new public bathrooms in City Hall are completed and opened. And they look really, really good. Even some City Hall staffers who have keys to locked restrooms on other floors are coming down to the basement to use the new bathrooms. It's a far cry from last year when City Hallways told you about those awful-looking public bathrooms after we received a…