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The city is ready to seek bids on the first phase of restoring Buffalo's Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Masten Council Member Antoine M. Thompson announced last week.

Phase 1 of the project calls for an interactive, user-friendly water feature in the wading pool of the park, one of several in the city designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Copies of the wading pool plan and bid documents are available for review from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday in the Apollo Small Business Resource Center, 1346 Jefferson Ave.

During the past two years, $900,000 has been raised for the project through the Masten District Council office, Coalition to Save Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Martin Luther King Jr. Park Steering Committee.

The project requires that 25 percent of the work go to companies owned by members of minority groups and 5 percent to those owned by women.

For more information, contact Rashied McDuffie at 851-5145.

S. Buffalo Parade of Circles set June 8

The second annual South Buffalo Parade of Circles will begin at 2 p.m. June 8 with a march down McKinley Parkway beginning at Dorrance Avenue.

The old-fashioned-style parade celebrates the Olmsted parkway and the restoration of the McKinley and McClellan circles.

It will proceed down McKinley to Heacock Park, where McKinley, Abbott Road and Southside Parkway intersect.

Joseph Crowley, founder of Crowley Webb & Associates, will serve as grand marshal and be honored for his contributions to the community, according to Maureen Kruas, president of South Buffalo Alive.

A picnic and entertainment for children, sponsored by the Police Athletic League, will follow the parade in Heacock Park.

Elma to vote on funding for Town Hall

The Elma Town Board has scheduled June 12 for a vote on financing for construction of the new Town Hall.

The vote will be held from noon to 8 p.m. in the Senior Citizens Center, 3007 Bowen Road. The vote is limited to property owners who also are registered voters.

In February, the board voted to borrow up to $1.9 million. However, a petition filed March 5 by resident Charles Hunt set the wheels in motion for a referendum.

The facility is targeted for 1600 Bowen Road. The town has $2.4 million for the project and would finance the $1.9 million over a 20-year period.

Supervisor John Dudek said that if the financing proposal is defeated, the town would turn to bond anticipation notes, which would have to be paid off in five years.

A public hearing is scheduled for 8 p.m. June 4 on a proposed patio home subdivision for senior citizens on a 22-acre site off Rice Road. The project would feature 160 homes built by Marrano Builders.

Fitness center memberships offered

The Town of Tonawanda Aquatic and Fitness Center is offering a summer membership after all.

Although the main pool will be closed for extensive remodeling, town officials decided -- after much demand -- to offer a "Pardon Our Dust Fitness Room" membership, which entitles holders to the use of the fitness room and other privileges, Town Councilwoman Amy Murphy said.

Prices are as low as $60 for an adult and $90 for a family. The special membership runs through Aug. 15.

For more information on membership and classes, call the center at 876-7424.

Children's program encourages learning

Buffalo/Niagara WorldConnect has unveiled its new GlobalKids program, designed to encourage children to learn about other cultures.

The program, which will be held in Tri-Main Building, 2495 Main St., will run for four successive Thursdays in July, letting kids dance, sing, hear stories and create crafts from places such as Africa and the Middle East.

Funding has been provided by the John R. Oishei Foundation.

For information, call Bruce Acker at 842-1311.

Postal drive collected 15 tons of food

The 11th annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive on May 10 brought home the bacon for the South Buffalo Food Pantry of Catholic Charities, food pantry volunteer coordinator Caroline Degnan reported Tuesday.

"We estimate the letter carriers collected almost 15 tons of food that day," Degnan said. "The scouts stopped counting after 25,000 food items."

Nearly 40 scouts from the Cub Scout Pack of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and Boy Scout troops from St. Martin's Parish and St. Ambrose Parish, assisted by parents, helped unload, sort and shelve the goods. The pantry received nonperishable food items collected by letter carriers from the U.S. Postal Service Southside Station in South Buffalo.

"This year's drive was overwhelming," Degnan said, "and it will really help to carry us through the summer months, which is often a low supplies period."

Those who missed the drive may send donations to the South Buffalo Food Pantry, 2219 South Park Ave., Buffalo, NY 14220.

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