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Richardson Center Corp. sets informational meeting

The Richardson Center Corp. will hold an informational meeting about the Richardson Olmsted Complex South Lawn at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center at Buffalo State College.

As a component of the Master Plan Core Project, the South Lawn landscape, circulation and entry encompasses a 4-acre area between the Towers Building and Forest Avenue.

Plans for the $4 million construction project will be unveiled, and the community will have the opportunity for discussion. Updates on the Master Plan, stabilization, parking relocation, ownership and implementation schedule also will be presented.


Senate Democrats promise votes for property tax cap

ALBANY -- Senate Democrats said they will provide many of their votes on a property tax cap to give Republicans who control the Senate and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo plenty of room to assure its passage.

The Senate Democrats staged an event Monday to push their support of efforts to control the growth of property taxes by localities and school districts.

But the Democrats said they also think a "circuit breaker" approach -- giving tax breaks to New Yorkers based on income -- should be adopted. Sen. Tim Kennedy, a Buffalo Democrat, did not provide specifics of how such a plan could be funded, given the state's soaring deficit, except to say money could come from "savings" the state will make the next couple of years by controlling the growth of spending.

Cuomo later distanced himself from a circuit breaker, saying the state needs a property tax cap.


Shah unanimously confirmed as new health commissioner

ALBANY -- A Buffalo-area native was unanimously confirmed as the state's new health commissioner.

Dr. Nirav R. Shah, 38, a 1990 graduate of Williamsville East High School, takes over one of the largest state agencies at a time when the government is facing another round of deficits and deep cuts are expected to programs including Medicaid.

With Cuomo at his side after the vote, Shah ducked questions about what he would recommend in the way of cuts for Medicaid. He then distanced himself from the effort by his predecessor -- Dr. Richard Daines -- to hike the tax on sugar-based beverages as a way to raise money and fight obesity, especially among teenagers. "We have committed to no new taxes at this time," Shah said.

Shah was most recently an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, associate investigator at the Geisinger Center for Health Research and an assistant professor at the New York University Langone Medical Center.


Member of Lee's staff available for meetings

A member of the staff of Rep. Chris Lee, R-Amherst, will be available for one-on-one meetings with Lancaster residents from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in Lancaster Town Hall, 21 Central Ave.

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