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Where we live A town-by-town digest of what's happening in our communities

Amherst

Supervisor Barry Weinstein wants to make sure anyone entering Amherst town limits is aware of the town's long-standing reputation as one of the safest communities in America.

So he's introducing a resolution Monday that would authorize the town to spend $7,800 for four attractive new Amherst entryway signs that feature the town seal and read:

Welcome to Amherst

"The Safest Town in America"

Established 1818

Technically, Amherst isn't always the safest town in the America, but it's usually in contention. The safest town reference comes from an annual ranking by CQ Press that lists the "safest cities in America." Typically, Amherst ranks in the top 10 year after year, while the City of Buffalo ranks much closer to the bottom.

The most recent safe cities ranking for 2011 placed Amherst 10th.

Amherst's designation as "safest city" tends to be at or close to No. 1 when comparing it with other communities with populations of 100,000 to 499,999. For 2011, Amherst ranked second in this category.

Weinstein said he wants the Town Board to authorize purchase of the new welcome signs to replace existing signs that were deteriorated and had to be removed.

The Town Board will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers of the Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St. The meeting will be preceded by a work session at 3 p.m.

Also this week:

*The Williamsville School Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the district office board room, 105 Casey Road, East Amherst. The meeting will feature a budget work session and public forum.

*The Williamsville School District's "Concert Band Festival" will be held starting at 7 p.m. Thursday in Williamsville South High School. The festival will feature guest artists The Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet. Attendees are asked to make a $3 donation to support the Williamsville Music Boosters.

*The Amherst School Board will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the cafeteria of the Middle School, 55 Kings Highway.

For more information, contact Michael Russo at 626-8040 or mrusso@williamsvillek12.org.

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Aurora

Village elections in East Aurora this March will be an unexciting affair, with no opposition for the incumbent mayor and three trustees seeking re-election.

Mayor Allan Kasprzak will begin a second two-year term, facing no opposition in the March 20 election. Trustees Ernie Scheer, Patrick Shea and Randy West also will serve new two-year terms. All of them are unopposed.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Village Hall, Main and Paine streets.

The Village Board this week unanimously adopted a local law authorizing the village to exceed the 2 percent tax cap levy, applying to its budget for the new fiscal year beginning June 1. The village is still crafting its preliminary budget, under which the projected tax rate increase is hovering around an estimated 1.16 percent.

In another matter, a citizens committee has been formed by the village to ensure that any concerns of neighbors living near the proposed new Center Street Fire Hall are addressed. Trustee Peter Mercurio is chairman of the panel.

On the town level, Aurora officials said they are pleased the town has been selected to compete in a 50-state recycling challenge sponsored by Waste Management, Recyclebank & SC Johnson. The town is in the running for a $100,000 grant for a green community project as part of an effort to encourage residents to recycle more.

Town residents register online and can receive incentives as part of a program offering $165 average reward savings for each participating household. The competition runs for 180 days. No start date has been announced.

There is no cost to the town and it's part of an overall marketing push to increase awareness and participation in recycling, Supervisor Jolene Jeffe said. The Town Board is expected to vote Monday on participating in the challenge.

Also this week:

*The Town Board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the auditorium of 300 Gleed Ave., East Aurora.

***

Buffalo

Public comments on Women & Children's Hospital's planned move to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus will be accepted during a hearing before the Planning Board at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Room 901 in City Hall.

Issues including traffic, noise, parking, construction and neighborhood impacts are to be studied as part of the state's environmental review process.

The public comment period runs through March 23. Written comments should be sent to Martin Grunzweig, Office of Strategic Planning, City of Buffalo, 901 City Hall, Buffalo, NY 14202.

Also this week:

*The Common Council's Civil Service Committee will meet at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers.

*The Council's Finance Committee will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers.

*The Buffalo Urban Development Corp. will meet at noon Tuesday in the Erie County Industrial Development Agency offices at 143 Genesee St.

*The Council's Community Development Committee will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers.

*The Council's Legislation Committee will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers.

*The Parking Board will meet at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Room 901 of City Hall.

*The Commission on Citizens Rights and Community Relations will meet at noon Wednesday in Room 1417 of City Hall.

*The Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency's Loan Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Room 920 of City Hall.

***

Cheektowaga

The Buffalo Cheektowaga Revitalization Task Force, a cross-border alliance between the city of Buffalo and town of Cheektowaga, will hold a Monday evening meeting in an effort to drum up support for block clubs.

The informational session, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday in the George K. Arthur Center at 2056 Genesee St., will include guest speakers from the Board of Block Clubs of Buffalo and Erie County as well as the Buffalo and Cheektowaga police departments. Council members from Buffalo and Cheektowaga will also attend to discuss the value of block clubs.

The task force was founded about three years ago as a way to improve the shared community on the border of the city and town.

Also this week:

*A 90-minute Bullying Prevention Workshop for parents of students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Cleveland Hill Middle/High School Auditorium, 105 Mapleview Road. Amanda Nickerson, the director of the Jean M. Alberti Center for the Prevention of Bullying Abuse and School Violence at the University at Buffalo, will lead the presentation.

Topics to be discussed include a primer on bullying, what it is and how to recognize warning signs of bullying. Where to get help as well as tips on "bullyproofing" your child who might be bullied or is bullying others will also be addressed.

Child care will be provided. Call 836-7200 Ext. 8363 to reserve a spot.

*Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School in the Cheektowaga-Sloan Union Free School District will hold a Dr. Seuss-themed "Read Across America" night at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the school, 2495 William St.

*The Town Board will hold a 6 p.m. Tuesday work session in the council office conference room at Cheektowaga Town Hall, 3301 Broadway.

*The Conservation Advisory Council will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in the council office conference room at Town Hall.

*The Depew School Board will met at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the library at Depew High School, 5201 S. Transit Road.

***

Clarence

A tobacco shop owner whose business in Snyder was displaced by a fire late last year is making plans to come into Clarence.

Milton Kalnitz is seeking the Planning Board's approval for a change in use of a property at 5333 Transit Road, north of Greiner Road.

Kalnitz's Bellezia Tobacco Shop was among the businesses displaced by a Dec. 28 fire in the 4500 block of Main Street in Snyder.

The Planning Board last fall approved a change in use for 5333 Transit from a vacant property to a jewelry store. But the jewelry store did not complete renovations, according to town planning officials.

The Planning Board will consider Kalnitz's request for a change in use to a tobacco shop when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall, following a 6:30 p.m. work session.

Also this week:

*The town is entering into agreement under which the county will provide operations and maintenance services for Clarence's sanitary sewer districts.

"This is now an all-inclusive agreement which ties all our districts together," said Town Councilman Patrick Casilio. As part of the deal, county workers will try to track down a problem the town believes it has with storm water from homes infiltrating the sewer system in Clarence Center.

*Scott A. Bylewski, the former town supervisor, has a new job, as attorney development director at William Mattar Law Offices.

*The Village Haven Motel, at 9370 Main St., has become affiliated with America's Best Value Inn and Suites. Atish Patel, the owner, said the brand gives the 32-room hotel a connection to a chain with a national presence. America's Best Value Inn has about 1,000 locations in North America, including one in Niagara Falls.

*As a fundraiser, the Clarence Lions Club is offering for sale to town residents two 4-inch by 12-inch highly reflective house numbers for $25, which includes free installation on both sides of a mailbox. The numbers help emergency responders locate a home quickly. The deadline for orders is Wednesday. For details, call Tim Pazda at 984-3245 or pazda@roadrunner.com.

*The School District will provide an overview of how Title I federal funds are used to support the K-12 educational program, at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Middle School auditorium, 10150 Greiner Road. The district receives Title I funds to help close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers. The School District will hold a budget workshop at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Middle School auditorium.

*Clarence Presbyterian Church will hold its "You've Gotta Have Art!" festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 9675 Main St. The event will feature 40 artists and craft artists, along with musical entertainment and food. Admission is free. Call 759-8396 for details.

*The Clarence Rotary Club Foundation is kicking off its annual Porsche raffle. The winner will have the choice of a 2013 Porsche Boxster, Cayenne or $40,000 cash. There will also be 10 additional $500 prizes. Only 3,600 tickets will be sold; tickets are a donation of $50 each or three for $100. The drawing will be Aug. 8. Visit www.clarencerotaryraffle.com for details.

***

Evans

A public hearing on the purchase of eight school buses and two trucks for the Lake Shore Central School District will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Lake Shore Transportation Department, 8710 N. Main St., Angola.

A special referendum March 6 is seeking taxpayer approval to spend $823,889 for five full-size Blue Bird school buses, one 30-passenger school bus, two wheelchair school buses, one plow truck and one service truck.

The purchase would impact the tax levy during the 2013-14 school year, raising school tax bills by $2.72 for a home in Evans or Brant with an assessed valuation of $100,000, school district officials said.

These buses would be part of a district fleet of 76 and replace 2001 models with 95,000 to 130,000 miles, school officials said.

"We wage a constant battle with rust and corrosion with our fleet," Transportation Director Perry Oddi said in a prepared statement. "As our buses surpass 100,000 miles and a decade of service it becomes harder to pass inspections and maintain the engines and chassis."

The district said it is holding a special referendum in March -- rather than try to win approval when the budget is voted on in May -- so that the buses could be in service for the coming school year.

Officials also said it "allows the district to have a forum to focus on transportation needs exclusively."

The referendum will be held Tuesday, March, 6 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the lobby of Lake Shore High School, 959 Beach Road.

Also this week:

*The musical ensemble, the Dallas Brass, will perform in the senior high auditorium at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Door prices will be $20 for adults and $15 for students. Presale tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students. Contact Eric Blodgett at 926-2117 for tickets.

***

Grand Island

The Town Board will hold a workshop meeting at 9:15 a.m. Monday in Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road. The purpose of the meeting relates to site plan requirements.

Also this week:

*The Grand Island School Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Connor Middle School Little Theater, 1100 Ransom Road.

*The All-Island Band Concert will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in Grand Island High School auditorium, 1100 Ransom Road

*The annual Donate Life Festival will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at Grand Island High School, 1100 Ransom Road.

***

Hamburg

Registration for the fourth annual Creating a Culture of Character conference is due Thursday. The weeklong conference from March 17-22 features a number of seminars targeted to educators, coaches, administrators and students on character education and leadership training.

Two candidates are running for the Blasdell Village Board to fill the year remaining on the term left when Jeff Adrian resigned.

Kathy King is running on the Love of Blasdell Party, and Dave Adrian, Jeff Adrian's brother, is running on the Conservative line.

Incumbent trustees Paul Gaughan and Laura Hackathorn in the Village of Hamburg are unopposed.

Also this week:

*The Town Board will conduct a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday in Town Hall, 6100 South Park Ave., on the proposed prepermitted site designation application from the Hamburg New York Land Development Company for 145 acres of land along Bayview Road and Route 5. A work session will take place at 6 p.m. Monday in Conference Room No. 1 in Town Hall.

*The Blasdell Village Board will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Village Hall, 121 Miriam Ave.

*The village Planning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Village Hall, 100 Main St.

*The village Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in Village Hall.

*The Frontier School Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Frontier Educational Center, 5120 Orchard Ave.

***

Lancaster

The Village Board on Monday will vote on whether to borrow money to pay for the extension of West Main Street between Central Avenue and Aurora Street.

The cost of the road construction is estimated at about $900,000, and the village would issue bonds to cover that expense, said Mayor William G. Cansdale Jr.

This section of West Main Street was built over in the early 1970s during an urban renewal project that left behind what is now an aging, largely unused 80,000-square-foot structure.

The building, which housed Erie I BOCES offices for 20 years, is owned by the village's Community Development Corporation.

Officials from the village, the corporation and Erie County have worked for years to find a way to redevelop this prime Lancaster site.

To make way for the extension of West Main Street, most but not all of the former BOCES building would be torn down. The three municipal partners are seeking additional funding for the demolition work.

"The parties are working together to make this happen," Cansdale said.

Demolition at the site could be performed this year, with road work beginning in early 2013, he said.

The Village Board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Municipal Building, 5423 Broadway.

Also this week:

*The Town Board meets at 8 p.m. Monday in Town Hall, 21 Central Ave. A work session at 7 precedes the full board meeting.

***

Orchard Park

The Friends of the Orchard Park Library will sponsor two events this week. The monthly fourth Tuesday speaker series at 7 p.m. Tuesday will feature Jack Edson discussing the Art of Quilting.

The Friends group also is sponsoring its quarterly book sale at the library, 4570 S. Buffalo St., from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday for friends only. The sale opens to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. Proceeds will benefit the Library.

Also this week:

*The Village Board will conduct a regular meeting at 8 p.m. Monday in the municipal center, 4295 S. Buffalo St.

*The School Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the administration building, 3330 Baker Road, and expects to go into executive session immediately, reopening the regular meeting at 7 p.m.

*The Town Board will conduct a work session at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the supervisor's conference room in the municipal center.

***

Southern Erie County

Joseph Karb, an eighth grade social studies teacher at Springville-Griffith Institute Middle School, has been awarded the Outstanding Social Studies Middle School Teacher Award for 2012 by the New York State Council for the Social Studies.

Karb has taught eighth grade social studies at the middle school for his entire 14-year teaching career. A Grand Island High School graduate, he received a bachelor's degree from Buffalo State College and a master's degree from the University at Buffalo in social studies education.

In 2010, he completed a fellowship for C-SPAN in Washington, D.C. where he planned lessons for teachers and developed ideas for the cable network's website.

An awards banquet is planned on March 24 at Saratoga Springs.

Also this week:

*Local author and garden expert Sally Cunningham will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Elma Public Library, 1860 Bowen Road.

The Friends of the Elma Library will sponsor this event which is free but requires registration by calling the library at 652-2719.

Cunningham will show new ways to use perennials, recommend superior perennials for use in yards and provide tips for pruning and cutting back plants.

*The Wales Town Board will meet in a work session at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 12345 Big Tree Road.

***

City of Tonawanda

The Common Council will hold an informal meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 200 Niagara St.

The agenda for the meeting calls for:

Interview for the plumbing inspector position.

Meeting with employees to discuss issues with their departments.

Miscellaneous issues.

Also this week:

*The School Board will host a budget advisory session at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Tonawanda High School, 100 Hinds St. A regular meeting of the board will follow at 7 p.m.

***

Town of Tonawanda

A civic group in Kenmore is encouraging patronage of village businesses with a contest to get people through the doors.

Dubbed the "Trolley Stop-in Campaign" by the Kenmore Village Improvement Society, shoppers can pick up a trolley card at any of the participating businesses displaying a trolley image in their windows. Shoppers get their cards stamped while visiting participating merchants and when it's filled up, they can enter to win a prize.

"This initiative was instituted by the KVIS Businesses & Commercial Properties Committee in an effort to support our local merchants," said KVIS President Melissa Foster.

The contest began this week and runs through March 31; it was timed to stimulate activity during the late winter months.

No purchase is necessary to participate. For complete details, call KVIS at 877-0477 or write to mail@villageofkenmore.com.

Also this week:

*The Town Board meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday in council chambers at the municipal building, 2919 Delaware Ave. A work session begins at 4 in the conference room.

*The Kenmore Planning Board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in room 15 of the municipal building.

*Tickets for the St. Patrick's Day Party at the Town of Tonawanda Senior Citizens Center are on sale until March 7. The event, which begins at 1 p.m. March 14, features a catered lunch, beverages and live music.

Tickets are $14 for senior center members and $16 for nonmembers, age 60 and older. Call 874-3266 for more information.

***

West Seneca

Showdown III on the controversial -- and now suspended -- town law requiring the replacement of the lateral sewer line between homes and the street prior to sale will occur at a 7 p.m. Monday public hearing on the issue in Town Hall, 1250 Union Road.

The town ordinance, which was passed in late November and became law Jan. 1, was suspended Feb. 3 after nearly 100 people jammed into a special meeting at the Burchfield Nature & Art Center earlier this month to protest the measure.

The protests were driven by backlash from area realtors who confronted the Town Board in late January about the new law that they say was surreptitiously enacted and was having a deleterious effect on property transactions and values in the town.

Other stipulations in the law governing requirements for downspouts, sump pumps and certificates of occupancy are also expected to be discussed.

The public hearing will be preceded by a 5 p.m. Town Board work session in the council chambers at Town Hall and followed by the board's regularly scheduled meeting.

Monday's agenda will also include revisiting previously tabled items that would extend the town's shared assessor agreement with the town of Elma and update the bylaws for the West Seneca Youth Hockey Association.

Also this week:

*The third of four scheduled public meetings to discuss the best uses for the hundreds of acres of state property formerly housing the West Seneca Developmental Center will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the West Seneca Senior Citizens Center, 4620 Seneca St. The guest speaker will be landscape architect Dean Gowan, who will discuss development strategies.

*A 6 p.m. Thursday special meeting of the West Seneca Central School Board of Education will be held for a 2012-13 school budget presentation. The meeting will be held in the second-floor board room at West Elementary School, 1397 Orchard Park Road.

***

Williamsville / By the numbers

Total population: 5,300

AGE:

Median: 46.4
Percent under 5: 4.6
Percent under 18: 18.2
Percent over 65: 23.5

***

Population by sex

56.3% female

43.7% male

***

Population by race

91.6% white
4.2% Asian
2.2% black
1.7% Hispanic

***

HOUSING:

Total units: 2,695
Percentage vacant: 6
Percent owner occupied: 60.3
Percent renter occupied: 39.7

***

HOUSEHOLDS:

Total: 2,534
Average size: 2.01
Percent with husband-wife: 36.7
Percent with husband-wife and kids under 18: 14.6
Percent with single fathers: 1.1
Percent with single mothers: 4.9