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LOCAL NEWS 
BRIEFS

Continued maintenance
 of Skyway called impractical

It's no secret Rep. Brian Higgins wants the Skyway torn down.

Today, Higgins will release data on why he thinks the continued maintenance of the downtown bridge is economically impractical.

Higgins, who views the Skyway as a barrier to waterfront development, also plans to lay out steps he wants the state Department of Transportation to take to help the region make smart decisions about the future of the bridge.

The news conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Canalside, in the shadow of the Skyway.

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Proposal for skate plaza
 subject of Wednesday session

The city is seeking public input on how a new open-air skate plaza in LaSalle Park should be designed.

A public meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Belle Center, 104 Maryland St., and the city is urging members of the local skateboarding community to attend.

The city hired New Line Skateparks Inc. to design a facility on two acres just south of Centennial Pool and has allocated $250,000 for construction. New Line's contract is about $24,600.

The skate park will be built on an old pipe yard and will not use any existing greenspace.

The city hopes it will be open by summer 2013.

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Young Audiences to fete 
community's arts leaders

Young Audiences of Western New York will honor community arts leaders at its annual "Young Audiences Goes to Town" celebration Oct. 10.

The nominees are Marvin Askew, founder and executive director of Buffalo City Ballet; Elizabeth Licata, editor of Buffalo Spree magazine; Leslie Zemsky, president of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, which oversees Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and Jerry and Gilda Raiken, long-term Young Audiences board members.

The 6 p.m. event will be held in the Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. Tickets are $50 per person and $150 per person for patron table tickets. To purchase tickets or get more information, go to www.yawny.org/town.

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Drainage improvement work
 slated for Durez Plastics site

NORTH TONAWANDA – A drainage improvement project, to be augmented next spring by the planting of new grass, trees and shrubs aimed at attracting bluebirds and bats, will take place in the next six to eight weeks at the former Durez Plastics site on Walck Road.

The brownfield, monitored as a hazardous site since 1989, is to be cleared of trees and brush along its northern and eastern boundaries.

A 90,000-square-foot artificial wetland with water flow beneath the surface is to be installed in the northern portion of the 67.8-acre site.

Next to the new wetland, 4.9 acres of new plants will be added: prairie grass and wetland plants this fall, trees and shrubs in the spring.

The trees will include yellow birch, red oak, sugar maple, walnut, hickory, Colorado blue spruce and Black Hills spruce. Also, Eastern bluebird and bat boxes will be installed.