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The week that just was (June 20-24)

Before the work week is tossed aside in favor of golf clubs, weekend parties,  a hockey draft or perhaps (if you're like me) household chores, let's take a few minutes to go over some happenings from this past week:

John Hickey/Buffalo News photo

John Hickey/Buffalo News photo

The ambulance issue: Frustrated  by how long it sometimes takes Rural/Metro ambulances to respond to a call, the city's Emergency Medical Services Board Monday sent an official "letter of inquiry" to the company asking why it's not meeting response time goals spelled out in its contract with the city.

The company says it's working to address the issues. Rural/Metro has 30 days to respond to the EMS board's letter.



Hizzoner the chairman: Mayor Brown was officially named chairman of the state Democratic Party Tuesday. The nomination reflects Brown's strong relationship with Gov. Cuomo. The job, for the next five months, at least, will focus on getting New York State to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Big building: In a 6-3 vote, The Buffalo Common Council Tuesday approved a 23-story residential tower to be built on the Outer Harbor. With a $60 million price-tag, the 197-unit apartment building will be sixth-tallest building in the city.

Cookin' with gas: An 11-day ordeal  at the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority's Marine Drive apartments ended Tuesday when natural gas was reconnected at the complex's Driftwood building. Gas was cut off when residents smelled gas on June 11.

The agency replaced some major valves, and thought the problem was solved on  June 14 when gas was originally turned back on. But within hours, the  smell was back. Gas was again disconnected in the 88-unit building,  and remained off while crews checked all stove and gas lines in the building.

Post Mascia era:  The BMHA held its tenant commissioner elections Tuesday, and for  the  first  time since 2005, Joe Mascia was not on the ballot. With the ousted commissioner banned from running, voter turnout was low. There were two open positions. The top two vote getters among the six candidates were Leonard Williams and Robin Edwards, both from the Kenfield-Langfield apartments.

Gates Circle zoning plan: Everyone wasn't happy with everything, but the Council Tuesday approved a special zoning district for Gates Circle that puts further restrictions on development that can occur at and around the site of the former Millard Gates Hospital property. The regulations cover such things as building height and parking.

Chippewa bar closed: City police Wednesday shut down, at least temporarily, the Lodge Bar & Grill after a massive brawl broke out at the bar Monday morning.

John Hickey/ Buffalo News photo

John Hickey/ Buffalo News photo

The Lodge is  located at 79 West Chippewa St., and it won't reopen until the bar comes up with a plan to address public officials’ safety concerns and then requests a hearing, according to Mayor Brown.

The fight began inside the bar, then spilled out onto Chippewa Street and Delaware Avenue at about 3 a.m. Monday morning. At one point, more than 150 people were involved. Gunshots were fired during the melee. No one was injured by gunfire, but one man was hospitalized. One arrest was made.

Molly's Pub fallout: And on Friday, we learned that Buffalo Police Officer Robert Eloff will resign from the city police department for his actions while working private security the night bar manager Jeffrey Basil fatally shoved William Sager Jr. down a flight of stairs at Molly's Pub.

You can read more about that in Saturday's Buffalo News and


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