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City Hallways (Feb. 6) 'Refugees Welcome' flag flying in front of City Hall

Flag welcomes refugees to Buffalo

Over the weekend, when some 2,000 people came to Buffalo's Columbus Park for a pro-immigrants/pro-refugees rally, Mayor Byron Brown helped raise this "Refugees Welcome" flag next to the American flag in Niagara Square in front of City Hall. The welcome flag remains flying today.

"Refugees and immigrants are an important part of Buffalo and growing our community," Brown wrote on his Facebook page after the flag raising Saturday.

Last week, Brown said that Buffalo is not a "sanctuary city" but it is a refugee resettlement city that welcomes immigrants and refugees.

Nice neighborhood didn't just happen

Bit of a preemptive strike in the Days Park neighborhood.

Neighborhood advocates Dolores Murphy and Mary Simpson Saunders appeared before Council members to say Days Park residents are concerned a liquor store that recently shut down on nearby Allen Street will become a bar.

They don't mind the liquor store, but don't want yet another bar opening on Allen Street.

"There are 15 bars," Murphy said. "There were only five in 1997."

Bars bring with them parking problems, noise, loitering, public urination and destruction of property, the women said.

Days Park in Buffalo's Allentown neighborhood.

Fillmore Councilman Dave Franczyk, who represents the Allentown neighborhood, was sympathetic to the women.

Days Park, once a neighborhood associated with drugs and slumlords, has come a long way, and is now – thanks in part of the neighborhood advocates –  one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city, with young families investing in the community, Franczyk said.

"It's beautiful. Is there any indication that anyone wants to turn the liquor store into a bar?" South District Councilman Chris Scanlon asked.

There's rumors in the neighborhood, but nothing has been filed with the city," Franczyk said, adding: "We have to protect the integrity of this neighborhood."

Today's calendar items

Council caucus meeting to get ready for tomorrow's Council meeting.

In case you missed it, here's links to my BMHA travel stories, on Sunday and today.

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