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Editorial: It seems to us – Albright-Knox, Botanical Gardens get funding boosts; Amherst a coveted town and holiday bang-bang

It’s been a good week in funding for cultural institutions in Western New York.

• Mayor Byron W. Brown announced the City of Buffalo is donating $2.5 million for the expansion project at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The gallery’s funding campaign, AK360, is trying to make the most of a challenge grant from billionaire investor Jeffrey Gundlach.

Gundlach, who made a historic gift of $42.5 million to the museum, has also pledged to match any funds raised in 2018 toward the gallery’s expansion, up to $10 million.

It’s nice to see the city’s support for one of our cultural treasures.

• The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens announced on Friday the awarding of a $1.5 million grant from the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. The money will go toward the gardens’ planned $13.8 million expansion, which is to include the addition of a butterfly conservatory. The state grant is sure to stimulate donations from other sources.

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Take a bow, Amherst. Money Magazine, in its annual rankings, singled out Buffalo’s largest suburb as the best place to live in New York State.

“A 15-minute drive from Buffalo (and only 15 minutes from Canada), it’s in close proximity to Niagara, while boasting a great education system and very low crime rate of its own,” the magazine noted.

A town had to have a minimum of 50,000 residents to qualify.

The listing noted that Amherst’s population of 126,096 has a median household income of $74,631, and a median home listing price of $269,900.

Amherst, and most of Western New York, still offer housing bargains compared to much of the country. Of the 50 towns listed as Money’s best to live in, only 12 had lower median home listing prices than Amherst.

Our region is no longer a well-kept secret, but these pats on the back aren’t getting old, either.

•••

Remember the frustration of opening new toys on Christmas morning, only to find out the batteries weren’t included?

A similar sense of disappointment apparently greets gun owners when they get a new handgun under the tree, and have to wait for their pistol permit.

Niagara County feels their pain and will open two pistol permit offices on Wednesday, a day on which they would normally be closed.

No longer is Boxing Day limited to shopping for bargains in Canada or watching soccer from the United Kingdom. In Niagara County you can get a permit and start packing heat.

To paraphrase Santa Claus in the film “A Christmas Story,” just don’t shoot your eyes out, kids.

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