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Joseph Popiolkowski

Joseph Popiolkowski is a reporter for The Buffalo News covering Buffalo's inner suburbs, including the towns of Tonawanda, Cheektowaga and West Seneca.


Amherst

Amherst will try to use eminent domain to take over a former gas station property in Eggertsville that town officials for two decades have blasted as an unwelcome eyesore. The Town Board on Wednesday agreed to start eminent domain proceedings for the former Red Apple gas station at Kenmore Avenue and Niagara Falls Boulevard owned by United Refining Co. The board also ap…

Local News

The towns of Amherst and Tonawanda now have a roadmap for addressing the future of Niagara Falls Boulevard. The towns are about five months into an 18-month project to scrutinize the busy retail and residential corridor that forms their shared border. "The two towns have felt that we need to lead the discussion," said Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa. "We have ultimate…

Education

The Williamsville teachers' union on Tuesday maintained its perfect record since 2015 of electing its endorsed candidates to the Board of Education. The union-backed slate of incumbents Shawn Lemay and Mark Mecca and newcomer Eric Borenstein were the top vote-getters in a field of seven candidates. Six-year incumbent Toni Vazquez, who received the union's endorsement in…

Amherst

A 1907 railroad building in Williamsville needs about $60,000 worth of work to return it to occupancy, according to an engineer's report. The report by the Flynn Battaglia firm faults the current owner, Natale Development, for failing to adequately secure the Lehigh Valley Railroad Section House. "While we are confident the Section House remains viable structurally a…

Amherst

Williamsville residents would be allowed to raise up to six chickens on their property under a proposed law being considered by the Village Board. Residents seeking to build a chicken coop would be subject to 14 conditions, including approval of a special-use permit by the Zoning Board of Appeals. In addition, coops must be at least 15 feet from any property line and…

Amherst

Frequent visitors to Amherst State Park and town officials alike describe the 80 acres of public open space as a "hidden gem." Now, the park nestled among dense neighborhoods between Main Street and Sheridan Drive is getting some attention. Construction of a stone dust trail connecting both sides of the park is nearly complete. Work to restore a historic stone stairc…

Local News

Williamsville School Board member Toni Vazquez was in the good graces of the district’s teachers’ union three years ago. She had been the lone member to support the union’s call for an independent investigation into employee complaints of Superintendent Scott Martzloff and was the only incumbent in 2015 to receive the union’s endorsement in her re-election bid. But i…

Local News

Amherst’s annual spring pickup of large unmanageable piles of logs, brush and tree stumps will begin the week of May 21. Residents are asked by the town Highway Department to have the brush at streetside on their regular refuse pickup day, although it may not be picked up that day depending on the volume. "We can reassure you that it will get picked up," the departme…

Online registration ends Wednesday for the second annual Run for Kindness 5K, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday in Delaware Park. The run is held in memory of Maksym Sugorovskiy, the 3-year-old boy killed in May 2015 when a car veered off Route 198 and struck him on the park's ring road. https://buffalonews.com/2017/05/05/run-kindness-celebrates-maksym-sugorovskiys-lif…

Amherst

The Williamsville Central School District has locked in a busing contract through the 2023-24 school year. The School Board on Thursday approved a five-year renewal of the district's contract with Student Transportation of America. The new contract begins with the 2019-20 school year and increases are based on the consumer price index, said Thomas Maturski, assistant su…

Amherst

Amherst's West Royal Park is getting a $260,000 makeover, and the community is being called on to help install the new playground. A community build at the park between the I-290 and Royal Parkway West is scheduled for June 23. It will be similar to a playground build held last year at the town's Billy Wilson Park. New equipment will include a "play shaper structure"…

Local News

How long does it take to walk from Williamsville Village Hall to Glen Park? Two minutes, according to a new sign unveiled Tuesday in the village's Pocket Park off Main Street next to Village Hall. The sign lists walk times to various parks, schools and other public spaces in the village. “Our one-square mile Village is very walkable, but we are located in the mid…

Education

The seven candidates vying for three seats on the Williamsville Board of Education have been invited to participate in a public forum Thursday. The forum hosted by the district's PTSA Council begins at 7 p.m. in the district office boardroom, 105 Casey Road, East Amherst. Candidates will make opening statements, then respond to questions submitted by audience members. T…

The union representing the Williamsville Central School District's teachers has endorsed two incumbents and a newcomer for three seats on the School Board. The Williamsville Teachers' Association Monday announced its endorsements of current board members Shawn P. Lemay and Mark Mecca, as well as Eric Borenstein, a retired performing arts executive who ran symphony orche…

Don't be surprised to see at least a dusting of snow Sunday morning, or even up to an inch in the higher elevations south of Buffalo. But that snow will be gone by the afternoon, said David Church, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Buffalo, as temperatures warm to the mid 40s and the precipitation changes over to rain. The sky will be overcast, but …