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Mark Sommer

Mark Sommer is an enterprise reporter and former arts editor at The Buffalo News. He writes about an array of subjects, including development, the waterfront, transportation and culture.


Buffalo

A woman received a settlement from her former landlords for not accepting her Section 8 housing voucher. Jackie Crouch told Housing Opportunities Made Equal, a fair housing organization, in December 2015 that Richard and Suzana Mazella refused to accept the voucher. Crouch was evicted three months later. The housing organization filed her case with the City of Buffal…

Buffalo

Marlon Brando's character Terry Malloy famously raised pigeons on a tenement rooftop in "On the Waterfront." Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson raced the stout-looking birds with short legs. John Fincel of Angola understands their appeal, even if many people see pigeons as nuisances in parks and plazas. Fincel, 64, the Bison Racing Pigeon Club president, spend…

Buffalo

A 90-minute public information meeting on the proposed Longshed building at Canalside, and the packet boat project planned for inside the building, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Buffalo History Museum. The Longshed, which would be a 4,000-square-foot, year-round facility, was named months ago to replace the planned Pavilion building. Plans call for a replica …

Buffalo

An events manager is being sought for the Central Terminal. The not-for-profit Central Terminal Restoration Corp. has issued a request for proposals seeking a minimum of 10 events in 2019. Submissions are due by Jan. 16, 2019. “On the recommendation of the Urban Land Institute study, we know we need to take our events to the next level so we’re looking for a partner …

Buffalo

After being ignored for decades, the hulking Connecting Terminal became the canvas for a nightly light show three years ago on the Outer Harbor that could be seen from a distance. Now, people might get an even closer look at the 1915 grain elevator. They might be able to walk inside a silo or even view the city skyline from the grain elevator's rooftop. Reusing th…

Buffalo

The northern portion of the former Memorial Auditorium block – criticized last year by elected officials as a hole in the ground – could be closer to a development plan. That hole, if Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state agency that works for him have their way, could one day teem with residences, offices, shops and restaurants. On Monday, Erie Canal Harbor Development Co…

Gusto

Cult fave John Waters made good on his promise "to try to put the "X" back into Xmas" Friday, delivering a raunchy show to an amused and often guffawing audience Friday at Babeville's Asbury Hall. Waters entered to a hero's applause from the near-capacity audience. He offered a fast-paced, 70-minute stand-up routine, and then answered questions for a half-hour on a stag…

Buffalo

Work on a $27.7 million train station coming to downtown Buffalo is expected to begin in early 2019 and be completed by the fall of 2020. The New York State Department of Transportation also announced Wednesday that Hohl Industrial Services and Scrufari Construction will construct the brick, three-story station on Exchange Street using the existing Amtrak station's foot…

Buffalo

Trees along the Elmwood business strip from North Street to Forest Avenue will be lit for the holiday season. A tree lighting ceremony preceded by caroling will be held at 6:45 p.m. Friday at Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway. “The business owners on Elmwood love this community and are thrilled to be able to light up the street this year," said Therese Deutschlander…

Buffalo

The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation is seeking the opinions of 10,000 teens and other participants in Western New York about after-school activities. They are being asked to complete this sentence: “Where I live or work, one thing teens want when they are not in school is ...” The foundation is collaborating with schools and youth organizations to collect data to bett…

Buffalo

The Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy has launched an online survey through January to get feedback from park users on priority projects or needs at the Olmsted Parks. The survey is part of an overall effort to generate community input that will culminate in a five-year update to the Olmsted master plan in May 2019. “We are excited to launch this survey to gather comm…

Buffalo

Volunteers at Concordia Cemetery on the East Side are dealing with the aftermath of a Dec. 1 car accident. A car crashed through the cemetery's fence, sending a fence post through a window and destroying antiques and furnishings in the original farmhouse museum and office. The volunteer staff that looks over the 1859 cemetery at Sycamore Street and Walden Avenue has …

Buffalo

When the North Park Theatre reopened in March 2014, sparkle and splendor replaced decades of dirt and grime. But lost in all the hoopla surrounding the theater's restoration was the work that still needed to be completed in the lobby and outside on the facade. Now, the not-for-profit theater hopes to complete the restoration work by early spring, well before the thea…

Buffalo

Long overdue repairs to breakwalls on the Outer Harbor will take place, thanks to $12.455 million in federal funds announced Monday by Rep. Brian Higgins and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The money will be primarily used to shore up the North Breakwater, constructed in the early 1900s, and the South Breakwater, originally constructed in the late 1800s. "This is a…

Andrea Ó Súilleabháin has been promoted to executive director of the Partnership for the Public Good, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Ó Súilleabháin, deputy director since May 2017, will replace Sam Magavern, who has co-directed or directed PPG since its founding in 2007. Magavern will remain in a half-time position as a senior policy fellow contributing research and writing. …