Share this article

print logo

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

We call them "refrigerator," "washing machine," "sink" and "bathroom." Rebecca Ngombwa calls them "God's miracle." "It's like a miracle to see the refrigerator, and to have all the things in the house," she said through an interpreter in her native Kinyamulenge language. Ngombwa, a Congolese woman believed to be 111 years old, never saw these home furnishings befo…

Weather

A  severe thunderstorm created some havoc with fallen trees and electrical wires in Niagara County on Sunday afternoon, resulting in about 850 customers losing power. The 45-minute storm brought 54 mph winds and heavy rain that began in the western part of the county at 2:30 p.m. and exited the eastern end around 3:15 p.m. The thunderstorm's effects most strongly aff…

Cannons and muskets will be out in full force for the annual Civil War Reenactment in Angelica on Sept. 22 and 23. The Blue vs. Gray event will feature the "Battle of Gettysburg, First Day," with Col. Tom Vossler offering presentations of the battles on historic Main Street. A re-creation of the Richmond Bread Riot — an uprising of women in Richmond, Va., over inflat…

Erie County

The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda has a new director. Longtime director Rae Proefrock is stepping down. She is succeeded by Megan Hahin, the former education director who begins her new job Saturday. Proefrock will remain on the Carousel Society of the Niagara Frontier's board of trustees. The museum celebrates North Tonawanda's history as …

Buffalo

Diane Nash, a coordinator of the Freedom Rides and key figure of the civil rights movement, is coming to SUNY Buffalo State. The free event will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5 at Rockwell Hall, and it will include a question-and-answer period following her talk. Nash will discuss her involvement in the nonviolent struggle, which included desegregating lunch …

Featured

Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone admitted Sunday that he made mistakes in handling sexual misconduct claims but said he would not resign. Reading a statement Sunday afternoon but refusing to take questions, Malone said he would create a task force to change church procedures, establish a new office to oversee ethics and cooperate with prosecutors if they investigate. …

Buffalo

Too little, too late. That was the view of two leading critics of Bishop Richard J. Malone's handling of the sex abuse scandal after he refused to resign Sunday and put forward remedies for the diocese to move forward. "I believe the only appropriate course of action in light of the investigation, and the facts that have been revealed, is for the bishop to resign and…

Bills

The press conference had been going on for about 20 minutes, with JJ Dalton, the wife of Bengals' quarterback Andy Dalton, at the podium in Roswell Park Comprehensive Center when the unexpected happened. That's when the man who presently may be the most popular quarterback in Buffalo entered the back of the packed room. He drew gasps and cheers as he made his way to the…

Buffalo

David Rogers, a history buff, revels in Buffalo's past. The CEO and co-founder of Life Storage also calls himself  "sort of a boat guy." So when Rogers read about the Buffalo Maritime Center's plan to build a replica packet boat, like the one used to mark the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, he decided to get on board in a big way. The Clarence resident took a t…

Buffalo

A computer console used to program the historic 1907 Massey Memorial Pipe Organ at Chautauqua Institution was damaged by fire Tuesday. The fire was likely caused by a short circuit, spokeswoman Emily Morris said. "The full extent of the damage will not be known until our organ repair specialist is able to directly examine the console, but staff have determined the fi…

Buffalo

Here comes the neighborhood — or at least the first hints of one — at Canalside. Plans for two five-story brick buildings, approved Monday by a state waterfront agency, call for restaurants, shops and offices. First-floor retail is expected to open by Memorial Day 2020, with the 41 residential units in the two buildings following a short time later. The buildings wil…

Buffalo

Jewish food, music and kids games will all be featured at the Great Buffalo Jewbilee! Sunday at the Jewish Community Center and Temple Beth Zion on Delaware Avenue, between Barker and Summer Streets. Jewish food from babka and rugelach to bagels and potato kugel will be at the event, which will run from 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Performers throughout the day will include…

Buffalo

A 1-mile "Voyage of Discovery Adventure Loop Trail" is coming to Lafayette Avenue in spring 2019. The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and KaBoom! have awarded the West Buffalo Charter School a Play Everywhere Challenge grant of $47,000 to build the two-way trail between the school and Lafayette High School. It will be designed during the school year and installed in 2…

Buffalo

The Cuomo administration announced three Buffalo waterfront initiatives Tuesday – and will provide $24 million to pay for them. The initiatives will spur Canalside development and boost access to the Buffalo River, officials said. Here's what's planned: The state will spend $10 million to jump-start residential development at Canalside. The money will pay for wo…

Buffalo

For four years downtown Buffalo has been without a movie theater. That changes at 5 p.m. Thursday. AMC, the nation's largest theater chain, will open an eight-screen, state-of-the-art facility at 639 Main St., last home to the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre. The AMC Market Arcade 8, which sports a gray and black lobby with movie posters adorning the walls, o…