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West Seneca Town Board Special Meeting - Feb. 3

Join West Seneca Reporter T.J. Pignataro who will be live at the Burchfield Nature and Art Center, 2001 Union Road, at 11 a.m. Friday for the Special Meeting of the West Seneca Town Board.

Supervisor Sheila M. Meegan and Councilman Eugene P. Hart are expected to be present to meet with town department heads as well as members of the Buffalo Niagara Realtors Association about the controversial - and currently suspended - new ordinance requiring the replacement of sewer lateral pipes upon property sales in West Seneca.

West Seneca Developmental Center - Feb. 1

West Seneca Reporter T.J. Pignataro will be reporting live from the West Seneca Senior Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday where the second of four sessions will be held about the future use of more than 200 acres of property on the site of the former West Seneca Developmental Center.

Richard Henry, West Seneca's town engineer, and John Gullo, the town's code enforcement officer, will discuss the current land use and zoning there and will present a detailed analysis of the property.

YouTube videos: More on the Asian carp

Here is a collection of videos that profile the Asian carp and its potential effect on Lake Erie:

Great Lakes Commission: Restoring the Natural Divide

CBS: Asian Carp Lake Invasions

Short documentary: Preventing a Hostile Takeover -- Asian Carp and the Great Lakes

Short documentary: Asian Carp Invasion

Replay chat with Mark Sommer, Occupy Buffalo


Listen to the chat held Monday evening between The News' Mark Sommer and members of the Occupy Buffalo movement. The chat follows Sommer's story in today's News about the movement's future in Niagara Square.

Download audio 

Live blog from West Seneca Town Board work session at 2 p.m.

Join The Buffalo News' West Seneca reporter, T.J. Pignataro, who will be reporting live from West Seneca this afternoon at a scheduled 2 p.m. work session of the West Seneca Town Board. Board members are expected to address upcoming capital projects in town, including renovations at Town Hall as well as a controversial ordinance that would require property owners to install lateral sewer lines on their properties prior to sale.

Info sought of hit-run van captured on surveillance camera

The owners of a City of Tonawanda auto repair shop on are asking for information about the driver who lost control of a van on snow-slicked Young Street overnight, plowed into two vehicles in the repair shop lot, then left the scene of the crash.

Video surveillance taken from two different angles show the van — either a Ford F150 or F250 — losing control on Young Street, sliding into the repair shop lot, sideswiping a car and slamming into the back of a second car.

The driver then backs away from the second car, pulls out of the lot and continues down Young Street.

The van has a roof rack and would appear to have damage to the front and front passenger side.

The repair shop owners posted the video on Facebook and asked anyone with information about the van or driver to call City of Tonawanda Police at 692-2121.

Live blog of Holtz's State of Cheektowaga address at noon

Join The Buffalo News' Cheektowaga reporter T.J. Pignataro at noon today from the Millennium Hotel where Cheektowaga Town Supervisor Mary F. Holtz will hold her State of the Town address. Holtz is expected to detail some of the town's accomplishments during 2011 and her vision for the town's future. The address will be held during a membership luncheon for the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce.

Live blog of meeting on West Seneca Developmental Center site at 7 p.m.

Join The Buffalo News' West Seneca reporter, T.J. Pignataro, who will report from the West Seneca Senior Center at 7 p.m. for this first of four workshops set up to provide information to residents about the future use of 200 acres of property at the site of the former West Seneca Developmental Center.

Live blog of Cheektowaga Town Board meeting

Join The Buffalo News' Cheektowaga reporter, T.J. Pignataro, who will conduct the first live blog from Cheektowaga Town Hall at 6:45 p.m. The Cheektowaga Town Board will begin by holding a pair of public hearings to get input about its 2012 Community Development Block Grant Program and proposed amendments to the town's parks ordinance. The public hearings will be followed by the town's regular board meeting.

More on helping the Chippewa district

There is another significant way that the city can do more to help the healthy growth of the Chippewa district. I called the head of Syracuse's downtown management group Thursday, to ask how Syracuse's Armory Square evolved into the mixed-use distict that Chippewa aspires to be. I did not hear back from her until after today's column deadline, but I thought that what she said was significant.

Merike Treir, head of Downtown Syracuse (the equivalent of our Buffalo Place), told me by phone that the city took steps to limit the number of bars in Armory Square about 10 years ago.

"We had a problem with too many bars popping up, so [the city] put a moratorium on the number of alcohol establishments that could open," said Treir. "Any time a bar is looking to open, it has to go in front of the planning commission and there is a public hearing."

To my mind, it is a classic case of government using its power to shape development in a way that benefits the community. It would be nice if Byron Brown were similarly pro-active — although I'm not holding my breath. Putting up roadblocks to less-desirable businesses is, to my mind, a role that in certain cases City Hall ought to play.

—Donn Esmonde

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