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Erie County Water Authority Eliminates $65,000 P.R. Job

BUFFALO, N.Y.-- Two weeks ago, the newest commissioner at the Erie County Water Authority promised big changes were coming to the Authority, which has been a haven for political appointees for decades.

This week, those changes and the cutting of well-paid patronage jobs began.

The Erie County Water Authority has let go its $65,000 a year public relations person and eliminated the position.

His name is Brian Bray, and he came to the Authority from legislator Maria Whyte's office.

Scott Brown: "How unusual is it that at a place like the Water Authority, somebody actually loses their job?"

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Rath Building Parking Booth Left Empty

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The security booth placed in front of the parking garage at the Rath Building in Buffalo has been empty most of the time.

Erie County purchased the booth earlier this year for around $10,000. A federal grant was used to cover the expense.

During the summer, there has not been enough security guards on schedule to have one of them sit in the booth, according to an Erie County spokesperson.

Erie County plans on having a security guard in position once summer vacations are over. They will work during rush hours to remind people that the parking garage is for county employees and is not for public parking.

Autistic Services, Inc. Returns to ArtSpace for 2010

(BUFFALO, NEW YORK) The return of Autistic Services to ArtSpace means more than 30 artists from their Arts Program will be highlighted.  This successful program allows the participants of Autistic Services Inc. to communicate through many different art media thus showing their understanding of composition, color theory and the use of space. “Many people with Autism are challenged by living in our mainstream society. But that doesn’t mean they cannot find other ways of communicating with the public. Art is a sophisticated way of doing that,” says Veronica Federiconi, Executive Director of Autistic Services Inc.

ArtSpace will once again welcome the show which will be exhibited from August 6 to August 28.  The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday, August 6, 2010 from 6PM until 9PM. ArtSpace located at 1219 Main Street Buffalo, NY.

Local Musicians Partner with Food Bank of WNY

Buffalo (WGRZ)-- Beginning Friday, June 4th, and running through Friday, September, 3rd, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery will host the Food Bank First Fridays concert series.

It will feature an eclectic mix of local artists who will encourage their fans to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Food Bank of Western New York. For each item donated, a raffle ticket will be given for a chance to win a "downtown date night."

The date night will include dinner at Pearl Street, tickets to a Buffalo Bisons game, and an overnight stay at the newly renovated Comfort Suites Downtown.
The series kicks off with a first-time collaboration between scratch sleuth DJ Cutler and the ferociously funky Rhubarb, and concludes with a powerful pairing of Alison Pipitone Band and Jony James Band. The full lineup is as follows:

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Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown Pleased Deal Is Done, But Critical Of Common Council "Pettiness"

BUFFALO, N.Y. -After spending approximately three hours changing roughly one-dozen words in a three page land disposition agreement, the Buffalo Common Council met in a session which lasted one minute and twenty one seconds, to unanimously approved a deal aimed at preserving the future job prospects for thousands of HSBC workers.

Approval came at 10:29 pm Thursday for the deal proposed by Mayor Byron Brown to sell the two acre, city owned Webster Block to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) for for $3.32 million.

The ECHDC would then be able to assist in developing the site on behalf of HSBC, which Brown claims is eyeing the parcel for the possible construction of an office building as the banking giant prepares to re-organize its operation centers throughout North America.

Security Beefed Up for Thursday at the Square

BUFFALO, N.Y.  - There was extra law enforcement as well as security on hand for this week's installment of Thursday in the Square, but they weren't there to serve as extra-protection for Grammy-winning performers Los Lobos. Instead, they were there as part of a new protocol to help keep the streets of Buffalo safe during the free outdoor concert.

The extra forces were placed in response to a number of fights that had been breaking out during and post-concert, when the large crowds begin to overwhelm the city sidewalks.

Urban Farm Shows Off Community's Success

BUFFALO, N.Y. - In an economy that can be truly defined as "hard times," people are often forced to make due with what's around them. In one Buffalo community; however, they are thriving off of it.

The initiative, The Massachusetts Avenue Project, named after its location, held a big fundraiser Thursday evening, showing off the delicious items it's growing in its nearby greenhouse. Located right on the street, the west side urban farm grows more than four thousand pounds of organic vegetables every year.

"We believe that using more sustainable methods for growing food, just in general living, is really just important to the future of all of us," said spokesperson Zoe Hollomon, "For the well being of the planet and certainly youth employment is a big issue in this neighborhood and many neighborhoods around Buffalo."