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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v10n14 (04/07/2011) » Section: Week in Review

Casino Lawsuit Takes Small Step Forward

Last Monday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling by US District Court Judge William Skretny preventing the Seneca Nation of Indians from becoming a party in a lawsuit that seeks to put an end to casino gambling in downtown Buffalo.

Common Council Report

Two weeks ago, the Common Council adopted Delaware District Councilman Mike LoCurto’s resolution asking the Brown administration to dip into the city’s surplus to restore funding for the city’s cultural institutions that were zeroed out of this year’s Erie County budget by County Executive Chris Collins. The city has not funded arts programs since 2001. Originally, LoCurto’s resolution has posied a sum of $300,000; in a last-minute compromise to ensure that the resolution would be passed anonymously, the amount was deleted from its text.

The Lofty Goals of Reapportionment

On Tuesday, Dennis Ward, the Democratic commissioner for the Erie County Board of Elections, presented a number of possible new county legislative district configurations to the commission charged with redrawing the districts to comply with new Census figures and reduce the number of districts from 15 to 11. The examples, Ward told the commission, were intended to demonstrate that it was possible to accomplish both goals without breaking the law that prohibits splitting up municipalities with populations that are equal to or less than the population of a legislative district.

Protest of the Week

There’s another gathering in Albany on Monday, April 11, to urge lawmakers to reject ther permitting of high-volume, horizontal hydrofracking of natural gas wells in New York State’s Marcellus Shale. Last winter, former Governor David Paterson put a moratorium on issuing permits for the practice, which has been blamed for contaminating surface and well water in other states; the moratorium expires in July. The protests takes place on the Capitol Lawn, 10:30am-3:30pm.

Foiled Again

A few weeks back, we reported on a 2008 lawsuit filed by the City of Buffalo against 36 lenders in an effort to recoup money for demolitions carried out on houses where lenders abandoned foreclosure efforts after determining that the house was not worth the cost of foreclosing and taking possession. The city also filed the suit to send a message to banks that they need to maintain a property after beginning a foreclosure.

Scorecard: The Week's Winners and Losers

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