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Joe Mascia, the resident commissioner for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority who ran on the Conservative Party line for Erie County Legislature this fall, is submitting his application for a seat on the Buffalo Board of Education. A seat has opened up as a result of Chris Jacobs’s resignation; Jacobs was elected Erie County Clerk last month, and the school board has opened his at-large seat on the school board to applicants citywide. The remaining members of the school board will vote in Jacobs’s replacement.

• Sustainable economy advocates Buffalo First! have launched an online petition demanding that the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, should it insist on pursuing an “anchor tenant” development strategy for Canalside, pursue a locally owned business rather than a national chain. You can find a link to the petition at Buffalo First!’s homepage:

• Though Buffalo News political columnist Bob McCarthy last weekend wrote that Len Lenihan “remains very much the chairman” of the Erie County Democratic Party, we note some cracks in Lenny’s new suit of armor. First, party leadership downstate is still eager to see him retire or removed, and Erie County Executive-elect Mark Poloncarz may feel compelled to help their wishes come true. Last weekend, city committee members loyal to Lenihan’s arch-rival for the chairmanship, Cheektowaga party chair Frank Max, joined with independent committee members and committee members loyal to Mayor Byron Brown to elect a new zone chair in North Buffalo, attorney Peter Reese, who is loyal to neither Lenihan nor the mayor. A continuation of that sort of alliance would expose Lenihan’s relative weakness in the Democrat-heavy city, which is largely responsible for Poloncarz’s victory last month.

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