Archive | April, 2005

Breaking News!

30 Apr

According to the Buffalo News, Tony Masiello…THE Tony Masiello, will not run again for mayor. To me this is a suprise, not because of his disgustingly low approval ratings
Example
or the continued struggles of Buffalo, but because of his solid fundraising ability within the city, the fact that he is well established, and has the most experience of anyone. I have mixed opinions of Mr. Masiello.
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I know he truly wanted the best for the city, and he especially wanted to be known as the guy who turned things around. With this said, he had to many faults and downfalls. Too many things went wrong during his time as mayor, some of which was created by Jimmy Griffin but a lot was from him. He was also a victim of trying to find the one big city project that would turn the city around. As of now, it seems that it is good that Masiello isn’t running again but the reality is that none of the current candidates could do much better. With a seemingly incompetent and unintelligent city council (not to mention stubborn) letting proposed project after proposed project get wasted away, a population that continues to dissolve, and a nation that refuses to let go of the sterotype that we are a city of fat white people who work in steel mills while eating chicken wings and watching Bills games during a snowstorm, this city will really never reach its full potential. Its too bad that Giambra and Masiello
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couldnt come through with the refferendum that would create a regional government. As of now, it seems like the only solution.

“Example”
A great basketball player, a mediocre mayor

Keep hope alive, keep Buffalo alive.

Are these people an object of my imagination?

30 Apr

Example

…seriously, were there actually that many people in downtown at one time for something other than Taste of Buffalo?

City of Buffalo not getting it

29 Apr

You know, browsing through David Torke’s page, wherein he details his urban explorations – a key question arose.

If the City of Buffalo – a city that’s insolvent and under the watchful eye of a control board – has all these decrepit yet fixable properties available for sale, why isn’t it actively marketing them? Not even so much as a “for sale” sign. Hell, they could stick it on eBay and at least get some interest. Or they could make a deal with a realtor to market them for a heavily discounted commission – or the city could hire a licensed real estate agent to market it on the city’s own behalf via MLS, etc.

It just seems like a waste.

Masiello’s out

29 Apr

It’s official: he will not be seeking a fourth term.

Byron Brown
Kevin Gaughan
Steve Calvaneso
Judith Einach

are the candidates of which I’m currently aware. Right now, I’m in “anyone but Brown” mode.

EDIT: I should have predicted this, but someone in comments insinuates that I’m just a racist. That despite the fact that I obviously & deliberately capitalized Brown’s name. Gee, thanks, pal.

Let me, therefore, clarify that I do not like BYRON Brown the politician. Feel free to inspect the old blog for reasons why, but I’ll save you the effort on at least this point.

Swan-hack

29 Apr

Chuck Swanick (the hack’s hack) has missed two legislative sessions and three committee sessions. People in his district want to know why. They want to know where he is.

He told Channel 4 he’s out of town on “personal family business“.

I think I can guess where he is.

Here:

Click for Marathon, Fl forecast

Joel Giambra: double-o zero

29 Apr

From the WNY Media Group’s Buffalo Watchdog:

This has to be one of the biggest slap in the face from the Giambra administration yet. Channel 2 reports today that County Attorney’s spent $95 an hour after two private investigators were hired to watch people waiting in line at one of the Auto Bureau’s and the Registrar’s Office. It’s time for Fred Wolf to go as well…

According to Erie County Clerk Dave Swarts, the Erie County Attorney’s Office (Fred Wolf) authorized the hiring of two private investigators to try and dispute claims that lines at the Auto Bureau and Registrar’s office would be longer because of budget cuts.
This information came out the other day in court where the County Clerk suing Erie County cuts.

One private investigators testified their rate of pay was $95 an hour.

“The law firm for the County retained the services of a private investigator and sent them into the County Clerk’s office and the Auto Bureau to observe what we did. We were kind of shocked that this private investigator was hired,” said Swarts.

Swarts said he knew one female private investigator testified that she spent eight to ten hours watching people at the Registrar’s Office.

County Executive Chocula

Erie County Executive Joel “Chocula” Giambra strikes again!

Abolish County Government

29 Apr

Didja hear the story on WBEN this morning about the soccer tournament that’s scheduled to take place in Akron this (rainy) weekend?

The organizer had assurances from County Parks Commissioner Angelo Sedita that the tournament could be held at Akron Falls county park. Those assurances have been rescinded.

So, the organizers had to scramble to find town and school parks that could provide soccer pitches on short notice. Akron, Clarence, Newstead all offered help.

That’s regionalism.

But it also proves that we have no use for county parks. They should all be transfered to the towns in which they are located. I mean, the county is still paying for the parks, but we can’t use them.

Albany passes laws that enrich or creat programs – programs that Albany says the counties must pay for. So, Albany takes all the credit yet does none of the work and doesn’t have to pay for it. What a great deal.

And Erie County’s budget is about 90% Albany mandates that can’t really be touched – only about 10% is discretionary, and that’s been shrunk in the recent crisis.

Why does Erie County have to pay for Albany’s largesse? When Albany’s programs target the poor and elderly, you’d better believe that Erie County gets hit disproportionately harder than, say, Westchester.

Take away county government and you take away a redundant bureaucracy.

Take away county government and you take away yet another taxing authority.

Make Albany pay for its own programs and watch it all of a sudden become fiscally more conservative. Let the towns run their own business within their borders for the common good. (They can charge non-residents).

Revitalize Buffalo

29 Apr

I went to the meeting last night and was rather impressed. A new detente between David Torke and this blog has developed, so I’ll be linking to him and his efforts, which are quite noble, would do a lot of good for the city, and are do-able.

There’s a lot of energy in the room and, as with most similar organizations, the really vocal people are the ones who either come from away, or come from Buffalo, went away, and returned. They love Buffalo either because they chose to come, or because they left and realized that they loved it. Native Buffalonians seem to have this disdain for their own city drilled into their heads. It’s unfathomable to me that people think that way. This City is wonderful.

I suggest that Revitalize Buffalo become, in part, sort of a grassroots, small-business alternative to the [ominously named] Partnership. They can help market and promote small local businesses, as well as their more successful incubator ventures – businesses that the wealthy and politically connected Partnership couldn’t care less about.

Towards that end, they ought to take their logo and use it to market Buffalo businesses; the businesses could license and use the logo and the brand for a reasonable donation (tax deductible if Revitalize Buffalo chooses non-profit status). In that way, the group and the businesses would have a unifying promotion tool; all the businesses who use the logo could have a web presence at a website promoting use of the logo and brand Buffalo.

Also, the group might rethink the extremely ambitious idea to renovate a large structure for use as, among other things, incubator space. I think the group should start off on a smaller scale and get some experience doing this sort of thing. Again – operate a nonprofit corporate entity that will buy dilapidated housing in Buffalo from the city for a pittance, and solicit labor and donations from the community through the licensing of the logo, promoting the tax deductibility of any such donations, etc., and rehab a historic but neglected home. Then sell it, and roll the money back into the organization for use on the next project, etc.

After that, you’d have the expertise and the juice to go for a big project.

Finally, at some point I’d change the name to something like Buffalo Renaissance, which seems to better reflect the intent and spirit of the group.

Anyhow, please consider joining Revitalize Buffalo and its efforts. They also have a blog, which I didn’t know about.

Spitzer: JOB KILLER!

28 Apr

Following up on that job killer Eliot Spitzer:

Here, he is ensuring that spyware companies keep their good spyware jobs out of New York State.

Here, he is chasing good paying discriminatory mortgage lenders out of New York State.

Oh, the bankmanity! Oh, the spymanity!

Rochester Ferry

28 Apr

This site is out of Rochester, and its owner was kind enough to comment on my post regarding the nonexistent WMDs in Iraq. I guess the President, the WMD search team, and the CIA all saying that there were no WMDs in Iraq in 2003 isn’t good enough for the Fuller site. It’s just 1500 Americans, give or take, who went to war on that basis. Whatever /sarcasm

In any event, I note from that site that the Rochester – Toronto ferry is slated to begin running again on June 17th. I hope to catch a ride on this thing this summer.

Bay Ferries’ website is here.

The Rochester Ferry’s new website is here.

Bay Ferries now operates Rochester’s ferry. They nicknamed it the “Cat”.

Fuller comments:

WHAM reports that the $34,000,000 freaking boat ($32mil boat + $2mil repairs) known as the fast ferry, now known by the ridiculous nickname “The Cat” (what is that supposed to mean? It conjures memories of CATS, the company that abandoned the ferry the last time around) will take off again June 17. (It will run out of money and suspend operations on August 23rd.)

That last bit is funny.

But to answer the question, Bay Ferries also operates the high-speed CATamaran ferry that operates between Bar Harbor, ME and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

So the “CAT” name is Bay Ferries’ brand, if you will, and is also indicative of the boat being a catamaran. That’s why.