Archive | January, 2007

Hardwick sitting in for Sandy Beach today

31 Jan

on WBEN.

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A Moment Of Clarity

31 Jan

Time: 2:25AM
Date: 1/30/07
Where: BuffaloGeek HQ
What: A Moment of Clarity

I finally had time to sit down in front of the computer to bang out a few posts and update the blog. Unfortunately, I was completely spent after I spent the day playing with my baby boy, spending some quality time with Mrs. Geek, searching for office space for WNYM Headquarters, negotiating contracts with partners, coordinating project management with the WNYM web design team, identifying board members and fundraising for the official non-profit organization that we are building for Buffalo Old Home Week, working with a production staff on a WNYM television show, and working my actual day job.

So, I decided that I needed a break from the blogosphere until I can get some of the other projects together.

Oddly enough, it was about a year ago this week that I spoke with Marc Odien about starting a blog at WNYMedia.net. From that conversation came my involvement with dozens of local non-profit organizations and a quick entry into the world of citizen/community journalism. In just one year, I have interviewed gubernatorial candidates, US Senators, US Congressmen, State Legislators, State Assemblymen, Mayors, Presidential candidates, business and community leaders and been a part of a national scandal. It’s been an incredible year and speaks to just how easy it is to make a difference, even a small one, in this very community. Quit bitching, be active, get out of the house, start a blog, join an activist organization…be the change.

I’ll be taking a few weeks off to get my other projects in line and reorganize my life. In the interim, I have asked a couple of frequent commenters to keep the material rolling on the BuffaloGeek blog.

Pauldub, eac, and Expat Rob will be submitting their random musings and thoughts on things that matter to them. I’ll let them handle their own introductions and I’m certain that you’ll enjoy the content they provide. I’ll stop in occassionally to add a few of my own thoughts as well.

In a couple of weeks, you’ll see a fresh look for WNYMedia.net and a ton of new and exciting content.

Until then, keep reading!

The Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007

31 Jan

Click the link to see Barack Obama’s press release with respect to legislation he will introduce calling for redeployment of US troops from Iraq to commence by May 1, 2007 and be completed no later than March 31, 2008. It more or less tracks the bipartisan Iraq Study Group’s recommendations.

The thinking is, we invaded it. We got rid of the tyrant. We helped them set up a government. Now, we have a nascent civil / sectarian war brewing where we’re trying to separate Sunni Qaeda and ex-Ba’athist militias from the Shia Mahdi Army. Time for Iraq to get its own act together. Judging by recent events, it’s become the Shia revenge government rather than any sort of unity government. I figure that will go on for several years, and Iraq will be a failed state and eventually be partitioned among the Kurds, Shia, and Sunni. Heckuva job, Bushie.

As for Obama, TPM is right that this is quite the gamble.

Holt v. Marinelli

31 Jan

There’s a hearing tomorrow at 11am before Judge Kevin Dillon (3rd floor of Old County Hall) (registration req.) on Holt’s motion for a temporary restraining order to get him back on the legislature while his case against the county is pending.

Should be an interesting hearing. No matter what Judge Dillon does, it’ll probably end up at the 4th Dept Appellate Division in Rochester.

In honor of Wednesday’s Happy to be Here Hour…

30 Jan

Find Amy’s friend Charlie a job.

He’s looking for something in business development or marketing, but might take something that wasn’t a perfect fit to stay here. He’s bright, energetic, and willing to work hard…if he gets the chance.

Comptroller

30 Jan

According to the New York Times’ Empire Zone blog, the Assembly’s Democrats met behind closed doors to decide what to do re: Hevesi’s replacement.

“behind closed doors” being emblematic of the problem with Albany in general. Sayeth the Times:

They can suck it up, and pick one of the three comptroller candidates whose names were forwarded by the expert panel that their leader agreed to. Or they can go their own way by picking an Assemblyman for the post – humiliating the Democratic governor who agreed on the process with them.

I don’t see it as humiliating Spitzer. I see it as the Assembly upping the ante. I would also see that as the beginning of Shelly Silver’s fall from power, if not grace.

The Times Union reports that nothing was really accomplished. While Illuzzi has already announced that Tom DiNapoli “really wants the job” and that:

dinapoli.JPG

The Times-Union quotes the guy who is probably Illuzzi’s “source”:

Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli, D-Great Neck, one of the four remaining Assembly candidates for comptroller said there is a fair amount of “frustration” among the members for agreeing to a process that “didn’t make a whole lot of sense from the beginning.”

So far, that sounds like the only point of agreement among the Assembly Democrats, who haven’t yet gotten around to a vote on whether they should ignore the panel’s three picks and strike out on their own.

Ab initio

30 Jan

Gabe hit the nail on the head:

The DL&W is too isolated from the downtown urban fabric and too hidden behind the HSBC Arena. Having the market there would require too much dealmaking right off the bat. Start small then expand.

Instead of looking for a mega-complex of almost Transitroadian size in which to locate a downtown Flea Market, how about appropriating (with permission) a surface parking lot or something and start it small. Then, let it grow organically. We tend sometimes to have to have “big, successful, and now” when we should just start small and see how it goes.

Tom Bauerle is obnoxious

30 Jan

He’s spending today’s 3 hours basically calling accused bike path killer Altemio Sanchez’s wife, Kathy, an enabler who shares some culpability with her husband. How could a wife be clueless about this, he asks. How could she continue to go to court to support him when he won’t even look at her?

Is there any evidence that she knew or should have known that Sanchez may have been a killer? Not that I’ve heard. At worst, she knew he was unfaithful – he has two arrests for soliciting prostitutes. But a killer? A rapist? I’ve seen or heard nothing whatsoever to lead to the conclusion – or even an insinuation – that she knew.

Assuming, therefore, that she didn’t know, I wonder what Bauerle’s getting at by spending so much time rubbing salt into her wounds? After all, she finds out her husband is accused of being a monster, he gets thrown in jail, her world is turned completely upside down. Now she gets a top-52 market radio host hurling crap in her direction? I’m sure she really appreciates it.

A woman called in to ask why Bauerle was piling on and putting Kathy Sanchez on trial. He maintains that it’s a “legitimate question”, and winds up doing what most bullying radio yakkers do – he cuts her off and calls on “stupid people” to stop calling his show.

Now, he’s got some FBI profiler on the phone, and he’s running through his crackpot assumptions and theories.

Selecting Hevesi’s Replacement

29 Jan

Albany – is it getting any less dysfunctional under Governor Spitzer?

There’s a battle royal brewing between the two most powerful Democrats in New York State politics – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Governor.

Hevesi’s replacement is to be chosen by the state legislature as a whole, which has a Democratic majority. Therefore, we’re deep in Silver country.

Predictably, therefore, Silver has been pushing for an Assembly Democrat to be selected.

What Albany chose to do is set up a panel of three ex-comptrollers (city and state) to help winnow the field down to (up to) five finalists.

The panel selected only three finalists, none of whom are Assemblypeople. The pushback on this started almost instantly. Governor Spitzer told the legislature to abide by the decision and pick from the three finalists, Howard Weitzman, Martha Stark and William Mulrow.

Silver has made some noise about completely ignoring the panel’s recommendation and picking whomever he wants. Spitzer apparently realizes that he’s in the midst of a war. For instance, today Spitzer was to give a speech and reporters were given an advance copy that read:

One of the core features of our new Four Year Investment Plan will be to establish universal access to quality pre-kindergarten education – something that has been a priority of Speaker Silver for many years.

Except, when he delivered the speech, he omitted the second part of that sentence – where Silver is complimented.

The New York Times has endorsed Nassau County Comptroller Weitzman, and warns Silver:

With reform starting to take hold, at long last, in Albany, it would be a disturbing slide backward if members of the Legislature abandoned the process in order to pick one of their own. We hope that they choose from the fine list of finalists, and that their choice is Mr. Weitzman.

Sheldon Silver, Joseph Bruno, and Eliot Spitzer agreed to use the panel of three “wise men” to help select a Comptroller candidate. There was no guarantee that the finalist/s had to come from the legislature, nor should there have been. The panel interviewed about 18 candidates and selected the three best ones. Not the three best legislators, but the three best candidates. As Capitol Confidential notes,

Silver really is in a bind here. If he goes along with the panel – and Spitzer – he risks mutiny among the members of his Democratic conference, who are already angry at the speaker for agreeing to the panel process in the first place when the state Constitution clearly gives the Legislature the power to pick the next comptroller.

But, if Silver sides with his members and bucks the panel, he not only risks a war with the state’s most powerful pol (Spitzer), but also the wrath of newspaper editorial boards like the one at the Times, which has been championing reform of Albany for years.

Albany – is it getting any less dysfunctional? The governor picked a fight with Shelly Silver. That in itself is pretty great. Better still is the probability that the governor will prevail.

Uno Momento, Por Favor

29 Jan

There is an absolute avalanche of content for me to write about, but I am completely bogged down with work. I’ll be back tomorrow with some spicy fresh content for my loyal readers.

Local, State, and National Politics, Buffalo News Blogs, Buffalo Old Home Week, WNYM, and Hillary…it’s like an orgy of potential blog content.