2007: It was a Year

27 Dec

prosecco.jpg

What with this being the end of the year, and given that it’s going to be a pretty slow news cycle (i.e., your friendly neighborhood Buffalopundit is hard up for crap about which to write), let’s review what we talked about in 2007.

Ah, remember Shorter Buzz? We all wish Mary well on her hiatus. I hope it’s packed with Catholicism, beer, Wagner / Bach, and all things German.

Spitzer was on Day 4, and made a rousing speech calling for statewide unity, growth, and prosperity. We’re approaching day 365 and I don’t know that we’re any closer to that at all. The speech was light on “war with Bruno” and “licenses for illegals”.

I posted very lightly about “Troopergate”, because I didn’t find it interesting. What I do, however, find interesting is that anybody working for the piece of crap that passes for New York State government has access to a helicopter or a private jet. All in all, I was unimpressed by Governor Spitzer’s first year.

Hevesi and Holt found themselves in a world of trouble.

In January, people were still talking about the WNYMedia.net bloggers being blacklisted from WBEN. Good times.

Bass Pro. The story that keeps on giving – writing about a store that we’ve been chasing for half a decade or more. In 2007 we turned to Bass Pro on the Central Wharf. It was in January that we first heard rumblings of that aborted trial balloon. I still think it’s a perfect location, so there.

Also, remember this rule for any discussion about Buffalo development or preservation: Must be done vs. would be nice.

February was a bit slower, but we were embroiled in Albany politics 101, which dealt with the selection of Hevesi’s replacement. Same old, same old.

Much as idiotic arguments over strips of grass in front of Greek Diners are same old, same old. Thank God all other problems are solved so that we can really focus our ire on Diners.

I asked Buffalonians to take pictures of their winter beaters (which is a double entendre) and submit them to Flickr.

Dale Volker, WNY’s best unintended comedian, got into it with Scott Brown. “So, a 34-year incumbent walks into a public hearing…” At least he didn’t call anyone a “Bohunk”. That day.

By February, WNYMedia.net had its own space – a studio and everything. In other news, we still have it!

In February, I called the XSPAND tax lien sale at 105% “found money”. It still has yet to be approved.

Homeland Security needed some information on cross-border travel in WNY. Because, um, we live on the border.

In March, Al Coppola got his payback a freshly-created city job not long after he tried to spoil the race for cousin Marc waged a valiant effort to return to the State Senate.

There was some discussion on teh intertubes earlier this year about a flea market downtown. I can’t imagine it would be that difficult for someone to get a deal to use a downtown surface parking lot to set that up, but as it stands now nothing’s happened. It is Buffalo, after all, and if we can’t have precise perfection, we’ll settle for nothing less, dammit!

Cigarette taxes = Genocide. Godwin laughs.

By late March, we had promises of a signed Bass Pro deal. Yeah, right. But I liked it nonetheless. It was dead before it took its first breath, though. It’s interesting how much “debate” goes on in this town over what to do with the areas now overridden with weeds and asphalt. Some even started making comparisons to places that don’t compare.

Ultimately, however, WNYMedia.net and the WNY Coalition for Progress co-hosted a well-attended and well-received panel discussion on the Canal Side project.

Remember City Hall stonewalling on the story about Byron Brown’s kid taking the family car without permission? Sometimes it’s smart to just let the story go, and let it play out in 2 days rather than 2 weeks.

As early as April, I predicted Collins’ victory. I thought it’d be a squeaker. I was wrong. As a side note, don’t talk about using an 89 cent pen to help run your town when that pen should only be costing you a dime.

Whoever bought this ad in the Buffalo Challenger should be outed and subject to outrage and ridicule.

Freshman State Assemblyman Mike Cole drank too much at an Albany bar whilst watching a Sabres game, and all he got was this lousy censure. Meanwhile, Freshman Senator Antoine Thompson took to the floor to argue against the passage of a bill that he himself co-sponsored.

Remember June, when WNYMedia.net was down for, like, a week all so we could bring you a craptacular white-on-black template that pretty much everybody hated?

Me, neither.

At least the template-that-never-was was gone by December.

2007 introduced us to Jon Powers. 2008 is your chance to vote for him.

Hell, even I gave it a shot. And I won in Cheektowaga, even though I got creamed everywhere else. I posted some stories taking the county Control Board to task, but no one really seemed to care very much. Too bad. I’m going to keep writing them. I will also continue to mock Six Sigma. I don’t care how superbly awesome it might be. The whole terminology is begging to be mocked. Six Sigma black belt?

For the record, here’s a short list of stuff I want to see built in Western New York. Can you Digg it?

In September, this blog turned 4. Potty training has been slow, but it knows its A-B-Cs. We also saw the inaugural use of the Failboat, symbolizing the vanguard of political excellence in WNY and NYS.

Speaking of which, who thought the County Clerk’s race would become more interesting than the race for County Executive? You’re playing kindergarten. He’s playing in the big leagues.

I find that I hardly used the “Don’t Tase my ____, bro” often enough. But it was so apt for Vince Anello’s brother, Matteo.

In the immortal words of Public Enemy, don’t believe the hype.

The Bass Pro story may be more boring now, without Tim Tielman around to verbally assault it, but that’s why we have Route 5. Fatigue starts to set in, though, when we undergo yet another “dialogue” about “planning”, when neither word is quite right. With Route 5, we have the added attraction of Buffalo Rising acting as the unofficial spokessite for the Waterfront Coalition. The doctrine of laches came up as an overall response to that group, and WBFO appearances by Buffalo Rising writers and Common Councilman Mickey Kearns contained oh so much fresh meat for this blogger. As does just about any inane anti-suburb flame. The Waterfront Coalition paid for a billboard that has the distcintion of being both ironic and stupid. The Coalition of Enough, Already was only too happy to take the humorless Waterfront Coalition’s arguments a few steps further. And WNYMedia.net wants its outer harbor plan considered by the powers that be.

But at least we got some of the best threads ever out of it.

In his best of 2007 list, Buffalo News TV critic Alan Pergament gives an award to Alysha Palumbo:

Best TV News Critic: Channel 4’s Alysha Palumbo defended herself against a blogger’s criticism by responding with something critical of her superiors’ news judgment.

Here’s the thread where she and her red pantsuit took me to task.

It’s pretty clear that Richard Florida is on to something when he talks of the Tor-Buff-Chester megaregion to which we may belong. There should be more discussion about this, but only if the federal government starts being smart, rather than scared, about cross-border traffic and commerce.

As we close out 2007 and her fiscal year, we pause once again to thank Canadian shoppers, who helped bump Erie County into the black.

5 Responses to “2007: It was a Year”

  1. Fed-Up in WNY December 27, 2007 at 6:12 pm #

    Great over view of the whole year.

  2. Pauldub December 27, 2007 at 8:33 pm #

    It’s been a great one, all right. “08 Should be even better.
    Oh yeah, the back. Ibuprofen in mass quantites, ice packs in 20 minute spell. Voice of experience here…

  3. Christopher Smith December 27, 2007 at 11:43 pm #

    I had high hopes for 2007, I thought it would be jumping off point for great success. Sadly, Buffalo is still like my Brother Billo, trapped in a cage and being told he will never get this.

  4. mike hudson December 29, 2007 at 3:17 am #

    interesting to note that spitzer’s plan to tax indian tobacco seems to have gone the way of his plan to give drivers licenses to illegals, no? and you might have mentioned the looting of $70 million worth of the city’s cultural heritage by the elitist buffoons who run the albright knox. but it was a fine year, now best forgotten as we all prepare for the inevitability of the ron paul revolution of ’08.

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