Quick Thoughts

16 Mar

Do Not Be Alarmed - this most likely isn't going to happen (http://www.snopes.com/photos/technology/fallout.asp)

It’s time for another article of thoughts that haven’t yet seen enough yeast to grow into their own columns. The unifying thread? SuperFAIL:

1) President Obama has some unfortunate energy policy timing, advocating increased off-shore drilling prior to the massive Gulf oil spill, and nuclear energy before the continuing disaster in Japan. Not that he is to blame – we are short on energy solutions that are not destructive at normal levels, and catastrophic on the extremes. Irresponsible natural gas exploration is contaminating Pennsylvania, the Canadians are destroying Alberta to free oil from tar sands, and there is nothing practical available to replace them. Hard to move to renewables like wind when our local turbines sit idle far more than they spin. Investment is the only pragmatic strategy if we want an environmentally sustainable energy policy: lots of money to regulate current energy industries to follow existing environmental laws, scraping and reworking from scratch our subsidy system to stop picking winner and losers and instead peg commodities to their true total cost, and basic science investment in research and future technologies. Don’t expect to hear any of that in the near future.

2) The census is complete, so it’s redistricting time, in Erie County and at the state level. In Erie County, the commission to redraw legislative districts, consolidating from 15 to 11, met for the first time. As Artvoice reports, the main topic of conversation was how much to do before data on population counts are actually available. In Buffalo’s petty rice bowl politics, the underlying question is who wins and who loses. Geoff Kelly believes no one wins except Ray Walter. Which is another way of saying, we’re all winning.

On the New York State front, the debate in the GOP controlled Senate is whether to change the constitution to mandate impartial redistricting (a plan with an 11 year delay), do a legislative patch now, or both. So far, only the Republicans and Citizens Union, an independent reform lobby, have weighed in. The Democratic controlled Assembly still has a chance to weigh in with traditional partisan redistricting, and screw up this Good Government push. But if these are the only options presented, we’re winning here too. (And this is the only non-FAIL you will see in this column.) 

3) It’s about to be construction season, and WNYMedia’s own intrepid Andrew Kulyk is filling in well on development watch for Mark Brynes, on prolonged sabbatical. What to watch for in 2011?!?! Not much an Canalside, unless you count a little more decking and bike racks as construction. Work on anything requiring an excavator will wait til the Fall. Also watch for an again delayed Federal Courthouse, that not only bears no resemblance to its graphic sales pitch, but is now rotting from the inside. Speaking of rotting, the steel beams of the Casino are rusting away, and may need to come down, even if a permanent complex is eventually built. Finally, if you are looking for hope, don’t look at the Statler – based upon past divisions between Croce and the Mayor, expect summer fights over the $5 million promised to help rehab the lower levels in time for the Convention That Will Save Buffalo.

17 Responses to “Quick Thoughts”

  1. Leo Wilson March 16, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    I think the legislature is going to kick the “impartial redistricting” can down the road, and demand it when the opposition is in control. The opposition will do the same when they regain control.

    Nobody really wants impartial redistricting when it might not favor them.

  2. Mr. F.N. Magoo March 16, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Where do you get this from?:”So far, only the Republicans and Citizens Union, an independent reform lobby, have weighed in.” The Dems are pushing the Senate to adopt something similar to Cuomo’s plan.

  3. Mr. F.N. Magoo March 16, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    @Leo: If the Assembly doesn’t act on Cuomo’s recommendation for impartial redisctricting, it won’t be the majority’s fault.

    March 4, 2010
    Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced his redistricting bill last month that would that would create an independent commission to redraw Congressional and legislative districts. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver introduced the bill and backs the panel idea, whose members would be appointed by legislative leaders from nominations from the governor and legislative leaders.
    Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said he does not, to the chagrin of Ed Koch, who was in Albany this week to pressure lawmakers to follow through on redistricting reform.


  4. Leo Wilson March 16, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Thanks for the articles. I’ll read them. I may have been watching for long enough to be cynical.

  5. Mr. F.N. Magoo March 16, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    @Leo: YW. I’m all for impartial redistricting even as it would likely dissolve my own 26th and put me in an even more solidly Republican district.

  6. Mike In WNY March 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    If one looks at a map of NY Congressional Districts, the 28th, with Lousie “i luv to spend ur money” Slaughter, is the most geographically obtuse.

  7. STEEL March 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    What is the convention that is going to save Buffalo?

  8. Brian Castner March 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    @ Magoo – I missed the Assembly news. That being said, I’ll believe Sheldon Silver wants impartial redistricting reform when it actually comes down to brass tacks. His is the only vote that matters in the body, and he has bucked Cuomo plenty already.

    @ STEEL: On the Internet, there is programming code called a hyperlink. The text “hyperlinked” (or just linked) is often a different color, in this case, blue. By clinking on the “link,” a new window opens with additional information about the subject discussed in the main article. Bloggers and other writers on the internet use hyperlinks to guide their readers to this additional information without referencing it directly in the text of the piece.

  9. probuff March 16, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    I didn’t click the link, but I am somewhat certain the convention that will save us all is the Bass Pro Regional Managers Meeting

  10. Leo Wilson March 17, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    @probuff – LMAO! I hope that was your intent.

    @Magoo – These articles sharpened my cynical view of Albany politics rather than dulling it. Reading them, I see the can bouncing down the road as if Pelé gave it the kick.

  11. STEEL March 18, 2011 at 10:34 am #


    I clicked on that link thinggy that you taught me about and I read all through that web site. These internets are amazing by the way. Anyway, I could not find anything about that convention saving Buffalo. Are you sure this convention is going to save Buffalo?

    Oh…or are YOU just saying that and pretending that others are saying that, sort of in the way FOX news ascribes stuff they are saying as if it was being said by others.

  12. Brian Castner March 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Nice lazy Fox reference. I’m saying that I have never seen a conference has been given more attention, pomp, circumstance, deference, and worship than this gathering October. We have neighborhood calls to action to make Buffalo look nice for the delegates. We have roads on Grant that must be painted in time. We have a Statler who’s construction deadline is based around the conference. We have videos, and monthly Donn Esmonde columns, and a SM camapign, and breathless pronoucements for the last two years. Multiple all that by 100, and that’s what others are saying. If this conference doesn’t save Buffalo, it won’t live up to its billing.

  13. STEEL March 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Never heard anyone say it will save Buffalo. That is just more of you complaining about a subject you have no interest in. You could have said the same thing about the Hockey contest with the high school kids that just swept through Buffalo but you didn’t. Never heard you describe that in your snide FOX News manner. But thanks again for teaching me that inetrnets button thingy.

  14. Brian Castner March 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    I didn’t say it about high school hockey tournaments, or the World Juniors, because despite having a larger economic benefit, by far, even the WJ’s didn’t had the hype this conference has gotten since we landed it, what, 3 years ago? I was not complaining, and I hardly have no interest. Come to a Save the Statler event, and listen to the conference mentioned every other sentence and tell me its not over-hyped. Or you could play Glenn Beck and just mouth your truthiness and ignore my point.

  15. STEEL March 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Oh give me a break -one spoiled brat Canadian did not like Buffalo and it was turned into an epic crisis. OH NO! NOW BUFFALO WILL NEVER BE SAVED ! ! ! There was near pandemonium when it was discovered that the Convention bureau didn’t make a list of restaurants for the hockey people and the News could not stop talking about Croce’s Toronto style parking rates and how it will ruin the tournament and give Buffalo a horrible reputation.

    No one said that the National Trust for Preservation annual conference was going to save Buffalo and if people are talking about sprucing up the city for outside visitors all I can say is “its about time!”

  16. Brian Castner March 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    You picked a great example – it was Donn Esmonde who has declared monthly how the conference will save (transform, etc – pick a word) Buffalo. He was also the most vocal about bad tipping Canadians, parking, and one tweet from one of the players. So maybe its an Esmonde problem – it wouldn’t be the first time.

  17. STEEL March 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Esmonde won’t friend me on FB so I am boycotting his column.

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