The Morning Grumpy

29 Jun

I have a voracious appetite for internet memes, video, podcasts, news and analysis, so each morning I’ll share several that you can read during your “morning grumpy”.

1. Elena Cala is a lot of things; assistant to Buffalo Schools Superintendent Dr. James Williams, former editor of Buffalo Rising, Former Teacher, Mom, and Chanteuse, but she certainly isn’t known for handling the media very well. On Monday, her ongoing Sicilian blood feud with Buffalo News education beat reporter Mary Pasciak came to  a head. You see, Elena and other BPS staff are still upset over an article Pasciak wrote in which she demonstrated that several members of the superintendent’s staff did not hold the qualifications posted for their jobs, including Cala. There have been dozens of other perceived slights during Cala’s dealing with Pasciak, but the outcome of this one was fun to watch.Click through to watch the video tutorial from Elena on how NOT to handle media members who buy ink by the barrel.

My personal dealings with Elena have always been pleasant, but during her short tenure as an employee of Dr. Williams and the BPS, she has earned a horrible reputation as the most difficult press person in the region. That’s saying a lot, as there are a lot of pompous former media pros working in these PR departments around town.

As Pasciak reported in April,

Cala, special assistant to the superintendent for community relations, is supposed to have “seven years full-time experience in public or community relations in a large institution or educational setting,” according to the posting for her position.

The only such experience listed on her resume is a stint as a public relations assistant at Westinghouse Communities of Naples Inc. in 1985.

Cala, who makes $80,000 a year, worked most recently as an editor at Buffalo Rising for four years. Prior to that, she taught at a Catholic elementary school for four years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State College, where she became close friends with Mayor Byron W. Brown.

Questions remain whether it was her connections with Brown, her personal relationship with Joy McDuffie, or her efforts as editor at Buffalo Rising to drive favorable turnout during a critical school board election which got her the job, but Cala will probably not have to worry about dealing with oppositional media much longer.

2. As the seemingly pointless war in Afghanistan drags on, two stories came across my radar screen that I thought drove home the futility of the conflict and the long term human costs.

The BBC’s Ben Anderson spends 24 hours in Afghanistan’s bloody Helmand Province and shares his experience with analysts at


The utter futility of the entire conflict is palpable. Bring them home.

Meanwhile, the children of our deployed soldiers face horrible conditions in military schools and deal with the mental strain and anguish of their Fathers and Mothers fighting on the front lines half a world away for over a decade.


The shame.

3. This just in from The Brookings Institute. Cleveland, Detroit, Youngstown and Buffalo are among 36 of the top 100 metropolitan areas whose population below the age of 45 declined during the last decade. At the opposite end of the spectrum, college towns such as Austin, Raleigh, Provo and Madison, experienced significant growth in pre-senior population. Think the Mayor or County Executive might be interested in addressing these problems or are we doomed to another couple of years of crumb hoarding at the political poker table?

4. Jon Stewart is America’s finest media critic and satirist and in this clip he very succinctly analyzes the entire strategy of Fox News. Nailed it.


5. Actual news headlines versus Fox News headlines.

6. Every national political reporter who has an opportunity to interview Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney needs to read this article first.

7. Should You Change Your Password?

8. Enjoy 57 minutes of excellence by The Hood Internet.


See ya tomorrow.

9 Responses to “The Morning Grumpy”

  1. Brian Castner June 29, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Please, dear Flying Spaghetti Monster, tell me we don’t have to see the picture of this guy EVERY morning.

  2. Brian Wood June 29, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    All’s you need to know about Mitt Romney is by googling Mountain Meadow Massacre and reflecting on his penchant for magic underwear and prepubescent wives.

  3. Brian Wood June 29, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    I’m unsure just when that photo of me on the throne was taken. I must have drink taken.

  4. Jon Splett June 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    I’m confused as to why the naked redneck is using ‘skeet skeet skeet’ when it is of hip hop origins meaning to ejaculate on a female sexual partner.

    Other then that I love the new feature. 

  5. Christopher Smith June 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    When I lived in Louisiana in the late 90’s, “skeet” was a “coonass” (local Louisiana word for cajun) word for excitement. Kinda like the ol’ Roscoe P. Coltrane “Giggiddy Giggiddy”. Chappelle made it famous for different reasons a few years later, but I still retain the original meaning.

    • Alan Bedenko June 29, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

      You are a skeet originalist.

  6. RaChaCha June 29, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    The photo was taken at one of Carl Paladino’s properties.

  7. buffaloobserver June 29, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    Elena Cala would look so hot in leather!

  8. Jon Splett June 30, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Actually, that kind of makes sense.

     Chappelle made it famous from the Lil’ John sketch and Lil’ John wasn’t the only dirty south rapper using it so I wouldn’t be surprised if they adapted it from rednecks and that’s where the current popular usage evolved from. 

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