Archive | March, 2013

The Morning Grumpy – 3/29/13

29 Mar

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy.


1. So, New York State passed a budget last night, but amongst several draconian cuts was a reduction of $90MM in funding for the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. This funding sustains many local organizations who provide services and care to the weakest among us.

Officials argue it leaves the state’s most vulnerable population, even more vulnerable. That money pays for their health care services; transportation to and from work, school, or day-hab; and education and job-training programs.

As Rhonda Frederick, Chief Operating Officer of People Inc. and President of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY, points out, “The things that we so much take for granted, people with developmental disabilities need those supports, need our help to do that.”

“This will be devastating.”

Agencies that help the developmentally disabled employ 15,000 people in Western New York. Because of these cuts, as many as 900 of those people could lose their jobs.

They are not the only ones who will feel a negative economic impact. If the developmentally disabled do not have programs to attend, family members may have to give up their full-time jobs to stay home, and care for them.

“It trickles down,” says Frederick.

The lawmakers who tried to pass the amendment and restore the funding assailed the budget for taking from the needy, while giving to others. Some attacked the $420 million in tax credits set aside in the budget to subsidize movie and TV productions, and the $54 million New York State has committed for the renovation of Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“Whoever negotiated these cuts has never struggled with the pain of watching a child with disabilities,” said Republican Assemblyman Bill Nojay, from Monroe County.

It was a shameful measure and regardless as to the political football the issue became in the last several weeks, these cuts have significant consequences for caregivers and those who depend on the services they provide. Assemblyman Ray Walter (R,C,I-Amherst) was a leader in the fight to restore the funding, even though his efforts fell short.

“New York State can only be truly strong if we care for those who need our help the most, and these non-profits provide an absolutely vital service in a cost-effective manner,” said Walter. “The parallel system of services provided by the state to only 20 percent of the population of people with disabilities consumes over 50 percent of the resources, yet the far more efficient and effective voluntary providers are shouldering the entire burden of this cut.  This cannot stand. I have been speaking with the parents, families and individuals with disabilities, as well as many of the 12,500 employees of the agencies providing these supports and services in Western New York. The consensus is that this 6 percent cut is unmanageable and will be devastating to our community. My colleagues in both houses and Gov. Cuomo must realize the benefit community-based providers bring to these families and to the state. I will do everything in my power to restore this funding as part of the budget process.”

Long Island Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (whose son is developmentally disabled and depends on these services) got a standing ovation for this floor speech on this issue. 

Shameful, absolutely shameful. But, hey, I hope NY residents enjoy their bribes, errrr, $350 “rebate” checks, that’ll cost $1.2BN over the next three years

2. In other horrific news about our failing social safety net, the Erie County Department of Social Services reported yesterday that 2,198 individuals were placed in emergency homeless shelters in 2012, an increase of 14% from 2011. Families with children accounted for approximately one-third of those placements, and are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. On an average night, 45 families and 76 homeless single adults are placed in shelter by ECDSS. As of March 26, 2013, ECDSS has made 518 placements in emergency shelters, with 148 of those being families with children.

3. American corporations pay historically low tax rates while lobbying to make them even lower.

The Washington Post analyzed 30 large companies listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average — companies like McDonalds, Microsoft, and Exxon Mobil — and found that their tax rates have fallen even as profits have risen, thanks in large part to tax laws that provide incentives to store overseas profits in offshore tax havens.

American tax law allows companies to shield foreign profits from taxation until they are brought back to the United States, and corporations have happily obliged. The largest 83 corporations moved $166 billion overseas in 2012 alone, bringing their total to $1.46 trillion, and most of it, according to a Congressional Research Service study, was kept in tax havens like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and Ireland. As a result, they have seen huge reductions in tax rates: McDonald’s, for example, saw its tax rate plunge from 37 percent in 1973 to 14 percent in 2012.

Corporate profits hit a 60-year high in 2011, right as the effective corporate tax rate hit a 40-year low.

If you draw a connection between item #2 and item #3 in this morning’s grumpy, you win a prize!

4. The reason a record number of Americans are on food assistance is that a record number are in poverty. Republican solution? Tax cuts for the wealthy!

5. Smartphone apps have created a new digital underclass of low-paid and highly monitored workers. We’re all to blame.

6. The plot to assassinate Justin Bieber. Yup, this was a thing.

7. Experts said the “Harlem Shake” phenomenon was emergent behavior from the hive mind of the internet—accidental, ad hoc, uncoordinated: a “meme” that “went viral.” But this is untrue. Stop being such a dope.

8. Public defender offices around the country are underfunded and understaffed, bolstering the two tiered legal system that exists in America.

In 2007, the last time the Bureau of Justice Statistics surveyed the nation’s indigent defense services, there were 957 public defender offices employing 15,000 full-time staff. These offices handled about 80 percent of the country’s criminal cases, on a combined budget of $2.3 billion. In that same year, 2,330 state prosecutor offices employed 78,000 full-time staff. Their budgets were falling, but with a total of $5.8 billion in the kitty, their means far outstripped that of their defender colleagues.

Faced with a larger and better-funded prosecution regime, defenders can’t keep up. … It should come as no surprise, then, that you’re more likely to wind up in jail if represented by a taxpayer-financed lawyer than by one you hire yourself.

Dr. Corasanti could afford Joel Daniels, 99% of us cannot.

9. The NRA is winning and there’s not much gun control advocates can do about it.

10. The average person in the U.S is 37.2 years old. The average piece of infrastructure is 22.1 years old.

Fact Of The Day: Until 1978, the Mormon church taught that blacks were once an evil race of Jews who were colored by God for their wickedness.

Quote Of The Day: “Students who acquire large debts while putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society.  When you trap people in a system of debt . they can’t afford the time to think.  Tuition fee increases are a disciplinary technique, and, by the time students graduate, they are not only loaded with debt, but have also internalized the disciplinarian culture. This makes them efficient components of the consumer economy” – Noam Chomsky

Video Of The Day: A new ad from Time Warner Cable, providing their trademarked “optimum cockbag service”.

Song Of The Day: My hope with the song of the day in the grumpy is that you hear the song and then spend some time going down the YouTube rabbit hole discovering a new artist or revisiting some old favorites. For me, music is a way to mark time and also serves as a means to vividly draw me back to special moments in my life. Van Morrison has always provided a musical and emotional home for me, it was music my Mom played often when I was young and always reminds me of really wonderful times in my life. I hope it does for you as well.

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The Morning Grumpy – 3/27/12

27 Mar

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy.


1. It’s tax season and most of you, like Tim Geithner, have paid to use TurboTax to file your return. But, wouldn’t it be cool if you didn’t have to file a return?

Imagine filing your income taxes in five minutes — and for free. You’d open up a pre-filled return, see what the government thinks you owe, make any needed changes and be done. The miserable annual IRS shuffle, gone.

It’s already a reality in Denmark, Sweden and Spain. The government-prepared return would estimate your taxes using information your employer and bank already send it. Advocates say tens of millions of taxpayers could use such a system each year, saving them a collective $2 billion and 225 million hours in prep costs and time, according to one estimate.

The idea, known as “return-free filing,” would be a voluntary alternative to hiring a tax preparer or using commercial tax software. The concept has been around for decades and has been endorsed by both President Ronald Reagan and a campaigning President Obama.

It’s being done in many places around the world and Intuit (the makers of TurboTax) has spent a lot of money to make sure it’ll never happen in America.

Intuit has spent about $11.5 million on federal lobbying in the past five years — more than Apple or Amazon. Although the lobbying spans a range of issues, Intuit’s disclosures pointedly note that the company “opposes IRS government tax preparation.”

I’m sure Tom Bauerle fans and other right-wing lunatics would oppose the idea of government-prepared returns anyhow and claim the IRS is going to mark you with the number of the socialist beast to better identify you in a FEMA camp, but Intuit is hedging it’s bets and paying off Congress to keep things difficult for taxpayers.

2. America’s health-care prices are ludicrous: “We pay much, much more than other countries do for the exact same things.”

3. The ascendance of liberalism is due to generational change and the economy.

4. Alternative weekly newspapers are dead, long live alt-weeklies!

5. It’s become clear that Americans, broadly speaking, have little idea as to the scale of our “drone war”. Well, problem solved. The Guardian has a great interactive visual showing every drone attack in Pakistan.

6. I think I linked to this last month, but a recent Buzzfeed article got me thinking about this magnificent piece of journalism again. The extraordinary science of addictive junk food.

7. Generation Naïve: Why Young People Can’t Help Falling for Strangers Online

8. The day that TV news died was the day Phil Donahue was fired by MSNBC for opposing the war in Iraq.

Fact Of The Day: Mother Teresa believed suffering brought people closer to Jesus and therefore withheld pain killers from her patients.

Quote Of The Day: “Teach the children so it will not be necessary to teach the adults.” -Abraham Lincoln

Video Of The Day: Russians make the best music videos. Ever. “Bad Motherfucker, Insane Office Escape 2” – Crazy violence.

Song Of The Day: “Busman’s Holiday” – Allah-Las

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Tucker Curtin versus the Food Trucks

26 Mar

You’d think that a restaurateur would welcome some competition. You’d think that a diner, when confronted with a popular hamburger food truck, would make a better hamburger to compete. Or tout the fact that it serves booze. You’d think that a person with a monopoly on food on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor would have some self-awareness about it. 

According to Jill Terreri in the Buffalo News, Buffalo restaurateur Tucker Curtin wants Buffalo’s food trucks to operate under much more stringent regulations than any other food business in town, than they operate under currently, and than most trucks in most cities operate. Tucker Curtin owns the Steer, Lake Effect Diner, and Dug’s Dive – all three reasonably forgettable purveyors of mediocre crap, sometimes done up in a trendy way. 

Curtin, whose restaurants I will never again patronize, retained counsel to agitate for rules that include:

– no food truck may operate within 100 feet of any private property of any sort without express permission of the owner or tenants;

– no food truck may park within 25 feet of a hydrant, intersection, or driveway to a lot with more than 10 spots;

– all food trucks must have a restaurant license.

– all food truck workers must have a peddler’s license. Everyone from the kid who heats up your tortilla to the person who writes the ticket;

– that trucks operate under special restrictions on Elmwood and Hertel, not just Buffalo Place;

The trucks in Buffalo pay a $1,000 fee for an annual permit for the privilege of serving food from a mobile unit that has none of the advantages of brick and mortar restaurants. This is about three times what trucks pay in most other cities, and the restrictions effectively forbid them from operating where the people are. Buffalo Place and downtown Buffalo is effectively cut off to them unless they pay another thousand-plus-dollar permit fee –  for the privilege of an inconvenient spot far from where people are.  On Elmwood and Hertel, it’s not easy finding a legal spot when people are out and about.

Curtin’s motives are unknown, but what he is attempting to accomplish amounts to nothing more than protectionism and anticompetitive behavior in a town not noted for its business friendliness or open-mindedness. The fact that the current ordinance was passed was amazing. The fact that it’s too restrictive and too expensive is something that needs to be remedied – not worsened. Tucker Curtin’s restaurants aren’t able to compete effectively with sliders from the Knight Slider truck, so he is going to war. 

I don’t quite want to hear about how Curtin has the right to say or lobby for what he wants. I don’t quite want to hear that he may have a point. He does have the right to agitate for what he wants, and I have a right to despise what he wants and to criticize it. Likewise, I don’t think he has a point at all. If your restaurant serves food that is so forgettably mediocre that a slider truck cleans your clock, maybe you should step up your game instead of lobbying your pals on the Common Council to punish your competition. It is, quite frankly, a prime example of what’s wrong with Buffalo. 

Yahoo CFO to speak at Z80 Labs

25 Mar


Continuing with their speaker series that has included Fred Wilson, Chris Sacca, and Woody Benson; Z80 Labs of Buffalo has announced their next visitor to the local startup incubator : Yahoo! CFO, Ken Goldman.

Ken Goldman is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Yahoo!. In this role, he is responsible for Yahoo!’s global finance functions including financial planning and analysis, controllership, tax, treasury, and investor relations. 

Ken brings more than 30 years of experience in financial, operational and business management to Yahoo!. Most recently, he was CFO of Fortinet, a provider of threat management technologies. Ken spent nearly six years as senior vice president of finance and administration and CFO of Siebel Systems and has held CFO positions at several technology companies in his career, including Excite@Home, Sybase, Cypress Semiconductor and VLSI Technology.

Ken currently serves on the board of directors of Infinera Inc. and NXP Semiconductor, as well as the board of trustees of Cornell University. He has been named among “America’s 15 Most Connected Capitalists” by Forbesmagazine. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

The event will take place at Z80 Labs (1 News Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14203) from 2pm-3pm on March 27th.  Ken will give some insight on key things that are important for startups, especially when they begin pitching to investors. There will be an interview conducted by Martin Babinec of Upstate Venture Connect and a Q&A session following the presentation.


Please note that seating for this event is very limited; registration via Eventbrite is necessary to attend.

Some background on Z80 Labs:

The Morning Grumpy – 3/25/12

25 Mar

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy.


1. In this week’s podcast at Trending Buffalo, Brad Riter and I discuss Sergio Rodriguez and why no one wants to help him run for Mayor, along with a few other Buffalo Mayoral issues.

2. Can Andrew Cuomo make New York the “progressive capital of the nation”— by empowering Republicans?

3. David Cay Johnston: There are 6 million corporations in America, but 2,600 of them, a tiny number out of 6 million, own 80 percent of the business assets in America.

4. Meet the right-wing non-lawyer who may get the Supreme Court to kill affirmative action and voting rights.

5. Nearly every private equity firm or media corporation around has tried to buy gonzo journalism site at one time or another. Click here to find out why.

6. The police are watching your Google searches: Of the governmental requests, Google says that it complies with about 89 percent, and 68 percent are made without a search warrant.

7. In the past three decades, the number of Americans who are on disability has skyrocketed. The rise has come even as medical advances have allowed many more people to remain on the job, and new laws have banned workplace discrimination against the disabled. Every month, 14 million people now get a disability check from the federal government. Who are they? Why has this happened and what does it mean for the economy?

8. This is ostensibly advice for women, but it’s also a tip I received from a an Air Force Officer before I gave my first major intelligence briefing to a group of flag officers. This little tweak can reconfigure your brain to help you be more assertive, confident, and relaxed. It works.

9. What secret e-mails from Enron teach us about influencing politicians.

10. The Pentagon is spending $1 Billion to protect America from North Korea’s nonexistent long-range nuclear missiles.

Fact Of The Day: Medal of Honor recipient Thomas Baker was gravely wounded and had his comrades leave him behind, propped up against a tree with a pistol that had 8 bullets remaining. Later they found his body next to the tree, surrounded by 8 dead Japanese soldiers. So, quit whining about your case of the Mondays.

Quote Of The Day: “If you don’t understand something, and the community of physicists doesn’t understand something, does that mean that God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? …A talk show you might have conducted 200 years ago might have said, ‘The planets do retrograde? Can’t understand that, must be a god.’ And we’d say, ‘You know, you’re right.’ And ten years later, we understand it. So if that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance that gets smaller and smaller and smaller as time goes on. So, just be ready for that to happen.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Video Of The Day: The Most Depressing Cooking Show Ever.

Song Of The Day: “Ya Never Know” – Terraplane Sun

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The Morning Grumpy – 3/22/13

22 Mar

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy. Just links today.


1. Former Editor-In-Chief of The Buffalo News, Margaret Sullivan, has revolutionized the public editor position in the best possible way. Her passion for ethics and the future of journalism is so strong, it calls into question why she wasn’t a more forceful voice while in Buffalo. Perhaps it was the culture created by the publisher which dampened her voice or she felt the audience wasn’t interested in this type of journalism, but I wish Buffalo had seen more of this version of Margaret Sullivan. We’d have been a better city for it.

2. Are Americans too stupid for democracy?

3. Helicopter parent down. There have already been early signs of a backlash against overparenting, but now it’s official – taking too active a role in your kids’ lives can cause depression and incompetence.

4. Some of you may know that I am a part-owner of Community Beer Works and if you didn’t know, now you do. Last week, our IPA (which we named “The IPA” because it’s that fucking awesome) took second place in the National IPA championship conducted by The Brewing News. We finished ahead of 126 other beers from around the nation and beat some quintessential American IPAs (Founders, Racer 5, etc.) along the way. We’re pretty excited about that. You should visit our website, check out our blog, pick up a growler at our brewery at 15 Lafayette, buy a pint at one of 50 or so local bars and pubs, and listen to CBW President Ethan Cox talk about our brewery on this podcast.

5. Luna The Polar Bear plays in the snow at The Buffalo Zoo. As grumpy as I am, I love me some polar bear frivolity.

6. The wealthiest Americans donate 1.3 percent of their income; the poorest, 3.2 percent.

7. This is what futurists in 1988 thought Los Angeles would look like today.

8. Wichita Falls is the largest city in Texas in danger of running out of water by the end of the year. The city of over 100,000 people could run out of water in less than 6 months and there are 24 other towns also on the list, which is likely to grow as drought worsens.

9. Mrs. Warren goes to Washington: Elizabeth Warren’s credentials, support, and savvy make her almost untouchable — and she knows it.

10. The transcript of President Obama’s speech in Israel. “It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day”. As The Economist noted in its coverage:

Her hard-nosed observation was incontrovertible. But so was the fact—as this writer ascertained in unscientific polling—that the American president’s elegant, empathetic rhetoric brought tears, literally, to the eyes of many other Israelis who yearn for an end to the conflict with the Palestinians.

Just a speech, yes. But a corker of a speech.

Fact Of The Day: Chunk from “The Goonies” is now a lawyer.

Quote Of The Day: “If you would only recognize that life is hard, things would be so much easier for you.” – Louis D. Brandeis

Video Of The Day: “Atheism” – Jim Jeffries

Song Of The Day: “Roll With The Punches” – The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer

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Tonight: Colon Cancer Alliance Blue Bash

21 Mar

Tonight from 6 – 8:30pm, please join the Colon Cancer Alliance at to kick off the 2nd Annual Buffalo Undy 5,000 at Artisan Kitchen & Baths at 200 Amherst Street.

Attendees can sign up for the race, set to take place in Delaware Park on April 27th, learn more about the Colon Cancer Alliance’s efforts to increase awareness of this disease, win prizes, and check out the Boxer Beauty Contest. 

As many of you know from this post last week, my wife is a colon cancer survivor, and we are so grateful for all your support in helping to combat this deadly but preventable disease. 


Bhopal on the Niagara

21 Mar

I could spend hours trying to decide which third world country or Banana republic Erie County and Buffalo most resemble. We are clearly not of the first world here, and it has mostly to do with visionless excuses for leadership with which we have been saddled over the past post-industrial decades. We even market ourselves as a domestic Bangalore (see Geico, e.g.). 

But up in Niagara Falls, they have a special way of appearing small-minded, petty, outrageous, and stupid. That is, of course, when they’re not engaging in outright illegality and graft.  Niagara Falls is unique in western New York – if not America – in that it is essentially a toxic waste dump with streets and buildings – all cruelly punctuated by a natural world wonder. Bhopal on the Escarpment. It has seen its main industry – the manufacture of toxins – dwindle over the past several decades. It has lost population to the point where it is on the verge of losing its eligibility for federal assistance. It is, for the most part, an empty shell of its former glory, made up of poverty and broken dreams. It is as if every decision the city has ever made has exploded, creating a daily irreparable calamity. 

Immigrants used to say the streets in America are figuratively paved with gold. 

The streets of Niagara Falls, USA are literally paved with slag; depleted uranium. 

Its current mayor, Paul Dyster, is unique in that he is the first mayor in a generation to have won re-election. A technocrat by nature, he is desperately trying to wrap a tourniquet around the city’s bleed. No one’s perfect, but Dyster is also unique because he’s honest and forthright. 

The city of Niagara Falls has reached out to various charitable foundations, some of them based in Buffalo, in an effort to help fund initiatives that may help attract attention, if not money and business, to the Falls. I’m not always a big fan of Buffalo’s big-money foundations because of their cozy elitism. But Niagara Falls needs all the help it can get.  Literally. 

Mayor Dyster applied to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the Oshei Foundation for a paltry $4,000 in order to become a member of a “Great Lakes and St Lawrence Cities Initiative,” which Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, WI describes as, 

Mayors of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative are a prominent voice in efforts to protect and restore the vitality of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River and improve the quality of life for the residents of the region. Through an integrated approach to environmental, social and economic agendas within their communities, U.S. and Canadian mayors of the Cities Initiative are leading a movement that will sustain our freshwater resources long into the future.

Astonishingly, three city council members in Niagara Falls opposed this $4,000 grant to enable Dyster to join a group of Great Lakes mayors to help forge alliances for the region’s future growth. They rejected it. 

“I’m very uncomfortable with this,” Choolokian said. “Is it time to get the FBI in city hall? I don’t understand this.”

Choolokian said he was alarmed with the amount of involvement that Buffalo philanthropic groups have shown in Niagara Falls during Dyster’s administration.

“I’ve been in the system for 27 years and I never seen Buffalo get involved in Niagara Falls like it has since you became mayor,” Choolokian said.

Fruscione said that he did not understand how being part of the a group that is dedicated to saving the Great Lakes would benefit the residents of Niagara Falls.

“They’re picking up $4,000 so you can join a club,” Fruscione said. “What about the taxpayers and residents? It’s not benefitting them at all. First of all we’re on a river, we’re not on the Great Lakes. We’re not a St. Lawrence city”

Choolokian, Fruscione and Councilman Robert Anderson Jr. voted against the resolution, turning away the awarded grant money.

Councilman Charles Walker and Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti supported the measure.

Walker said he does not understand how the other council members can justify turning down a grant when the city is in a tough financial situation with the delay in casino funds.

“It’s not wise to turn away funds when you are in a good financial situation,” he said.

Walker said he views the foundation’s interest in helping the city as a sign that Niagara Falls is worthy of an investment.

“I think we should look at that as more of a compliment, that our input is important to this process,” he said.

Dyster sought the grant after funding for the membership dues was cut from his proposed budget during the amendment process.

“I knew that there was a chance that the Community Foundation would pay my dues,” Dyster said.

Dyster said the reason the city seeks the help of Buffalo philanthropic groups is because most of the groups in Western New York are located in Buffalo.

“I think when times are tough we should be seeking help where we can get it,” the mayor said.

Dyster said that he is not sure where the allegations that these groups are trying to buy influence with grants are coming from, but said that there is no truth to the assertions.

“There are no strings attached to the grant other than we were asked to do some reporting, to file a report,” he said.

The only things missing were allegations that this was a plot involving the Bilderbergs, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the New World Order. 

$4,000 doesn’t buy a lot of influence, but it does buy Dyster a membership in a regional club. While Councilman Fruscione is correct that Niagara Falls isn’t “on a lake” but on a “river”, he is forgetting that the river connects two Great Lakes. To ignore or reject that the fate of the lakes’ environment affects the Falls is laughably ignorant. 

Niagara Falls has its hand out for everything and anything – including planting pretty flowers. It is the state’s basket case. But $4k from the evil Buffalo philanthropic institutions?! Perish the thought. 


21 Mar

In today’s Artvoice, Geoff Kelly takes up issues he has with the Buffalo News’ recent rankings of influence. You can read the whole thing here.

Artvoice sent out a similar questionnaire about influence this week. One thing that I will forever carry as a point of pride is Carl Paladino’s response as follows: 

2. What people/ideas/circumstances do you consider negative influences in this region?

The Lipsey boys. The Buffalo Board of Ed, complacency, acceptance of failure and mediocrity, Geoff Kelley, Fisher, Bedenko and the rest of the Artvoice barnyard of assholes.

Thank you, Mr. Paladino. The feeling re: regional negative influences is mutual.

One thing’s for sure – this came from an expert. I feel like this is a knighthood or an OBE – something you proudly put on your resume or LinkedIn profile. Carl Paladino knows a lot about assholes. And barnyards.

Bee Stings

20 Mar

In the Buffalo News’ Tuesday article regarding Mark Poloncarz’s hard work and competence, it was revealed that Conservative County Legislator Joe Lorigo didn’t like a letter that Poloncarz sent to him in response to an op/ed piece Lorigo had published in the Bee.

“Some people don’t like it that I’m willing to stand up for what I believe and sit there and say, ‘I think you’re wrong and here’s why,’ ” Poloncarz said. “They’re used to the back-slapper elected official who will say anything to anyone to get a vote and keep them happy.”

He knows that can rub people the wrong way, but he sees it as standing up for what he sees as right. He’ll put it in writing, too.

Last April, after Legislator Joseph C. Lorigo, a West Seneca Conservative, criticized Poloncarz’s four-year plan in a column that appeared in the West Seneca Bee, Poloncarz sent out a four-page letter picking apart the piece and accusing Lorigo of leveling “factually inaccurate partisan attacks towards my administration in a cheap attempt to score political points.”

The letter was copied to the entire County Legislature, the county control board and the county comptroller.

“It was completely over the top,” said Lorigo, a frequent critic of the Poloncarz administration. “He doesn’t know how to respond rationally. I think the best leaders, whether it be county executive, mayor or president, are people that can effectively communicate their point of view without being so partisan.”

Note that Poloncarz didn’t publish his rebuttal in the Bee, or in any other paper – he just sent Lorigo a letter explaining to him – in detail – how he was wrong. Telling someone who is wrong that they are wrong is neither irrational nor partisan

Joseph Lorigo’s 4/19/12 West Seneca Bee column by Alan Bedenko

Mark Poloncarz’s Letter to Legislator Joe Lorigo


More like this, please.