Tag Archives: Shredd & Ragan

Buffalo: Arbor Day 2012

20 Apr

On St. Patrick’s Day, they say, everyone’s Irish. 

On Dyngus Day, they say, everyone’s Polish. 

It, therefore, follows that on Arbor Day, everyone’s a tree-hugger. 

In the wake of Anderson Cooper’s fit of giggles over the Dyngus Day traditions, Ted Shredd and Tom Ragan discussed on their morning radio show on 103.3 WEDG-FM how Buffalo had a unique knack of taking B-list “holidays” like Dyngus Day and turning them into a veritable fiesta.  

Really, all you need to do is add beer and make it fun. 

In turning to secondary and tertiary holidays, the boys settled on Arbor Day. The mission of Arbor Day and the Arbor Day Foundation is: “We inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.”

Really, it’s perfect. First of all, you don’t have to belong to any faith to love trees; it’s a thing that transcends race, gender, ethnicity, national boundaries, and body image. Trees use carbon dioxide to give us the oxygen we need to breathe. We use trees make cool stuff like high-end dashboards in foreign luxury cars, baseball bats, desks, rulers, bookshelves, houses, etc., ad infinitum. When we don’t want to jinx something, we knock on wood. But above all, trees give us shade and just overall pretty up the joint. 

And another thing – it’s better to be #1 at a second-rate holiday than #2 or 3 at celebrating a top-tier holiday, AMIRITE?

Arbor Day is next Friday – April 27th, and Shredd & Ragan will be hosting Buffalo’s first-ever Arbor Day festivities, complete with food, beer, games, prizes, and a parade – all taking place in Buffalo’s Historic Arbor District near Franklin Street and the site of the oldest tree in Buffalo. 

The parade begins at 8am next Friday morning from Fat Bob’s, which is the headquarters for the event.

It’s not just an excuse to take a B-list holiday and make Buffalo’s celebration of it the biggest in the country. It’s also an opportunity to highlight some of the people, businesses, and groups who work to improve Buffalo’s environment. There will be tree-themed bar games: Show your shrub (take a cell phone picture of the shrub in front of your house, “best” wins a prize), a leaf eating contest, tree races, moment of silence for the October Storm, and even the tree man of Buffalo might make an appearance.Green Options Buffalo, the Clean Air Coalition, and other local environmental groups  have been invited. The proceeds from the bar and sales of souvenirs will go to benefit the Olmsted Conservancy. 

For more information, check out Shredd & Ragan’s website, their Facebook page, or follow #ArborDayBuffalo on Twitter. 

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Valenti’s: How the Story Has Changed (UPDATE & BUMP)

18 Jan

 

UPDATE & BUMP: Terry Valenti called the Shredd & Ragan show on 103.3-FM the Edge, and the recording of that conversation will be played on air around 7:45am on Thursday the 19th. I’ll be on the phone with them right afterwards.

It’s become the Valenti’s Restaurant Massacree. Arlo Guthrie could do a 30 minute monologue about it in talking blues style, if there was an underlying anti-war theme to be had.

If you missed it, I spoke with Shredd and Ragan from WEDG 103.3-FM on Tuesday morning to talk about Janice Okun, restaurant reviews, the Buffalo News, Valenti’s, and how all of it ties in together. The audio of the full interview is here.

For those of you who are checking this out to find out more, here is the compendium of Valenti’s posts so far:

1. “Two and a Half WTFs” is the original post from December 19th, now boasting over 650 comments, which have caused a very sordid and criminal tale to unfold about the purported owner(s) of Valenti’s, including a “secret” third partner, allegations of restraining orders, fraud, check kiting, violations of law and statute, battery, and a place that is apparently poorly run by some allegedly shady characters.  It was here that we first learned that Valenti never appeared on Iron Chef, never worked at Mamma Leone’s, and never attended, much less graduated from, the Culinary Institute of America – a claim that I uncovered from a Florida publication.

2. “Valenti’s Coda“, also from December 19th and headlined far too soon, pokes fun at the Buffalo News’ hasty and clumsy correction of Janice Okun’s original review of Valenti’s, which contained the false statements about Iron Chef battle parsnips. Andrew Galarneau, the Buffalo News’ food editor, assured me on Facebook that my Artvoice posts and comments at the Buffalo News’ own site played absolutely no part in the non-transparent corrections process, and that Jeff Levine from the CIA contacted him about Mr. Valenti’s claim to be a graduate of that institution, although that never appeared in Ms. Okun’s review.

3. “Valenti’s: Still Going” is a January 9th piece referencing MetroWNY’s work speaking to the producers of Iron Chef to verify that Valenti never appeared on that program.

4. “How Not to Run a Business” links to a Tonawanda News article that first uncovered Mr. Valenti’s landlord/tenant dispute with Frank Budwey, and references a Chowhound thread about the matter.

All of the foregoing articles served as a sort of informal assignment editor for this Buffalo News piece that appeared on Saturday.

So far today, I’ve learned more about the third partner, I’ve learned that there is no hearing scheduled yet on any eviction proceeding, that Mr. Budwey is out of the country at the moment, and I found out some other details I’m not at liberty to discuss at this time.

But suffice it to say that this has swiftly turned from a criticism of a poorly researched restaurant review, into civil eviction litigation, and now into bona fide criminal reporting.  We’ve turned a corner into hoping that these two people can no longer victimize another unsuspecting, naively trusting ambitious person.

Reminder: Red Light Camera Protest Today

21 May

As heard on Shredd & Ragan, there will be a good, old-fashioned demonstration protesting the installation of red light cameras in Buffalo. Why? Because everyone knows they’re not about safety, they’re first and foremost about revenue enhancement.

The cameras themselves are installed and operated by a private firm in Arizona. The deal Yonkers cut was that the city gets $15 from every $50 ticket – the camera operator pockets the rest. Knowing Buffalo, our deal will likely be the same or worse. Or else they’ll have more expensive tickets. The entire process is ripe for malfeasance, including ticketing of rights on red, manipulation of the timing of yellow lights to maximize return, and it should be noted that Mayor Byron Brown somehow believes that the City of Buffalo will earn as much, if not more, from red light cameras (about $2 million per year) than the city of Los Angeles.

It will be held on Thursday, May 21, 2009 between 3pm – 7pm on Niagara Square in front of Buffalo City Hall.

There’s also a petition here. Learn more at Shredd & Ragan’s red light protest page.

Red Light Camera Protest

18 May

As heard on Shredd & Ragan, there will be a good, old-fashioned demonstration protesting the installation of red light cameras in Buffalo. Why? Because everyone knows they’re not about safety, they’re first and foremost about revenue enhancement.

It will be held on Thursday, May 21, 2009 between 3pm – 7pm on Niagara Square in front of Buffalo City Hall.

There’s also a petition here. Learn more at Shredd & Ragan’s red light protest page.

Shredd & Ragan’s Red Light Protest

24 Mar