Way The County Crumbles
Giambra is truly a delusional man. He's so upset about the
whole budget fiasco he created, but he thinks State Senator
Dale Volker and Assemblyman Paul Tokasz are to blame for
not sending enough state aid his way. He actually called
on them to resign their positions, something many residents
and leaders have said Giambra ought to do after introducing
two inoperable budgets instead of one that works. The two
state leaders openly laughed in Giambra's face.
other county government news, the legislature hastily adopted
new rules concerning media coverage of legislative
an attempt to dispel any rumors of homosexuality, Cruise has
taken to hanging out with macho lion-tamer types
our terrified politicians got sick of being hounded by the
suddenly-awake local media throughout the ongoing budget crisis,
and have backed the press off from interviewing them during
sessions, also allowing themselves the option of escaping
through a side door when things get
rough. That's how good government works: you see a problem
and you fix it. The problem: a newly curious press and increasingly
informed electorate. The solution: hide.
they got that important business figured out, the legislature
went on to pass a plan to reopen the two county golf courses
by raising fees before these moneymakers bankrupt the county.
You'd think they would be smart and keep revenue generating
entities in operation (like the auto bureaus),
but these douchebags are flying by the seat of their soiled
pants and, despite all the empty rhetoric about pulling together,
they're happy to be sticking it to the people they're supposed
witness Nancy Naples' implosion for giving 80% of the counties
many loans to a Republican with close ties to Governor Pataki.
This isn't news; it's been a standard practice of hers (and
many other comptrollers
across the state) since she took office 11 years ago. The
only reason it came out is because the politicians are at
war, gleefully airing each other's dirty laundry. Now she's
announce she won't run for reelection, probably to pave the
way for another GOP turd-eater the Party will name at a later
there is good news! One day before his State of the County
Address, Joel Giambra held a dog and pony show out at Bethlehem
Steel to announce the hopelessly contaminated Lackawanna site
will be demolished and in it's place-yup, you guessed it-
will be condos, apartments, houses, offices and a waterfront
park which will naturally require massive
state and county aid. Hey, the guy needed something positive
before giving a speech to a thousand people who used to cheer
him on and now sit in stony silence as he prattles on about
all his "accomplishments" in the past year, calling
the budget crisis "a big distraction" from his retarded
city/county merger plans. Let's face; merging two broke-ass,
intractably corrupt entities will only create an even bigger
disaster-just look at Sears and Kmart.
a recent interview with Donn Esmonde, Bob Wilmers, chairman
of M&T Bank said, If Im the most influential
guy in the community, then the community is in trouble.
sure is, Bob. Buffalo will soon have a new school superintendent,
thanks to a
$100,000 payoff from Wilmers. Buffalo being what it is (i.e.
a dying rust belt city full of crooked politicians), Wilmers
wields a huge influence over this area because he makes a
shitload of money for M&T Bank.
has been ruled out as a possible Superintendent because of
a strict "no asshole" policy
heads up both the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership and the Buffalo
Fiscal Control Board, and is very free in giving away money
for civic causes like Sheas, the zoo, and schools.
Marion Canedo retired in a temper tantrum because the control
board froze teachers salaries, Wilmers jumped at the
chance to install his own puppet, funding a secret search
committee which found a perfect candidate with
dubious qualifications: James Williams was the superintendent
of the Dayton, Ohio school system for eight years before getting
fired in 1999 when the school system was $22 million in the
hole. Lori Crank, a parent, gave a real ringing endorsement
to the Buffalo News,
saying Williams pretty much destroyed Dayton schools.
He doesnt even work in a school system now; according
to the News Williams is employed by a private firm which manages
alternative schools. In 1994 Williams accepted
$8000 in fees for teaching even though he didnt teach
but wound up giving the money back when everyone freaked out.
here we have only one identified candidate for one of the
most critically important jobs in the city and, like a lot
of things in New York State, the process is veiled in secrecy.
Williams is in line for the job precisely for his record in
Dayton: outsourcing work and creating magnet schools. He will
lower the bottom line, but at what cost to a school system
thats already a disaster? James Williams will be the
superintendent, however, because Bob Wilmers wants him.
Buffalo News, in breaking the story, quickly brushed off citizens
complaints about the process and Williams spotty record and
are endorsing him as an agent for change. One
would think the news would reserve judgment until all the
facts are in and maybe even identify other candidates, but
the News is merely another tool of moneyed insiders like Wilmers,
publisher Stan Lipsey, and owner Warren Buffett.
Instead of criticizing a ridiculous process which produces
only one candidate for the job, the News is the head cheerleader
for yet another out of town stranger to come in, earn a huge
salary and continue flushing
our education system down the toilet. Well find out
soon enough whether Williams is an advocate for education
or Bob Wilmers power-mad ego.
Solution to Debt:
it to the Common Council to come
out of left field and announce plans to
build a new football stadium downtown.
That would have been a great idea back in, oh, 1970. Today its
just plain idiotic to even propose a half billion dollar project
(at the very least, probably more like a billion) anywhere in
the city. And we thought the control board had brought these
dummies back down to planet earth! The idea was greeted with
a lot of shaking heads, laughter, and outright derision.
pictured below (actual size) is very tiny
council has big plans for the year 2005, including getting
Bass Pro and a Seneca casino downtown, demolishing vacant
buildings, and a plan to fight graffiti. Barely mentioned
is the idea of getting out from under the control board. Consider
the Buffalo Housing Authority, a volunteer commission
which spent $124,000 so its members could attend conferences
(i.e. vacation at the taxpayers expense) in San Francisco,
Tampa, New Orleans, and Washington D.C.
Plus they get the cell phones ($8500 last year) and credit
cards ($11,000) and other perks ($36,000 in health insurance
for five commissioners), all for being the worst housing authority
in the nation. Buffalo has a lot of authorities
like this, populated with do-nothing, politically connected
dickwads sucking the system dry and increasing debt with impunity.
place that wont be ripping off taxpayers any longer
is the Marine Drive Apartments, built with taxpayer funds
to house politically connected white people who live cheap
and have some of the best views in the city. With its
40-year lease up, the city wisely decided it couldnt
allow the ripoff to continue and has contracted with a new
management company. That didnt prevent the former manager
from trying to collect a severance package worth over $375,000
for himself, his wife, and their niece. Negotiations are under
way to bring that figure down, but its a good example
of how welfare reform is still a phrase that only
applies to the poor. Finally, the Mayor announced property
taxes wont be raised, but you can bet the farm that
assessments across the board will go up. Instead the garbage
user fee, which has gone up 40% in the last two years will
be raised yet again to provide badly needed revenues. Funny
how a city thats losing more of its population than
anywhere else in the country (15,000 residents last year alone)
continues to raise fees instead of making cuts for
declining service needs. Thats some real fuzzy logic.
Victory in Man's War on Nature
April 5th, Robert Chambers, a member
of Friends of the Buffalo Niagara
Rivers, discovered a lot of nasty gunk floating out into the
Niagara River from the officially closed Riverwalk park area.
He notified authorities, who eventually turned up and determined
that someone had dumped tons of xylene, gasoline, and other
fun stuff into Cornelius Creek. Its hard to say how
much had already flowed out into the river by the time it
was spotted, so the spills size was estimated to be
at least hundreds of gallons, if not thousands.
small Asian girl tries to teach Cruise how to better understand
those "squiggly black marks that mean stuff."
would motivate someone to do such a thing? What else? Money.
The cost of legal disposal of such pollutants is about $400
per 50-gallon drum, considerably more expensive than simply
dumping a massive dose of neural inhibitors into a river which
an impoverished community fishes for food. Anglers are warned,
of course, to lay off the river for a couple of weeks. And
dont swim in it, duh. If youre pregnant, just
dont go near it.
people arent too bright, though; a guy from the Riverside
Review told us he saw a fisherman casting his line into the
floating gunk. We can only hope hes not feeding a family.
Frankly, we think anyone who eats fish pulled from a river
that has served for decades as the chemical industrys
toilet is goddamn nuts, but people gotta eat, and we ate at
Wendys the day after we heard some lady found a human
finger in her chili there, so who are we to judge?
point is that this cant just be some isolated incidentthe
idea that this guy just happened to be on the scene the one
time some asshole decided to skip his hazmat disposal fee
is ludicrous. This type of pollution is probably going on
regularly, with a dwindling chance of detection by cashstrapped
authorities. The culprit(s) shouldnt be that hard to
ferret outafter all, how many people do you know with
a few hundred gallons of xylene lying around? So, if you know
something, this is one of those occasions when snitching is
really the right
thing to do.
pictured above pressing his genitals into the back of Cuba
Gooding Jr.'s head, has not been ruled out as a suspect in
the Niagara River pollution.