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Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Dec
11

Buffalo Billion criminals get off easy

Hold up a gas station and you’re looking at a minimum of five years in prison. Get napped with an ounce of crack and the mandatory minimum is five to ten years. Engage in bid rigging, and in the process violate the public’s trust and cost taxpayers potentially million of dollars? If you’re Louis Ciminelli, […]

Dec
04

OTB’s part-time board enjoys gold-plated perks

 The workload is modest, as is the pay. But, oh, the benefits. The public service corporation that manages off-track betting operations in western and central New York provides free health insurance to its board members in exchange for showing up for meetings two days a month. And the perks aren’t limited to health coverage. […]

Nov
29

43North winner delinquent on loan

Four years ago, local manufacturing startup ASi was riding high, the first ever $1 million prize winner of the state-funded 43North business plan competition. Now, the company is in financial trouble. It’s not currently operational, has just one employee – the founder and CEO – and recently defaulted on a $250,000 loan from the Erie County Industrial […]

Nov
17

Tesla opens the door – a crack

The building was completed two years ago and Tesla and its partners at Panasonic have been producing solar roofing materials since last year, but only this week did the company allow the press in for a peek. And only a bit of one. Jim Heaney told Scott Levin of WGRZ that the blatant attempt to […]

Nov
13

Western New York’s version of the Amazon deal

 The agreement that will place a new headquarters for Amazon in Queens is the biggest economic development deal for a private company New York has ever seen, with a subsidy package that could add up to more than $2 billion. The full value of the incentives Amazon stands to receive is unclear, but it […]

Nov
07

Slowdown in Power Authority subsidy programs

It’s an unusual problem: subsidy programs that can’t find takers. The New York Power Authority has two of them in Western New York. One provides low-cost hydropower to local industry, but a quarter of the pool of electricity lacks for customers and is sold on the wholesale market. The profits from the sale of this […]

Nov
02

Missing Maziarz funds remain a mystery

The office of Sen. George Maziarz did such a poor job tracking spending from his campaign account that it’s impossible to know exactly what became of up to $350,000, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said Thursday in explaining why he isn’t pressing charges against anyone who handled the money. Maziarz, who did not seek […]

Sep
28

Successes and stumbles for 43North program

 As the 43North startup competition, funded by the Buffalo Billion, enters its fifth year, organizers have made progress in addressing the program’s weak link: winning companies leaving Western New York after their mandatory year here is up. But, in a notable stumble, one company singled out to receive extra funding slipped through organizers’ fingers, […]