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

Scajaquada progress, at a price

Engineers have told Cheektowaga it’s going to cost up to $53 million to update the town’s aging sewer system, which spews hundreds of million of gallons of sewage mixed with stormwater into local waterways every year. A number of options are under consideration, including lining leaky sewer lines and building underground storage tanks to hold […]

Nov
26

Troubled families, troubled services?

Seven social workers on the front lines of dealing with troubled families have taken the unusual step of accusing their employer of cheating both taxpayers and the families they are tasked with helping. The social workers – who are employed by the Buffalo Urban League – sent a letter to the Erie County Comptroller’s office […]

Nov
12

Rochester leads on lead while Buffalo dallies

Rochester used to have a lead problem at least as bad as Buffalo’s. But officials there got serious a decade ago and developed a program that’s considered a national model that some think Buffalo should emulate. Ralph Spezio, principal of an inner-city elementary school, was Rochester’s catalyst for change. Fifteen years ago he overheard two […]

Nov
12

Another round of tax breaks for Summit Mall

Declaring “jobs are jobs,” Niagara County officials voted Wednesday to grant $700,000 in tax breaks to redevelop a shopping mall that’s failed to make good on two previous subsidies. The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency voted unanimously to approve property and sales tax breaks to Toronto developer Zoran Cocov to assist his $17.4 million plan […]

Nov
11

Subsidies proposed for shopping mall

Should the Summit Mall in Wheatfield enjoy a third round of taxpayer subsidies? The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency will consider a proposal Wednesday from a Toronto developer that calls for about $700,000 in property and sales tax breaks. The subsidies would go towards a $17 million renovation of the mall, which now stands largely […]

Nov
11

Buffalo is ‘ground zero’ for lead poisoning

Young children in Erie County, mostly from Buffalo’s inner city, are testing positive for lead poisoning at more than triple the state average. As a result, hundreds of children enter Buffalo schools every year dealing with the impacts of lead poisoning, which can include lowered IQ and behavioral problems. The chief source of the problem […]

Nov
10

Buffalo’s big lead poisoning problem

Investigative Post, in the first of a three-part series, examines the danger posed by lead paint contamination in Buffalo. Buffalo children aged five and under test positive for lead poisoning at more than three times the state average. Erie County’s rate is the worst of the 11 counties that test 10,000 or more children a year. […]

Oct
29

Sabres score big subsidies at HarborCenter

The Buffalo Sabres like to point out that HarborCenter, which opens later this week, is privately financed to the tune of $172.2 million. Left unsaid is that the complex is also publicly subsidized, enjoying an estimated $57 million in local and state tax breaks. That makes HarborCenter one of the most heavily subsidized downtown development […]