Categories for Outrages & Insights

Jun 17

2024

Buffalo needs a hard control board

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Mayor Byron Brown made it clear last week he has no intention of resolving the city’s pending fiscal crisis. In an interview with Deidre Williams of The Buffalo News, the mayor said rather than cutting spending, he’s looking for increased revenue from the county, state and perhaps federal governments to close a projected deficit of at least $41 million for the budget year starting July 2025.  In fact, the feds have already been bailing him out. In the past three budgets, the city has used $100 million in federal pandemic aid to balance the books. It expects to use at[...]

Posted 1 week ago

Nov 6

2023

Hochul doubles down on a mistake

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Putting a huge industrial park in rural Genesee County was a mistake to begin with. The site was too rural. It lacked infrastructure. Auto dependent. That was the conclusion of a smart-growth analysis mandated by state law. State economic development officials used a loophole to green light the location anyway, and Steve Hyde and his Genesee County Economic Development Center went to work, thanks to some $43 million in state assistance. For nearly a decade, progress was slow. The site, known as STAMP, or Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park, remained fields and farmland. No tenants were to be had.[...]

Posted 8 months ago

Oct 9

2023

Further decline at The Buffalo News

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The wheels continue to fall off the rickety wagon known as The Buffalo News. In fact, the decline is gaining speed. I’m told the staff has been informed by management that daily print circulation is down to about 35,000. Last time I reported, based on 2022 numbers, it was 56,000. That’s down from a peak of 310,000 in the mid ’90s. Digital subscriptions are another 35,000. (More on that later.) There are a variety of reasons for the precipitous decline in print circulation, starting with changing news consumption habits. Nearly nine in 10 Americans get their news from digital platforms;[...]

Posted 9 months ago

Jun 30

2023

Phil Rumore: An appreciation (of sorts)

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Phil Rumore is considered Public Enemy No. 1 by a fair number of people in this town. His term as president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation ends today, and a lot of folks are happy to see him go.  I get it. He can be obstinate. The Buffalo teachers he represents enjoy generous health insurance benefits through to retirement. Nary a teacher gets fired for incompetence. Settling grievances, of which there were many, could be overly difficult. But you know what? All these years, 42 of them, he was doing his job. He didn’t represent taxpayers or students or their[...]

Posted 12 months ago

Apr 23

2023

The Buffalo News was never a “crown jewel”

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There’s more news to report regarding The Buffalo News – none of it encouraging. The Poynter Institute, a major news media think tank and training center, published a story last week that chronicled the decline of The News. The story is aptly headlined The Buffalo News was the crown jewel of Warren Buffett’s news empire. Now it’s just another Lee paper. Reporter Angela Fu did a good job of detailing all that’s gone wrong since Lee Enterprises bought the paper in 2020, starting with its loss of corporate independence. However, I think the story portrayed the paper in a better[...]

Posted 1 year ago

Apr 11

2023

Yet another Bills stadium disappointment

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Last year, Investigative Post reported on community benefit agreements involving the construction of big league stadiums and arenas. CBAs involve teams and/or the developers of their venues pledging money for community projects in exchange for the tax dollars they receive to help finance their facilities. The process used here to negotiate a CBA for the Bills stadium was unusual. Instead of the Bills negotiating with members of the community, the bargaining was restricted to politicians and their staffs.  Taking it a step further, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz insisted that negotiators sign non-disclosure agreements, which forbade not only any public[...]

Posted 1 year ago

Mar 2

2023

The latest Buffalo News woes

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Lee Enterprises, the parent company of The Buffalo News, has filed its overdue annual  financial report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its failure to meet a filing deadline, due to what Lee said was its failure to “maintain effective internal control over financial reporting,” prompted a threat in December from the Nasdaq Stock Market to delist the company. That would mean no more stock sales for the publicly traded company.  So it’s good news that Lee has finally complied. There’s not a lot of good news in its 10-K report, however, certainly not enough to allay fears about what’s[...]

Posted 1 year ago

Feb 20

2023

Worse news yet at The Buffalo News

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I’m writing this in a state of shock at the announcement The Buffalo News will no longer be printed in Buffalo. Lee Enterprises, the paper’s parent company, reported Monday that it is outsourcing its printing and distribution operations to the Cleveland Plain Dealer in October. Some 160 employees will lose their jobs.  This is a punch to the gut. The News is hardly alone in shuttering its printing plant. Down the Thruway in Rochester, the Democrat and Chronicle recently announced that it’s closing its print operation. The paper will be printed in New Jersey. New Jersey! The Syracuse Post-Standard is[...]

Posted 1 year ago
Investigative Post

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