Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Oct
31

Tempting a Ferguson in Buffalo

As the body count rises – nearly 1,800 civilians fatally shot by police nationwide the past two years – a growing number of law enforcement agencies are retraining their officers to minimize their use of force. Police are being trained on how to de-escalate volatile situations and make smart use of their firearms. It’s part of […]

Aug
22

Looking for lead (in all the wrong places)

Neighborhoods on the city’s East and Lower West Sides are “ground zero” for the worst lead poisoning problems in all of Upstate New York. Lead paint is considered the culprit, but the crisis in Flint, Michigan, has raised questions about the safety of the drinking water in cities like Buffalo. The testing program used by […]

May
25

Recycling on the rise in Niagara Falls

A year after getting serious about recycling, Niagara Falls has increased its recycling rate by 50 percent and cut the amount of trash it dumps in landfills by almost 20 percent. The city’s recycling coordinator credits the success and the 17 percent curbside recycling rate over the past year to an effective marketing campaign led […]

Apr
27

Buffalo snubs county on lead poisoning

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s lead prevention proposal is stuck in the County Legislature’s Finance and Management Committee after city officials twice declined invitations to appear to answer questions. The absence of city officials at these committee meetings is a continuation of a pattern on the part of City Hall officials, which Poloncarz administration officials […]

Mar
29

Buffalo failing to enforce diversity law

  Mayor Byron Brown has done a lot of talking about the need to provide job opportunities for people of color. He’s pushed some 210 businesses and organizations to sign his “Opportunity Pledge” and spoken in favor of apprentice programs that give young workers a foot in the door of the construction trades. The mayor, […]

Mar
14

Buffalo: Real State of the City

Buffalo is doing better, but is it doing as well as the politicians and much of the local press would have us believe? The answer, in a word, is “no.” That was the bottom line to my address Feb. 24 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Progress has been overstated. There’s a lot of racial […]

Mar
09

Poloncarz leads on lead while Brown dithers

There’s been chatter about the need for someone to step up and champion the cause of reducing lead hazards in the city. I wouldn’t say Erie County Mark Poloncarz seized the leadership mantle Wednesday, but he became the first local official to advance a meaningful proposal for addressing the issue. So, considering the political landscape, […]

Feb
13

Brown’s failure of leadership on lead

Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein said the other day that lead poisoning is the biggest health risk facing young children in the city. She’s been saying for some time that her department could use help in dealing with the problem, which data suggests might be getting worse in Buffalo’s inner-city. Mayor Byron Brown responded […]