Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Aug
26

Labor groups protest hotel subsidies

Around 100 people from local labor groups gathered Wednesday morning to protest the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency’s awarding of tax breaks to hotels. They say low-cost hotels like the Budget Inn on Niagara Falls Boulevard, where the protest was held, should not receive subsidies because they don’t create good-paying jobs. The protest was organized by the […]

Jul
28

State relents on Buffalo Billion records

I interrupt the state’s incessant stonewalling of my efforts to use public records to track the Buffalo Billion program to report some progress. Cuomo administration officials, for more than a year, refused to release documents related to the selection of LPCiminelli to develop SolarCity’s sprawling plant in South Buffalo. The SUNY Research Foundation and the […]

Jun
24

Demone Smith promoted despite violations

Demone Smith’s long history of violating the state elections law hasn’t stopped Mayor Byron Brown from appointing him to a key position in his cabinet. Smith, majority leader of the Common Council and a political ally of the mayor, starts next week as executive director of the Buffalo Employment and Training Center. The center matches […]

Jun
22

Shenanigans beset Buffalo Billion

Editors note: A version of the following story published this past weekend in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Albany Times Union, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, and Poughkeepsie Journal. The accompanying video was co-produced with WGRZ.  Editorials calling for greater transparency in the program were subsequently published by the Democrat & Chronicle and Times Union. The Buffalo Billion program championed by […]

Jun
17

SolarCity update: Progress and problems

Construction of the massive $750 million solar panel manufacturing plant is approaching the half-way point and SolarCity is starting to hire in anticipation of a phase in of operations early next year. Meanwhile, the company is losing record amounts of money, its stock price is languishing and federal investigators continue to look at some of […]

Apr
29

Yahoo’s sky-high subsidies

Everyone in these parts has heard of the Buffalo Billion. Overlooked is another government subsidy program that could be called the Lockport Half-Billion. By any standard, the incentives granted Yahoo to build a data and call center in Lockport are generous. Consider that the Yahoo subsidies: Will cost up to $478 million to build a […]

Mar
26

Panel split on need for new Bills stadium

A new stadium for the Buffalo Bills would cost $1 billion to construct and require up to $600 million in public infrastructure improvements, an entrepreneur who has proposed building a facility on the Outer Harbor says. A new Bills stadium was the topic of discussion for a panel of speakers Wednesday during a happy hour discussion […]

Mar
05

Outer Harbor: Toxins, yes; transparency, no 

(Editor’s note: Watch WGRZ’s 6 p.m. newscast Friday for a second installment of the package.) The state’s latest approach to developing the Outer Harbor calls for expediting the construction of housing next to a partially remediated Superfund site contaminated with sludge that possibly causes cancer. The revised scheme is aimed at mollifying opposition to the […]