Apr 17


Monday Morning Read

Is more trouble on the horizon for The Buffalo News?

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Is the bloodletting over at The Buffalo News? There are ominous signs from Montana, where Lee Enterprises has implemented cuts at five of its newspapers because of the chain’s downward financial spiral. If history holds, Lee will demand similar cuts at its other properties, including The News. 

Speaking of The News, music critic Jeff Miers has left the paper. That gives readers one less reason to buy the paper. Cuts have hurt The News across the board, none moreso than arts and entertainment coverage.  There’s the previous departures of Jeff Simon and Colin Dabkowski and the gutting of Gusto. Combined with the closing of The Public and Artvoice, quality coverage of the cultural scene is much tougher to come by in WNY.

Moog insisted it had to get $2.9 million in tax breaks from the Erie County IDA to build a new production facility. If not, company officials said they might consider accepting a subsidy offer from out of state. The IDA promptly caved. Last week, The Buffalo News reported that a federal ruling has cleared the way for Moog to receive a contract to help build a next-generation military helicopter at the new production facility that will be worth up to $100 million a year to the company. Did Moog need the hand out? Nope. Did they play the IDA? Yup. For the 14th time.

The knives are out for India Walton. Again. When she ran for mayor, the dirty work was done by surrogates of Mayor Byron Brown. (She did herself no favors along the way.) Now, it’s the Democratic Party establishment. They were quick to endorse Zeneta Everhart, one of her opponents, for the Masten District seat on the Common Council that is up for grabs in the June primary. Now, political operatives are challenging Walton’s residency, claiming she moved into the district too late to run for the seat. The challenges will be considered by the Erie County Board of Elections, including Commissioner Jeremy Zellner, who happens to be chairman of the Erie County Democratic Committee that favored Everhart over Walton in issuing the party’s endorsement. Zellner and the Dems don’t see the conflict of interest. Everyone else does. 

Apparently, Gov. Kathy Hochul and her army of well-paid flak have a hard time communicating. She’s paid consultants $2 million since she took office to help her prepare speeches and materials for her state of the state addresses. Mind you, the money doesn’t come out of her campaign funds. It’s tax dollars.

States, including New York, are going crazy doling out subsidies to lure microchip, electric vehicle and battery factories. Last year alone, it was $20.5 billion crazy. Taxpayers will never get a fair return for their investment.

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Dan Synder, the embattled owner of the Washington Commanders, has agreed to sell the team for $6 billion. That follows the sale last year of the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion. After the sale in 2018 of the Carolina Panthers for $2.3 billion. (Terry Pegula bought the Bills for $1.4 billion in 2014.) How much do you think the Bills will fetch when they go on the block when the 72-year-old Pegula ages out and his kids can’t afford to pay the inheritance taxes? And how long will they be for Buffalo?

Down the road in Ithaca, the People’s Republic has set a goal of being carbon neutral by 2030

Down in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott wants to pardon a self-avowed racist who followed through on his threat to kill a protester at a Black Lives Matters demonstration.

In Tennessee, it turns out the speaker of the state House of Representatives, which  expelled two Black lawmakers for demonstrating against the state’s lax gun laws doesn’t live in the district he represents. Far from it, actually. What’s that saying about glass houses? And shooting oneself in the foot? (The lawmakers were reinstated by a vote of local officials in the cities they represent.) 

Gun deaths among children and teenagers jumped by 50 percent between 2019 and 2021. That’s a body count of 2,590. That’s just shy of the 9/11 death toll of 2,996.

Not all professional sports teams stick it to their communities. The Pittsburg Penguins are turning over land to a Black church for redevelopment purposes.

Get your tickets to our event this Thursday on the opportunities and challenges facing organized labor in WNY.


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