Jul 3


Monday Morning Read

Jim Heaney's recommended reading this week delves into the OTB, The Buffalo News and WNY as a hotspot for cheating spouses. Who knew?

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Jim Shultz, writing for the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, rips into Republicans who control the Niagara County Legislature for taking steps to legally challenge reforms at the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. intended to address what state Sen. Tim Kennedy has called a “culture of corruption.”

Western Region OTB has been turned into a political fortress manned by one of the region’s most powerful party bosses, its CEO, Henry Wojtaszek. Wojtaszek, who is also the husband of county judge Caroline Wojtaszek and the former chairman of the Niagara County Republican Committee, doles out jobs, lobbying contracts, free Bills seats and more to ensure a wall of loyalty around him.

Now Niagara County legislators have demonstrated that same blind loyalty to Wojtaszek, by voting to spend our tax money to help him and his political friends hold onto power and the taxpayer-funded benefits that come with it.

I’ll admit that the New York Post is one of my guilty pleasures. Oh, it’s obsession with Hunter Biden is ridiculous, as is it’s editorial slant in general. But I’m a Yankees fan and the Post has great sports coverage. Larry Brooks, its hockey columnist, is good, too. And you never know what you’re going to come across when you visit the website. Like this weekend, the Post reported that Buffalo is a hookup hotspot for cheating spouses, according to data maintained by Ashley Madison, a website that caters to that crowd. Who knew?

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The New York Times announced last week it’s being forced to move up its deadlines for the edition it prints for Western New York readers because The Buffalo News is shutting down its presses in October and getting its paper printed in Cleveland. (The Times in recent years has been printed by The News.)

Speaking of The News, former rock critic Jeff Miers, who took a buyout a few months back, is now plying his trade on Substack. Given that The News no longer employs a music critic, he’s the only game in town. Meanwhile, former News Editor Margaret Sullivan has launched a podcast on Substack. The topic: whether journalism can help save democracy. She continues to write a weekly column for The Guardian. (So much for that retirement she announced last summer.)

Talk about chutzpah: An architect wants a tax break to move his 12-person office from Depew to Clarence. It seems like a classic example of what IDAs should not be subsidizing.

Jordan Poyer, the Bills safety and apparent Trumper, looks like he’s in line to succeed Cole Beasley as the team’s resident chucklehead. His golf tournament at a Trump course is on, then off, then on again, and all the while he doesn’t understand why anyone would be upset at the prospect of putting money in Donald Trump’s pocket.

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The New York Times dissects Gov. Kathy Hochul’s failed attempt to sneak a new gambling pact with the Senecas past the state Legislature.

Our neighbors in Toronto have elected a new mayor, a progressive, in fact. Fancy that.

Bloomberg reports that the nation’s economic center of gravity has left the Northeast.

The numbers tell the story. For the first time, six fast-growing states in the South — Florida, Texas, Georgia, the Carolinas and Tennessee — are contributing more to the national GDP than the Northeast, with its Washington-New York-Boston corridor, in government figures going back to the 1990s. The switch happened during the pandemic and shows no signs of reverting.

A flood of transplants helped steer about $100 billion in new income to the Southeast in 2020 and 2021 alone, while the Northeast bled out about $60 billion, based on an analysis of recently published Internal Revenue Service data.

The news coming out of the Supreme Court last week was abysmal, what with rolling back affirmative action and the like. Here’s one take worth reading, from The Atlantic. Another ruling, enabling discrimination against gays, was flat-out bizarre, as detailed by HuffPost. Meanwhile, Axios explains how the court’s ruling could embolden further efforts to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals.

New York magazine takes an in-depth look at the presidential candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and doesn’t like what it sees.

“This campaign will mean his views gain a broader audience, and that too is terrifying when it comes to the erosion of the public’s understanding of disease, science, and public-health measures.”

Polling by the Pew Research Center found that public support for Black Lives Matter has dropped from two-thirds to barely over half. Predictably, it’s twice as high among Blacks than whites.

Reuters answers the question: How many former presidents and other members of the political elite owned slaves? The answer: A lot.

What Paul McCartney misses about Yesterday, and why he, tongue in cheek, blames Bruce Springsteen.

Investigative Post

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