Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Apr
06

Exemptions boost Buffalo graduation rate

Buffalo School Superintendent Kriner Cash was ecstatic. The city’s high school graduation rate last year jumped 11.6 percent – eight times greater than the increase statewide. Cash proclaimed he was “extraordinarily proud of the Class of 2020,” terming the increased graduation rate in the midst of the pandemic “a tremendous positive.” Left unsaid: 22 percent […]

Feb
15

Politicians pocketing their campaign cash

Elected officials, aside from judges, are allowed to keep what’s left in their campaign treasuries when they retire. For some, it’s a lot of cash. For example, State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer left office in January with $824,083 in his campaign account. Assembly Member Robin Schimminger retired with $410,665. Our Money in Politics researched the campaign […]

Feb
11

Another Buffalo Billion boondoggle

Economic development officials in Genesee County have spent more than $26 million on a massive industrial park in an “if you build it, they will come” gambit. So far, no one has come. The Genesee County Center for Economic Development not only doesn’t have any business deals to show for its decade of work, the […]

Feb
10

Samsung to WNY? Unlikely.

Samsung has economic development officials — and Sen. Chuck Schumer — dreaming big. The semiconductor giant has plans to build a $17 billion plant that would employ 1,800 and says it is considering five locations in the United States, including an undeveloped industrial park in Genesee County. Schumer has spoken directly with Samsung officials and […]

Jan
27

Progress, at last, addressing lead poisoning

For years, City Hall dallied in the face of  a lead poisoning epidemic among children in Buffalo’s poorest neighborhoods. City officials have finally put in place a plan being praised as a “huge step forward.” Most importantly, ordinance updates approved by the Common Council in November give inspectors, for the first time, the right to […]

Dec
17

Firms left behind in quest for pandemic aid

Nearly 19,000 businesses in Western New York received a federal loan to help them through the pandemic. Laythanette Shine’s firm wasn’t one of them. Shine’s business, USA Occupational Services on Jefferson Avenue, provides drug and DNA testing services and background checks for employers. There’s a memorial in the front window to the man who helped […]

Dec
16

Popular nonprofits obtained pandemic aid

Some 1,100 local nonprofits received federal aid to soften the pandemic’s economic blow, and the list of recipients reads like a who’s who of prominent cultural, medical, religious and educational institutions.  The Chautauqua Institution and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Mercy Flight and the Erie County Medical Center. The Diocese of Buffalo and The Chapel at Crosspoint. […]

Dec
14

Doctors and lawyers cash in on pandemic aid

The final numbers are in: the federal government poured more than $2 billion into the local economy this spring and summer in an effort to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. About 19,850 for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations in the region’s eight counties received $2.4 billion in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. […]