Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Jun
14

No action on stadium benefits agreement

In January, good-government activists and elected officials said there should be no public subsidies for a new Buffalo Bills stadium without a community benefits agreement. A memorandum of understanding outlining the deal, involving $1.13 billion in subsidies, was announced in March, with no CBA in place. The Erie County Legislature approved the MOU in May, […]

Jun
01

Defense attorneys to DA: Zip it

Last week the three court-appointed defense attorneys for the accused Tops shooter asked the judge trying the case to impose a gag order on Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. The defense wants Buffalo City Court Judge Craig Hannah to instruct the DA to refrain from speaking publicly about the case until the trial. Their […]

May
19

A smart purchase by City Hall?

Most of Mayor Byron Brown’s proposed $5.4 million hike in police spending is for new patrol officers and detectives.  There is also $364,000 earmarked for a product called ShotSpotter. ShotSpotter deploys an array of microphones in a neighborhood — 15 to 20 per square mile, attached to buildings and light posts — to detect and […]

May
05

First impressions of Brown’s budget

Mayor Byron Brown’s proposed city budget is awash in federal pandemic relief funds. It’s bolstered by the restoration of long withheld Seneca casino money. And, on top of those windfalls, Brown has proposed a property tax hike for only the second time since he took office in 2006. The city needs all the money it […]

Mar
30

Conflicting cost estimates to rehab stadium

This story was updated Friday, April 1, at 12:39 p.m. Last November, a consultant working for New York State said it would cost $862 million to renovate the current home of the Buffalo Bills, Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.  That number was often cited by team representatives and local and state officials as they advocated […]

Mar
28

Taxpayer hit on Bills stadium tops $1 billion

The fear: A new Bills stadium would cost taxpayers $1 billion. The reality: It’s going to cost even more. The deal announced Monday commits the state to spending $600 million upfront to help cover construction costs. Erie County would put up an additional $250 million. But the subsidies don’t stop there. The state is also on […]

Mar
16

Bills stadium plans are an outlier

Most modern NFL stadiums operate as year-round destinations. Their development includes shops, restaurants, bars and the like, or they are built in proximity to existing entertainment venues.  While the offerings vary, the goal is the same: provide reasons for people to visit beyond 10 football games a year.  The Bills are demanding a $1.4 billion, […]

Feb
28

State historically not a big funder of stadiums

Many fans and politicians are expecting, even counting on, the state to put up most of the money the Buffalo Bills want from the public to help finance construction of a new stadium.   The state has played no such role, however, in the construction or renovation of major league stadiums and arenas in the recent […]