Articles for Charlotte Keith

Aug 7

2019

Progress on fair housing front

Editor’s note: This is the last story Charlotte Keith wrote for Investigative Post. She joined The Philadelphia Inquirer in July. A recent change in state law offers new protections for thousands of Western New York residents who receive federal housing vouchers, offering a way to pursue discrimination complaints without relying on the City of Buffalo’s flawed system. The new measure — included in the state budget that passed in March — means landlords can no longer refuse to rent to someone because they rely on government assistance to help pay rent. Buffalo already had a local law in place prohibiting[...]

Posted 3 years ago

May 16

2019

Another Buffalo Billion project is struggling

There were supposed to be almost 500 jobs created by now. Instead, there are just 51. An ambitious economic development project at the University of Buffalo, intended to bolster the region’s biotech sector and create high-tech jobs, is years behind its original schedule and coming up short on its hiring goals. The Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics, funded with almost $50 million in state grants as part of the Buffalo Billion initiative, was launched five years ago and remains a work in progress. The project was originally supposed to create 490 jobs by January of this year. That[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Apr 11

2019

Info on doctors is hard to find

In New York, information about a doctor’s disciplinary history is available online. That’s if you know where to look. And if you understand the quirks of the state’s disciplinary system. And if you can make sense of the information once you’ve found it. As Investigative Post reported, pediatric surgeon Dr. Kathryn Bass, director of trauma at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, was put on probation by the state health department last April. In settling the case against her, Bass agreed not to contest one charge of negligence and denied all the other charges, including gross negligence, negligence, incompetence, failure to[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Apr 10

2019

State faults surgeon at Children’s Hospital

A prominent pediatric surgeon who serves as the director of trauma at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital is currently on probation after being charged last year with professional misconduct – including gross negligence and incompetence – by the state Department of Health. The health department charged that Dr. Kathryn Bass “deviated from accepted standards of care or failed to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent pediatric surgeon would have exercised under similar circumstances,” in the treatment of five patients between 2010 and 2012. In one case, the charges say, Bass performed a colostomy on a six-year-old, using the wrong[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Nov 29

2018

43North winner delinquent on loan

Four years ago, local manufacturing startup ASi was riding high, the first ever $1 million prize winner of the state-funded 43North business plan competition. Now, the company is in financial trouble. It’s not currently operational, has just one employee – the founder and CEO – and recently defaulted on a $250,000 loan from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. In exchange for the prize money, 43North takes a 5 percent stake in each winning company. 43North officials say the struggles of one company, even a winner of the $1 million – the largest prize offered – don’t reflect the track record of the[...]

Posted 4 years ago

Nov 13

2018

Western New York’s version of the Amazon deal

 The agreement that will place a new headquarters for Amazon in Queens is the biggest economic development deal for a private company New York has ever seen, with a subsidy package that could add up to more than $2 billion. The full value of the incentives Amazon stands to receive is unclear, but it might still work out to be a better deal for taxpayers than Western New York’s own marquee economic development project, the Tesla factory in South Buffalo. On top of a $500 million state grant, and more than $1.5 billion in performance-based tax credits, Amazon will[...]

Posted 4 years ago

Nov 7

2018

Slowdown in Power Authority subsidy programs

It’s an unusual problem: subsidy programs that can’t find takers. The New York Power Authority has two of them in Western New York. One provides low-cost hydropower to local industry, but a quarter of the pool of electricity lacks for customers and is sold on the wholesale market. The profits from the sale of this unallocated power are earmarked for a program that funds business activity and community projects throughout Western New York. But that money hasn’t been in high demand recently, either. Roughly $4 million sits, unused, in the fund and the board in charge of awarding the money[...]

Posted 4 years ago

Sep 28

2018

Successes and stumbles for 43North program

 As the 43North startup competition, funded by the Buffalo Billion, enters its fifth year, organizers have made progress in addressing the program’s weak link: winning companies leaving Western New York after their mandatory year here is up. But, in a notable stumble, one company singled out to receive extra funding slipped through organizers’ fingers, moving all but one of its employees to Toronto earlier this year – despite receiving a total of $1 million in investment from 43North. “Jobs moving to Toronto after a year and a half doesn’t seem like a good investment,” said Kirk Laubenstein, executive director[...]

Posted 4 years ago