Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Jan
14

Board of Elections fail transparency test

When a good government group decided to test whether county election boards comply with the state’s open government laws, the first hurdle was getting someone – anyone – at those boards to answer an email or a phone call. It wasn’t easy. Last summer the New York Coalition for Open Government — a group that […]

Jan
11

City inspectors MIA

The Great Northern grain elevator on the Buffalo River has been crumbling in plain sight for 28 years. Fault the building’s owner, Archer Daniels Midland. But City Hall is also complicit. Yes, the company is at fault for not maintaining the hulking structure, but it’s been aided and abetted by City Hall. The city has […]

Dec
30

One inspection of grain elevator in 28 years

Since it bought the Great Northern grain elevator in 1993, ADM Milling Co. has told city officials at least three times the iconic Ganson Street structure needs to come down.  Each time, to justify its request for a demolition permit, the company has commissioned and filed with the city — and most recently with the […]

Dec
07

Where’s a cop when you need one?

In Buffalo, crime — and the police response to it — is a tale of two cities. Let’s say you witness an assault in progress on the city’s East Side and call 911. That’s a high-priority call: The threat of harm is immediate and there is — or was, at the time of the call […]

Dec
07

How we did our 911 analysis

Calculating response times from the 911 data acquired from Central Police Services is fraught with difficulty.  For each call, the 911 log provides the moment:  A 911 operator took the call. The call was transferred to a Buffalo Police Department dispatcher.  An officer accepted the call from the dispatcher. An officer reported arriving at the […]

Nov
03

Modest turnout for Buffalo’s mayoral election

The contest between India Walton and Byron Brown looked like it could be close. It wasn’t.  Though it’ll be a while before the write-in votes for Brown are validated and absentee ballots are counted, the outcome is clear: Brown won a fifth term resoundingly, according to unofficial returns from the Erie County Board of Elections. […]

Oct
27

Obfuscation from the Brown camp

Tuesday, The Buffalo News reported the departure of Byron Brown’s campaign manager, Conor Hurley, earlier this month. Hurley told The News that Brown’s deputy mayor, Betsey Ball — who ran the mayor’s primary campaign — would “carry the mayor across the finish line” as next Tuesday’s vote drew closer. Ball was blamed by many — […]

Oct
25

Buffalo’s beleaguered municipal finances

 The story of Buffalo’s municipal finances under Mayor Byron Brown is divided into two chapters. Chapter One covers the five years before the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority — the city’s control board, formed in 2003 to keep the city from going bankrupt — relinquished its oversight power. In the beginning of Brown’s tenure, which […]