Articles for I'Jaz Ja'ciel

May 24


Introducing ‘East Side Stories’

Editor’s note: This is the first installment of an occasional series we’re calling “East Side Stories.” In the series, we examine issues that affect the residents of the East Side, told through the lens of people working to address the problem. Companion stories will air on Channel 2. Today, we focus on violence and the work of John “Tubbs” Smith and his colleagues in Buffalo Peacemakers. John Smith became a Peacemaker the hard way. Born in a prison — his mother was an inmate — he was given a generic name because his parents weren’t available to name him or[...]

Posted 1 week ago

May 22


Podcast: iPost reporting on Michael Joseph

Two weeks ago, Investigative Post’s Geoff Kelly reported on allegations of “racist and illegal practices” by one of the region’s biggest real estate development and management firms. In a federal lawsuit, a former employee accused the company of racially profiling communities where it was thinking of building senior housing complexes.  Clover executives were caught on audio discussing the practice, using the code word “Canadians” to refer to Black people and “the Canadian factor” to describe the company’s reluctance to build in communities where the population was more than 20 percent Black. We followed with a profile of Clover’s civically and[...]

Posted 2 weeks ago

Feb 6


Blizzard looting mostly in white neighborhoods

More than 100 businesses were looted during the “Blizzard of ’22.” While press and social media accounts focused on theft on the city’s East Side, an Investigative Post analysis found most of the looting took place elsewhere in the city and in the suburbs. Investigative Post identified 108 looted businesses, using posts on social media and reports we obtained  under the Freedom of Information Law from police departments in Buffalo and the first-ring suburbs of Amherst, Cheektowaga and the Town of Tonawanda. About 40 of the 108 businesses targeted were on the East Side. Stores on Broadway, Bailey Avenue and[...]

Posted 4 months ago

Dec 30


Buffalo doesn’t track actual evictions

Landlords in Erie County, especially in Buffalo, are more aggressive in obtaining warrants to evict tenants than almost anywhere in the state. But no one tracks how many of those warrants result in tenants being put out in the street. Why not? The city doesn’t keep tabs, said Herbert Bellamy Jr, the city’s chief marshal. “We simply do not have the resources to compile that information,” Bellamy told Investigative Post in an email. Read our original report, voted top story of 2022 The risk of eviction was a problem in the city before the COVID-19 pandemic and the numbers show[...]

Posted 5 months ago

Dec 14


City Hall and the House from Hell

The boarded-up house on Arkansas Street stands as a testament to City Hall’s ineptitude in dealing with urban blight. Not one, but two people — suspected drug users — have died inside the abandoned house since Sept. 26. That followed years of housing code violations and frequent complaints from neighbors about drug use and other quality of life issues. A maintenance man alerted police when the first man overdosed, but officers didn’t go inside to check on him, according to neighbors and police reports. That didn’t happen until eight days later, when neighbors called police again because of the stench[...]

Posted 6 months ago

Nov 9


Buffalo’s eviction numbers are thru the roof

Buffalo landlords are acting to evict tenants in greater numbers than any portion of the state aside from Brooklyn, according to data from the New York State Unified Court System. Judges have issued more than 3,700 eviction warrants this year in Erie County, primarily in Buffalo. That’s not just more than other upstate cities such as Rochester and Syracuse, but more than New York City’s other boroughs, including Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, all of which have much larger populations. More than 1,000 involved tenants living in just two Zip Codes, 14215 and 14211, which comprise much of the Masten[...]

Posted 7 months ago

Nov 1


Activists seek renter protections

Responding to a spike in rents, Buffalo housing activists Tuesday called on City Hall to take steps to provide more affordable housing and protect tenants from bad landlords. Citing a 16 percent increase in rents since 2020, housing advocates and tenants hand-delivered documents to Common Council members asking for action on four fronts: Limiting evictions for just cause, such as nonpayment of rent or lease violations.  Requiring landlords to make repairs in a timely fashion. Mandating targeted rent controls to ensure a supply of affordable rental housing.  Establishing a $1 million revolving loan program to help low-income renters and homeowners.[...]

Posted 7 months ago

Sep 13


The tentative return to Tops

Rose Wysocki’s family pleaded with her to transfer from the Tops Supermarket on Jefferson Avenue after she was trapped in the store during the May 14 shooting. She considered the move until she ran into a customer. “She had hugged me and was very happy to see that I was OK, and said, ‘I can’t wait for you to come back. I can’t get cleaned greens like at your store,’ and that was what helped me make my decision — to know that my community needed me and wanted me to come back,” Wysocki said. It was then she knew[...]

Posted 9 months ago