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
28

HarpData tries, tries again

HarpData, already months behind completing a project to provide wi-fi access to thousands of Buffalo students, sought work on another school district job earlier this year and is now complaining it didn’t get the contract. The district’s purchasing director rejected the company’s bid, deeming HarpData a “non-responsible bidder.”  Now, three months later, HarpData is crying […]

Jun
23

Pandemic cited as child porn complaints spike

The COVID-19 pandemic has yet another dark side: child pornography complaints have doubled since March. The reason: children are home from school and frequently on their cell phones and other digital devices, making them more susceptible to overtures from predators. New York State Police report the number of complaints in March, April and May jumped […]

Jun
18

COVID-19: Senecas face economic uncertainty

As reopenings across the country begin, the impacts of COVID-19 continue to threaten the economies of Native American governments, including the Seneca Nation here in Western New York. Many tribes rely on casinos and other Native-owned businesses to fund services and capital improvements, but how soon those enterprises bounce back is uncertain. Of particular concern […]

Jun
11

Buffalo’s police watchdogs are toothless

The City of Buffalo has three separate police oversight boards, but they’ve done little, if anything, to bring bad cops to heel.  One can’t. It’s an advisory panel with no power beyond its voice.  One won’t. It’s a subcommittee of the Common Council that seldom meets and does not investigate police misconduct.  And the third, […]

Jun
09

School contract was failure waiting to happen

To hear senior staff tell it, the Buffalo school district never should have gone through with a contract awarded to HarpData to provide wi-fi service to students in two low-income neighborhoods. The firm’s finances were suspect, according to the district’s purchasing director, and the district’s unusual decision to waive a performance bond put the school […]

Jun
05

Scant proof of “outside agitators”

Politicians and police have been raising the spectre of “outside agitators” since the day protests began in Buffalo. For the most part, local media has amplified the message: Outsiders are slipping into town to incite violence and destruction.  But arrest records suggest that narrative is not true. And officials allow that much of the intelligence […]

May
21

COVID-19 cited in spike of opioid overdoses

Update: 3:15 p.m. There’s yet another consequence to the COVID-19 pandemic: More opioid users are dying of overdoses. Health authorities report that opioid use has not increased locally, but because of social isolation, more people are using alone, making it less likely someone is around to help them in the event they overdose.  Eighty-five people […]

May
14

Buffalo comptroller critical of Brown budget

The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the city’s fragile finances. But it hasn’t changed the Brown administration’s proclivity for budgets constructed on risky revenue assumptions and optimistic expense projections, according to a report issued Tuesday by the city comptroller’s office. In her report, Comptroller Barbara Miller-Williams expressed “substantial concerns” about the 2020-21 budget proposals Buffalo […]