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Jan 9

2023

Council presses Brown on blizzard response

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Reeling from the deaths of more than 30 residents — among at least 44 fatalities across the region — Buffalo’s Common Council is asking a lot of questions about the city’s readiness and response to the Christmas blizzard. Today the Common Council will consider items filed by three of its members, all demanding information and action from Mayor Byron Brown’s administration. On Dec. 30, South District Council Member Chris Scanlon filed resolutions asking for, among other things: An inventory of vehicles and other equipment available to the city’s fire, police, and public works departments. The use of federal COVID relief[...]

Posted 4 weeks ago

Jan 9

2023

Monday Morning Read

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Here’s Jim Heaney’s recommended reading – and a little food for thought – for the past week. His recommended reading is part of WeeklyPost, emailed Sunday mornings. You can subscribe here. In the wake of his injury last week, Damar Hamlin’s charity had raised $8,552,900 as of Sunday night. The GoFundMe page set up to assist the Buffalo family that lost five children in a house fire had raised $181,828. Just saying. How much are the Buffalo Bills worth? Let’s just say Terry Pegula could build his new stadium on his own dime with the increased value of the team[...]

Posted 4 weeks ago

Jan 5

2023

Censured surgeon has left Children’s Hospital

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Updated Monday, Jan. 9, 1:06 p.m. Four-and-a-half  years ago, one of Western New York’s leading pediatric surgeons was censured by the New York Department of Health for negligence and professional misconduct. Today, she’s back at the operating table, licensed to perform surgery in four states. But she’s left Buffalo behind, selling her house here and setting up a new practice in Roanoke, Virginia.  In April 2018, pediatric surgeon Dr. Kathryn Bass — then director of trauma at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital — was hit with a formal reprimand and two years of probation by the state health department after[...]

Posted 4 weeks ago

Jan 5

2023

Putting legislative pay raises in perspective

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Updated: 11:18 a.m. State legislators were generous with themselves beyond the $32,000 a year raise they approved last month. The legislation also included loopholes that good government groups are characterizing as weak on ethics and conflicts of interest. What’s more, the raises, justified by supporters as compensation for inflation, far exceed increases in the cost of living. Reinvent Albany compared the provisions of the legislation with recommendations made in 2018 by a state compensation commission that considered pay raises for legislators, among other state elected officials. “The bottom line is that the law giving the Legislature a huge pay raise[...]

Posted 4 weeks ago

Jan 4

2023

Podcast: Reporting on police misconduct

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The Buffalo Police Department is under fire of criticism from local activists, alleging racial and civil discrimination. Officers’ frequent use of racial slurs, including the “N-word,” and unequal, discriminating policing efforts in different neighborhoods are two of thr allegations levied in a lawsuit by Black Love Resists in the Rust. Geoff Kelly has reported on the lawsuit the Buffalo Police Department faces, including officer misconduct and potential oversight from the Department of Justice.  Kelly sat down with Garrett Looker, host of our podcast series, to talk about his reporting. Watch via YouTube or listen as a podcast.

Posted 1 month ago

Dec 31

2022

iPost readers vote evictions report top story of ’22

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Readers have selected I’Jaz Ja’ciel’s report on evictions as Investigative Post’s top story of 2022.  Her Nov. 9 story, which also aired on WGRZ, not only reported on the large number of eviction warrants issued in Erie County, primarily Buffalo, but explained why. The reasons include Buffalo’s high poverty rate and meager government assistance for low-income renters. 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,[...]

Posted 1 month ago

Dec 30

2022

Buffalo doesn’t track actual evictions

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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 1 month ago

Dec 29

2022

Is Byron Brown the worst mayor in America?

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Byron Brown’s incompetency as mayor has been on full display since the blizzard hit last Friday. The city was unprepared to handle what was coming or clean up when the snow and wind finally relented.  No snow removal plan that contemplated a blizzard.  Not enough plows and drivers.  Too few warming centers — two of which had to close because when their power failed they lacked backup generators. No plan to police vulnerable commercial districts. The list goes on. Lots of common folks have been grumbling about the city’s ineptitude and the mayor’s insensitive, self-serving “I told you so” remarks. Erie[...]

Posted 1 month ago