Categories for Outrages & Insights

Jan 16

2023

Bills new stadium lease is not ironclad

Published by

Investing $850 million of public funds in a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills is a heavy lift for taxpayers. The elected officials who negotiated those terms have offered us the solace that it keeps the team here for at least another 30 years. It’s an ironclad lease, they’ve assured us. But it’s not. And the state of the team’s ownership – Terry Pegula, in his 70s, and his wife Kim, dealing with serious health issues that keep her away from the team – only heighten concerns about the team’s long-term prospects in Western New York. The memorandum of understanding[...]

Posted 3 weeks ago

Dec 29

2022

Is Byron Brown the worst mayor in America?

Published by

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

Nov 15

2022

Disturbing police testimony demands action

Published by

The toxic culture that permeates the Buffalo Police Department is now in the open. The use of the N word by cops. A lack of training to stop police from doing the wrong thing, and lack of accountability when they do. The allegations aren’t being leveled by department critics. Rather, they’ve been described, under oath, by police themselves, including those in supervisory positions. Shocking? Yes. Surprising? No. Investigative Post has been reporting on problems within the department since 2016. A lack of proper training. A failure to investigative citizen complaints against officers. The unconstitutional practices of special street crime units.[...]

Posted 3 months ago

May 18

2022

The rise of the radical right in WNY

Published by

Some people here are taking solace in the fact that the white supremacist who killed 10 people in Saturday’s supermarket massacre is from out of town.  As if Western New York doesn’t have its own growing cadre of right-wing extremists. I’ll start with a reminder of a story we did last June in which Investigative Post reported only one county in the entire country had more of its citizens arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol than Erie County.  Among those charged was an Amherst man who assaulted a Capitol Police officer, stealing his[...]

Posted 9 months ago

May 17

2022

Buffalo is Segregation City

Published by

Editor’s Note: The story below published May 17. The companion television story, produced wth WGRZ, aired July 7. Buffalo and Western New York need to take a close look in the mirror in light of Saturday’s supermarket massacre. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re not going to like what we see. The region has a long history of racism, one that has been compounded in recent years by a growing undercurrent of right-wing extremism. Witness Saturday’s shootings. In this column, I’m going to explore racism and its impact. Tomorrow, I’ll delve into the radical right. Hear me out. Related[...]

Posted 9 months ago

Mar 21

2022

Smart reads on the Bills stadium

Published by

I’ve got three items related to the Bills stadium situation that I want to share. The Citizens Budget Commission came out Monday in favor of an idea that’s bound to go nowhere because it makes too much sense: base the state’s investment in a new Bills stadium on the actual benefits it would produce for taxpayers. Said the commission:  All economic development spending, whether direct, through tax incentives, or through reduced utility or other costs, should be justified by a rigorous analysis that shows that the public benefits that would accrue will exceed the public’s costs. New York does not[...]

Posted 11 months ago

Feb 15

2022

Heaney on Hochul: “I’m not impressed”

Published by

Writing for Buffalo Spree, Jim Heaney weighs in on Kathy Hochul’a performance as governor six months into her tenure. Heaney, in his Outrages and Insights column, writes that he has concerns. “I’m not impressed” he writes. “My reasons are mostly related to her handling of issues I consider of paramount importance: transparency and ethics, economic development, and fiscal prudence.” You can read his full column here.

Posted 12 months ago

Jan 25

2022

The Pegulas should pay up

Published by

Note: A version of this column first appeared in the current issue of Buffalo Spree. It’s been updated to reflect recent developments. Let’s suppose a company wanted to build a factory in Buffalo. The plant would be used only 10 times a year.  It wouldn’t employ many people, and a fair share of its front-line workers would suffer injuries that would haunt them later in life. The factory owner is wealthy – a billionaire, in fact – and his business highly profitable. Nevertheless, the owner demands that taxpayers provide hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to build his factory.[...]

Posted 1 year ago