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Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Sep
30

Buffalo’s budget woes get real

A Wall Street bond-rating agency recently delivered bad, if unsurprising, financial news to the City of Buffalo: The agency had downgraded the city’s credit rating. The reasons for the downgrade: a consistent pattern of inflating projected revenues in budget proposals, then raiding reserve funds to balance budgets when those revenue projections proved false. That is […]

Sep
19

Assessing Buffalo’s property reassessment

If you’re a homeowner in the City of Buffalo, you received a love letter from City Hall this month: your new property value assessment and an estimate of your new tax bill in 2020. Rarely have residents demonstrated so much interest in their neighbors’ mail: Whose values went up? Whose went down? By how much? […]

Sep
03

Turning a blind eye to environmental risks

You’d think that the construction of a million square feet of manufacturing space on a brownfield along the Buffalo River would warrant a thorough environmental investigation before shovels bit into the soil. And you’d be wrong. The Tesla plant in South Buffalo was built on a former Superfund site — once home to Republic Steel, […]

Aug
11

A problematic downtown development project

The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason. —T. S. Eliot When one Western New York developer sues another, the motive — no matter the arguments presented in court, however they may be presented in the media as a pursuit of the public good — is of course […]

Aug
06

Comptrollers behaving badly, Part 2

On June 21, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw issued an invitation to Department of Motor Vehicles employees across the state: If you disagree with the new “Green Light” law, under which New York State will soon issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, and you suspect such a person is applying for a license, call or […]

Aug
05

Comptrollers behaving badly, Part 1

On the website of the Buffalo city comptroller, the top tab on the left — the place of pride — is occupied by the word “Transparency.” I guess that’s meant to be ironic. Click on that tab, and follow the prompts to the page titled “Financial Reports,” and you’ll soon discover what I mean. In […]

Jul
24

Dixon’s push poll, continued

A couple Sundays ago, Buffalo News politics columnist Bob McCarthy wrote, in essence, that I got it all wrong in my June 19 piece about Lynne Dixon’s push poll. I don’t know that I did. I don’t think McCarthy knows that I did, either. Dixon is challenging incumbent Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. In early […]

Jun
26

Apathy, Democratic HQ winners in primary

Back in January, this looked to be a dynamic election cycle for Buffalo Democrats.  There were two long-time incumbents vacating their seats on the city’s Common Council and two more leaving the Erie County Legislature, creating the potential for wide-open races.  That doesn’t happen often. In response, a host of candidates signaled their intention to […]