Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

May
22

Quintana’s political social distancing

In this season of social distancing, Robert Quintana, candidate for the 149th District Assembly seat, may have set a new record last month. Quintana, the former two-term Niagara District councilman, is attempting a political comeback by running for the seat held by Sean Ryan, who is running for state Senate. One of his opponents, Jon […]

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 […]