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
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 […]

Jun
02

Heaney talks protests on WBFO

Jim Heaney wrote Sunday that vandalism associated with the weekend protests shouldn’t usurp a long-overdue discussion about racism, including a failure by city officials to rein in their police department and address other concerns of black and brown residents.  Heaney spoke with Jay Moran on WBFO‘s Press Pass.  

May
31

Discuss the real issue. Racism.

Allow me to provide some perspective in light of what transpired Saturday night in Niagara Square. The issue isn’t “outside agitators,” the unsubstantiated claim made by Mayor Bryon Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. And it’s really not vandalism and looting, as unfortunate as that was. No, the real issue is how city government […]

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 […]

Apr
28

Buffalo facing big budget deficit

 City Hall is facing the prospect of a COVID-19-induced budget deficit of $20 million to $31 million, with limited reserves to close the gap. A combination of increased expenses and lost revenues will cost city government an estimated $20 million, according to a report filed by Finance Commissioner Donna Estrich.  An additional $11 million […]

Mar
24

Safety concerns for ill-equipped Buffalo cops

Two Buffalo police officers have tested positive for COVID-19, about 10 others are isolating themselves, and yet more are working without protective gear such as face masks to reduce the chances they’ll become infected with the virus, says John Evans, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association.  The shortage of working police cars, paired with […]

Mar
19

COVID-19 expected to worsen Buffalo finances

The coronavirus, and the attendant slowdown of the local economy, could not arrive at a worse time for the City of Buffalo’s finances. The likely decline in county sales tax — Buffalo’s share of which is a critical portion of the city’s budget — could contribute to a deficit when the fiscal year ends June […]

Feb
19

Lead poisoning plan missing key elements

In January, the City of Buffalo launched its long-awaited pilot program to combat lead poisoning. The pilot program is small — much smaller than the problem in Buffalo, which has one of the highest rates of children afflicted with lead poisoning in the nation.  And, as it stands now, the program lacks funding mechanisms to […]