Tag: City Hall

Feb 13

2016

Brown’s failure of leadership on lead

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Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein said the other day that lead poisoning is the biggest health risk facing young children in the city. She’s been saying for some time that her department could use help in dealing with the problem, which data suggests might be getting worse in Buffalo’s inner-city. Mayor Byron Brown responded last week by saying she should not count on City Hall for any additional help. He effectively said “it’s not our job.” Yeah, I know, pretty tone deaf, especially in light of what’s going on in Flint, and the national awakening it has prompted when[...]

Posted 8 years ago

Feb 8

2016

Mayor backtracks on lead pledge

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You don’t have to go as far as Flint, Michigan, to find a serious lead poisoning problem. There’s one right here in Buffalo, one that City Hall continues to downplay. New data obtained by Investigative Post shows there’s an increase, for the first time in four years, in the number of children in Erie County who tested positive for lead in their blood. In 2015, Erie County reported 295 children who tested positive for lead in their blood. That’s a 14 percent increase from the prior year. The real problem is in Buffalo, however, where 273 children – 93 percent[...]

Posted 8 years ago

Aug 17

2015

Buffalo steps up recycling efforts

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Buffalo officials have finally launched what they are calling an “extensive public awareness campaign” in an effort to boost its anemic recycling rate. This campaign, announced Monday, comes almost three years after Investigative Post reported how the city had failed to spend more than $400,000 earmarked for recycling education and promotion. City officials said the goal is to exceed the national recycling rate of 34 percent by 2018. They have a long way to go. Buffalo will need to more than double its rate in three years to reach that goal. In 2012, the city introduced the green tote program, which allows residents to[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Jul 2

2015

Update: Buffalo’s lead poisoning problem

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March Moon fled Burma for a better quality of life in Buffalo. Instead, she’s got a sick kid suffering from lead poisoning. Her five-year-old son has kidney problems. He struggles to eat and sleep. His stunted growth makes him the smallest pupil in preschool. He’s been hospitalized numerous times with stays of up to eight days. “The Erie County Department of Health came to my house and they said that my son has lead poisoning,” Moon said. “I had never heard of that before. What is that?” Moon and her ailing son are not alone. Thirty-seven years after lead was[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Jun 25

2015

Recycling coming to Buffalo’s waterfront

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In San Francisco, residents can recycle food waste. In fact, it’s mandated. In Seattle, residents can recycle cigarette butts. But in Buffalo, we can’t even get recycling bins downtown. Despite this, there is something good to report. Baby steps, folks. Canalside visitors will soon notice bins for recycling cans and bottles at the popular waterfront destination. Wednesday morning, the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in the Town of Tonawanda provided the city with 50 recycling containers. This is a step in the right direction in the city’s effort to boost its dismal recycling rate, which is less than half the national average. But what[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Jun 24

2015

Demone Smith promoted despite violations

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Demone Smith’s long history of violating the state elections law hasn’t stopped Mayor Byron Brown from appointing him to a key position in his cabinet. Smith, majority leader of the Common Council and a political ally of the mayor, starts next week as executive director of the Buffalo Employment and Training Center. The center matches employers with city and county residents seeking jobs. Over the past decade, Smith has failed to file campaign disclosure reports on time 28 times. That’s prompted the state Board of Elections to impose seven penalties, five of which remain unpaid. Smith owes $3,382 in penalties.[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Apr 21

2015

City Hall still ignoring Scajaquada Creek filth

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Investigative Post reported four weeks ago that the Brown administration had fudged the city’s recycling rate by including, for the first time, clothing donated to outlets like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Tuesday we reported another attempt by the mayor’s office to mislead the public, this time involving Scajaquada Creek. Environmental reporter Dan Telvock told WGRZ on Monday that the administration had failed to follow through on its pledge of last July to clean sewage and garbage from a badly polluted section of Scajaquada Creek in Delaware Park. Mike DeGeorge, the mayor’s spokesman, responded with a call to WGRZ after[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Mar 23

2015

City Hall inflating Buffalo’s recycling rate

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Mayor Byron Brown’s administration has found a new way to inflate the city’s recycling rate by counting clothing donations given to nonprofits such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army. By taking credit for clothing donations – some 4,800 tons last year – the Brown administration is expanding on a practice started in 2013 of counting materials the city does not collect and which state and federal authorities discourage localities from including when calculating recycling rates. Brown, by including these materials, has claimed an ever increasing recycling rate. But data obtained by Investigative Post shows the city’s curbside recycling rate has[...]

Posted 9 years ago
Investigative Post

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