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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

Jun
08

What police reform should look like

The focus of protests in Buffalo the past week has sharpened: reform the Buffalo Police Department. A coalition of activists have put 13 demands in front of Mayor Byron Brown, some more achievable than others. Protestors have also raised the issue of Sheriff Tim Howard’s deadly management of county jails, where 30 inmates have died […]

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 […]

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 […]

Apr
06

COVID-19 threat not spurring many jail releases

Although local jails are potential incubators for the spread of COVID-19, authorities are moving slowly, some not at all, to release inmates being held on low-level charges and parole violations, or who are at high risk of contracting the deadly virus. Only 10 of 89 parolees being held in Erie and Niagara county jails for […]

Mar
31

Buffalo News downsizing comes quick

Well, that didn’t take long. Lee Enterprises took ownership of The Buffalo News just a couple of weeks ago and wham — the paper on Tuesday announced furloughs and layoffs. To be fair, the loss of advertising due to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic was no doubt the driving force behind the decision, which I’m […]

Mar
27

Sheriff Howard OK with release of prisoners

 Updated: 6:02 p.m. While he has no authority to release people held in his jails, Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard said he has no objection to others using their powers to do so. “As sheriff, it is not in my authority to grant the early release or to remove the bail requirements that have […]

Jan
10

Our local politicians are getting worse

The November local elections are behind us and the national chaos of 2020 is right around the corner. (Like winter, it can’t end soon enough.) This seems like a good time to take stock of our elected officials in Western New York. But first, allow me to hold my nose. I’ve been reporting in this […]

Mar
13

Outrages: A start in dealing with lead

Steve Brown and I discuss the first bit of movement to address Buffalo’s lead problem on this week’s video edition of Outrages & Insights. I said that Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is showing some leadership in making his proposal to hire more inspectors and lower the threshold that riggers medical intervention in children who […]