Archive for the ‘local’ Category

“a driver”

March 17, 2009

If you happened to be watching Channel 7 News today at 6:16 pm, you probably saw my latest (hah!) media appearance in a report about construction season in Western New York.  There was a crew tearing down the old gas station at 7 Corners – most recently an automotive electronics place – and I stopped by to take a couple pictures on my way to work.  If you didn’t see it, the video is here – I show up a little past half way through. 

I notice that they didn’t use the other part of the brief interview where I say “I’m not sure how three intersections are safer than one…”  I still think the whole reconfiguration of the intersection does little to address safety or efficiency,  but what the hell do I know.  I hope it works, but I am not too optimistic.  Here are some renderings and photos if you care to look; they illustrate the project quite well.  Oh, and some pictures of the wreckage:

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and…

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And even a little video of the final blow:

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now i’m ready, thank you big D

December 29, 2008

Bring on the snow, Mother Nature!  I now have some good tires for the van, and I can’t wait to see how well they perform.  I was fortunate enough to score 4 snow tires from my good friend Demo, who no longer needed them for his van.  Thank you, Paulie!

Then, to make the deal sweeter, I went over to Big D Tire in Orchard Park to get the tires mounted and balanced.  It only took about a half-hour.  I used to work at another unnamed tire place that’s popular for sponsoring ball parks (until next season, that is) so I know tires.  OK, so I used to know tires. Anyways, that’s a pretty good time for four tires unless you’re in NASCAR. 

I’ve known Joe, the owner of Big D, for something like 25 years, and I’m glad to see him succeed.  We were always around the hockey rink when we were younger,  did a little partying later on, and he’s a good dude.  He’s in the old Bert’s Bikes shop on Rte. 20 in Orchard Park, at least for a week or so until he moves into a brand spanking new place just about across the street.  There are a couple other Big D’s; one in Tonawanda and another in Cheektowaga.  If you need tires or get a flat or whatever, give ’em a chance.  I’d appreciate it, and I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Also, as a bonus, if you mention my name when you go into the Orchard Park shop, you’ll get a blank stare.  But you’ll always get free coffee.

just a thought

April 23, 2006

There has been some comment recently about the deplorable condition of some of the railroad bridges around the area.  The railroads are resisting pressure to repaint them, and towns are considering ways and means to coerce the railroads into improving the looks of the bridges.  So I got an idea.  Not a new one, I'm sure, but it never hurts to put it out there.

Everytime we catch one of these "taggers" or other graffiti artists, this becomes their penance.  The particular township that apprehends the morons gets to sentence them to community service, and that service is to paint the bridges.  The towns can apply for any number of grants or whatever to get the paint.  Or it can be donated.  Or even gotten in some manner from the railroads.  And we could also use these resources at the direction of local artists to turn these things into the "community art" projects that some have envisaged.  This tactic could be a cool way to get a lot of painting done at a reasonable cost.  I know there will be safety issues and all that, but with a little work I'm sure we could solve those problems as well.

This is an approach that, if proven to work in this circumstance, could conceivably be used to supplement the declining resources of some municipalities' buildings, grounds, and parks departments.

bass pro – part 3,243,667

April 19, 2006

There's yet another article in the Buffalo News about the Bass Pro Store.  A few points of interest.  Joel Giambra says they might have to consider tearing the Aud down if it is in bad shape.  Larry Quinn says that is not an option.  Glad to see everyone's on the same page.

And a nice one here from that story:

"Could they still walk away? Sure. Do I feel in my heart that will happen? No," said Larry Quinn, vice chairman of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., the public agency steering the Bass Pro project. "I'm getting a little tired of saying this, but we are closer than ever before to having a firm deal."

 Amen, brother.  Trust me, we're getting a little tired of hearing it, too.

foit’s – italian fisherman

April 14, 2006

Since I was there this evening at Rodney's, I saw the building that was Foit's across the street.  It looks like absolute hell.  I heard something about it getting knocked down for some reuse of the property, but no specifics.  Does any one know?

it never ends, does it

April 12, 2006

So driving is going to cost me more.  Erie County is going to charge an extra $10-$15 per registration at the DMV.  Good.  'Cause I wasn't spending enough money to keep Erie County in spending cash.  And I didn't feel like I was wasting enough time at the DMV, so this will make me feel better.

Aaarrgghhh.

news on the casino

April 9, 2006

I got to the paper a little late this morning, so this is probably being talked about everywhere.  The Senecas intend the Buffalo Creek casino to serve pretty much Buffalo and the 'burbs.  That's what the Seneca Gaming Corp.'s SEC filing says, anyways.  So they don't really expect too much in the way of out of town visitors, huh?  Gee, that's not what they told the general public, if recall correctly.

I'm not against this casino because I am some self-righteous morality enforcement agency.  There are enough people out there staffing that agency, and frankly you're not going to stop people from doing stupid and wasteful and hurtful things by shouting a slogan or passing a resolution.  I just watched a comedian last night that had a great line: You can't fix stupid.  So I don't bother. 

You know why I don't like this idea?  It's just stupid to give away a bunch of good land to a sovereign nation so they can put up something with very little economic value to your city and as a matter of fact probably suck out a ton of cash from you residents and then throw a crumb or two your way and make you like it.  What makes it worse is that the state – which is ignoring some of the reasons your city's in the shitter to begin with and could help if only it got its balls out of desk drawer of some PAC chairman or other special interest – is complicit in the deal and is taking the biggest crumb that is getting thrown out there.

And if you want to hear me rant about that $6 million in improvements that Barry Snyder is asking for, look here.

I don't know what's going to happen.  There are some lawsuits that are yet to come to fruition that might stop this thing.  But I don't think it would hurt to know the whole truth about what the Senecas are really after.

you really ought to read this

April 8, 2006

Today.  In the Buffalo News.  Why this wasn't on the front page in 144 point headlines is almost a crime.  Everyone in this state that pays a tax (which covers everyone in this state, you don't think they'd let anyone get away untaxed) should see this and be disgusted.

New York State, local governments and hundreds of authorities have $227 billion in outstanding debt, three-quarters of which has been issued by authorities that run everything from the Thruway system to local sewer systems, according to the Citizens Budget Commission, a business-funded fiscal watchdog group.

It is in the blood of this state.  Why do we continually spend more than we have?  Oh my GOD, I don't get how the hell people can be allowed to run a government this way.  But to move on….I must hand it to the Buffalo News, they always find me something funny:

Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said they both want to see more voter approval; the two leaders presided over a legislative deal that added more than $3 billion in additional borrowing beyond the $8 billion Pataki proposed this year.

Silver blamed Pataki. Asked why lawmakers on their own don't force more voter approval of borrowing, he said, "Well, there's only so much we can make [Pataki] do."

Dude.  Didn't you learn this in Social Studies in 10th grade or so?  Pass a law about it.  When Pataki vetoes it, override the son of bitch.  You can make Pataki do anything, if you really have the balls to do it.  If you really mean what you said.

Right.

legislature skates again

April 8, 2006

It seems the Erie County Legislature is going to get away with another one.  When will we ever learn?  This article in the Buffalo News basically says that while the Legislature was found in clear violation of the state's Open Meeting Law, they're getting a free pass.  Basically a pat on the shoulder and a "go forth and sin no more."  Funny.  I particularly enjoy this little blurb:

County Attorney Laurence K. Rubin said, "We're pleased that the judge did not issue a permanent injunction. This is another episode of the unfortunate events of the 2005 budget which we can now put behind us."

Mr. Rubin, I don't think the effects of the 2005 budget are going to be behind us for a really long time.  Thank you very freaking much.

to the city

April 8, 2006

Me and my family took a nice little ride up to my wife's bank over on Elmwood today. We had some business to transact, and all the folks at the bank love to see the little ones.  So as we were driving through the city I was struck by the architecture of some of the churches and buildings and houses.

Of course right now I can hear a lot of you other bloggers going "well no shit" when reading the preceding sentence.  But I am not a city resident, nor do I work there.  My wife works up on Elmwood, but she's only been there for a year and a half or so.  Besides that, the only reasons I really ever went into the city were for hockey games or partying on Chippewa or the Buff State area.  Hell, I probably hadn't seen the city in other than streetlights for years at a time.

I read many of my fellow 'Buffalo Bloggers' and they've often got something to say about this building or that street or this other section of town.  I am often envious of their intimate knowledge of the City of Buffalo, and wish I knew what the hell they were talking about all the time.  I hadn't really gone into the city and paid attention to anything besides the road in a very long time, so when we went up to Elmwood today, I kept my eyes open.  And I began to see all the things that I have heard on the local blog scene.  Hidden gems.  Proud treasures.  What was just a row of buildings for fifteen years of me driving by suddenly was gorgeous houses.  The businesses often were in wonderfully crafted buildings that oozed character and history.  I know it sounds ridiculously corny, but it was like seeing some of these things for the first time.

I'm a suburbanite.  Always have been, might always be.  But even me and my Southtowns ways need a little city living once in a while.  We've got a beautiful city here, and maybe some of us that left for the so-called greener grass so long ago might just want to swing by and see what we've been missing.

moron the thruway

April 6, 2006

I read a book once called "Too Many Cooks".  It's an apt title for this fiasco regarding the Niagara Thruway Toll Booths.  There are so many people on so many different places trying so many different approaches that one gets the feeling that the Thruway Authority will resist out of pure spite.  George Maziarz has joined the fray, and I swear I can't think of why.  Oh yeah, state senator pushing legslation to abolish the tolls, or something like that.  I can't keep them straight any more.  I think we're not going to see the end of this for quite a while. I heard an interesting POV from a couple state senators commenting that the main push is to move the Williamsville toll barrier out, so thats where the effort should be concentrated.  

Oh, I wasn't aware that the whole of representative government was unable to work on more than one issue at a time.  What a crock.

commuter pass?

April 5, 2006

NYS Assembly Majority Leader Paul Tokasz has really hit the ball out of the park.  Fouled it right back over his head, that is.  His solution to the I-190 toll issue?  Commuter passes.  So those that work in the city don't have to pay the toll.  Or is it people who work in the 'burbs but live in the city?  What about those who play in the city?  Or go through the city on their business?  Or people that drive trucks?  Or any other number of reasons that are good for the city or its citizens?  Check yer head, Paulie.  Time to shake out the dust, dude! 

I don't know the numbers on what percentage of traffic is work related, but I have to think that it's a high percentage.  So that would exempt them.  Who's left to pay the tolls?  And is it worth it to clog up traffic at the tolls, even if they aren't collecting from the working stiffs?  I would love to see the bond agreements that the Thruway Authority keeps throwing out there to see what exactly is required.  Of course I do not expect the Authority to just say "here, take a look."  Why would they?  Maybe they ought to try letting some light in on their business.  Wait, that's our business.