Investigative Post: Quick Hits

by / Dec. 2, 2015 8am EST

 Random Outrages and Insights: 

  • Things I’m sick of reading about: the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Bills quarterbacks, anything uttered by a Buffalo Bills coach. Get the picture? The season’s over. Can we please move on?
  • The University at Buffalo is heavily subsidizing its D-I athletics program, more so than just about any other major university, Jay Tokasz of the Buffalo News reported the other day. Adding insult to injury, the flagship (football) program is mediocre. Time for some new priorities, preferably something that doesn’t scramble the brains of participants.
  • Eight years ago I documented the rich subsidy deal the state gave Alcoa to keep operating in Massena. Worth an estimated $5.6 billion in hydropower discounts over 30 years. Yeah, I said billion. Works out to  $148,000 per job…per year…after year…after year. Fast-forward to 2015. Alcoa has failed to honor its commitments and is threatening to shutter its North Country operations. What does Governor Andrew Cuomo do? Throw more money at them. 
  • I have two words for Joe Lorigo and others expressing concern about terrorists passing themselves off as refugees: Timothy McVeigh. When it comes to terrorists, Western New Yorkers have a lot of nerve pontificating about the dangers posed by outsiders.
  • Go see Spotlight, the film about the investigative reporting team at the Boston Globe that broke the pedophile priest story. A compelling, accurate depiction of the craft—and a hell of a story.
  • The Erie County Water Authority has no fewer than 18 bureaucrats making over $100,000, according to an analysis done by Ken Kruly. All to manage an authority that should have been taken over by the county decades ago.
  • If downtown is booming, why do I see so many “for rent” signs?
  • When will the developers and trade unions come up with a project labor agreement on the next Buffalo Billion project, the retrofit of one of the Key Center Towers to accommodate IBM? And what will the minority hiring goals be?
  • Speaking of which, why is Betty Jean Grant the only black elected official speaking out about the hiring situation at SolarCity? 
  • Speaking of which, Byron Brown has got to be feeling used by the state. I mean, he fronted their press conference to declare all is well with minority hiring at SolarCity without being told African Americans make up less than six percent of the workforce.
  • For all the guff Frank Sedita has taken, I like that the outgoing district attorney actually wants to make sure the police have built a good case before he agrees to try and put someone behind bars. He strikes me as a prosecutor concerned with justice, not just convictions.