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Pestering our Overlords: NYC Welcomes the President - Matt Higgins

Greatest American Zero: Sabres Rattle for RNC Cattle- Al Uthman

Purchasing Power to the People: Slogans Sell at RNC Protests- Ken Barnes

Dogfight: The Gendered Degeneration of Politics - Stan Goff

Milk Spilled, Thousands Die: Washington Post Refuses to Cry - Matt Taibbi

Music Download Blues: What to do if You're Busted - Stephanie Cole


Faux-tures:

COBRA Joins Forces With al Qaeda

Barney Frank admits Heterosexual Affair, Resigns- Jake Novak

Local Man Wets Bed, Blames Dog

Racist, Sexist or Ludacris? - a PC Quiz

Special Ad Section (funny!)



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

True Horrors of Local Bureacracy - Jonathon Chance

Notes from the Big House

Ask Dr. Rotten: Growing your best bud

Taste the Truth: our new food column- "Fats" O'Leary

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Separated at Birth?

[sic] - your letters

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Kino Korner



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AudioFiles: Hives, Brand Nubian, MF Doom, Rise Against, Dillinger Escape Plan

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I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob The Angry Flower - Stephen Notley



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Archives--Old BEASTs

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© 2004 The Beast


Throwing HUD Money After Bad - Imagine, if you can, what it’s like being a bureaucrat in Washington D.C., presiding over the hundreds of millions of dollars the Department of Housing and Urban Development gives away every year. In certain circles your name would be God and people would throw themselves out of tall buildings to win your favor. Now imagine you live in a dying Rust Belt city whose government is so corrupt and inept that nothing ever gets done besides the politicians and their friends getting rich in a hurry. Screw-ups are common around here, but when ten million dollars gets denied by D.C., there’s a mad scramble and tons of groveling to get it back. That’s what happened in early August when our paid pencil pushers couldn’t even fill out some application forms correctly and HUD officials, for the second year in a row, rejected a $5.2 million aid request.

They’ve been watching Buffalo piss away these grants year after year on shady deals, like the Home Ownership Zone on the East Side where 344 new houses were supposed to be built but only 125 were erected before all the money disappeared. Inquiring minds wonder where it all went, and when they look they find operators like Dennis Penman over at MJ Peterson Realty, one of the biggest housing developers in Buffalo, funded by HUD through the city to build new houses all over the East Side. You might recall the guy tried to buy his wife a seat on the common council last election; her campaign spent a record amount for the position and she even went so far as to change her name, but all for naught. There are plenty of imitators running similar scams, and HUD is obviously out of its mind giving Buffalo money to build new houses when everybody’s been moving out for decades. What we need are some serious bulldozer crews and an army of dump trucks to cart away the eyesores populating so many of our streets.

Alas, HUD reinstated the cash when city officials promised to institute management reforms and hire more people to oversee the various programs which administer the money. Yay, more city government employees! Nobody got fired, nobody resigned, nobody took responsibility; they just passed the buck. But don’t you worry; our politicians and guys like Dennis Penman won’t ever be cut off from free government gravy. Might as well quit your job and apply for a new house on a radioactive site today!


Scarface Strikes Again - Joel Giambra’s been very publicly blasé about blowing off the scandal in the Aurora Highway Division involving his buddy, former supervisor Doug Naylon, calling the eight month investigation a waste of taxpayer money. Give it to Giambra for having the nerve to preach about wasting taxpayer funds—then again, he’s an expert. He keeps saying this is a case of “a couple rotten apples,” somehow failing to remember that he handpicked them and his armed crony/driver Victor Getz did everything in his considerable power to keep them rotten apples in the barrel. We wonder what color the sky is in his world, because in ours a Grand Jury investigation prompted by the FBI is a serious fucking matter. Now that the report is out and indictments are being handed down, county residents have a unique glimpse into Giambra’s “reform-minded” managerial style. It’s not a smooth running machine; more like a dead animal lying on the side of the road with it’s entrails blown out, baking in the hot sun while carrion birds peck it to dust.

Here’s what happened: Naylon was hired by Giambra, not Commissioner of Public Works Maria Lehman, who oversees all the highway departments. Good Ol’ Joel stuck by his friend despite repeated failures, protecting him from a continuous stream of union complaints without any punishment whatsoever, at the expense of county taxpayers, who paid an extraordinary number of costly arbitration judgements. Naylon was too stupid to even pass the simple civil service exam required of his position, so Giambra bent over backwards to suppress the test results. In return, Naylon blatantly used county supplies, employees, and heavy equipment to further his private business interests. Commisioner Lehman had no control over the Aurora garage going more than half a million dollars over budget and, after screaming at Giambra one afternoon, she went to the FBI to get the ball rolling against an utterly corrupt operation she could no longer hide. Giambra accepts zero blame, but he’s full of shit. Joel is the head capo here. He doesn’t have the balls to fess up, maybe because his actions (and those of his underlings) are patently criminal.

Giambra originally campaigned as a reformer—he was going to clean up the system, bring back good government, and cut out corruption and nepotism, bringing prosperity back to the region. Hopefully this doesn’t completely crush your faith in politicians, but here’s a news flash: the “best” of them will blatantly look you in the eye and lie while taking your money and distributing it among their friends and you have only yourself (and the corrupt two-party system) to blame for voting them to power. This is only one department, but it’s indicative of how scumbag Giambra cronies and yes-men have infiltrated county government like mobsters, because they know the boss has their back. Giambra’s a reformer like Mussolini was a humanitarian. The sooner he’s in jail or hell, the better for Erie County.


What the Hell is a “Bill,” Anyway? - To say we’re leery about a team that went 6-10 last year after a boatload of disappointing hype and now finds itself with a new coaching staff is an understatement. We’ve been dreading the potential whipping we’re going to take under the second rookie head coach in a row. The offensive line was pathetic last year, making the vaunted Drew Bledsoe look worse than Rob Johnson, and the same guys who got pushed around like pansies are back for more this season. Third string QB JP Losman, who would’ve been a big draw, got his leg busted by former Miami defenseman Troy Vincent—in training camp. This only happens to a QB if he’s a cocky asshole (think Tom Brady). Now he’s out ten weeks, meaning Bledsoe’s got some breathing room as a starter.

But, like the diehard fans we are, we see some bright spots, and not just from the exposed light bulb next to our desk. Head coach Mike Mularkey is determined to instill this team with a set of brass balls, unlike the incompetent Gregg Williams, who was the coaching equivalent of paint thinner. Mularkey is a tough disciplinarian, exactly what an NFL head coach should be. He’s putting starters on special teams, making guys compete for positions, not coddling prima donnas, and generally shaking things up, instead of following some irrelevant formula that only makes sense on a chalkboard. We’ve still got Travis Henry and Eric Moulds, two potent offensive threats. Willis McGahee shows excellent promise; he’ll see plenty of action when Henry inevitably gets injured. Our defense is still rock solid. Mularkey’s physical philosophy may be risky, but we’re betting it will pay off in a team with some mental toughness, which has been harder to find in Rich Stadium than a decent-looking cheerleader. A winning record is out of the question unless the offense gets it together, at least a little, and the odds of that aren’t good unless they have the proper motivation. So here it is: You pansy fucking fat ass losers are the sorriest pieces of shit in the league. College teams could kick your ass. You call yourselves professionals? You suck. Take your goddamn ridiculous salaries and cram ‘em if you’re not here to kick ass. You better show up every Sunday morning ready to annihilate the other team at every position for sixty fucking minutes, because fans won’t tolerate the loser shit we endured last year. We don’t have much to look forward to around here—every time you manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, that’s another depressed, obese alcoholic former steelworker who finally loses it and blows his head off. Now quit fucking around and get busy—do it for OJ.


I See Naked People - About 1,800 of them, including a few hotties. Too few, though, and far between. Mostly it was a sea of ugly white flesh and awful tan lines, overweight nudists, hairy-assed perverts, and sagging artsy Deadhead types who make you want to puke even with their clothes on. Some of the worst tattoos we’ve ever seen. First of all, the Central Terminal is a spooky, rat infested dump if you know what it looked like in its’ heyday; secondly, mass demonstrations of nudity are annoying enough (didn’t that shit go out in the ‘70’s?), and third, calling it “art” is an insult to bona fide artists. As far as we’re concerned, Spencer Tunick is a scumbag getting his twisted bisexual jollies off with these ridiculous “installations.” We’re not sure what the point is, but suspect it’s an inside joke between Tunick and other no-talent pontificators. They step up to the globe, give it a whirl and see where it stops, laughing all the way to each stunt at how easy it is to get people naked and play Simon Says. The aftermath is akin to that of an ugly one night stand—it seemed like a good idea at the time, but the horror and embarrassment of it all is haunting.



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