The BEAST - Buffalo's Best Fiend..............................................Issue 58 9/15/04--9/30/04
BUFFALO IN BRIEFS
No Apologies - Okay, here's the deal: Joel Giambra is a conniving, deceitful scumbag politician who consistently sells out his constituency at every opportunity. A long-time Democrat turned Republican spewing a bunch of meaningless, feel-good gibberish in order to become County Executive, Giambra is a complete failure as a leader and a person. For all his big talk, we've gotten the Highway scandal, the Furniture scandal, the scandals we don't know about yet, a $125 million dollar projected budget deficit for 2005, sinking credit ratings, no more tobacco money, outlandish patronage and corruption, and the admission that his kids go to private school because they're scared of black people.
Now that the grand jury report is out, reality has surely hit home for this administrative sociopath. Wrong! Giambra still wants to be Governor of New York! Here's the problem, Joel, and this comes straight from the street, a place you wouldn't recognize anymore: We see the real you, a disingenuous liar bankrupting the county, handing out high paying jobs to your family and friends, shuffling lucrative county contracts to your contributors, and playing underhanded political games with assemblymen, all the while talking about change, streamlining services, good government, blah, blah, blah until you're blue in the face (of course, none of that stopped Pataki from getting the job). Anybody who defends this jackass ought to be deported, and anyone who votes for him ought to be shot.
Bad Sensation'Z - Black youth got screwed over again by the cracker authorities when they branded Sensation'Z Nightclub a "bad place" where people get shot, stabbed and just plain beat up. In closing down and auctioning everything off, owner Zephel Owens admitted "It became increasingly hard to maintain a violence-free club in dealing with hundreds of people." That's right, even a metal detector and twelve bouncers at the front door could not stem the flow of deadly objects into the club. Five years down the drain, all because a few assholes couldn't keep their tempers or weapons at home. The owner of the building, Kevin Townsell, plans on converting it into apartments and office space, which is the trendy thing to do. So Sensation'Z will become a place for more crackers. The message seems to be the less black people hanging around, making suburbanites and politicians' children nervous, the better.
Legal Daisy Chain - Imagine you're a 300-pound man riding a roller coaster at Darien Lake and the damn thing throws you: what's the first thing you think upon hitting the ground? "Payday!" Michael Dwaileebe was the lucky lineman who immediately hired Francis Letro to represent his broke ass. but grew unhappy when Letro wouldn't lend him $52,000.
It was almost like a movie: he saw a bus (billboard, phone book, tv commercial) with Douchebag and Baldy on it and called the number. They assigned him "star" attorney Gerald Schaffer days before the case went to trial, which didn't make Lardass nervous, because now he could get an advance on the settlement before going to court. It's a common practice in New York, despite the fact these loans carry humongous interest rates.
So Schaffer, in the best interest of his client, arranged a $60,000 loan at 38% and a $30,000 loan at 16%. In March, Shaffer won the case, now under appeal, for a $4 million judgment, earning himself a hefty $1.2 million paycheck which, naturally, enraged the first lawyer, who saw his big payday go down the drain. Letro brought suit against Shaffer's ethical conduct before Judge Larry Himelein, who openly criticized the shallow credibility of Cellino and Barnes, saying "...your firm has a reputation for stealing clients," and "One wonders where the line is drawn between acceding to a client's wishes and one's responsibilities as a human being." Shaffer has appealed the rarely imposed $10,000 fine levied against him, fighting to clear his good name.
Private Bridge Plan Threatens Local Graft - We stopped holding our breath for a new bridge two years ago, thanks. With the crooked bunch we have running the show on this side of the border it will never happen-it's a bet even Vegas bookies won't take (we checked). The thing's been going around and around for years now, and they still can't figure out what it will look like, where it will go, who's going to build it, etc., etc., wasting millions of dollars on studies, designs, travel, parties, press conferences and miscellaneous perks. So when a private company from Detroit filed plans with the State Department and the Canadian Ministry of The Same Thing to build its own bridge, insiders went apeshit tripping all over each other to bad mouth the idea.
The proposal calls for a $250 million bridge to be built alongside the International Railroad Bridge and would serve mostly truck traffic. Peace Bridge Authority dickwads say it can't be done, it won't work, it'll never happen because, well, their heads are far up their stupid asses to read the blueprints. We like the cool picture of the dual-arched concrete span. These guys from Detroit wouldn't file papers with the State Department if they weren't dead serious about the project. They know there's a mint to be made, so expect local politicians and leaders to fight this idea tooth and nail.
Smelling Fishy - What a scam. Every three weeks like clockwork we're reminded Bass Pro is still a viable deal, even though it's not a deal; it's just a bunch of bigwigs talking. If they thought Buffalo was a good market they'd already be in the Galleria or some strip mall out in the suburbs. But they aren't. They're down in Auburn, New York, a one lane town which just happens to be in the Finger Lakes region, where there's plenty of non-radioactive fish. Okay, that's a stretch East of the Mississippi, let's say less radioactive and probably edible.
The point is we're out of our minds if we give Bass Pro $100 million for ANYTHING, much less to rebuild the Aud and turn it into another downtown mall destined to fail. It's like offering the hottest girl in high school $10,000 to go to the prom; she'll ride over in the limo with you but that's it, she's leaving with the QB at the end of the night and for the rest of your life there's a horrible, aching sore in your mind. This idea needs to wither and die on the vine.
Florida Paradise - Good news for people who can't stand watching runaway suburban development destroying nature, even if it is mostly gator-filled swampland. They've had two powerful hurricanes already and a third is bearing down upon them, leaving residents scratching their heads like dummies. Florida's geography and habitat were formed over many millions of years of hurricanes, hard rain, and lots of runoff. According to scientists, 1970 marked the end of a harsh cycle of hurricanes which began in the mid 1920s, the reason most sane Americans stayed away for half a century. But there's been 34 years of good weather and over-development and now a lot of people are pretty much stuck there living in what amounts to be paper-thin shacks in the face of 145 mph winds. Look for Mother Nature to whip up all kinds of "new" horrors for Florida in this cycle; it'll be exciting footage and great TV ratings. How are we supposed to pave the damn place over if it keeps getting destroyed? On the bright side, the pointlessly incessant storm coverage has made us unable to watch the news, forcing us to live our lives in a more meaningful manner-temporarily.
Mayoral Meddling - Poor Sam Hoyt. Mean old Republican Joel Giambra is pouring money into Hoyt's Democratic primary opponent Joe Golembek's campaign. He's being called a do-nothing assemblyman, part of the atrocious gridlock that is Albany. Hoyt's great on social issues he has no power to affect, but voted for huge tax and fee raises, as well as the smoking ban, which is shutting down local businesses, and he's never done anything in twelve years to help get a budget passed on time. Hoyt's spent years maneuvering to make a run for mayor, doing whatever it take to get himself in the right spotlight, playing the affable, half-bright man of the people bringing home the pork.
Problem is, Hoyt wants Giambra to share the roughly $120 million the county makes every year on the extra penny of sales tax which was tacked on as an emergency measure in 1984 and has suspiciously never gone away. Buffalo would be in better shape with its share, and we appreciate Hoyt's stand. But Giambra has a giant war chest to play games with, even if it's in the other party. Hoyt could be mayor someday, but how do you trust a career politician in Albany? You don't, unless Hoyt proves there's intelligent, human life somewhere within the galaxy of his cranium. Our instinct says vote all incumbents out of our broken government, then again, if Giambra's against Hoyt, he must be worth keeping around. At least he's got a sense of humor. We predict the meddling will backfire louder than a 1972 Buick convertible.
Goodbye Ticket Revenue - We were doing slightly over 80 mph on I-90 when we passed a state trooper hidden among a thicket of trees in the median. Needless to say, we thought we were fucked, along with the line of cars cruising behind us, but the cop never pulled out. It was a miracle, and we thank the state legislature for taking away any incentive local authorities have to issue those pesky speeding tickets, which add points to your license and push already ridiculous insurance rates higher.
That's right, it's a surprise law in the new budget (the first of many); localities can no longer allow speeding tickets to be pled down to lesser offenses. It's the end of a long standing practice, which boosts local revenues and fills traffic schools to overflowing, and will change the way traffic courts work. If you get a speeding ticket or other moving violation, it can no longer be reduced to, say, a loud muffler, which benefits the town, so all the money will go to Albany to pay for champagne, caviar and hookers. Towns are scrambling to add surcharges to tickets so they'll be able to at least pay expensive court costs.
Albany's insidious money grab is a great opportunity for citizens to buck the system, however, and if everybody takes advantage of the new situation we can wreak havoc. Here's how: When you get a ticket (and you will get a ticket, you nasty speeder), instead of pleading guilty and automatically paying the fine like an obedient robot, request a non jury trial. If everyone does this, the courts will be bogged down with thousands and thousands of cases that could have been settled in five minutes, sending court costs through the roof and tying up the judicial and law enforcement systems like never before. Cops will think long and hard before issuing a ticket, because instead of making a profit, they'll know it's only bankrupting their municipality. Sure, we're the ones who'll get screwed paying for it all in the end, but it's time we quit taking it in the ass every time Albany gets hard and fight back. Let the madness begin!