- Need a ride? Everybody gets a kickin' Ford Explorer in cronyville.
The DA, the Sherriff, the County Clerk, and of course Giambra's Chief
of Staff and Deputy CE. Obviously some people need county vehicles to
earn their high salaries and sweet benefits, but the fact is no usage
log is required, and the cars aren't marked. Once acquired, these cars
become luxuries used more for personal road trips and shopping sprees.
Every county vehicle ought to have a sticker slapped on the bumper that
says "This is a public property, kick me in the balls if you see
me at Home Depot." Giambra can moan all he wants about the number
of county vehicles being lower under him, then again, his driver has
TWO fucking SUVs to cart his sorry ass around in.
Up - Who was the weirdest adult at your high school? Yeah,
the janitor, some fucked up Vietnam vet with a thousand yard stare,
pushing an electric floor cleaner up and down the endless hallways.
Now we know why this psycho was there: because the "custodial engineer"
running the maintenance department found freaks who'd work for cheap,
allowing him to pocket large chunks of unspent money on top of a lucrative
salary. Apparently this is how it's been done in Buffalo since the goddamn
Civil War; the "engineers" submit a budget and are then given
carte blanche to steal at will, an average of $34,000 dollars a year
per school. We'd kill to make that much money, but that's the chocolate
sprinkles on top of salaries ranging from $40,000 to $70,000 a year.
For mowing lawns, cleaning toilets, and keeping the furnace going. No
wonder Buffalo's broke and our schools eat shit. Our custodial costs
are 31% above the average across the nation according to the State Control
Board. Nosy bastards; why are they snooping around and meddling anyway?
Oh yeah, because our politicians and officials piss all the money away
on bullshit scams like this. Sensing a large public backlash, the "engineers"
have come clean about how much they're stealing, and the union realizes
some sort of concessions need to be made-as long as they still get to
keep all the money left over at the end of the year. Now we know why
the toilet paper always ran out, classrooms were always cold, and the
head janitor was always smiling.
Community Cash-in - Here we go again. The plan isfinally
in after almost two years of "study," and the board of trustees
decided to retain all three ECC campuses instead of consolidating them
into one, as Joel Giambra's been pushing for. One campus downtown would
require lots of new buildings and facilities, hundreds of millions of
dollars for Giambra cronies to suck up, but not to worry. All three
campuses will be built up under the plan, so insiders can breathe a
sigh of relief, even if it's only half the price the county crooks were
hoping for. The City Campus will get a seven story (or more) classroom
building and, of course, a lucrative parking ramp, while the North Campus
will get a three story building and South Campus will get an athletic
complex. Oh, and there'll be some sort of fuzzy consolidation of courses,
but that's really a minor issue compared to the development projects.
Giambra hasn't given the plan the Don's blessing yet, not until he figures
out some way to have it cost taxpayers more.
- Time to start saving up for those pesky National Fuel bills-you know,
the ones that jump 10,000% as soon it gets cold in these parts. Natural
gas prices are reaching record highs on fears that supply is barely
above demand. Our old friend, evil spokeswoman Julie Coppola Cox, says
this could be among the most expensive seasons in history. Great. Every
year it's the same bullshit: you open the bill with frozen fingers because
your thermostat is set below what's comfortable to what's affordable,
your chattering jaw drops at such an impossibly high number for the
frigid indoor temperature, then you dream of a place where it's sunny
and warm and employment isn't a problem and government actually works.
There is no escape, however, so you'll have to sacrifice personal pleasures
for the precious, flammable juice that keeps you from freezing to death.
If global conditions are any indicator (the record hurricane season,
runaway wildfires, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc...) expect a
truly epic Buffalo winter replete with blizzards, arctic chill, and
a few National Guard alerts.
Wet Dream - We love the old social clubs around town, those
ancient, anonymous storefronts where old men play cards, guzzle booze
and smoke to their hearts' content. Sure, the bastards cheat, the liquor's
all bottom shelf, and puffing weed in the foyer is still taboo, but
it's all about character at these manly joints. So when two punks burst
in the door at 743 Genesee Street around 9pm wearing ski masks and brandishing
firearms, you should expect a Quentin Tarantino ending. The first fool
fired a shotgun round into the ceiling to make sure he had all the card
players' attention, a move which cost him dearly. The momentary distraction
allowed a 64-year-old with a pistol permit to draw his weapon and shoot
the robber, who in turn shot his accomplice in the hand before falling
dead to the floor. The accomplice bolted and was arrested at ECMC while
being treated for his wound, undoubtedly instilled with the fear of
God and old men with aces up their sleeves.
of Mass Revulsion - Reports of food poisoning at Bennett
high school were premature (sorry Cellino and Barnes) when five students
yakked in the cafeteria line leading to their daily feeding. It was
pure domino effect; one student puked inducing the rest to blow chunks,
causing a huge uproar and necessitating a slew of paramedics. Needless
to say, the cooking staff were highly offended by the criticism. Now
it seems the janitorial staff is under fire after three students were
overcome by improperly mixed cleaning fluids (bleach and ammonia, a
big no-no). The kids said the high wasn't too bad, but the comedown
was a bitch.
of Flesh Gets Heavier - We've been screaming about the shitty
state of Erie County's fiscal affairs for awhile now and it seems no
one's listening. If you were, you'd be out in the streets like a rabid
dog, foaming at the mouth for a taste of Joel Giambra's flesh and blood.
Maybe you will when he and the legislature raise the county sales tax
to 9.25% and you realize a dime of every dollar you spend goes to quite
possibly the most fucked up governmental body in a state that's already
the most fucked up in the nation. That's quite an achievement. Apparently
we need to raise the sales and property tax because the only thing Giambra
and the legislature know how to do is spend money faster than it comes
in, leaving us with $130 million dollar projected budget deficit this
year alone. That doesn't even take into account the humongous pile of
debt these idiots have put off in the form of loans extending generations
into the future, a bunch of financial hoodoo nobody understands. The
mantra is "Medicaid is bankrupting us." Good ol' Joel even
went so far as to spend $85,000 of taxpayer money to send out a fact
sheet on the problem. Real stellar idea; waste our money on paper bound
for the trash then bitch because you don't have any money for office
supplies and gasoline for the limos. Giambra, you knew this was coming;
why didn't you plan for it? If belts need tightening around here then
set an example by tightening your own first. Here's a novel idea: eliminate
your pool of vacant patronage positions, quit buying new shit (like
office furniture), and run this fucking county in the efficient manner
you promised. Anybody angry yet?
Bye, Baby - The thoughts going through Baby Joe Mesi's head
these days are anything but pleasant. The man was the #1 contender for
the heavyweight title; a good-looking young Italian from Tonawanda who
rose to the top of the ranks like a bullet (a good indicator there's
a lot more to boxing than proving yourself in the ring). If he hadn't
gone after Vasily Jirov in the 9th round of that last fight when he
was way ahead on the scorecard, Mesi would have had the honor of fighting
Mike Tyson for a $2 million payday at Madison Square Garden. Sadly,
his career is gone, a candle in the wind long since blown out. Who the
hell stood behind him in the corner of the ring and told him to go after
Jirov? Whoever it was, you're an asshole. Mesi lost everything in those
final few minutes, leaving the ring with blood on his brain and refusing
to allow the Nevada State Boxing Association to see the post-fight MRIs.
His suspension by that body stands across the nation and will never
be lifted. We were this close to having one of our own fighting for
the championship belt, but what the hell; it's just guys beating the
crap out of each other. Anyway, the guy's definitely worth a drink if
you see him out and about.