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Mayoral Survivor Contest: The BEAST Wants You to Run for Mayor!

Truth is Overrated: Why Does My TV Think Bush Won the Debate? - Al Uthman

Political Snickering: M&M/Mars' Campaign of Terror - Matt Taibbi

Big Brother Knows Best: Blockbuster Rents Bogus Fahrenheit 9/11 DVDs - Paco Alameda

Scary Little Man: Bush's Belligerence -William Rivers Pitt

Kneeling Before George: President Bush is a Serious Stud - Merry Dunce, the Beast's "Fresh Voice"

American Indian Museum Opens in DC, Promptly Stolen by American History Museum -Jake Novak

Reading the Blitz: Election Hacks Score Touchdown in Overtime Frenzy - Matt Taibbi

Freedumb: Zell Miller Echoes Militaristic Fallacy - Mark Golden


Buffalo in Briefs


Notes from the Big House

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten

Brush with Greatness: I met Gretzky - Seamus Gallivan

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters



Kino Korner


Album Reviews: Tom Waits, De La Soul


Misfits Roadie's Haunted House -Ken Barnes



High Quality Losers: Numbers Game Pays little for Bills -Ronnie Roscoe


Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob The Angry Flower - Stephen Notley

Contact Us


Archives--Old BEASTs






2004 The Beast

Driven To Tears - 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.

Cleaning 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.

Erie 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.

Uncool - 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.

NRA 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.

Weapons 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.

Pound 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 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.


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