& Steve's Bogus Journey
honest person cannot look anywhere without seeing Baldy and
Douchebag's faces plastered on every phone book, billboard,
television and metro bus, or that damn radio commercial we can't
get out of our head. You wake up in the middle of the night
with that goddamn phone number going round and round... Really,
we're almost psychotic in our hatred for these ambulance-chasing
bottom-feeders, but there's good news coming down the pike:
Seems these two have pissed off just about everyone in the legal
community, by repeatedly stealing clients and steering them
to usurious loansharks who charge up to 30%, advancing cash
their cases are even heard. State Supreme Court judges of the
Appellate Division in Rochester are debating the case and it
looks like the city's two most embarrassing lawyers will be
disbarred. It's the sane thing to do. Then we can all take to
the streets and tear down the billboards so we can see the sky
instead of giant lawyer-heads everywhere, and then it's off
to find Mesothelioma crusader James Sokolove.
in issue #61, we ran a piece about Lon Coldiron, 38, owner of
the short-lived "Coffee &" near the corner of
Elmwood and Breckenridge, which mysteriously burned to the ground
last October. Okay, well, it wasn't really mysterious at all,
not according to arson investigators who say Coldiron set two
fires on the first floor and waited on the roof to be rescued
in the early morning hours of October 21. At the time, Coldiron
claimed an unknown man had been calling the shop saying he was
going to burn it to the ground, a really good story nobody believed.
It was the worst arson job we've ever even heard of, much less
witnessed, and the best part is the fact that Coldiron took
out three insurance policies on the place just weeks before
(allegedly) doing the dirty deed. One of his dogs died in the
fire, so along with arson we hope there's an animal cruelty
charge. On the bright side, "Coldiron" is a great
name for a convict. Spot Coffee could not be reached for comment,
but you can assume they're still happy about the new parking
lot down the street.
off to 42-year-old Cretia Adams, a Johnson Avenue woman and
local entrepreneur whose house was raided two days in a row
for drugs. Narcotics detectives took notice of the crack den
after spotting a sophisticated surveillance system which allowed
the gang to cook rocks while keeping an eye on the street. After
the first arrest, Adams posted bail and predictably went right
back to the kitchen. The second raid netted half an ounce of
crack and drug paraphernalia. Guess you really can't teach an
old dog new tricks, but we admire the lady's dedication to her
Legislature Chairman George Holt, Jr., is having an extremely
bad week. The guy is getting mired in scandal so fast that
it's tough to keep up.
he thought he could slip a $3 million no-bid contract to an
inmate-monitoring firm from the backwaters of Louisiana into
the mess of a budget that got passed at two minutes to midnight
on December 8.
can find the details on that-scandal number one-in another article
in this very issue. Now onto scandals number two and three (voter
outrages to run concurrently): So Holt gives $150,000 to Group
Ministries on Jefferson Avenue. Then Group Ministries turns
around and gives $50,000 to All Pro Hoops. All Pro Hoops is
run by Holt's son, Lamar. He's a math teacher from Sugar Land,
Texas, but he comes up to sunny Buffalo once a year to put on
the All Pro Hoops Camp, a one day affair where kids, for a $170
a pop, get to meet unknown players and coaches. Then Lamar cashes
the check and high tails it back to Texas and his teaching job.
That's your tax dollars at work. This kind of "pass-through"
spending, essentially charity money-laundering, is business
as usual in local politics, promises to the contrary notwithstanding.
Boys and Girls club has been used the same way, and also to
give money to All Pro Hoops. Swanick and Giambra have thrown
some of their pork into the basketball camp as well, and judging
by Barry Weinstein's press release from last June, "Weinstein
Announces All-Pro Hoops Scholarships," he's involved, too.
you've got pork, you've got patronage, you've got nepotism.
But it gets worse: Texas-based All-Pro Hoops lost its charter
to do business in Texas because it didn't pay its taxes-in
2003. but for two years, it hasn't bothered the county hogs
one bit. Similarly, the senior Holt hasn't paid the sales
tax bill for his restaurant, Mattie's Texas Hots, since 2003
(scandal nuber three). This from one of the guys who was pushing
the sales tax increase a month ago. Now Holt, the latest county
crook under siege, is blaming the negative press on racism
and painting himself as the victim, thus answering the question
on everyone's lips: does the guy have any shame?
Denies Bass Pro Allegations
Executive Joel Giambra's recent and controversial Florida
vacation was not paid for by Bass Pro, according to his press
response to questions about the unattributed allegations,
Giambra's press secretary, Jeffrey Hammond, flatly denied
the rumor that the outdoor store, which is slated to open
a new location in downtown Buffalo as part of a revitalization
project involving at least $66 million, paid for Giambra's
travel, hotel, and other expenses while vacationing in Orlando,
calling the accusation "ridiculous."
critics of Giambra, who has sunk to a new low in polls during
Erie County's current budget crisis, remain unconvinced.
such skepticism is Giambra's apparently coincidental change
of heart on the Bass Pro project immediately following his
to his vacation, Giambra was seen as a possible roadblock
to the Bass Pro deal. A Buffalo News report from February
17th, the day before he left for Florida, stated that "[Giambra]
will not sign the memorandum of understanding to set the deal
in motion until he knows how the county's financial condition
will affect its ability to issue bonds to back the project."
despite the fact that the county's bond rating has decreased
significantly, from "A+" to "A-" and now
to "BBB," a post-vacation Giambra set aside his
misgivings, citing "alternative financing strategies
that will allow us to honor our commitment."
Mayor Anthony Masiello, the driving political force behind
the Bass Pro deal, first embraced the idea after a trip to
Springfield, Missouri, orchestrated by Rich Products president
Bob Rich, Jr.
calls over the last three weeks to Bass Pro's Florida headquarters
about the allegations were not returned.