Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend

Sept 21 - Oct 5, 2005
Issue #84

  ..Buffalo's Best Fiend
Why is it OK for the press to lie?
Allan Uthman

Banana Republicans
3rd World, US-style
Shawn Ewald

Drowning Reality
Truth not a Major Factor in New Orleans
Kit Smith
Of Pandas & Morons
Truth vs. Myth in PA
Jeff Dean
Star Wars
The Sequel & the Reality
Bob Fitrakis

Play the Blame Game!
Match the Stupid Quote!
Roberts Confirmation Maze

Buffalo in Briefs
The Sports Blotter
The Week in Sports Crime
Matt Taibbi
Wide Right
Bills Football
Ronnie Roscoe
Kino Korner: Movies
Michael Gildea
Page 3
Separated at Birth?
[sic] - Letters
 Cover Page

Idiot Box
Perry Bible Fellowship
Bob the Angry Flower

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Last Issue: (83)

Bass Pro: Smell the History

While some people scoffed at our contention that the Bass Pro project might be a harbinger of casino development at that site, it’s important to note that the DL&W casino site is just a stone’s throw from the old War Memorial Auditorium which will be home to Bass Pro. That means that the free, taxpayer-financed parking ramps available to Bass Pro patrons may also be used by casino patrons. Will anyone check if supposed Bass Pro patrons hit the casino for a couple hours of video crack? Don’t bet on it. If the Casino is successful on the second floor of the DL&W Terminal, it may be able to “grow” into the old Aud and no one will be able to stop it.

In another family affair item of importance to Casino Paladino, we noted that Tony Gioia sits on the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., while his brother Bob is on the board of the NFTA. This raises the possibility of a conflict of interest if the NFTA turns the terminal over to the Harbor Development Corp. and ultimately, the Senecas. In wresting control of the waterfront away from the NFTA, Freshman Congressman Brian Higgins promised that his plan for the waterfront would end NFTA’s deathgrip on waterfront properties under its control, including the DL&W Terminal. A casino might actually be worse than the NFTA’s years of incompetence, however.

In his campaign literature Higgins said, “Under the NFTA, these properties have tax-exempt status but would return to taxable status as these properties are developed, all of which accrues to the benefit of the City of Buffalo in expansion of the city’s tax base.” A Seneca casino in the terminal would, of course, be tax-exempt.

The whole point of the Bass Pro project is to return the long-vacant Aud to the tax rolls. However the language of the Memorandum of Understanding between Bass Pro and government entities is sufficiently vague to allow Bass Pro or any entity that swallows it up to do anything with the property. This could lead to an expansion of the adjacent casino. If nothing else, it allows for the Senecas – a tax exempt entity - to reap the benefits of Bass Pro’s infrastructure, which will be provided at taxpayer expense.

The government-sponsored Erie Canal museum to be located on the premises of Bass Pro is also a little fishy. The last time Gov. Pataki decided that a certain community needed a little history lesson on its once great maritime heritage, he earmarked government money for the Shinnecock Canal Museum in the Hamlet of Hampton Bays. Soon after, residents were presented with a casino proposal by the Shinnecock Nation of Indians to go along with the museum.

The idea of paying homage to a region’s history of commerce while subsidizing entities that have been proven to destroy local commerce (i.e. the big box development of Bass Pro and an urban casino) is vintage George Pataki. The irony of using Native Americans - whose culture was decimated by the very commerce which is supposedly being celebrated in Pataki’s museums - to leech said post-industrial community through the mechanism of a casino targeting the poor and elderly is beyond comprehension.

More Briefs:
1. Some People Have Spoken
2. ...But Who's Counting?
3. The Red Sea
5. Slaughterhouse Jive

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