Sunday, June 11, 2017

2017 Mayor's Race: South Buffalo Divided?

It's one of those opinionated days...

As Democratic petitions circulate, the 2017 mayoral race in the city of Buffalo begins to heat up. Several questions are being asked. Will Betty Jean Grant rethink the deal she made with City Comptroller Mark Schroeder and drop out of the race? Will she circulate dual petitions for her seat on the Erie County Legislature (just in case)? Should she pursue the Mayor's race, will Betty Jean Grant consider hiring an English translator so people can understand a word she says? These are just some of the questions people are asking.

From this voter's perspective, the biggest hurdle facing South Buffalo's Mark Schroeder is his inability to excite the masses. The average resident simply doesn't care. Downtown and the waterfront are in the process of being revitalized. Whether that had anything to do with Mayor Brown and his administration is irrelevant. It has happened under his watch and he can claim responsibility, and the average voter is too stupid to know otherwise.

If Schroeder wins, it would be a great individual accomplishment. Unsurprisingly, the rest of South Buffalo's career politicians are not on his side. Councilmember Chris Scanlon and State Senator Tim Kennedy are publicly backing Brown. It is unknown if Michael Kearns is backing anyone. He'll wait until Carl Paladino instructs him (just like he does on every other issue). Even longtime Schroeder friend Brian Higgins seems to be very quiet regarding this race. If I were Schroeder, I would wear these lack of endorsements as a badge of honor. If all the politicians are against you, you're probably a good guy.

I believe Mark Schroeder represents one very small section of South Buffalo voters. They live in one small neighborhood, think the whole city is Irish, and are most likely married to their third cousin. As long as they're happy, they think the rest of South Buffalo is happy. And boy, could they possibly be any more wrong? This may have flown during the 1970's but the steel mills and all the other private sector jobs have moved to North Carolina.  The political climate has changed. People expect more from their local officials.

Many of us from the other side of the tracks are happy with Mayor Brown's South Buffalo appointees. Martin Kennedy and Steve Stepniak are both really great people and reflect well on the Brown administration. Brown hired Mark "Rogo" Rogowski, a guy completely overlooked by the South Buffalo politicians for decades because he wasn't part of their clique. Rogo's mistake was helping politically unconnected people over the years. These people don't make political donations so they were of no use to the South Buffalo career politicians. Fortunately, Brown saw through this and took a chance on him. Mark Schroeder has been in one office or another for 16 years. Who has he hired? You probably don't know because they most likely are not your neighbors. They are his neighbors. For Schroeder to win, he will need 100% unity in South Buffalo and I don't believe he has it. Personally, I wouldn't vote for any South Buffalo politician in 2017. They say all sorts of things when campaigning and then once elected, help themselves, their families, and close friends. It's like a broken record. You can set your watch to them. Until one comes along and expands the tent, outsiders will continue to win. The South Buffalo political clique is a very small, shortsighted group. They are greatly outnumbered by the rest of us. They are NOT your neighbors and the average resident with the ability to think for himself/herself is onto them. The gig is up.

I welcome your comments. Please attach your name to them however and keep them civil. Please keep in mind, I know South Buffalo's working poor because I am one. And unless you are too, you have no right to speak for us. If you feel Mark Schroeder can serve the working poor better than Mayor Brown, please state your case and provide evidence. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Councilman Wingo's solution for success: Lower the bar

Masten Councilmember Ulysees Wingo has averted a potential tragedy by shifting the affirmative action debate over admission to City Honors into a war of words geared towards the real villains in this issue: working class Catholic school parents...

"I take exception to the idea that affluent parents who send their children to Catholic schools should have a right, based off of the fact they are Catholic, that they should have exclusive rights to City Honors," he said, later adding: "I support City Honors . . .  What I don't support is a lack of diversity. We have Buffalo public school students who are equally qualified . . .  If parents feel a Catholic education is right for them, by all means go to your Catholic schools and have fun saying your Catholic prayers."

Someone had to say it. City Honors has been one of the best schools in the country for way too long. In the past, they've always accepted the students who scored the best on the entrance exam (minus the politicians' kids who got in regardless of their test scores). Students were eager to learn without disrupting the class. That was clearly a recipe for disaster. The school must lower it's standards if it's going to compete with the rest of the schools in the district. If the Catholics are allowed access to City Honors, pretty soon the Jews and the Burmese might want to go there also and that would be totally unacceptable.

 If they keep the standards high, parents might be expected to read to their children, help them with their homework, and actually prepare them for success. That would be completely unreasonable. Parents have more important things to do with their time. Video games don't just play  themselves. How will parents know the winners of the latest reality shows if they're expected to invest their time towards their child's education?

Wingo's proclamation has set off a firestorm across the nation. The US Track and Field Federation announced today they would no longer be judging the Olympic sprinters' based solely on their times. A spokesperson for the Federation: "We're sick of winning all these gold medals. What's important is for our athletes to represent the diversity here in America. We've decided that at least two of our 4 X 100 relay members will be white and at least one of them will weigh at least 300 pounds. We want our runners to look like their fellow Americans in the stands." 

The National Spelling Bee was also moved by Councilmember Wingo. The correct spelling of words will no longer be the criteria used for judging the winner. Their spokesperson issued this statement today: "We've had enough of  these nerds from India coming over here and learning our grammar. We've decided that this year's winner will be of Puerto Rican descent regardless of whether they can spell or not. In the end, it's really about diversity."

The local news stations attempted to interview the affluent South Buffalo Catholic school parents to get their side of the story. However, they were too busy sailing on their yachts over at Cazenovia Creek and drinking champagne at the local country club with the rest of the powerful elite. 

A hastily planned protest over Wingo's comments for tomorrow at noon on the steps of City Hall was scrapped after it was determined that 90% of the Catholic school parents (unlike Wingo) had to actually be at work tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Passengers on a United Airlines flight were all set to take off when the pilot got on the intercom and went on a long rant about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and her own impending divorce. After that, things got weird. From US Magazine...

That is when one of the passengers jumped up and “stormed off.” He claims half the flight followed his lead — and that after the pilot was removed from the plane the two shared a hug at the agent gate. “She was crying. She apologized. I wished her well & said I hope she gets the help she needs,” he wrote.

Hopefully, she gets the help she needs, gets on proper medication, returns to work, and most importantly, never flies a plane I happen to be on.

Everything ended well as the plane took off with these two new pilots at the helm...

For the full story, go to