1. Congratulations to PoliticsNY's fearless leader and Editor in Chief, Michael Caputo, who signed on to be the permanent co-Host of WGRZ's midday political talk show "2 Sides". I was super excited that Michael will be in the thick of things, talking hard hitting political topics, interviewing the best, most well connected guests. Michael, on the other hand, was most excited about the fact that WGRZ is home to WNY's only Interactive Fish Fry map. It is Lent, so the love goes to the fish fry. You can catch "2 Sides" on WGRZ Channel 2 weekdays at noon.
2. Did you hear? The Buffalo Bills are short on money underneath the salary cap to sign new players. Could it be that the ill-advised contract extension to the quarterback who only played five games worthy of the cash he got? Could it be the race to make Mario Williams one of the highest paid players in the league - the $100 million man? What does this have to do with politics? Well, Mark Poloncarz and company were just able to negotiate a new lease to keep the team here, at least until the Seven Year Itch clause kicks in. Recent criticism of Governor Cuomo's budget is that the budget spends more on the Bills than on Pre-K programs. I am just hoping this doesn't turn out to be a stadium deal like the Florida Marlins, where the taxpayers build the stadium and the team goes Kaplooey.
3. From the "you can't make this $&%3 up" file, a convicted felon in Niagara County has just applied to the Niagara County IDA for a tax break to improve his building. The former dentist from Newfane was sentenced to 15 months in the pokey for... wait for it... tax evasion. Now he wants people who actually pay their taxes to save him $79,000 for improvements he is making to his building. Tax evaders applying for tax breaks - only in Western New York.
4. Does it come as any shock to anyone that the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region has the lowest percentage of high income households among the Top 50 cities in the country, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau? The cool thing is that we make all sorts of other lists like Best Place to Shovel Snow 1977, Best Place to Be Disappointed By Super Bowl 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and the Best Place to Send a Weather Man During ANY Snowstorm in the Country.
5. A West Seneca High School student was suspended for 5 days for tweeting vulgarities at a teacher, who removed him from a school sponsored sporting event for misbehaving. I was watching the responses on Mary Friona's Facebook page and found most people thought the punishment was too steep. One of the posters said something to the effect of "that mother should have went to the ACLU". I thought about it, and responded "...my mother wouldn't have gone to the ACLU. She would have gone to the morgue... to identify my body, because my dad would have killed me." My parents didn't beat me, but they never would have tolerated this. They wouldn't have been sitting by my side on the news, because they would have been angry, disappointed and mortified. I remember once when I exercised my right to freedom of speech by writing something bad on a neighbor's sidewalk with crabapple, my dad exercised his right to teach me about respect and manners by watching me and my buddy scrub that side walk for hours the next Saturday morning. Actions have consequences and hopefully the kid learns that before he tweets his way out of a job.
Our Tweet of the Week- Valentine's Edition comes from the Wall Street Journal: @WSJ - "Americans spend $815 million on their pets for Valentine's Day gifts and treats" That one should come with a hashtag #holycrap.
Have a great long weekend if you've got one.