As the sequester kicks in all around us, it's time for us to look back at the week that was - and try to enjoy it all over again.
1. If At First You Don't Secede
New York State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Oz) wants to cut New York City loose and slice New York into two separate entities. He cites the downstate interests that drive taxes through the roof and take our resources. As Hawley represents a district with few people and no major city, I am wondering if he has done the math. Who pays for who? Do the less than a million people in his district pay for the people of New York City, or do the 8.2 million people in New York City cover us Upstaters? This would be a classic example of cutting off your nose to spite your face. And who gets to be New York, and who gets to be New New York?
2. At Least We're not Detroit
Things have been so bad for so long in Detroit that the Governor is considering suspending the current administration's powers and hiring an outside an Emergency City Manager. A state review team concluded that there is a local financial emergency and Detroit can't fix it. The city hasn't been in the black at year end since 2004 and has a current cash flow deficit of $100 million. Do you think Buffalo is falling apart, with vacant properties everywhere? Watch here as Detroit sports guy Charlie LeDuff golfs his way 18 miles through the entire city of Detroit. Maybe we could buy a pro baseball or basketball team at their garage sale to add to our own woes.
3. It's Always About Money
Buffalo City Comptroller Mark Schroeder took a pass on Mayor Brown's State of the City address after a spat over borrowing the morning of the event put the two at odds. It seems Comptroller Schroeder said he isn't swiping the card until big projects are ready to go. The Common Council approved $21 million in capital spending. Schroeder said, "Sorry kids, we've only got $18.9 million to spend." The Mayor's address and luncheon drew 1,100 people, so what did Schroeder's afternoon look like while most of his pals out to lunch?
4. New York's Wacky Laws
Nope, I'm not talking about NY SAFE Act. Channel 7's Kyla Igoe does a fun report on the strange and outdated laws that are still on the books in New York State. The takeaway: it's still against the law to commit adultery in New York State. I wonder if Eliot Spitzer knew that.
5. Rock 'em, Sock 'em Money Men
Two of Buffalo's more famous money men duked it out verbally over the parking problems in Downtown Buffalo. Restaurateur and Statler City owner Mark Croce took the stance that there isn't a parking problem, there's a price problem: parking's too cheap. Ellicott Development Corp. owner Carl Paladino, ramped it up and said we need more... ramps, that is. Croce's contention is that if parking costs more, there will be more people car pooling and taking public transportation. He's right. Paladino says bad parking hurts business and tourism. He's right. Don't you hate it when that happens? Can't we just make the Sky Way into a huge valet lot or turn the Trico building into a historically significant parking palace?
Have a great weekend! And if you hate the sequester - thank a Republican.