The Friday Five Spring is In The Air Edition By Peter Herr













As I round of my vacation week, I want to thank the vacation gods for providing me with a week full of entertainment to ponder. Dyngus Day, April Fool's Day, a change in the Today Show host complete with duet and more corruption than you can shake a stick at.

1. Walmart Delivery

The world's largest retailer announced this week that, in order to save money, they are contemplating using their own customers to deliver packages to customers who order and want home delivery. The packages will be shipped to the closest store and then a loyal Walmart customer will bring the package to your home............um..........no thanks. I can see the SNL skit developing before my very eyes.

2. It's like winning the lottery

For years the NY Lottery has touted that the money raised goes to the schools of New York. What was originally supposed to be an addition to state funding has turned into a replacement for state funding, but we aren't talking about chump change. This piece on Syracuse.com details how much coin we are talking about and where it goes. It ends with a document that shows how we made out in WNY in 2012. The top three winners of the lottery here? Buffalo took home top dollar with $76.7 million, Williamsville scratched off a cool $10.6 million and Kenmore-Tonawanda was a close third at $10.1 million.

3. Hillary, oh, Hillary, what whilst thou do?

Just two months into her retirement and barely into her flip-flops (the comfy shoes, not the Mitt Romney style of politics) speculation abounds about what's next for Democratic Darling, Hillary Clinton. Currently, she has a small transition staff in DC....I don't imagine you can just toss the keys to the State Department to the new guy and say, "sometimes the brakes don't work so well" and walk out the door. While Hillary is, no doubt, putting her feet up for a short time, that doesn't stop the political machine for moving forward. There's already a super PAC "Ready For Hillary" set up, polls show her whooping the GOP funny first name front runners, Jeb and Marco, by 11 points each IN THEIR HOME STATE, and Andrew Cuomo has started to fret. Rumor has it he tosses back a coupla Big Gulps when he is nervous.

4. Something's Fishy

Two different stories came out about invasive species and the Great Lakes and Finger Lakes. The first story got me, hook, line and sinker. Maybe the best April Fool's Day joke I have seen in a long time, fingerlakes.com announced they were draining Cayuga Lake to combat the dreaded Bolivian Paril Lofos frog (yes, after further review, those are the same letters as April Fools). Hey, the story came with a picture and it was on the internet, it must be true. The second, and actually true story, involves the finding of Asian Carp DNA in the Great Lakes....including Lake Erie. While, we'll need to wait and see, this could have horrific effects on the Great Lakes ecosystem and the economy it drives. Not being a wait and see guy, I suggest forming a task force immediately, and including representatives from Lloyd'sTaco Truck and Sea Bar.....hey, you can solve almost any problem with good Wasabi. If you can't beat them, eat them, I say.

5. Discovery Channel has Shark Week, New York has Corruption Week....

In what looks like a rerun of the Jack Abramoff days, New York politicians are falling to corruption scandals in numbers reminiscent of the Buffalo Sabres, loss column. In the past week alone, State Senator Malcolm Smith, New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, and separately, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson have all been embroiled in scandals relating to bribery. US Attorney Preet Bharara had the quote of the day in referring to Stevenson's transgressions when he said, "It's a fairly neat trick to hatch a scheme that offends core principles of both democracy and capitalism simultaneously." Taking the whole story to a new level of intrigue, Assemblyman Nelson Castro of the Bronx is resigning on Monday as he has apparently been serving as a mole for the US Attorneys and Bronx DA during this whole thing, for years. It's great that guys like Castro have a conscience and come forward and do the right thing. Wait....what? He did it to get himself out of trouble.... Oh..... As a diehard Dem, I hope they hang these fellas high and end their careers and those of others who betray the public trust. I don't care if they are my party, I have no tolerance for this.

Looks like Spring has finally sprung. Get out and enjoy. Cheers.




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