January 19, 2010
…or maybe Phoenix fans are the worst. I’m not positive, but when the away crowd outnumbers the home crowd you know the home time has a problem. And when the away team is from 2,000 miles away the home team has a real problem.
That was evident last night when Buffalo fans succeeded in turning the Jobing.com Arena into a sea of blue and yellow, and out-cheered Phoenix fans by roughly the same ratio with which the Sabres beat the Coyotes.
Whether it was hanging out in front of the arena…
…lining up as the gates opened…
…or inside the arena, Sabres fans were everywhere.
It was an impressive exhibition of fan support that I’ve ever witnessed firsthand, and an example of why the Coyotes will shortly be playing in Winnipeg or some other city.
I didn’t get the MSG feed so I don’t know how much they talked about it, but having been there I can readily say that in the NHL, Buffalo has no equal when it comes to supporting their team.
January 1, 2010
Today is the first day of the new decade (well, not technically but that’s okay). The Buffalo News wishes us a Happy New Year with these three front page headlines:
- Colgan pilots fault stall training (describe method as ‘Joke’)
- A Year of Tragedy
- Brown ousts Gipson as city’s top cop
The first article that one might construe as “hopeful” (albeit unlikely) is found on page 4: North Korea makes a commitment to a nuclear-free peninsula.
This is a depressing, depressing newspaper. Even Esmonde’s New Year’s wish list is nothing more than whining about what will prevent his wishes from happening. There are good things worth reporting, aren’t there? The News always surprises with their slant toward the forelorn and depressing. I just couldn’t get through today’s paper. I think it will be the last Buffalo News I try to read.
So, my response to what the News does not provide is a list of some of the really neat things that happened last decade. They give me hope for a Happy New Year and the start of a great decade. Here goes:
- Lance Armstrong. He never gives up.
- Planets Everywhere. The odds of finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe keeps going up as we discover just how common planetary systems are.
- …and related to this, Water on Mars. The odds of finding any kind of life elsewhere takes a giant leap forward wherever we find water.
- The Human Genome Project, and the hope that it brings to understanding the genetic framework for many diseases, including cancer and diabetes. I may not live long enough to reap the benefits but I think my children will.
- The 2008 Olympics. Beauty, form, grace, and grandiose settings. Amazing what a country with a limitless supply of low-cost labor can do for a few billion dollars. [Anecdote: Today the Bird’s Nest is barely used and needs a bit of a paint job.] May Rio de Janeiro be so successful in 2012.
- Globalization. New markets, new opportunities. Fear mongerers spew nonstop about cheap labor overseas destroying America, but we saw that in the 70’s and got through it. America is still the land of innovation and so long as we continue to innovate we will continue to be an economic powerhouse.
- Extreme Makeover, Buffalo. ‘Nuf said.
- Alternative Energy. Finally, government and industry are taking notice. Even if we can’t eliminate fossil fuel use (until it’s gone) we are rapidly approaching cost-effective alternative energy. At that point – I predict it happening this decade – the alternative floodgates will open.
- Going Green. Even if global warming turns out to be more hype than substance, awareness of how we are polluting our environment has raised our efforts at conservation. We see it in everything from simpler packaging to more efficient building construction. Clean Technology grew almost 20-fold last decade to a $10 billion industry today.
- The Internet. The awakening of an online generation to the power of a tweet and a blog. Social networking now wins and loses elections and drives the direction of government and industry faster than ever before.
I wait with excitement for what the 10’s will unveil.
December 29, 2009
Mike Madonia, UB alumnus and now Director of Development at the School of Engineering, writes about the impact that everyday Buffalonians – and everyday Buffalo – has on him and the people around him.
If only the Buffalo News could replace any one (of their typically four) alarmist and/or depressive tone-setting front-page reports with one of these every day; we’d all be smiling just a little more, holding our heads just a little higher, and seeing good PR about our area spread just a little further.
December 14, 2009
Andrew Sullivan from The Daily Dish had this article today. Its references contain many more compliments about the Buffalo region. Funny how often I sense more optimism for this city from sources that live outside the area, than those who live within its boundaries.
Thank you, Andrew, for a great article.
December 13, 2009
While Buffalo Pundit chastises the Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation for lack of strategic foresight in its lending practices, I found today’s article on the BERC disappointing for a wholly different reason:
-It takes 25 employees to administer about a loan a month.
Six-sigma lean it ain’t.
December 10, 2009
On a day when they closed all area schools; and the winds gusted to over 50 mph; when the Weather Channel warned of a bitter cold weather pattern expected to last all day; with the possibility of 6 to 10 inches of snow in the Southtowns and more in the Southern Tier, my normal 30 minute commute to work took me…40 minutes.
How long did it take you?
November 18, 2009
Mayor Brown would be smart to distance himself from taking any credit for the success that Extreme Makeover brought to Buffalo’s Massachusetts Avenue neighborhood. Instead, he should cite this as an example of what can be accomplished when everyone works together for the betterment of a neighborhood. He’d be way ahead if he uses his political clout to help sponsor and organize Extreme Makeover, Part II – XYZ Neighborhood. I think any area around Jefferson and Best would do just nicely.
Someone asked about the tax liability that Delores Powell will have on her new home. Rest assured that the producers of Extreme Makeover don’t leave that open-ended. Essentially, they got the city to agree never to raise the assessed value of Delores’ property so long as she owns it. What Extreme Makeover did was lease the house for two weeks from Delores, so that they could renovate it under leaseholder improvement provisions. There is even a federal provision nicknamed the Extreme Makover Loophole that Congress passes every year, just so these guys on ABC can do what they do.
I’m not sure how New York State sees this but I wouldn’t be surprised it sends Ms. Powell some kind of tax bill for imputed income. It is New York State, after all.
It’s a wonder that this Extreme Makeover segment even happened. When the producer first went to City Hall with the schedule, some of the first words out of the Municipal Housing Authority were “It’s not gonna happen by those dates” to which the producer said “We’ve done 168 homes throughout the country so far; do you really want to be known as the first city that couldn’t accommodate the schedule?” The permits were put into place shortly thereafter.
This is yet another example of the territorial nature of our local government. I’m happy that clearer heads prevailed and if Mayor Brown had something to do with this, then good for him. Rather than embrace Extreme Makeover and its potential for great intentions and even greater PR, some clown in City Hall decides to throw his weight around. The issue of little duchys permeates across Western New York govenment and grows by example, starting with our political leadership. How do we ever change something so ingrained as this?
Buffalo needs more Extreme Makeovers. What a great way to bring out the best and show the rest of the world why we so rightly deserve the title “City of Good Neighbors”.