Local

By Karen Harvey

 An update on the effort to save Chautauqua County Nursing Home from privatization

 

In January 2013, the Chautauqua County legislature voted not to sell their state-of-the-art public nursing home to a Chicago based nursing home chain. The Republican majority announced Monday, February 12 it will attempt to change the law requiring a 2/3 vote for any decision to sell county assets -- to a simple majority -- at the February 27 legislative meeting.  The vote to change the law requires a simple majority.

The Chautauqua County Nursing Home (CCH) is described on its website as a:”216 bed facility in Dunkirk, New York, in a rural setting; our staff provides a home-like atmosphere for our residents. The 280 member staff provides around-the-clock medical care to the elderly patients as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy.”

New York State is pushing to sell off publicly owned nursing homes.  With the federal government, it is coordinating a drive to force counties to divest themselves of their historic responsibility of providing a last-resort safety net for their incapacitated elderly and severely disabled.[1] County legislators are being herded into enabling a privatization agenda, the further dismantling of the social commons.

 

By Grady Hawkins

As the United States military and its mercenary forces blunder into the ninth year of the war in Afghanistan, the ghosts of history continue to haunt them. The specter of billions of dollars lost and thousands of lives wasted in a misguided foreign policy tragedy looms large indeed. As much as policy experts refuse to admit, the failure in Viet Nam so far in the distant past has resurrected here in the present. The parallels are undeniable, and the results likely the same.

Before the Americans, both the British Lion and the Russian Bear were routed by a rag-tag guerilla army that saw them beaten and humiliated. The Russians had the tanks, helicopter gunships, artillery and troops. They installed their own puppet government in Kabul as well. After 15,000 of their men were killed and thousands wounded, they pulled out, the army bitter and betrayed. The Soviets learned that Afghanistan is where empires go to die.

The United States followed them, seeking vengeance and victory, confidant it could succeed where the Russians failed. They stage was set for new American actors in the Great Game.

By Bill Logal

             Once upon a time there was a bridge in Buffalo called the Peace Bridge and by chance it spanned the Niagara River and joined the City of Buffalo with the neighboring Canadian town of Fort Erie and was built so that the wealthy elite could access their summer estates at Point Abino, Ontario, and other beach front properties that sprung up on the shores of Lake Erie.  Well everything went peacefully for 7 or so decades until the Peace Bridge Authority decided to build a twin to the existing bridge to handle the increasing flow of truck traffic that was entering and exiting our great Northern neighbor Canada because of increasing trade and the interdependence of the economies of both Canada and the United States.

            Plans for a twin bridge to serve the future transportation needs of both countries brought forth extreme pain and howls from a select group of the Buffalo citizenry led by our local daily news source. Thrown into the mix of steel, concrete, nuts and bolts were insurance issues, bond writers, aesthetics, environmental issues, health and welfare of residents, labor agreements, privatization and collapsing the Peace Bridge Authority in its entirety, to mention just a few. People flowed from under the baseboards grinding a multitude of axes representing various constituencies and suddenly we found ourselves in the midst of a maelstrom with meetings and charettes held in every venue and dutifully reported by our local paper. The Buffalo Club served as the headquarters for the aesthetes as they sought grand sweeping designs, a true Signature Bridge, where people would give homage to the great foresight and artistic flair of the elite. Artvoice and its champion writer, Bruce Jackson, weighed in on the side of the peasantry, while Jeff Belt and the Millenium Group became the preppie piper leading the yuppies in fervent cheers and shouts for their politician of choice and various political figures rushed to fill the vacuum created by our mute local leaders.

            The other side of the river produced nary a hint of turbulence as Fort Erie went about its duty and worked assiduously at improving their inspection stations, truck plaza and the approaches to the bridge. The ugly old bridge has seen a lot of water flow beneath it with vehicular traffic running over it in the past ten years and it will likely see much more of the same as the debate continues.

By Joe Schmidbauer
 
 The recent flap over the Canal District’s sewage overflow problem highlights what has been a chronic problem for this community, the Buffalo Sewer Authority. 

 

In 1996, Alt published an article entitled, “The Buffalo Sewer Authority (BSA) and the Smell of a Dying City.” This was followed by a series of articles over the past eight years about incompetence and corruption in the BSA.  These problems continue under the new Brown administration.

We have an unconfirmed report that last week there was another major environmental incident.  The whistle blower stated that the eight main digesters that contained the bacterium used to digest organic material have all broken down and have overflowed and flooded the island with millions of gallons of raw sewage.  The clean up has taken over a week.  The unnamed sources stated that sewer authority has been quietly discharging untreated sewage all summer.

Folks on the river front have been smelling sewage all summer.

More on this later

flora nerk

           April 18, 2008, in Buffalo, NY was a glorious day, weather wise, with full sunlight in a cloudless sky and temperatures in the low seventies and what could better on such a day than sequestering oneself in the WNED studio with 3 to 400 hundred folks all primed to listen to Professor Edward L. Glaeser. So!! You ask, who the hell is Glaeser and what revelations would be revealed that would interest so many of the movers and shakers sprinkled among the intelligentsia that guide the great shitty of Buffalo.

            The event was sponsored by The University of Buffalo Regional Institute, along with The Buffalo Niagara Partnership along with The Buffalo News. Professor Glaeser usually hangs his hat in Cambridge Ma., he is a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a deep thinking economist, if such a thing is possible. He gained the attention of the power brokers in the Buffalo region by publishing an article which appeared in an academic journal and was titled Can Buffalo Ever Come Back? Probably not—and government should stop bribing people to stay there.” The piece was written and published in September 2007 and whoever reads arcane academic journals discussing political economy in or around Buffalo must have taken umbrage over Professor Glaeser describing our beloved City as a ‘has been’ and tragically backing his premise with the facts and figures that we have all lived with as we watched and lived with the wreckage of greatness and an allegiance to a past that had become ancient history.