Photos and Politics

Posting will be sort of light the next few weeks as the summer break drifts to a close and the school year begins in a flurry of binders and looseleaf paper. A few things, then. 

1. Do you guys like the photo of the day? Do you miss it? Do you want it back? 

2. If you read nothing else this week, please read this piece at Rustwire (thanks to Kevin Purdy for the tip). Substitute “Buffalo” for “Cleveland” or “Youngstown” and you’ll see that problems in rust belt cities transcend mere party politics and have more to do with the dictatorship of the bureaucracy and a lot of media attention being paid to all the superficial things while glossing over the important, systemic problems. If there is one thing I’ve tried to do since starting a blog, it’s been to draw more attention to the cracks in the foundation, rather than the leaky roof. 

3. I don’t know the first thing about the school or its underlying issues, but it is absolutely unconscionable to announce the shut-down of the Pinnacle Charter School a mere 2 weeks before the school year starts. Disgusting and unforgivable. The state Department of Education must be led by insane people. 

4. Colin Dabkowski’s piece calling the Board of Education “theater of the absurd” and writing it up as a theater review is up, and brilliant

5. Donn Esmonde, continues pecking away for some reason, despite being “retired”.  Here, he lectures the world about the high cost of higher education. I don’t know why we should care about his own personal problems with this particular issue, and I don’t understand necessarily how a ranking of college value will factor in the notion of public service, rather than income potential. In any event, we get yet another glimpse into the life of a union family that, without irony, has a semi-retired paterfamilias who denigrates the notion of higher education for anyone living outside of an arbitrary political boundary.  On Sunday, he took some time out from throwing Bernie Tolbert under the bus and completely ignoring Sergio Rodriguez’s existence to tell us that Byron Brown isn’t all that good of a mayor. Yet the last 1/4 or so of the piece extols how it’s gotten “easier” for certain developers to do business with city hall. Of course it has – it all depends on whose campaign coffers you’re busy stuffing. (See # 2, above). Maybe Donn shouldn’t have told us what a great mayor Byron would be. 



  • I dug the AV photo daily. Being featured provided some much needed reinforcement and motivation to better as a photographer. But then I am biased because I was a contributor to that section.
    Plus, the beautiful photos provided a respite from the usual doom and gloom news.

  • Maybe Donn shouldn’t have told us what a great mayor Byron would be.
    Yep—he said it. Yet the voters of the City elected him….TWICE. I wouldn’t say BB is stupid. But I will say is “If Stupid was Dynamite, I wouldn’t be lighting a cigarette anywhere near Byron Brown.”

  • 1. Definitely want the photos back. Looked forward to them every morning.
    2.The Rustwire piece was excellent. The comparison was downright creepy. Maybe it’s something in the water.
    3. King has a hard on for Buffalo and it’s getting pretty blatant.
    4. Loved Dabkowski.
    5. Esmonde is still an ass.

  • Shuttering Pinnacle serves several purposes to those who pretend to give a shit about kids and their education but have other priorities. In pimp slapping Pinnacle Commissioner King and his fearless ed reformers are showing they will beat up on their own. It’s uncannily similar to the way Obama and friends have savaged the same union teachers they hustled for votes in 08 and aghain in 2012. They beat up on them to show their corporate masters that they are really not all that loyal to unions or teachers or anyone really, that the corporate bucks are their true loves and the ones they want to be close to. But then again public unions are down in membership and truth be told the neo liberals attack them because they are becoming less and less of a factor in winning elections. Likewise, Pinnacle is a charter and charters are the darlings of the powers at NYSED. But it’s not the kind of charter they really get excited about. It’s not Fapestry or Elmwood Hipster Charter where free lunches are scarce and private transportation is a must to keep those test scores high. Pinnacle is a lot of poor black kids from crappy neighborhoods and who in the gentrified world of Education Reform really has time for that unsavory demographic?

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