1. The Mayor
held a campaign rally gave his “State of the City” address yesterday, and the two big takeaways from it are:
a. The city will challenge local businesses to hire at least one city resident. 22,000 new jobs.
b. The city will put out an RFP for development of the Webster Block – a blighted surface parking lot in front of the First Niagara Center and HSBC Atrium. That’s one ugly lot down, hundreds to go. This is an epic middle finger to ECHDC, which had included the Webster Block in its comprehensive plan for Canalside for several years. As usual, there was little communication between the city and ECHDC, and its chairman, Jordan Levy, learned about the Mayor’s decision from the press.
c. The city will set up a $15 million “quality of life” fund. The natural question is, why did it take the Mayor seven years to come up with this?
If those are the biggest, most visionary ideas that Byron Brown can conjure, then he really has established why we need someone new, with vision – with a plan – to be mayor of a shrinking city with myriad unaddressed issues.
2. Carl Paladino submitted plans to turn the crumbling, oversized planter known as the Greystone Building into luxury apartments. This is clearly a positive move, and one that took far too long to come about.
3. At some point, certain entitled loudmouths will quiet down and let the owner of Acropolis complete the expansion of his business and let him play music within its walls. People who want peace and quiet move to the suburbs. People who want a lively, vibrant community that is tolerant of busy businesses and sometimes conflicting lifestyles live in cities. Ironically, the people complaining hardest about noise and congestion – things that are indicative of a vibrant and successful city environment – purport to be city boosters. (Also, what constitutes a “neighbor” doesn’t include “people who live many blocks away”). Also, did Janice Okun write this comment at the Buffalo News story linked-to above?
4. In case you missed it, the identity of the Republican front-runner has changed yet again. While unemployed millionaire Mitt Romney has been the presumptive nominee for months, Republicans haven’t been thrilled with that prospect, and have at various times flirted Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and now – Rick Santorum.
The former Pennsylvania Senator is one of the most reactionary and medieval culture warriors out there – his views would enable him to run for Pope. He wants to ensure that Americans all adhere to the same Catholic ethos that he follows, and essentially criminalize anything else. He’s exactly what the bizarre tea party ordered, and here’s his newest ad:
6. Posting will be very light over the next week. Have a great winter break.