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Power breakfast, Valentine's style

He's not the kind of valentine most guys dream about.

But then, how often are the rest of us invited to have breakfast with arguably the second-most-powerful man in the country?

Rep. John J. LaFalce, D-Town of Tonawanda, got the chance.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan invited LaFalce to a one-on-one breakfast meeting Feb. 14 to kick around some economic issues.

LaFalce is the ranking minority member on the House Financial Services Committee.

"I am flattered that out of 535 members of Congress you chose me to have breakfast with you on St. Valentine's Day," he jokingly told Greenspan. "It was sweet of you."

Greenspan chuckled, but interest rates didn't budge.

Where the buck does not stop

Over the years, Mayor Anthony M. Masiello has taken a fair amount of criticism for his alleged waffling on some issues.

Say what you will, but the man does know his economics.

His grasp of the subject was on display Friday during a news conference to explain the Adelphia deal, which commits the company to building a high-rise office building where at least 1,500 people will work.

These jobs will lead to further development and even more jobs, contributing tens of millions of dollars to city coffers, he said.

"A buck becomes a buck, a buck and another buck," Masiello said. "After a lot of bucks, things turn around."

Geez, put that way, maybe we should be glad the buck doesn't stop with him.

Misquoted and 'mispictured'

The more conservative-leaning supporters of Assembly Majority Leader Paul Tokasz, D-Cheektowaga, can calm down.

The Legislative Gazette, a weekly newspaper that covers New York State government, was reporting on the Family Planning Advocates conference in Albany that included the Teen "Reality" Theater Group.

One skit featured two students portraying lesbians worried about the social effects of homosexuality if they were seen at the prom together, the Gazette reported.

"It's through their important message that we'll be able to prevent unwanted teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases," the paper quoted Tokasz as saying.

But informed readers who looked at the photograph accompanying the story knew something was wrong. The assemblyman posing with the theater group members was Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo -- not Tokasz.

And the quotes in the article really came from Hoyt. It seems a reporter thought she was talking to Tokasz when she was actually interviewing Hoyt.

Tokasz was not available to comment, so we're not sure what he thinks of the theater group or if he has ever seen it perform.

Hoyt didn't miss a chance to needle him.

"I told Tokasz, 'You never looked nor sounded so good.' "

Fame carries some options

Earl Simmons, better-known as rapper DMX, has attracted lots of local attention for his driving habits.

Simmons has been ordered to spend 15 days in the county jail for a traffic conviction in May. He still hasn't shown up, so a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Simmons happened to talk about driving during a forum on the state of hip-hop put on by the Source magazine.

"The cops in my neighborhood know that I don't have a driver's license, so they'll see my truck, not knowing it's my wife driving, and they'll always pull her over, for no apparent reason," the magazine quoted him as saying.

"My advice is to have a lot of cars and change cars all the time."

Everybody's whipping boy

As if Buffalo's public schools aren't blamed for enough problems, now they're a scapegoat for a failed Buffalo Bills head coach applicant.

The Sporting News reports the early favorite for the job really didn't want it after all.

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis "kept raising his demands, hoping the Bills would walk away from the table," the Sporting News reported. "It worked."

Among the factors influencing Lewis, according to the publication, was that he didn't want to put his two children in Buffalo schools.

So the next time school officials lobby for more tax dollars, they can drop the appeals mentioning deserving children.

Give 'em money because of the Bills!

Off Main Street is written by Patrick Lakamp, with a contribution from Matt Glynn.

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