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As Niagara Falls / Tales of the strange but true

>Colorful names

Lockport Common Council President John Lombardi III scored a point off Alderman Joseph C. Kibler in their battle of witticisms last week.

Kibler inherited the job of announcing the names of people who sign up to speak during the public comment period. No one signed up last week, so Lombardi, unbeknownst to Kibler, wrote on the sign-up sheet, "Peter Moss."

Pete Moss. Like peat moss. Get it?

Kibler didn't.

"Our first speaker is Peter Moss," Kibler announced.

Silence. "I guess our first speaker has left," Kibler said.

After the meeting, when Lombardi revealed the scam, he was staggering around the room laughing so hard onlookers feared he might have a stroke.

"I got him!" he shouted.

"It's a good thing he didn't write "Herbie Hind,' " Kibler said.


>Coach: Bag those pants

Herman Boone hates it when young men wear low-hanging pants that go down "below your below."

The retired football coach and teacher, who became famous after actor Denzel Washington portrayed him in the movie "Remember the Titans," admonished young men who like that style of dress when he spoke Tuesday at Niagara County Community College in Sanborn.

"How many of you would lend a kid a single dime who doesn't look worth the amount you are lending him?" he asked the audience. "How many of you would give a kid a job who walks with his pants hanging down around his knees? How many of you ladies would date a dude that walks into your house with his pants hanging way down so you see his underwear. . .?

As a teacher, Boone said, "You couldn't wear your pants below your below in my class [at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va.] because you knew Coach Boone had some rope in his room and he was going to give you a designer belt."


>Comic timing matters

Roadside cleverness rarely works with police, as Buffalo resident Jose Serano Jr. learned in Niagara Falls one recent Saturday.

After forcing several oncoming cars to take evasive action to avoid his erratic driving, Serrano, 39, was pulled over by Falls Officer Michael Lee. Serrano didn't perform well on field sobriety tests, Lee said. After flubbing the alphabet recital, Serrano turned to Lee and said, "You know the alphabet. Why do I have to tell it to you?" the officer reported.

Funny line, but not enough to avoid a driving while intoxicated charge.


>Tax dollars at work

The Niagara County Office for the Aging got an extra $50,000 from the state's Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program, to help pay for part-time workers who spend their time trying to explain the new Medicare prescription drug plan to senior citizens. That gives the office a chance to buy a new wheelchair van, Director Christopher Richbart said.

Of course, the county can't buy the van with the EPIC money directly. That would be wrong. But the $50,000 grant can be used to move the salaries of the three workers from the regular county budget into the grant-funded portion. That frees up $32,012, which can be used to buy the van, which Richbart said the office has needed for years.

Government does make many moves.

With contributions from Thomas J. Prohaska and Paul Westmoore of the News Niagara Bureau and Niagara Correspondent Mike Kurilovitch.

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