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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news

>Wanted posters

The ripple effect continues.

The loss of Sabres co-captains Chris Drury and Daniel Briere to free agency will be felt most keenly on the ice. But the negative effect trickles all the way down to the post office.

Many local post offices continue to offer Sabres Sports Prints. For $19.99, fans can have matted color photos of their favorite stars.

Prominently featured in the displays?

None other than Drury and Briere.

One Team. One Goal. Two Missing Stars.


>Party animals

Thomas Montante, developer of Riverview Commerce Park in the Town of Tonawanda, likes to talk about the natural green space his new park will have. He says the tenants are bound to see wildlife on the property.

State Sen. Mary Lou Rath had some fun with his comments at a recent ceremony.

"As you spoke about how everyone here in the building was going to enjoy wild turkey and blue heron, I thought maybe we were having a cocktail party," she quipped.


>Out of order

Talk about ruling with an iron fist.

Buffalo's Common Council president apparently underestimated his own power at a recent meeting.

When David A. Franczyk banged his gavel, the head of the wooden hammer flew off.

"It's old and moth-eaten. Look at it," Franczyk later said, clutching the gavel. "It looks like someone chewed on it."

Given some of the nasty dogfights that took place during an earlier Council era, his theory might not be so far-fetched.


>Bocce Bowl

It's sometimes called the Stanley Cup of the Italian Festival.

This year's bocce tournament pitted Team Brown against Team LoCurto, a match that was oozing politics.

Delaware Council Member Michael J. LoCurto is facing a spirited challenge from Jessica Maglietto in September's Democratic primary.

Maglietto is an appointee of Mayor Byron W. Brown.

After Brown's team came from behind to beat LoCurto's squad, Maglietto backers suggested the victory was a good omen for their candidate.

But LoCurto had a different spin, noting Maglietto actually played early in the tournament and "she lost in the first round."

Still, Team Brown ultimately won. First Deputy Mayor Steven M. Casey was seen sauntering around the mayor's office clutching a trophy that stands nearly three feet tall.

At one point, Casey gave the cup a big kiss.

"Now that's Italian!" he gushed.


>Headline writers beware

The stories were flowing as easily as the diet soda early this week, when close to 100 former Courier-Express staffers met for their 25th anniversary picnic.

Not all the stories can be printed in a family newspaper. Or any newspaper.

Like the one former C-E troubleshooter John Pauly told about the headline he'll never forget.

This dates back to the late 1960s or early 1970s, when Nelson Rockefeller was governor and Carmen Ball, the Erie County district attorney, was a top GOP honcho.

It seems that Ball and his wife went to the airport and escorted Rockefeller to Memorial Auditorium.

"Rockefeller Escorted to the Aud by [Mr. and Mrs. Ball]," the front-page headline blared. Except instead of "Mr. and Mrs. Ball," the headline referred to them in the plural, without the courtesy titles.

"That's the only time I've ever heard the term 'Stop the presses,' " Pauly recalled.

Written by John F. Bonfatti with contributions from Brian Meyer, Donn Esmonde, Matt Glynn and Gene Warner.

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