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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news


A lot of strangers with Buffalo connections approach Tim Russert and introduce themselves when they see him.

But when one such Buffalonian approached Russert in a Washington airport, no introduction was needed.

As recounted in a column online by MarketWatch's Jon Friedman, the man walked up to Russert and said, "Mr. Russert, I'm the guy who . . . "

Russert, as passionate a Bills fan as you'll find, stopped the man in midsentence. "I know who you are, Scott," he said "I think about you all the time."

Yes, it was Scott Norwood, whose wide-right field goal attempt in Super Bowl 1991 will forever remained etched in the minds of Bills fans.


Tote note

Kudos to Mayor Byron W. Brown for his prompt response to one constituent's request for a replacement of a broken trash tote.

It outlined how the request went to the Department of Public Works and how the resident could track the progress of his request online or by calling a number at City Hall.

"I assure you that we will do everything possible to address your concerns to the best of our ability and within the limits of our budget," the mayor's response concludes.

One problem: The 191-word response never answered whether the resident would get the tote.

"As soon as we have received a recommended course of action from the Department of Public Works -- Sanitation -- Totes, we will contact you," it read.


The eyes have it

Many local viewers watching the recent debate among Democratic presidential candidates were surprised when the camera panned to the audience and captured the smiling face of former Mayor Anthony Masiello.

"It's amazing how many people saw me," Masiello said. "I was getting phone calls while I was still in South Carolina."

Masiello quickly dismissed the thought that he was contemplating a run and was scouting out the competition.

"I'm not running, I'm working," he said. Masiello said one of the debate's sponsors, Allergan, is also a client for the lobbying firm he works for now, Government Action Professionals.

"They brought me down to introduce some of their people to Hillary Clinton," he said. "I was proud to be with our New York senator and future president."

The plug for Hillary wasn't the only one the ex-mayor got in as he talked about representing Allergan, which makes eye care products, at the debate.

"Obviously, everybody had clear eyes," Masiello said.


Michaux, ma belle

Talk about making someone feel old.

Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer paid a surprise tribute to City Hall's longest-tenured employee during a visit this week.

He was in Common Council Chambers as officials bid farewell to Assessment and Taxation Commissioner Bruna Michaux. She is retiring Monday after 43 years of service.

Spitzer was there to talk about the Peace Bridge, but he also singled out Michaux for her impressive tenure. As he was leaving, he walked over to Michaux and whispered: "I was five years old when you started here."

That's just what Michaux wanted to hear, she later quipped.


Whoa Canada!

If actor/politician Fred D. Thompson runs for U.S. president and wins, Canada better be on its best behavior.

Writing on his Web site, the potential Republican presidential candidate frames his position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict using the example of a border battle royale between the United States and Canada.

"What do you think America would do if Canadian soldiers were firing dozens of missiles every day into Buffalo, N.Y.?" he wrote, as noted in the Washington Post. "I can tell you, our response would look nothing like Israel's restrained and pinpoint reaction to daily missile attacks from Gaza."

Canada, you're on notice.

Written by John F. Bonfatti with contributions from Brian Meyer and Sharon Linstedt.


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