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As Niagara Falls

Playing hurt

Lockport Mayor Michael W. Tucker was expected to limp back into City Hall today after undergoing surgery last Wednesday to repair two torn tendons in his right knee.

Council president and acting Mayor John Lombardi III announced at last week's meeting that Tucker had undergone the knee operation.

WLVL-AM reporter John Raymond needed a sound bite. He pulled out his microphone and tape recorder and asked Lombardi, "Where did the mayor have this operation?"

"On his knee," Lombardi replied.

No, Mr. President, the correct answer is "Lockport Memorial Hospital." Raymond went for another take.

On the second try, Lombardi got the location of the operation correct and also went on to say that city clerk and Budget Director Richard P. Mullaney was taking a couple of days off to have a cataract removed from his eye.
Lombardi actually said, with the tape running, "Dick Mullaney hasn't seen straight for a long time."


Glory days revisited

How do Niagara County legislators kick back and relax?

Well at least one lawmaker digs a still-touring English rock band formed in the mid-1980s.

"I'm heading out to see The Cult tonight, so we'll get out of here," committee Chairman Richard E. Updegrove, R-Lockport, told the remaining legislators and staff at a recent meeting of the Legislature's Economic Development Committee.

Members of the committee, along with staff of the county's Department of Economic Development, had just listened to several presentations, including from representatives of Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, and unanimously approved several resolutions.

With the committee's business nearly done for the evening, Updegrove made a few comments about grant funding and the county's marketing efforts to Canadian businesses.

But at the end of the night, none of the other committee members wanted to get between Updegrove and his drive to the Town Ballroom in Buffalo.

At least Updegrove showed up -- two of the committee's eight legislators didn't make the meeting.


Excuses, excuses

Looking poised and confident in a black top, black stretch pants and heels, Shayn M. Doyle, 19, of Lockport, stood before Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza to face the music for violating her probation on a marijuana possession charge.

Doyle was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor in the wake of her mother's discovery last year of more than a pound of marijuana in the teen's bedroom. She had violated probation by testing positive for drug use and other reasons, including not showing up for all her required group counseling sessions.

Sperrazza read from a probation report in which Doyle, whose driver's license was pulled after a drunken driving arrest, attributed that to "transportation problems."

The judge was unimpressed. "You make $1,000 a week. You can afford to hire a cab," Sperrazza snapped.

A 19-year-old without a high school diploma who has a criminal record makes $1,000 a week?

Interviewed after court, Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm revealed that Doyle is a dancer at a "gentlemen's club" in Erie County.

Sperrazza placed Doyle back on probation with a new condition: she must show her tax returns to her probation officer.


Political disagreement

The Lockport Common Council normally meets on Wednesdays. So why did it meet on Monday night this week?

Well, Council President John Lombardi III decided he didn't want to have a meeting the night before Thanksgiving. His first suggestion for a different night was tonight, but that didn't go over well with his colleagues.

"Can I be excused? It's my bowling night," Alderman Patrick W. Schrader said about the Tuesday night plan.

"It's my kid's hockey practice night," said Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano.

With contributions from Thomas J. Prohaska and Aaron Besecker of the News Niagara Bureau.

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