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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news

>Wise guy, eh?

When a Three Stooges Festival was held at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda, witnesses were sure they saw Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk there. So we wrote about it.

Now the judge insists we are spreading vicious rumors about him.

In an e-mail to Off Main Street, he wrote: "How anyone could think that someone with my academic pedigree which includes charter memberships in the World Organization of Brightest Brains (W.O.O.B.), the New York-United Kingdom (N.Y.U.K.) Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the prestigious Yale University International (Y.U.I.) Order of scholars (of which our current president is also a member), would find humor in eye-poking, pie-in-the-face antics, is beyond comprehension.

"I expect that you will 'get busy' and write a retraction. If not, you will most soitenly be hearing from my attorneys at Howard, Fine and Howard."

We have, of course, apologized to the judge and hope this matter is resolved.

If not, we advise him to contact our attorney at the law firm of Dewey, Cheatem & Howe.

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>When is a deal not a deal?

Budget questions sometimes leave the economic realm and cross into the philosophical.

Insurance broker Mark Byrne was telling the Orchard Park Town Board how the town would save more than $200,000 on employee health coverage.

There was a collective double-take. Could it be true that the bill for health coverage was actually going down?

Well, not quite. The savings was compared to what the town would have spent, had it stayed with its old policy.

Town Attorney Leonard Berkowitz used an analogy to cast the issue in terms of his household budget.

"Is that like when my wife goes to the store and buys a $200 dress that was on sale for $100," he said, "so you've saved $100?"

Byrne said he would have to think about that one.

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>Making himself at home

If you're a Buffalo Bills first-round draft pick in need of place to live, where do you turn?

In the case of defensive back Leodis McKelvin, an earlier first-rounder came to the rescue.

According to records filed with the Erie County Clerk's Office last month, rookie McKelvin bought his Orchard Park home from former Bills receiver Eric Moulds. That 1996 first-rounder and three-time Pro Bowler bought the house in 2001 for $389,900.

Moulds, who departed the Bills for the Houston Texans in 2006, and spent the 2007 season with the Tennessee Titans, held onto to his Western New York home as he moved around.

McKelvin paid $519,900 for Moulds' digs.

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>Talk about hands-on

Rocco Termini is one of downtown's foremost developers, with projects ranging from the Webb Building reclamation to the IS Lofts on Ellicott Street.

It turns out that Termini does more than put together financing, revive old buildings and market properties.

He was recently spotted watering the bushes around the IS Lofts building, filling in for the maintenance staff.

"Yes, that was me," Termini confirmed. "When you work for yourself, you do everything."

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>Pass the chips -- and the dip

Put down those wings and give yourself a round of applause: You're a lot less unhealthy than you might think.

A survey of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States by Catalina Marketing in Florida found that Buffalo is only the 41st most unhealthy city. The results were based on an accounting of how much is spent on unhealthy food as a total percentage of grocery bills.

Buffalo-Niagara Falls: a positively svelte 7.07 percent.

Meanwhile, those sedentary fatties in Minneapolis-St. Paul Bloomington came in at No. 1, a few Fritos shy of 11.5 percent.

Written by Bruce Andriatch with contributions from Fred O. Williams, Sharon Linstedt and Donn Esmonde.

-mail: offmain@buffnews.com

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