Return to winter, tracking casino cash and some graffiti artists go straight - The Buffalo News
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Return to winter, tracking casino cash and some graffiti artists go straight

Every day produces its share of bad news, of course. That’s the nature of life. But we haven’t seen news this bad for many a year: This week, in a dismaying report, the Farmers’ Almanac predicted that Western New York is in for an especially long, especially cold winter.

Yuck, particularly so after the last two mild winters.

The 197-year-old publication, which bases its forecasts on what it calls a formula but which seems more like black magic, proclaimed that for upstate New York, “The days of shivery are back!” Said Managing Editor Sandi Duncan (no, not that Sandy Duncan): “Bitterly cold and snowy.” Other bad words are used: “intense storm,” “snow-filled” and so on.

Well, it’s all in how you look at it. Ski hill operators are ecstatic, praying the prediction is on the mark. We’ll have an idea of the almanac’s accuracy no later than early February, when it predicts “an intense storm, heavy rain, snow and strong winds.” It’s due between Feb. 1 and 3.

Well, we can take it. We’re Buffalo. But just in case, better monitor the airfares to Miami.

A vote for transparency from Sen. George Maziarz: The Newfane Republican plans to post on his website ( how the City of Niagara Falls is spending the money it gets as a result of gambling at the Seneca Niagara Casino.

The city received about $89 million after being shut out during the four-year dispute between the Senecas and the state. After passing much of that to other entities that receive part of the city’s share, the city will still have about $25 million left to spend.

Knowing that its spending will be public knowledge should encourage the city to use the money wisely, or at least ensure that city taxpayers can find out if it’s not.

The first data should be posted next week.

Here’s urban cool: Spearheaded by one of Buffalo’s biggest boosters, Mark Goldman, the newly formed Allen Street Artists Collective is beginning a fanciful project that will soon see 20,000 square feet of outdoor wall space covered in murals.

The first one is already under way outside Holly Farms, a convenience store near Allen and College streets. There, a group of graffiti artists, under the direction of Ian DeBeer and with the help of digital projection artist Keith Harrington, is creating a tribute to the late Buffalo-born comics artist Spain Rodriguez.

It’s a great way to add welcome seasoning to the Allentown cityscape while giving street artists an appropriate place to apply their talents. This should be fun to watch.

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