The offbeat side of the news - The Buffalo News

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The offbeat side of the news

Unsuitable for Buffalo

The boldly patterned outfits featured in a recent online Brooks Brothers ad were enough to catch our eye. Perhaps, even more eye-grabbing was the name given to this curious apparel line: Buffalo Check.

The name obviously refers to the chunky, checkered pattern of the fabric from which the garments were made. Call it gingham-on-steroids. The clothes do make a statement. Of course, the hope is that no one viewing them ever gets the idea they were in any way inspired by our fair city or the sartorial tastes of its fashion-forward denizens.

Maybe the pants are just a bit too much.

All beef, no bull

What is an ox roast without the ox?

It was the usual fare when it came to the annual Labor Day Ox Roast held Sunday in East Aurora. The annual fundraiser for the East Aurora Fire Department hasn’t featured roasted ox in decades, at least not since it was hosted by the Rod and Gun Club more than 40 years ago, said Fire Chief Roger LeBlanc.

Instead, patrons attending the all-day event at Fireman’s Field on Pine Street dined on roast beef sandwiches garnished with Limburger cheese and onions, clam chowder, hotdogs and fresh cut fries.

“I don’t understand the concept, but it sells out every year,” LeBlanc said.

The price of a gaffe

Mayor Byron Brown has been taking a lot of ribbing since President Obama’s gaffe during a recent visit to the University at Buffalo North Campus.

As everyone knows by now, the president erroneously identified Rep. Brian Higgins as the mayor instead of Brown. Well, it appears Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy this week couldn’t resist making more sport of Obama’s funny faux pas during a news conference at Templeton Landing restaurant near Erie Basin Marina to announce a new state park eyed for Buffalo’s outer harbor.

“After the governor speaks, we’ll hear from Mayor Brian Higgins and Congressman Byron Brown,” Duffy said, before introducing Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

When it was Brown’s turn to step up to the mike, he responded to the lieutenant governor’s kidding by noting the disparity in salary between a mayor and a congressman.

“I was happy to hear I was getting a $70,000 increase in pay,” the mayor said. “Unfortunately, that never occurred.”

Heroic neighbor

Michael Vaughn, a University at Buffalo senior, is being hailed as a hero, both on the UB campus and in his hometown of Clay, near Syracuse, for having rescued a drowning man from the bottom of his neighbor’s swimming pool.

According to accounts in UB’s Spectrum newspaper and the Syracuse Post-Standard, Vaughn was preparing to leave home to return UB on Aug. 19 when he heard screams coming from the neighbor’s house. He used a stool to help propel him over the six-foot fence adjoining their properties, dived into the pool and pushed the unconscious man to the surface before being assisted by the man’s relatives in hoisting him from the pool. Vaughn then performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the man, a Costa Rican national who had been visiting family.

Vaughn, who seems like a neighbor anyone would love to have, plans to study physical therapy at the University of Maryland after he graduates from UB, according to the Spectrum.

Written by Harold McNeil. email:

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