The offbeat side of the news - The Buffalo News

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The offbeat side of the news

Banking on the Penguins

We know it’s just business, but it still stung a bit.

Monday, the same day the Sabres were cleaning out their lockers after a miserable season, First Niagara Financial Group posted an exuberant tweet: “#Pittsburgh has @Penguins fever! We’re excited to present @firstniagara #FanZone all #playoffs long.”

The Fan Zone features a big screen where fans can watch playoff games near the Penguins’ arena (remember those days?). And the bank is involved with giveaways of Pens playoff tickets and Thunderstix noisemakers for fans.

We understand First Niagara has a presence in Pittsburgh and is trying to make a good impression on customers there. But the bank is headquartered here. Its name is on the Sabres’ arena. Its corporate logo is blue and gold. What gives? Who would they root for if these two teams met in the playoffs?

First Niagara spokesman David Lanzillo played the role of hockey analyst for us and took a diplomatic approach.

Managing a playoff series between its Sabres and Penguins fans would be “a nice problem to have,” but it hasn’t happened since First Niagara started doing business in Pittsburgh five years ago, Lanzillo said. But with all the high draft picks the Sabres are stockpiling, he said, “We hope a playoff series that brings the Penguins to the First Niagara Center isn’t too far off! For now, we’re cheering on the hockey fans (and our customers) in Pittsburgh.”

Trump sacked by fan blitz

The news that real estate investor and “Apprentice” star Donald Trump wants to buy the Buffalo Bills was met with not a little bit of skepticism.

Trump is, after all, coming off a months-long flirtation with running for governor.

Bills fans expressed bewilderment at the Trump news on Twitter.

Jon Campbell, a Lockport native and reporter for Gannett in Albany, asked, “Why? why? why? why? why? why? why?”

Buffalo expat and former White House staffer Michael Wear pleaded, “Please, for all that is good and right in the world, do NOT let Donald Trump buy my Buffalo Bills.”

And then there were those who just threw their hands up.

Amid rumors of ownership interest by Trump and rocker Jon Bon Jovi, comedian and Ellicottville native Brian Dunkleman tweeted, “Please just give a team to L.A. so I can end this lifelong nightmare.”

Now that’s the ticket

For city drivers, seeing a parking enforcement officer coming your way is rarely a welcome sight.

But for one stranded driver this week, the opposite was true.

At an Elmwood Avenue intersection during morning rush hour, an officer out on the street writing parking tickets came to the rescue of a stalled car, and she single-handedly pushed it to the side of the road.

So for all those overlooked good deeds that parking enforcers do while we’re busy grumbling about the tickets they dole out: Thank you.

Wait just a nanosecond

Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines “nano-” as one billionth part of a specified unit.

If you weren’t up to speed on that, then reading the latest press release from the State University of New York College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering might have been a bit confusing.

The release promoted “NanoDay in Buffalo,” aimed at educating 450 ninth-grade students about careers in “nanotechnology,” a field the state is hoping will grow in Buffalo.

The career day was inspired by “Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s strategic vision to grow New York State’s high-tech ecosystem.” (No press release generated by a state agency would be complete without a nod to the governor.)

Students learned about “nanoengineering,” “nanohealth” and “nanobioscience.” The college, meanwhile, focuses on those fields, as well as “nanoeconomics.”

Are we “nano-obesessed” yet?

Written by Jill Terreri, with contributions from Matt Glynn and Denise Jewell Gee. email:

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