The offbeat side of the news - The Buffalo News

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The offbeat side of the news

Lest we forget Dorsheimer

How could we leave William Dorsheimer off our recent list of Western New Yorkers who ran on state tickets of candidates for governor and lieutenant governor?

That’s what City Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder wondered when he saw the list on the front page of The News after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo picked Kathleen C. Hochul as his running mate.

For those in the dark, Dorsheimer was a prominent Buffalo attorney who spearheaded a move to bring Frederick Law Olmsted to Buffalo to design the city’s park system and hired H.H. Richardson to design his Delaware Avenue home.

He first served as lieutenant governor from Jan. 1, 1875, to Dec. 31, 1876 under Gov. Samuel J. Tilden, a Democrat and the last governor to serve a two-year term. Tilden was also the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for president in the disputed election of 1876.

Dorsheimer’s second term was from Jan. 1, 1877, to Dec. 31, 1879, under Gov. Lucius Robinson, another Democrat, who was the first governor to serve a three-year term as a result of an amendment to the State Constitution.

Before his stint in state office, Dorsheimer led an effort to bring landscape architects Olmsted and Calvert Vaux here in 1868 to design and connect the city’s parks. The two architects teamed up in the mid-1880s to design the Niagara Reservation (now Niagara Falls State Park).

Dorsheimer also hired architect H.H. Richardson to design a house for him at 434 Delaware Ave., which was built in 1868, still stands today and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He also helped Richardson win the commission to design the New York State Asylum on Forest Avenue.

Born Feb. 5, 1832, in Lyons, Wayne County, Dorsheimer moved to Buffalo when he was 5. He died March 26, 1888, and is buried in Forest Lawn.

A word from ‘The Godfather’

If there’s a politician in the room, a cliché can’t be far behind.

Such was the case Wednesday, when Cuomo stopped by Roswell Park Cancer Institute to promote Start-Up NY, a state program that offers tax-free zones.

Vijay Kumar, a University at Buffalo faculty member and vice president of Aesku Diagnostics, a German company opening an office in a tax-free zone in Buffalo, talked about how “Start-Up NY sealed the deal for all of us.”

At a news conference earlier that morning in Rochester, a company official there said the governor “made an offer that we can’t refuse,” Cuomo said. “Everything comes back to ‘The Godfather’ movie,” Cuomo said, “even economic policy.”

Crickets chirping goodbye

Local defense attorney E. Earl Key is leaving town.

Key has taken a state job in Utica to act as a kind of public defender for sex offenders challenging civil confinement rulings, he said. Such proceedings are held behind closed doors, which some in the legal community said might put a crimp in Key’s often-flamboyant style.

Another one of Key’s key characteristics was occasional tardiness.

As we reported two years ago, State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. used his iPad to play a sound effect of crickets chirping when Key was nearly half an hour late for a court appearance.

Kloch looked pensive after hearing the news of Key’s departure. “I hope it wasn’t my cricket joke,” Kloch said.

Sit at your own risk

North Tonawanda Alderman at Large Robert J. Clark was welcomed back for Tuesday’s Common Council meeting after spending 12 days in the hospital with gastric issues.

Next to him at the far end of the dais was Alderman at large Malcolm Needler, who spent about a month out last summer after he suffered a heart attack.

Clark joked about the proximity of their seats and then dead-panned, “This is a rough neighborhood.”

Written by Jill Terreri, with contributions from Stephen T. Watson, James Staas, Thomas J. Prohaska and Nancy Fischer.


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