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The offbeat side of the news

Beyond measure

How do you measure a father’s worth?

Well, as they do every year when Father’s Day approaches, the folks at dare to put an economic value on dear old Dad, and the aggregate figure they arrive at is based on his abilities to perform domestic chores.

The website has been keeping track of Dad’s value for four years now. Over the past 12 months, they said, Dad’s value has increased 3.25 percent, from $23,344 to $24,103. That exceeds the annual 2 percent inflation rate for the same period.

Good goin’, Dad!

Of course, Dad’s actual worth is inestimable. However, in its annual Father’s Day Index, establishes a monetary value by comparing common tasks fathers might perform at home and matching those jobs to the average annual wages they would fetch in similar occupations outside the home.

According to, dads could increase their value by spending more time on family finances or doing the household plumbing, tasks that command the highest hourly wages outside the home.

Firing up the grill and mowing the grass – two time-honored pastimes most often associated with dads – have the lowest economic value, according to Penny Gusner, a analyst with Despite that, they at least still do provide for a good-looking lawn and some dinner, Gusner added.

Wedded to the Bills

When it comes to keeping the Buffalo Bills in Western New York, Saratoga Springs resident Theresa Greenleaf emphatically says “I do” to that proposal.

Like many locals – and near locals – she cannot countenance the idea of divorcing the Bills from their digs at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

She has her own sentimental reasons for wanting to make sure they stay put.

In 1996, Greenleaf and her husband, Dennis, tied the knot on the 50-yard line during halftime, courtesy of Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas, whom she and her hubby-to-be had met at a friend’s party while they were in town.

“My fiancé asked, and they agreed to make it happen,” Greenleaf said.

The Bills lost to the Colts on that otherwise blissful afternoon of Oct. 6, 1996. Still, the party afterward was a blast.

“We had a tailgate reception,” Greenleaf said.

Courtroom crickets

Just before prominent defense attorney E. Earl Key left town earlier this month, a colleague made the announcement in State Supreme Court.

“Mr. Key will no longer be practicing law in this area after June 1,” Ann Nichols announced before State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr.

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

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

As we reported in a now-legendary Off Main Street item two years ago, Kloch 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.

No hard feelings from Key. He told us that in his last trial before Kloch, the judge played the cricket sound when the prosecutor showed up late.

Late bloomers

Has anyone else noticed the delay in the spring blossoming plants, which is likely owed to our extended winter earlier this year?

One wonders if this bodes well for the Buffalo Garden Walk, set for the last weekend in July? Normally, it is held about two weeks past the peak summer bloom time around these parts.

This year could be the most colorful walk ever.

Off Main Street is written by Harold McNeil with contributions by Lou Michel and Thomas J. Prohaska.

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