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The offbeat side of the news

Reeling in a trophy fish

There were more experienced anglers on Lake Erie among the 50 or so participants in this week’s annual “Lake Erie Experience” fishing trip sponsored by the fish advisory boards in Erie and Chautauqua counties.

But Maria Whyte, Erie County’s commissioner of environment and planning, generated the most attention.

Whyte, a former Erie County legislator, fished with Legislature Chairman John Mills and Legislator Ted Morton – and reeled in the trophy fish – a 14.1-pound lake trout.

The four-hour Wednesday morning adventure was launched from Dunkirk Harbor just after dawn and, inauspiciously, began with a series of waterspouts dropping into Lake Erie in front of the squadron of charter fishing boats.

Shortly thereafter, the trout bit Whyte’s line.

Those on the boat with Whyte said she turned the reel nearly 250 times and wrestled the large lake trout to the side of the boat where it was pulled aboard.

Everyone knows of the many fish tales told in the halls of the Rath Building, but those with Whyte made sure she’d go home with the proof of her catch.

We present it as exhibit No. 1.

In the photo, Capt. Fred Forsythe of Castaway Charters stands behind Whyte.

Doubling down on ‘z’

Peter Anderson, press secretary to Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, is normally a stellar scribe.

The daily news releases he sends to local media via email are clear, concise and typically free of egregious misspellings, or even typographical errors. So it was a surprise to spot even a small flub in one of Anderson’s recent missives, particularly since it involved a misspelling of his boss’ last name in the subject heading of the email:

“Poloncarzz Statement on EC Legislature Approval of CSEA Local 815 Contract Agreement.”

OK, it’s hardly an office crisis. Nor is it unlikely that anyone else couldn’t have gotten similarly carried away with the keystrokes. However, even Anderson acknowledges that he is usually quite, er, punctilious when it comes to proofreading his own copy.

“Oh, you’re kidding,” Anderson said, when told of his mistake.

“It was an inadvertent keystroke on my part,” he added. “I did not mean to impart an extra ‘z.’ ”

Of course not. Though, just for a second, we thought Anderson was, perhaps, attempting to add a purposeful bit of pizazz to the Poloncarz surname.

Render us confused

On the cover of this week’s Artvoice is an artist’s rendering of a revived Buffalo waterfront, with the addition of a glitzy, new downtown stadium for the Bills, along with current familiar landmarks, including Coca-Cola Field, One Seneca Tower and First Niagara Center.

We’re not sure, however, whether the illustration omits our beloved One News Plaza, home of The News for the past 40 years. There is a structure that vaguely looks like ours, but the placement is not exactly right, and our parking lot seems to be missing. Also conspicuously absent from the rendering is HarborCentre, now under construction, and the Niagara Thruway, though the Skyway remains front and center in the illustration of downtown’s future.

Off Main Street is written by Harold McNeil, with a contribution from T.J. Pignataro.


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