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Robert J. McCarthy


Local News

East Side residents know exactly where to find Betty Jean Grant on the first and third Wednesday of every month. That’s when the county legislator from District 2 presides over neighborhood meetings at the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library on Jefferson Avenue. The legislator might delve into the county budget, or  services offered by county government. But on a recen…

Local News

Almost anybody who has ever met Mark J.F. Schroeder recognizes the city comptroller’s longtime ambition to lead Buffalo as its mayor. As he takes on incumbent Byron W. Brown and challenger Betty Jean Grant in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary, Schroeder seems to revel in all that the city's top job entails – policy, leadership requirements, and even campaigning. But po…

Local News

When local politicians gathered to hear Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plans for cashless tolling at the Grand Island bridges nearly two weeks ago, one of the concept’s most vocal proponents proved conspicuously absent. Rep. Brian Higgins was not invited by the governor’s staff, though he has also loudly sought toll relief for Grand Island commuters. The congressman, on the …

Columns

If the old adage about voters ignoring campaigns until after Labor Day proves true, expect Tuesday to kick off a week of hyper-politics in Buffalo. The day after Labor Day will mark one week before the Democratic primary election on Sept. 12, and the sleepy, three-way contest for mayor may suddenly take on some energy. Maybe. Possibly. Could happen. Buffalo voters…

Local News

The power of incumbency is energizing Byron W. Brown’s campaign for re-election. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the nation’s top elected Democrat, on Friday endorsed the three-term Buffalo mayor, giving him credit for the city’s renewed economic development. “Over the course of his tenure, Buffalo has become a nationally recognized success story for overcoming decades of d…

Local News

State transportation officials said they're open to Rep. Brian Higgins' call for signal synchronization on South Buffalo alternative routes to the Skyway during next year's redecking work, when traffic on the massive bridge will be reduced to one lane. But they remain far less receptive to his renewed demand to drastically scale back the project while assessing the Skyw…

April N. Baskin, running in the County Legislature’s District 1, has complained to the state Board of Elections that one of her opponents failed to file timely campaign finance reports. Baskin, endorsed by Democratic Party leaders, faces three other candidates in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary. She said she seeks a state probe into the lack of compliance by candidate C…

Politics

In most states, it’s hard to get fired up over the fortunes of a minor political party like the Conservatives. Erie County Chairman Ralph Lorigo’s Conservative squad counts only 13,173 soldiers, after all, hardly a threat to the massive armies commanded by the Democrats and Republicans. But this is New York – one of the few states that allows Democrats and Republican…

Local News

A pattern of controversial deaths at the Erie County Holding Center is now emerging as a major topic in this year’s contest for sheriff. Democrat Bernard A. Tolbert, the former FBI agent challenging Republican Timothy B. Howard, charged Wednesday that the incumbent’s “obfuscation and misinformation” about Holding Center deaths – including cases recently outlined in The …

Local News

Imagine planning your next European vacation without the hassle of connecting at a crowded major airport in New York, Boston or Toronto. Instead, think about boarding a plane at Buffalo Niagara International Airport and flying nonstop across  to Western Europe. Ireland, anyone? Scandinavia perhaps? Naysayers call it a pipe dream. Metro Buffalo hardly ranks with that …

Charley H. Fisher III, the former at-large Council member competing in the County Legislature's District 2 Democratic primary, has qualified for the Sept. 12 ballot. Objections against Fisher's petitions have been withdrawn and he will now face April Baskin, who ha thebacking of party leaders,  along with Duncan Kirkwood, said Jeremy J. Zellner, Erie County's Democratic…

Opinion

Sometime in the next few weeks, in the midst of the Democratic primary for mayor, Byron Brown will start rolling out the big guys. It seems certain that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will stage some pat-on-the-back session for his state Democratic chairman. Chuck Schumer, the nation’s top-ranking Dem as minority leader of the Senate, is also expected to lend his high profile to a l…

Local News

A Sept. 6 debate among three Democratic candidates for mayor may prove crucial for the pair of underdogs taking on incumbent Byron W. Brown. The mayor and challengers Mark J.F. Schroeder and Betty Jean Grant have agreed to participate in a televised face-off sponsored by WNED/WBFO, WGRZ/Channel 2, and The Buffalo News. The challengers have significantly less money in…

Local News

Rep. Brian Higgins is posing new questions to state transportation officials about their plans to rehab the Skyway next year. http://buffalonews.com/2017/07/30/skyway-faces-major-overhaul-higgins-questions-need/ Higgins wants the state Department of Transportation to expedite a simultaneous environmental impact study of the Skyway’s long-term future. He says the DOT …

Local News

The Skyway will get a major overhaul next summer, and that is likely to present a daunting challenge for Southtowns commuters. Think inbound in the morning and outbound in the evening. The state will spend $27.5 million to rehabilitate the Skyway, reducing traffic to one lane during the work. The Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Committee is assisti…