Tom Precious - The Buffalo News

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Tom Precious


A former department head at the University at Buffalo is under investigation for possibly using state funds to help boost his fledgling private company. The probe includes the obtaining of grants similar to those that had been going to the university.Thaddeus H. Grasela resigned as the $73,596-a-year chairman of UB's pharmacy practice department last fall at a time when au…

As with any chief executive, examples abound of Gov. Pataki's changing his mind -- or being flexible, as his allies prefer.But allies and critics agreed last week that none to date compares to his recent turnabout on the state's Native American tax policy. The decision shocked even the hard-core, seasoned lobbyists here, where revealing a sense of surprise somehow is equat…

Gov. Pataki's attempt to get state legislators to help resolve the Indian tax controversy is being greeted coolly by both his Democratic adversaries and Republican allies at the State Capitol.Neither Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, nor Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, is eager to embrace Pataki's surprise legislative proposal last week to ame…

To get their hands -- cheaply -- on a portion of Buffalo Psychiatric Center that the state is hoping to sell, Buffalo officials have proposed an unusual swap: city land for state land.A day after the Pataki administration said it wants to sell off much of Buffalo Psychiatric Center, Mayor Masiello began lobbying Wednesday to get Gov. Pataki to let the city have a portion o…

Vast portions of Buffalo Psychiatric Center, which opened a century ago and once housed nearly 4,000 patients, will go on the auction block this summer under a plan announced Tuesday by the Pataki administration.In all, 60 buildings, including the H.H. Richardson towers complex, which is a designated national historic landmark, will be put up for sale.The move to sell off …

As state parks open this holiday weekend, parks police representatives say that continuing staff cutbacks make for potentially unsafe conditions in New York's vast system of beaches, hiking trails and campsites.The reduced police levels, which have come about quietly in the last year or so, are affecting staffing levels at all 151 state parks and 34 historic sites, represe…

With a little help from some Republican allies, Minot H. Ortolani is back in the parks business.Ortolani, who for some 16 years headed the Buffalo Zoo, was confirmed Tuesday as a member of the politically connected Niagara Frontier State Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission.The panel serves as an advisory body for state park facilities in Erie and Niagara …

Already seven weeks late, the fiscal plan to guide New York State's government is no closer to enactment than it was when Gov. Pataki first proposed his $66 billion spending plan in January.Monday, the public scrambling appeared focused on adjusting legislative schedules to accommodate a Capitol visit by the New York Yankees."I got Dwight Gooden's autograph," said one top …