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Tim O'Shei

Tim O'Shei is a features reporter for The Buffalo News. He's been a journalist for more than 20 years, covering pop culture, business, sports, politics and more. He's also the author of more than 60 books for children.


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NEW YORK CITY — Alan Zweibel and his friend Billy Crystal were deep in conversation a few years ago. This is not a surprise. The two have been close since the mid-1970s, shortly after Zweibel graduated from the University at Buffalo, returned home to Long Island, and started performing stand-up at open mics in Manhattan. A not-yet-famous Crystal, who lived just 20 minut…

Local News

Craig Lehner had plans for the evening of Oct. 17. The Buffalo police officer and former member of the Army National Guard was going to get together with some of his military buddies to remember a long-gone friend. It’s something Lehner and his pals did every year on Oct. 17. This year, Lehner couldn’t make it. By now, the reason is well-known: The K-9 officer an…

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For Buffalo, the filming of “The Natural” was an indicator that a mid-size Rust Belt city could have a small slice of Hollywood. For Barry Levinson, “The Natural” proved that he – as a fresh, 41-year-old director – could make a successful movie with a star-jammed cast. It worked out well for both: “The Natural,” starring Robert Redford as baseball player Roy Hobbs, was …

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It sounded like a prank. A guy called the Buffalo Bisons. He said he was from Los Angeles. He said his name was Mel Bourne. He was working on a baseball movie and needed a stadium that could look like it came from the 1930s. Conveniently, Buffalo's then-baseball park, War Memorial Stadium, did come from the 1930s. It was built as a New Deal project in 1937. Bourne…

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If you've never watched a classic film before, what's a good one to start? We asked Ben Mankiewicz, television host for Turner Classic Movies, who will be in town Oct. 21 for a TCM Backlot showing of "The Natural" at North Park Theatre. He didn't have a simple answer; the question is deceptively nuanced. "There's so much risk with it," he said. "If you're introducing…

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Ben Mankiewicz is from Washington, D.C.. He lives in Los Angeles, and does a lot of work in Atlanta. Mankiewicz is a big-city guy, but a big-city guy who has a big passion for smaller cities. Cities like Buffalo. Good thing, because Mankiewicz is coming here this week. The television host of Turner Classic Movies will be in town Oct. 21 for a TCM Backlot event featur…

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One thing Kevin Tent did not have to do to be considered a Hollywood success is direct a movie. Tent, a 57-year-old native of Marilla, has been a top film editor in Hollywood for more than two decades. He has more than four dozen movies on his credit sheet, including several with the noted director Alexander Payne. (Tent was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Payne’…

Business

Dave Aichinger has one of those keep-everyone-happy jobs. As senior manager of New Era Cap’s team services department, he visits with every Major League Baseball club three times a year: once at spring training, again during the season and finally over the winter at league meetings. He works with equipment managers to make sure the team is fully stocked with regular and…

Business

FLUSHING — About an hour before an afternoon game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Curtis Granderson was chatting and posing for pictures with a family outside the New York Mets clubhouse. He knelt down to say goodbye to the kids. “Tell him, ‘Good luck!," their father said. "Hit a home run!’”  Granderson, then a Mets outfielder, smiled brightly. He’s an amiable and t…

Local News

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A young man named Matthew Shaw is standing on a cobblestone sidewalk outside a well-kept townhome. An older man emerges. His voice is gentle but self-assured, both inviting and commanding. “Good morning, Matt,” he says. At another time, the person in Matt’s position should have been intimidated, maybe even scared. Because the man addressing him …

Politics

NEW YORK CITY — George Pataki remembers the call. It came from Rudy Giuliani, the mayor of New York, on the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001. As rescue crews and medical personnel scrambled to save lives and unravel the horrifying reality of the 9/11 attacks, Giuliani told Gov. Pataki that he had set up a temporary command center in an old police academy building. Pataki rem…

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Rocker-musician-wrestler-podcaster Chris Jericho is also the author of four books. His most recent, "No is a Four Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling But Succeeded in Life," was released in August. Here's a sampling of the success tips he shares: • "Believe in Yourself or Nobody Else Will." This is the "Jericho Principle." He grappled with his goals of wanting to become …

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Seven years ago, Chris Jericho was nearing age 40 with a tight grasp on reality: He couldn't wrestle forever. He didn't want to wrestle forever. Nor did he need he wrestle forever. So the WWE superstar made a decision: He would stay in wrestling for a while, but his top priority would become rock-metal band Fozzy. Notice that didn't say his band. Jericho is clear on thi…

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MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — He didn’t need to tell that video director to shut up. Did he? It’s evening in this Southern California beach town, where Ken Baker is sipping a Diet Coke on the patio of the Shade Hotel. He is at ease. His chin stubble and USA Hockey cap make him seem more hockey dad than Hollywood, which is mostly true. But Baker, a Hamburg native, is Holl…

Local News

Junaid Zubairi is bright and meticulous. He is a computer scientist, with a doctorate from Syracuse University, and a full professor at SUNY Fredonia. In other words, he is a smart man. For the last several years, Zubairi has been pouring that intellect into a project that could save millions of dollars — and maybe lives. Last month, he was granted a United States pa…