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Columns

It serves them right – both of them. I’m talking about the community coalition and the Cuomo administration, who conspired to collectively destroy the Scajaquada Expressway. The erstwhile allies now find themselves at odds over what to do next after using the death of a toddler in a traffic accident to turn a functional cross-town freeway into a useless piece of striped …

Columns

An artist-in-residency program, as it applies to the fine arts, is meant to allow artists time and space away from their regular existence in order to create freely in an unfettered environment. Why not apply a similar concept to the music world? Why not offer musicians a steady gig in a consistent space, that they might dig into their art away from the hustle and bustle a…

Columns

Millions of Americans learned about something called “bombogenesis” and the phrase “bomb cyclone” for the first time last week. When the Blizzard of 2018 moved up off the east coast, it carved a place for itself in meteorological history … the bomb of bombs. Bombogenesis refers to extraordinary deepening of central barometric pressure in a nontropical low-pressure syste…

Columns

The second season of FX's "American Crime Story" is called "The Assassination of Gianni Versace." The first was the smash hit and award season bonanza "The People Vs. O.J. Simpson." Versace begins at 10 p.m. Jan. 17. It confronts a specific period's homophobia directly in a way that, despite the geometrically progressing acceleration of the subject everywhere, is sti…

Columns

Colleen Phillips said her father's memory is a complicated thing. John Phillips can get up in the morning and forget where he put his glasses, or any appointments he planned for the day. He'll settle into a big chair in the living room of Colleen's house in South Buffalo, where great-grandchildren a solid 90 years younger than he is will present him with pictures they c…

Columns

WASHINGTON – Looking to the midterm House and Senate elections, the Democratic congressional leaders, Sen. Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, seem ready to let the processes already in motion work themselves out. Neither of them is joining the small chorus of itchy Democrats who are calling for impeachment of President Trump. Schumer and Pelosi h…

Columns

The week of Jan. 8th will be much less harsh than the previous 10 days, and the absolute worst of our cold wave will be over for the foreseeable future. It was pretty rough and occasionally dangerous while it lasted. That’s not to say you can’t find some crusty types who claim we and our schoolkids have been wussified. There is one spot in the Northeast in which no wuss…

Bills

This is an acknowledgement, up front. A few days ago, after the Buffalo Bills officially made it to the National Football League playoffs for the first time in 17 years, I wrote a column asking readers to tell me what that moment meant to them. Whatever I expected, the response went beyond it. I received a digital Niagara of notes, letters and  messages. The passion in …

Columns

A few days ago, I asked readers to explain what it meant to them at the moment they knew the Buffalo Bills were in the playoffs, after a 17-year absence, the infamous "Drought." The answers poured in. Here is the entire collection of responses available thus far, more than 100 tales of tributes, exaltation, disbelief and joy, beginning with the memories of the pastor of…

Columns

Does the phrase "Get a life!" mean anything around here? I could put up with it Sunday night. After all, the combination of the stunning end to the Bengals-Ravens game and the Bills’ "must win" win was a nice conversation starter. I wasn’t even averse to rehashing it on Monday, since it was New Year’s Day and nothing else much was happening. But all week long? I’m sick …

Gusto

On New Year's Day, without warning, A Perfect Circle dropped a new song, and though I didn’t know it was coming, it immediately brightened my perspective on 2018. It was the lyrics - lent drama and impact by the spacious arrangement and gorgeous melody - that grabbed me immediately. "Time to put the silicon obsession down/Take a look around, find a way in the silence/Li…

Bills

The moment said everything. It was perfect, capsulizing emotions felt throughout Western New York, even if U.S. Army Maj. Patrick Miller earned a larger perspective through a trial none of us would want to face. He is a Buffalo Bills fan, going back to his earliest memories. He is stationed in Hawaii, and he watched on television Sunday with his wife, Ashley, as the Bil…

Columns

The real story with this piece is the reader response. If you get a chance, check the flood of passionate, from-the-heart replies from Bills loyalists in the comments immediately following the column, people who've invested a part of their lives in this team – and feel free to add your own perspective. If you have any celebratory reaction videos from when you first found o…

Columns

One privilege of another year of column writing involves conversations with unforgettable people, who offer memorable quotes. As 2017 nears its close, here are just a few examples from the last 12 months, part of the gift of hearing the great stories of Buffalo and Upstate New York. Jan. 27:  - "That wind, that howling, that noise. It was life or death. It was like bein…

Gusto

"You have the best job in the world" is something that is said to me often when I run into friends and readers at concerts around town. I can understand why people get this impression, and I do indeed feel blessed to be able to write about music for a living. I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I take it seriously. However, I never forget the reason that I was attract…