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The Bible is at the feet of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who leans from the stage at Kleinhans Music Hall to clasp the hands of men and women in the crowd before him. They surge forward, beaming, at the front of a line that stretches beyond range of the camera. The date is Nov. 9, 1967. The image, in a file at the Buffalo History Museum, was captured by Robert L. Sm…

Columns

WASHINGTON – No one lost their heads 11 years ago when a select Brown University committee revealed that many of its 18th century board members, including a man whose family lent its name to the place, had been deeply involved in the slave trade. The university’s modern leadership, then headed by Ruth Simmons, Brown’s first woman and first African-American preside…

Columns

A few weeks ago, I ran into Amy Dickinson, the internationally celebrated author and advice columnist, at a writer's event in Skaneateles. Dickinson, who has immortalized her nearby hometown of Freeville in Tompkins County, had a question. She wondered if we'd be interested in her written "thank you" to Buffalo. Until last spring, she said, her father, Buck, was in …

Buffalo

If there’s one thing we should know by now, it is this: Fairness doesn’t happen by accident. In Buffalo, it may not even happen by design. As community organizations push for an "inclusionary zoning" policy to make sure working class residents aren’t priced out of the city’s resurgence, there’s a fear that anything the city does adopt will be a watered-down pol…

Business

Tesla Inc. has its hands full as it gears up production at its long-awaited solar panel factory in Buffalo. Its timing isn't the greatest, either. The solar energy industry is slowing, just as Tesla and its partner, Panasonic, are starting production at the South Park Avenue factory, which is scheduled to be making enough solar panels to generate 1,000-megawatts of e…

Gusto

Who is Ed Sheeran, and why is he selling so many albums and singles? On first glance, he looks harmless enough. His folksy, mildly soulful pop songs are well-structured and innocuous. He seems fairly pleasant, when interviewed on television. He's played Buffalo a few times, including as part of Kissmas Bash 2012, where he stood out for the simple reason that he was play…

Bisons and Baseball

I waited to write this piece until the World Series, this dramatic showdown between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. The afternoon light and scattered leaves of late October always carry me back to childhood. We'd run home after school to catch the end of each game, in an era when the World Series was played in the afternoon, and maybe we'd grab our gloves and p…

Gusto

The following column is offered with one giant-sized spoiler alert. If you were ever a watcher of Showtime's "Ray Donovan" and missed Sunday's season finale, you might want to go elsewhere and drop in after you have. I remain a "Ray Donovan" loyalist. If you think that's been easy this year, you're crazy. "Polarizing" is one commonly used word for this "Donovan" season …

Business

Man, I love horror movies. “Night of the Living Dead.” “The Lost Boys.” “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.” I could go on and on and on; especially during these magical hours before Halloween. Movies Plus was a video rental store near my house when I was a kid that let me rent R-rated films without my parents’ permission. It got to the point where I had seen…

Columns

The marble figure stands motionless in a Plexiglass box, the smallest details of her hands and elaborate lace dress etched in stone. The statue went up in Jamestown's Lake View Cemetery more than a century ago, after the death of the young woman it was built to represent. The many wedding day stories about "the lady in the glass case" remain wildly alive: The lady w…

Columns

In the universe of rock 'n' roll, some people say it was the Big Bang. Here's the way Chris Morris tells the story in one of 2017's greatest reissues, "Here's Little Richard" (Specialty/Craft/Concord, two discs). It's early September, 1955. Little Richard and some of New Orleans' finest R&B virtuosos have been united at J&M studios in the Big Easy, a "small b…

Columns

WASHINGTON – Sometimes the most important news is what is not happening. Just a month after the wanton slaughter of 58 souls by makeshift machine guns in Las Vegas, Nev., the event has slipped from the news cycle. There’s been no significant reaction from Congress other than an outburst from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and a Facebook post by Rep. Brian Higgins,…

Columns

The calendar says Election Day 2017 is upon us, but the pols are already looking to 2018. Take all three local races for Congress. Republican Chris Collins of Clarence now faces two declared candidates, former Erie County Assistant District Attorney Sean Bunny and businessman Nicholas Stankevich. They face long odds against all the advantages enjoyed by a powerful incum…

Weather

As I write in my office, a band of lake-effect rain has been hitting northern Erie and southern Niagara counties … liquid, lightweight and no warnings involved. One of these days (as Ralph Kramden used to say) the real deal will come along … frozen, heavyweight and requiring warnings. Last year, the National Weather Service's Buffalo office was one of several that e…

Columns

The hugs were explosive, spontaneous. Abigail Eckerson Estevez, Sadie Glenn and Whitney Eckerson hurried straight toward Joe Lucenti on Wednesday after they spotted him weaving through a sea of blue uniforms in the lobby of KeyBank Center. "Mr. Lucenti!" Estevez shouted, throwing out her arms. Lucenti, Akron's longtime high school principal, was in charge when Esteve…