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OFF MAIN STREET

Can't get no satisfaction

Mick Jagger and the boys blew into town for last week's spectacle at Rich Stadium and, before taking the stage, agreed to meet with local VIPs.

Before the Stones arrived, an advance man warned that this would be very brief and very structured: Two groups of 10 would be allowed to pose with the band for one photo each.

No autographs. And if Mick, Keith or any other band member wish to shake your hand, they will. Otherwise, don't force the issue.

A PR type for Sprint telephone, which arranged the meeting, brought in several Buffalo Bills who were attending the concert. Thurman Thomas, Todd Collins and Alex Van Pelt were among them.

When Mick came in, he was introduced to Thurman but brushed past him with a hasty "Yeah, whatever . . . let's take the picture."

Thomas was muttering about the snub when Keith Richards strode by, gave him a quick "Hey, brother!" and blew on past.

Collins, who at 25 doesn't have a whole lot of appreciation for the Stones, had his own take on the scene. As the Stones rolled into the tent, he turned to a companion and said in amazement: "These guys are old!"

One Bills official did manage to get a "handshake" from Jagger, but explained that Mick doesn't really shake hands. He just holds his hand out and allows you to touch it.

Cows work for opposition

Every year, the complaints pour in. The allegations range from vandalism to conspiracy theories, and they center around one of the oldest dirty tricks known to politics -- tearing down campaign signs.

In Cattaraugus County, pols have their own set of troubles.

"I have this problem," District Attorney Michael Nevins announced at a recent Republican dinner in Olean. "I also had it four years ago when I campaigned for district attorney."

What, pray tell, is bothering the good prosecutor?

"It's cows eating my signs," Nevins said. "I've tried everything but I can't solve the problem."

Nevins prefers to post his signs in pastures back from the road because signs along the road tend to disappear.

His latest remedy? Spraying vinegar on the signs but, alas, even that doesn't work.

Pillow talk for bedfellows

Looking for something catchy and easy to remember, local marketing types decided on ABC, as in ABCorridor -- or more simply Amherst-Buffalo Corridor.

The acronym refers to a joint effort by the two municipalities to market the city and the suburb to outsiders.

Some city leaders, though, object to Buffalo playing second fiddle to Amherst. Council Member at Large Beverly Gray went so far as to suggest that Buffalo be listed first in the acronym.

"If we're going to get in bed with the enemy," Ms. Gray said, "let's at least be on top."

Sticky-fingered helper

When Cheektowaga Police Officer Jonathan Ober got into a struggle with a drug suspect last week on Sugar Road, a citizen watching the incident jumped in and tried to help.

Ober eventually put the suspect in his police car and asked about the man's possessions, which the officer had placed on top of the man's vehicle.

The drug suspect said he had $200 with him, but a quick check by Ober revealed only $100.

The officer then walked over to the helpful citizen and asked if he might know anything about the missing money.

"The guy said, 'Oh,' and pulled the money out of his pocket," Cheektowaga Lt. Cheryl Rucinski said. "He knew he was caught."

Our helpful citizen was promptly charged with petit larceny.

Crticizing the critics

Ooh-ah, Sabres on the warpath.

Not on the ice, off the ice.

Last Tuesday, was apparently Beat Up on the Media Day over at One Seymour H. Knox Plaza. Earlier in the day, Norty Knox took the media out to the woodshed for a good old-fashioned flogging.

Then that night, each fan entering Marine Midland Arena for the Sabres home opener was handed a copy of a two-page newspaper, "Around the League with the Buffalo Sabres."

The front page included a St. Catharines Standard column saying the Sabres had no choice but to trade Pat LaFontaine and a New York Times column citing LaFontaine's risks in resuming his career. Fair enough.

The Rob Ray body check, though, was the reprinting of the Sporting News preseason prediction from last fall, when the Sporting News -- along with the rest of the hockey world -- told fans not to expect more than a .500 record from the Sabres.

The mock newspaper also referred to hockey writer "Jim Kelly," (it's actually spelled Kelley), proving the accuracy of the motto that appeared at the top of the page: "It's easier to be critical than correct."

Stick to hockey, guys.

Off Main Street is written by Phil Fairbanks with contributions from Donna Snyder, Gene Warner and Jay Rey.