REALITY CHECK: We don't think anybody was holding their breath, but the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise made it official this week, dropping its goal of creating a net new 50,000 jobs in Western New York. Good thing.
Engaging in fantasy wasn't adding to the group's credibility. And that's too bad. Because as the private sector's first major effort in years to address our area's crumbling economy, the endeavor continues to be worth the effort. At the end of the day, job creation will be the measuring stick by which to measure the success of the BNE, but it needs a goal rooted in the soil of reasonable expectations, not wishful thinking.
REALITY CHECK (PART II): What part of "no" does the Common Council not understand? Even after members of the State Legislature delegation told Council members there was a large likelihood that the state couldn't bail out the city this year, city lawmakers still don't get it. Led by Council President James W. Pitts, the Council is carping about the layoffs that Mayor Anthony M. Masiello instituted in the face of what promises to be a fiscal crisis. And that came after four of them voted not to close fire companies on a rotating basis.
In an effort to do our civic duty, we have a suggestion to save the city money. Each Common Council office should be closed on a rotating basis. Perhaps some more than others.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?: We have nothing but sympathy for the seven householders in Fayetteville, N.C., who want to change the name of their subdivision roadway to forestall more jeers and jokes in a time of national unrest.
We're betting not too many folks are actually opening letters arriving with a return address of Anthrax Street, anyway.
NO, THAT'S NOT REALLY THE REASON: Egyptian Sheik Muhammad Al-Gamei'a, Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque of New York City, made this statement in an Oct. 4 interview in Egypt for the Web site www.lilatalqadr.com, an unofficial Al-Azhar University site:
"The (U.S.) Muslims are being persecuted by the people and the federal government. This is the result of the bad image of Muslims created by the Zionist media, and of their presenting Islam as a religion of terrorism. That is why the Americans have linked the recent incidents to Islam."
Gee, we thought ramming two airliners into the World Trade Center by identified Islamist radicals had something to do with it. (Thanks to the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), an independent, nonprofit organization providing translations of the Arab media).
ERASING MISTAKES: Demolition work is finally beginning to wipe away the ill-conceived apartment buildings that marred Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House complex on Jewett Parkway. Demolition will make way for the replication of the pergola and conservatory, as part of a $23 million restoration.
Not only will preservationists and students of great architecture be pleased with the restoration of Wright's 1904 Martin House complex, but it should prove a key component in attracting cultural tourism to the area.