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OFF MAIN STREET <br> THE OFFBEAT SIDE OF THE NEWS

Guys and Dolls

Developer Carl Paladino may know the ins and outs of the downtown real estate market, but he has a thing or two to learn about the pop music scene.

Paladino, a member of the Buffalo Place board, listened last week as board members discussed the upcoming release of the Goo Goo Dolls combination CD/DVD and plans for a local debut.

The big event will feature Buffalo's Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac, as well as footage from this summer's rain-soaked concert downtown.

In the midst of it all, Paladino chimed in.

"I always thought the Goo Goo Dolls were girls," he said.

After a moment of silent disbelief, board President Anthony Colucci III turned to Paladino and asked:

"So what do you think the Barenaked Ladies are?"

True colors

Chris Hoisington is one proud aunt. Even now, four days after the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, she's still beaming about nephew Derek Lowe, aka D Lo.

Hoisington, a physical education teacher, celebrated the reverse of the curse by buying new red socks for her colleagues at Springville Elementary School.

"I ordered them from Lands' End because I needed 108 pairs," she said.

Lo and behold, Springville's faculty and staff -- it also happened to be red color day -- donned their red socks Thursday, just one day after Lowe pitched Boston to its greatest win ever.

"I was nervous all day," Hoisington said of game day. "I've been dreaming of this for three years."

A little helping hand

County Executive Joel Giambra answered the door at his North Buffalo home last Sunday and found a father and his young son waiting outside to talk with him.

Six-year-old Niles Natali, who lives just a few blocks away, looked on nervously as his father, Jim, handed Giambra an envelope with a note scribbled on top.

"I want you to use this for your job because I hear you guys are running out of money," the note said.

Inside the envelope Giambra found $2 in pennies, nickels and dimes. Turns out young Niles, a political junkie, had heard about the county's fiscal plight.

"I wanted to do something to help," Niles said. "If we have more money, we'll have a good place to live."

Niles told his parents he was concerned about the impact of budget cuts and wanted to earn some money by doing extra chores around the house.

Extra chores? Extra effort? Now there's a politician we can support.

To his credit, Giambra saw it the same way.

"If Mom and Dad would allow," he said in a thank you letter to Niles, "I might need you in my office after the budget cuts to help out."

By Phil Fairbanks with a contribution from Sharon Linstedt.

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