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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news

>A holy alliance

Buffalo Bills-logo clothing has shown up in some of Western New York's finer drinking establishments, as well as in football stadiums throughout this country.

But this may be the first time a big celebrity wore a Bills jacket, to a movie premiere, in Poland.

This Associated Press photo was taken March 2, at the Polish premiere of Jon Voight's new film, "John Paul II," which stars Voight as the late pope.

See the Bills logo in lower right-hand corner of this photo?

We wondered how and why the "Midnight Cowboy" star came to be wearing the logo of our hometown team.

It's because of "Second String," the made-for-cable movie about a bunch of backup players who take the Buffalo Bills on a run to their first Super Bowl.

Voight played the team's tough-hearted coach.

After the movie wrapped up filming in 2000, Voight bought up a bunch of Bills jackets, his manager, Dorothy Koster, said.

"He wears it, and his whole family wears the jackets," she told Off Main.

What's next? Will Voight's daughter, Angelina Jolie, join the Buffalo Jills?


>Civil disobedience

Off Main Street has closely followed the exploits of old friend Kimberly Williamson Butler, a Kenmore native who launched a checkered political career after moving to New Orleans.

In recent weeks, Butler abandoned her post as Orleans Parish clerk of criminal court, was issued an arrest warrant, announced a race for New Orleans mayor and served a three-day jail sentence.

As she left jail, Butler modestly compared herself to a few civil rights pioneers.

"I served my time," Butler said, according to the Newhouse News Service. "I can rank myself among many heroes: Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Nelson Mandela."


>Schoolhouse rap

Buffalo's City Court has its share of punishment, pathos and perpetrators. Once in a while, it gets a touch of humor.

On a recent morning in Judge David Manz's court, a teenager found out the consequences of shoplifting from a Family Dollar store. Manz sentenced him to 15 days in jail.

The young man protested that he had to go to school. Manz didn't miss a beat.

"OK," he replied. "When you get out, you'll have something to write a term paper about."


>The parking ticket blues

The "But officer, I was only gone a minute" plea didn't work. The Parking Violations Bureau was unmoved by your plight.

At last, there is a shoulder -- a virtual one -- to cry on for victims of the Buffalo Police Department's parking-ticket blitz.

Clarence Carnahan, who owns Exclusively Neon & Signs on Elmwood Avenue and was an early protester, has launched a Web site where anyone can vent.

"It's a public forum to exchange ideas and information on parking tickets," Carnahan said. The address shouldn't be too hard to remember:

The main page has a fake DVD ad that states "Buffalo Police Gone Wild" and "Disgruntled Officers Exposed." It's rated "R" for "Legal Robbery."

Registration to write on the site is required to keep some controls, he said.

The fledgling Web site has only a handful of comments so far.

"When I put money in and I come out and still have time on my meter and I have a [darn] ticket flappin' on my window, there is something wrong with that," one member bemoaned.

Written by Stephen T. Watson with contributions from Donn Esmonde and Tom Ernst. e-mail:

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