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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news

Sambake 2010

It's time for Assemblyman Sam Hoyt's annual clambake fundraiser, which means it is also time to make fun of Assemblyman Sam Hoyt's annual clambake fundraiser.

We will not use this space to crassly remind the assemblyman that he is on a well-publicized election-year diet and that people will be watching his caloric intake. Nor will we make light of the fact that the "Avatar"-themed invitation gives the invitee four response options for Friday's event, all of which require money and none of which are, "No thanks."

We will instead focus on his annual top 10 list of reasons to attend, which include:

* "Sam will unveil his new diet plan; it's called ‘primary challenge.' "

* "If anyone throws tea bags at us, we'll throw clam shells at them."

And our favorite: "To demonstrate his commitment to government transparency, Sam will wear Lady Gaga's bubble suit."

That last one sure isn't going to do anything to help attendance.


Good growth potential

There were a few jokes about "Jurassic Park" cloning gone awry just before genetically engineered baby American chestnut trees were planted Thursday near Zoar Valley.

But that didn't bother Mary Lou Rath, the retired state senator who supported legislation through the years to help find a blight-resistant American chestnut tree. She got the honor of planting the first bio-engineered chestnut tree, which is hoped to resist the fungus that decimated the trees 100 years ago.

After she patted the dirt around the small tree, she proclaimed, "OK, grow, baby, grow!" Let's hope that works out better than "Drill, baby, drill!"


Maligned by Malick?

Wendie Malick has had a series of roles on such critically acclaimed television shows as "Dream On," "Just Shoot Me" and "Frasier." Her latest show, "Hot in Cleveland," premiered on the cable network TV Land.

Throughout her career, the Western New Yorker has always been a Buffalo booster. But this week, during an interview on "Entertainment Tonight," when Malick was defending the setting of her new show, she took a mild shot at its Lake Erie neighbor.

"Cleveland sometimes gets a rather bad rap. But I'm from Buffalo, so Cleveland seems like a really cool city to me," she said with a laugh.

To be fair, Malick is actually from Amherst. And taking shots at Buffalo is as common in Amherst as left-turn lanes.


Welcome to Amclarville

The Village of Williamsville is in the Town of Amherst. The Town of Clarence is next to the Town of Amherst. Amherst and Clarence are separated by Transit Road. The eastern boundary of Williamsville is roughly two miles from Transit Road. The Walmart on Transit Road is in Clarence, about five miles by car from Williamsville.

So how did Walmart refer to its Transit Road store in a news release this week? "Clarence Walmart in Williamsville."

We know that people love Williamsville. (They scream it in Kevin Gaughan's face every chance they get.) And we know you can have a Williamsville mailing address and not live in Williamsville.

But unless Walmart is planning its largest store ever, it cannot be in Clarence and Williamsville at the same time.


With the wind chill, .15

This one's "Way Off Main Street"— like Off Main Street, Steuben County— but it seems to help quantify exactly how much it might take an average Western New Yorker to generate a strong yearning for winter in mid-June: .18 percent.

That's what the blood alcohol level of Carl W. Kruchten, 46, of Wayland, registered when he was stopped Wednesday by state troopers while allegedly operating a snowmobile across private yards in Wayland, about 7 miles east of Dansville.

Kruchten was charged with operating a snowmobile while intoxicated and has a July 1 court appearance, according to state police.

Weather permitting, of course.

Written by Bruce Andriatch with contributions from Barbara O'Brien and T. J. Pignataro.

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