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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news

A WINNING! combo

Ever wonder what would happen if you mix a guy who's as mad as hell with a guy walking around full of tiger blood and Adonis DNA?

Maybe we're about to find out.

Ex-gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino was on a New York radio show hosted by Curtis Sliwa Friday. Sliwa noted that Hollywood actor/carnival sideshow Charlie Sheen was taking his "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option Show" to Erie, Pa., and not Buffalo.

He followed that by asking if Paladino had any advice for Sheen?

"Come to Buffalo, you'll have a lot of fun here," Paladino said, according to the capitaltonight.com blog. "I'll take you out afterward. I'll show him the highlights. We'll have a ball together."

Is it too soon to talk running mates?

***

The Pepsi challenge

If you want to keep calling it the "Pepsi Center," it's going to cost you.

The Amherst Youth and Recreation Department is now fining town employees $1 for each time they are overheard calling the Amherst ice rink facility by its much better known former name instead of its current name, the "Northtown Center."

"It was kind of a joke in-house, that we'd start fining people a dollar," said Youth and Recreation Director Mary Diana Pouli, "but it's really a crusade of mine."

At a department heads meeting this week, Pouli scored a buck off Council Member Guy Marlette for uttering the P word. She then reminded everyone that Northtown Automotive paid big bucks for the 10-year naming rights to the town's facility, and it's time they got some respect.

***

How about $11 million?

A $10 million bribe offer did not sway Buffalo police officers from arresting Shamel Sharpe on drug charges.

Sharpe was arrested last Friday night after officers found him carrying an open alcohol container while disrupting traffic at Broadway and Milburn Street, Ferry-Fillmore District officers said.

After officers found that Sharpe also was carrying crack cocaine and marijuana, police said Sharpe offered them a $10 million bribe to let him go, and even gave them a telephone number they could call to get the money.

Officers said they turned down the bribe offer and charged Sharpe -- whose age and address were unavailable -- with bribery and drug possession.

***

Things are looking up

Niagara Falls attorney John P. Bartolomei has spent a lot of time in the Lockport courtroom of State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr.

Now Bartolomei is representing two Senecas being sued by the Seneca Gaming Corp. over alleged fraud in the sale of land that became the Senecas' Hickory Stick Golf Course.

Wrapping up a recent tangle in that case with several of the region's best known attorneys, Kloch asked Bartolomei if he had any final comments.

"What's that white thing on the ceiling?" Bartolomei responded.

"We keep track of you at all times, John. Don't make any sudden moves," Kloch joked, then revealed the object was a sprinkler, part of the fire protection system in the County Courthouse.

"I'm glad the discussion was so riveting you were able to look at that," Kloch said.

***

God help us

Developer Mark Croce knows he's operating on a wing and a prayer these days, now that he's formally taken on the burden of rescuing the Statler Towers.

At the very least, he sought out the prayer at Wednesday's Buffalo Place board meeting.

Sitting around a long table, just a few hours before closing the purchase and celebrating in the lobby, his fellow developers asked him about the deal and whether he was ready. Gesturing to his left, where Common Council member the Rev. Darius Pridgen sat, he smiled and said, "As long as the good reverend blesses it," he said. "You'll need a whole revival meeting," Pridgen responded.

Written by Bruce Andriatch with contributions from Sandra Tan, Dan Herbeck, Thomas J. Prohaska and Jonathan Epstein.

e-mail: offmain@buffnews.com

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