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OFF MAIN STREET / The offbeat side of the news

Happy to serve

Plenty of counselors at law were in the courtroom this week during jury selection for James G. Corasanti's manslaughter trial in Erie County Court.

But one prospective juror might need a different sort of counselor, like one trained in couples counseling.

Judge Sheila DiTullio said the manslaughter trial could last through May. And she said members of the jury, at some point, could be sequestered.

Would that be a problem, the judge asked prospective jurors.

Not for one man.

"My wife said I could stay all night," he said.


Political theater

Erie County lawmakers hear a lot of speeches when the Legislature meets. Many of them are on the dry side.

So when Sgt. Daniel Dytchkowskyj of the Erie County Sheriff's Office delivered a straightforward talk peppered with some jokes, he earned high marks from Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant.

She gave him kudos for candor and wit.

"He should be in politics or comedy," said Grant, before adding, "There's a difference."

To which Legislator Kevin Hardwick quipped: "Sometimes."


Watch the birdies

File this item in the "No good deed goes unpunished" category.

Motivational speaker and author Grant Cardone flew to Buffalo on his own dime this week to put on a free seminar. A local resident urged him to do so because the region needed one of his pep talks.

But then on his way back to Los Angeles, his Delta Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing at John F. Kennedy Airport after a scary bird strike during takeoff.

Next time he's in Buffalo, he can talk about how he turned his bad luck into a good opportunity.

The key piece of advice Cardone gave his audience at Statler City was to "grab attention" by any means necessary.

So we were not surprised to see Cardone on CNN and other national media outlets after the forced landing.

He was sharing footage of the birds entering the plane's engine that he caught on his cellphone.

Guess his visit to Buffalo paid off after all.


Cross-border detente

Marta Moszczenska serves as consul general of Canada in Buffalo, and she spoke to a local business audience this week about cross-border traffic.

Moszczenska noted how much the two sides of the border have in common, including the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

In a gesture of friendship, she made this pledge: "We promise we will not invade you again, either here in Buffalo or down in Washington, D.C."

Diplomatically, the consul general did not say if our malls were excluded.


A fish story

Last year, amid talk of a new nature sanctuary in East Aurora along Cazenovia Creek, trout fishing was on the mind of Aurora Town Parks Director David Gunner.

Gunner had hoped to stock some 100 brown trout in the new sanctuary.

But East Aurora village officials held off allowing that for public safety concerns at the 5.6-acre site until plans were ironed out and the land was prepared.

A year later, the new Cazenovia Creek Nature Sanctuary is set to open to the public at 1 p.m. Sunday.

At the announcement this week, Village Trustee Randy West said, "I think David is too late to get the trout in this year. He didn't even call this time."

But it turns out the trout had already been released farther upstream.

Earlier this spring, Gunner told town officials he received trout from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and stocked some in the creek in time for the town's fishing derby this weekend.

"I don't think the trout have a problem crossing municipal waters," Mayor Allan Kasprzak said.

Written by Patrick Lakamp with contributions from Matt Glynn, Denise Jewell Gee, Samantha Maziarz Christmann and Karen Robinson.