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Off Main: Feb. 6, 2016

Sign o’ the times

Spotted along the Thruway, almost 300 miles east of Buffalo, was a looming billboard, sponsored by the New York State Public Corruption Task Force, seeking the public’s help in stamping out malfeasance in state government.

Of course, that was supposed to be the purview of the Moreland Commission. It was empaneled by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in July 2013, then was abruptly disbanded by the governor less than a year later, right in the midst of several high-profile investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We’re not sure if the announcement of this new entity – a collaboration of the FBI and the state Attorney General’s Office – is a welcoming sign or not.

Bursting bubbles

Those familiar with Allentown’s main intersection – Allen Street and Elmwood Avenue – are familiar with its most famous resident.

Charles “Bubble Man” Incorvaia, the guy with a lifetime supply of bubble wands, uses an electric fan to help shower the neighborhood with bubbles from his third-floor apartment above Jim’s Steak Out.

Good clean fun, yes? At least, for the most part, if you don’t ask drivers who just waxed their cars.

Last Friday morning, a line crew from the Buffalo Fire Department Alarm Office was out testing alarm boxes. All was well at Virginia Street and Elmwood Avenue and the same at Elmwood and North Street, where the alarm boxes performed without a hitch. However, not so at Allen and Elmwood, where the alarm box flunked the test.

“It’s not functioning properly,” the alarm tester was heard saying over the police scanner. “We’re taking it out of service.” The reason?

“It’s got bubbles all over it,” he said.

Say it loud: We’re No. 19

In case your copy hasn’t arrived in the mail yet, Stadium Journey magazine has released its rankings for the NFL stadium experience for all 32 teams for the past season.

Ralph Wilson Stadium was 19th. The writeup says the Orchard Park experience is “all about the tailgating.” (Ironically, the Bills will be drafting 19th this year, thanks to their 8-8 finish).

Maybe 19th isn’t so bad, considering the parking lot antics by some Bills fans that drew social media attention last year.

No. 1 on the list was Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts. And here is a reason to take heart: Buffalo finished one spot ahead of Levi’s Stadium near San Francisco, host of this year’s Super Bowl.

Nothing from nothing

The dry erase board on the wall of Lancaster Supervisor Johanna M. Coleman’s office recently listed three “top” priorities, none of them written by her.

They were suggestions from the deputy supervisor, Councilman John Abraham Jr., on what he thought Coleman’s priorities should be, as she begins her first term. It was intended to be tongue in cheek, of course:

1.) Contracts (with town workers); 2.) Raise for deputy supervisor (Abraham); and 3.) Lemon drops.

Number one was a no-brainer, while three was easy enough to tackle. When asked about Abraham’s second suggestion, Coleman replied: “I said to him, ‘Yeah, we’ll double it. You get nothing (now), and you’ll get nothing, later.’ ”

The title of deputy supervisor doesn’t entitle Abraham to any extra pay, a fact with which he is most certainly familiar.

Off Main Street is written by Harold McNeil, with contributions by Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich, Matt Glynn, Karen Robinson.