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Off Main Street: May 14, 2016

A quick cameo

Jason “Jay” M. McCarthy, the outgoing Buffalo School Board member, offered his congratulations, along with a prediction, to his successor when she arrived at Wednesday’s meeting.

“You’re going to regret this in a year,” McCarthy told Hope Jay, who showed up for what seemed to be her first meeting.

Apparently, it may have only taken Jay an hour to reach that conclusion.

That was at least the joke buzzing at Wednesday’s meeting after Jay’s very brief appearance in the audience. She left after about an hour, when the board was just halfway through the speakers’ list.

During her campaign, Jay noted that she had never attended a School Board meeting. And who can blame her?

The meetings are infamously known to drag into the late hours of the evening, largely because the two factions of the current board spend so much time bickering.

Her departure also may have been expedited by the fact she found herself sitting among some potential foes – a representative from the state charter schools association and Samuel L. Radford III, president of the District Parent Coordinating Council, who is often at odds with the teachers union that backed Jay in the election.

A dirty, political race

New York State’s lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, wants a bipartisan investigation – into those races at the Buffalo Bisons games pitting “Celery,” a giant stalk of celery, against his arch rivals “Hot Chicken Wing,” “Mild Chicken Wing” and “Blue Cheese.”

On the day before Mothers Day, Hochul was spotted enjoying a Bisons game with her husband, U.S. Attorney Bill Hochul, and two other family members. A News reporter was sitting right behind the Hochuls.

Kathy Hochul watched in dismay as “Celery” – victimized by some outrageous cheating tactics by “Hot Wing” – once again lost his race around the ball field after the fifth inning.

For those who don’t know, these races have been run during every Bisons home game since 2010.

“Celery” – a huge favorite among young fans – is the only contestant who has never won a race.

“I think there should be a full investigation into these races,” Kathy Hochul said, turning around in her seat to address the reporter. “It’s unfair ... like dirty politics.”

Will Buffalo’s U.S. attorney look into the matter?

Bill Hochul, who says it is against his policy to talk publicly about ongoing investigations, offered no comment.

What’s in a name

Buffalo’s hockey arena has already experienced a bit of an identity crisis, and this week fans learned it is in for another reincarnation.

The arena previously known as Crossroads, Marine Midland and HSBC before becoming the First Niagara Center will now become KeyBank Center.

Buffalonians took to Twitter to offer what they thought were better suggestions.

“KeyBank Center? It should be called the Labbatt Blue Zone,” one Tweet quipped.

Then there was this inspiring tribute to a local legend.

“The Rick James Super Frea-Key Bank Center,” another Tweeted.

Off Main Street is written by Tiffany Lankes with contributions from Dan Herbeck.