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City Hallways (July 28) A neighborhood plea to City Hall

We need your help, neighbors tell the city 

I've read many petitions sent to City Hall over the past year. Some ask for stop signs or the renaming of a public property. Other ask for a higher minimum wage or legalization of marijuana.

And others, like this one from Perry Street, come from distressed neighborhoods reaching out for help.

The Perry Street petition is entitled: "Petition to board up or demolish 554 Perry St."

Here's what it says:

"The above address," the petition states, "is known as a drug house. There are many different  people coming and going at all hours of the day and night. Needles and other drug paraphernalia are left all over the immediate area and street. There is no water to the home, the roof is severely damaged, and rodents are out of control. We want our representatives and the police to take action before innocent children and others are harmed."

The petition is signed by 21 people, just about all living within a block or so of the house.

Fontana's landscaping crew

I called Councilman Rich Fontana yesterday to talk about his decision not to accept the new car allowance the Council approved Tuesday.  After we chatted a bit about it, the conversation changed to grass cutting.

What's with all the talk I'm hearing about your affinity for cutting grass, I asked the councilman.

"Me, and my staff and intern, cut grass that needs to be cut," Fontana said,  "at vacant houses,  abandoned house, somewhere seniors need help."

This makeshift landscaping crew, he says, goes out on a regular basis in the Lovejoy District, usually Thursdays and Fridays.

They use a combination of city equipment and Fontana's personal grass cutting and trimming tools  - a tractor, lawn mowers and weed whackers, he said.

All part of the job, Fontana says.

Philly Files

Last night was Bloomberg, Biden, Kaine and Obama. And Gabby Giffords too. Buffalo News reporters Bob McCarthy and Jerry Zremski were there. Here's what they wrote.

Today's Calendar Items

Food Truck Thursday in Niagara Square

In today's Buffalo News and,  I have story on the Council's new automobile allowance.

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