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Grove Potter


Business

No one can say Buffalo doesn’t know how to seize the moment. In the four years since we first heard the term “Buffalo Billion,” the region has been on a development tear. The gigantic, publicly funded SolarCity factory going up on South Park Avenue in South Buffalo, the mushrooming Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the HarborCenter and its Marriott hotel built by Terry a…

Two billionaires - each with strong connections to Buffalo - are on opposite sides of a decision by Nevada utility regulators to raise the costs for people who install solar energy systems on their homes. Elon Musk is chairman of SolarCity, the company that will occupy a 1-million-square-foot solar panel factory being built on South Park Avenue. His company has stopped i…

Wall Street enjoyed a strong year in 2014, with the broad Standard & Poor’s 500 index rising 11.5 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 7 percent, and the NASDAQ composite rose 13 percent. It marked the sixth straight year of increases on the U.S. stock market. Click here to see a complete year-end list of all stocks on the New York Stock Exchange and the NA…

Feeling good about going to work can improve your life, in the same way that dreading going to work can diminish it.When you consider how much time – during our most vibrant years – we spend at work, it becomes clear how fortunate are those people who really like their workplaces.But where are these great places to work? How do we find them? And what makes them so appealin…

Lifestyles

A month after hitting the streets, Michael Lewis’ “Flash Boys” has sparked such outrage that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told a Senate committee that his office is investigating, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating.The culprit? High-frequency trading, the heretofore mysterious metho…

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Next time you find yourself in need of a conversation starter, just throw this one out: “What do you think could revive the Buffalo economy?”It’s guaranteed to ignite passionate discussion.Everyone has theories about how the region got off track, and everyone has ideas about what will help. And for the most part, everyone is right. There are myriad reasons why jobs and mon…

Looking for a different workout, one that won't make your back sore? One that combines the aesthetics of solitude and the cardio challenge of a treadmill?Try swimming.Lynn Sherr, the broadcast journalist best known for her work on ABC's "2 0/2 0," has written a thoroughly enjoyable book that will whet your appetite. Sherr manages to convey the almost mystical att…

When did you form your opinions about the Buffalo Niagara region?If you have lived here your entire life, you probably think of the region as it was when you were in your teens or early 20's, the age when you became aware of all the social and economic dynamics at play here.If you are in your 50's or older, you might think of the region as primarily a manufacturing…

Bernie Madoff has become the face of cunning evil in the modern era, a smooth, slithery Voldemort of a man whose Ponzi scheme reached stratospheric, and brutal, levels. A $65 billion fraud? How was that possible?New York Times financial reporter Diana B. Henriques is the person to tell us how. One of the nation's top financial journalists, she has applied her rig…

Sharp business people have a knack for knowing where the crowd is going. They stay informed, listen for subtle signals, and move to profit from their knowledge. Whether it's a neighborhood pizza shop or a multinational corporation, knowing where the customers are headed is priceless.Today, these business people have a powerful tool called social networking. They are using …

Building a rink at our house each winter triggers an argument I mean a discussion: plastic or traditional?I'm old-school and prefer waiting for the first good snowfall with temperatures in the low 20s or teens. We pack the snow down, spray it with a light to moderate coat of water and let it freeze.Then we spray and freeze spray and freeze spray andAfter a couple…

Western New York is not generally considered a region of business innovation and reinvention. Terms like "slow and steady" are more apt to come to mind.But drastic times bring out the best in some companies. Faced with dwindling orders and struggling clients as the recession took hold, many businesses have had to fine-tune their operations and, in some cases, change d…

Businesses across Western New York are struggling with the recession. Spending is down, hiring in some fields is nearly frozen, and consumer confidence is dangerously low.So who has the time or money to think about being "green?"Well, forward-looking firms and individuals do. Many are working to incorporate sound environmental principles into their plans, regardless of the…

For Western New York sailors, Lake Erie offers everything from gentle cruising to giant waves, and the hearty can stretch the season from May to October.But making the time to get out on the other Great Lakes gets you in touch with your boat and offers a chance to savor the beauty of this unique part of the world.A trip up the west coast of Lake Huron in late June highligh…

What would you tell an ambitious young person considering settling in Western New York?Would you highlight the affordable housing? The terrific schools available? The natural attractions and easily accessible entertainment?All those are true and convincing, but how about this regional attribute: Our people.A young person considering settling here and perhaps starting a bus…