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May 17, 2019

Poloncarz-Mychajliw feud turns a new page
A lengthy political feud between two top elected leaders in Erie County government has turned a new page – quite literally.
The ongoing tensions between Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw Jr. and County Executive Mark Poloncarz are now focusing on Poloncarz’s forthcoming book that details his efforts to keep the Buffalo Bills in Western New York.
The book may not qualify as a political “tell-all,” writes The News’ Bob McCarthy. But a Freedom of Information Law request filed with its publisher by Mychajliw provides enough “inside dirt” to fuel the Republican comptroller’s continued criticism of the book deal. Mychajliw says he is “deeply troubled” that Poloncarz, a Democrat running for re-election this year, was not more transparent about the book. “Beyond the Xs and Os – Keeping the Bills in Buffalo” is being published by SUNY Press in September.
Mychajliw says Poloncarz’s 2017 book proposal bolsters the comptroller’s contention that the entire effort is political, noting the proposal underscores Poloncarz’s need for a successful stadium lease renewal as a matter of political survival.
But top Poloncarz staffers have dismissed the comptroller’s concerns. Chief of Staff Jennifer Hibit notes it was only natural that Poloncarz conclude successful negotiations for a lease renewal if he were to face the voters again.
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WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
Mixed reactions to state requiring safety courses for motorboat owners: The bill would require owners of motorized boats to take a safety course no matter how many years they’ve been on the water. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law. But some are calling the measure “toothless,” nothing that the legislation includes no fines for operating a motorboat without having successfully completed a safety class.
Does New York have a gambling problem? Survey seeks answer: The state has issued a request for bids for a statewide gambling prevalence survey that could help shape where New York provides additional treatment for gambling addicts. The action by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services comes three months after the state comptroller criticized the agency for having failed to conduct a survey of gambling problems in New York since 2006.
It’s not your parents’ housing market anymore: “Welcome to the modern housing market,” writes Jonathan Epstein, “where millennials dominate, buyers are older, singles and pets are in, homeowners remain in one place for longer, young people stay at home to save money, and the Bank of Mom and Dad is the go-to lender.”  Meanwhile the spring homebuying and selling season is off to a solid start.
Juror in a murder trial went online to find more information. That led to a mistrial: A judge declared the mistrial this week in a case against Lemuele Jackson who is accused in a double-shooting that killed a mother of two. The juror went online to obtain information from the Erie County district attorney’s website along with media reports with Jackson’s photo. The juror brought them to deliberations on Tuesday. A law source says the juror was the only obstacle to a unanimous verdict in the case.
Palace Theatre, the grand old lady of Hamburg, looking for a little help: Palace Theatre owner Jay Ruof thought he couldn't afford to accept a $300,000 state grant for renovations at the movie house. But a former employee has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the local share of the grant, and that's a positive step for the future of the 93-year-old theater.
Bisons' good deed supports Buffalo's 'City of Good Neighbors' reputation: Tim Lowden and his pregnant wife, Melissa Kimbrell, were 40 people deep in line for parking shuttles at the Buffalo airport, until a Bisons player spotted them. The team ushered them to the front of the line and instructed other players to hop off the shuttle to make room for them. Lowden tweeted about the encounter, calling the team "classy."
(Got a news tip? Email citydesk@buffnews.com.)
FOOD & DRINK
At Lin Restaurant, a fine introduction to Burmese cuisine: With 15 local restaurants serving Burmese cuisine, there’s lots of variations. Andrew Galarneau says Riverside is home to his favorite Burmese resident in Buffalo, Lin Restaurant. He says the consistency and fine points of Lin’s dishes set it ahead of the pack.
NEW BUFFALO
Seven top reasons Canadian businesses expand into WNY: Trade issues have made big headlines in recent months. But there’s one angle that doesn’t garner as much media coverage as trade tensions and tariff feuds. We’re referring to small- and medium-sized Canadian companies that expand into the U.S. Invest Buffalo Niagara lists more than 40 Canadian companies that have broadened their business footprints by setting up operations in Western New York over the past five years.
OPINION
Rod Watson: Westminster’s decline despite M&T funding highlights an uncomfortable truth: What’s more important when it comes to turning around a struggling, inner-city school: money or leadership? Watson argues that the 25-year experiment at Westminster Community Charter School in the Kensington-Bailey neighborhood provides an answer: You need both.
BILLS
Bills plan ceremony for Pancho Billa at home opener: The Bills will celebrate the life of Ezra Castro during their home opener on Sept. 22. That sounds perfect to Veronica Borjon, Castro's partner, who said the home opener every year "was his baby, his getaway."
(For more Bills news, sign up here for the [BN] Blitz newsletter.)
SABRES
Why did Penguins' GM recommend Ralph Krueger for Sabres job?: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has a deep respect for what Krueger accomplished on the international stage. "Based on my relationship with Ralph, he’s willing to work with people and that will be the start of it. He’s coming in with a lot of good players there. They’re looking to get more structure out of their team and to get more out of those players, this is what I’ve seen Ralph do in the past. That’s what he’s capable of doing."
(For more Sabres news, sign up here for the [BN] Hockey newsletter.)
WITH YOUR MORNING COFFEE
Are you tired of playing "dodge the potholes" on some Buffalo streets? There’s an app for that. Buffalo Rising is highlighting a free app that many people don’t know exists. The City of Buffalo 311 Reporting App makes it easy for people to report potholes. Delaware District Council Member Joel Feroleto notes the city has a 48-hour pothole repair guarantee. “The problem is, if people don’t use [the app], the potholes are not going to get fixed,” Feroleto says. “It’s so easy to download the app.”
Buffalo native Ani DiFranco finds grace between painful truths and silences. In the midst of a tour promoting her freshly released memoir, “No Walls and the Recurring Dream,” DiFranco sounds tired, raw, open and nakedly emotional, while speaking with News Music Critic Jeff Miers. DiFranco said, “There are an awful lot of Buffalonians in this book, and I have so much love for all of them. I’m afraid of hurting people. I signed up for this life, but they didn’t, you know?”
Talisha King is passionate about the mission of the Arthritis Foundation Support Network in Buffalo – and for good reason. When she was 31, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. “I lost two years of my career due to the rigorous treatment plan I had to undergo,” says King. “It took many months for me just to regain the ability to walk and to regain what most of us take for granted: the ability to care for oneself and to maintain one’s independence.” King, who is the youth services planning coordinator with the Erie County Youth Bureau, is featured this month as the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s BN360 Spotlight Professional.
'Tis the season for graduation ceremonies. But what happens if you’re getting your college degree but haven’t lined up a full-time job quite yet? Cian Gonzalez, who graduates this month from the University at Buffalo, serves up some ideas. This article was published in The Spectrum, UB’s student-run newspaper. Gonzalez's suggestions include freelancing in our ever-expanding gig economy, exploring options for working abroad or – if personal finances permit it – volunteering for a worthy cause.
From the Hamburg Music Festival and Nickel City Con to the SkyRide and Full Circle Fest, Ben Tsujimoto tells us there’s a frenzy of events being staged this weekend. Among his top picks: Buffalo Porchfest that will be held Saturday at houses throughout the Elmwood Village.
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