Mayor Acts Quickly, Forcefully to Close Bars Linked to Gunfire

Mango'z on Forest Ave. was closed within four days after argument spilled outside and man was shot in the leg Dec. 6; Habibi Sheesha Lounge at 467 Elmwood was closed Jan. 5 after disturbance outside led to multiple gunshots Jan. 3. Impulse Lounge at 517 Washington St. was closed Saturday after fight led to shooting of man outside earlier in the day. (Photos by John Hickey/Buffalo News)
Mango’z on Forest Ave. was closed within four days after argument spilled outside and man was shot in the leg Dec. 6; Habibi Sheesha Lounge at 467 Elmwood was closed Jan. 5 after disturbance outside led to multiple gunshots Jan. 3. Impulse Lounge at 517 Washington St. was closed Saturday after fight led to shooting of man outside earlier in the day.

OK.  He moved.  Mayor Brown did shut down some of the worst offenders in the city.  Good for him.

Late Saturday, Mayor Byron W. Brown completed a hat trick of nightspot closings within the last seven weeks, reinforcing his claim that the city will crack down on bars and clubs that threaten public safety by attracting gunfire to their immediate neighborhoods.

The mayor shut down the Impulse Lounge on Washington Street over the weekend, just as he earlier had closed the Habibi Sheesha Lounge on Elmwood Avenue following a Jan. 3 incident and Mango’z bar on Forest Avenue after a Dec. 6 shooting. All three closings came within days – even hours – of a violent incident.

The mayor, who has had a reputation for being cautious and measured on other issues, has acted swiftly and aggressively in all three cases, closing the three establishments without waiting for any formal action by either the Buffalo Common Council or the State Liquor Authority.
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Assembly Democrats Have to Summon the Backbone to Choose a New Speaker

Sheldon Silver

No. It’s not enough.

Sheldon Silver can no longer serve as speaker of the State Assembly, and any crackpot coverup scheme that would allow him to step aside temporarily while some cronies divvy up his responsibilities is ludicrous and cowardly. He needs to go.

What hold does this man have on these chickenhearts that they can’t summon the courage to just dump him? Why are they content to be smeared by their continued support of a man charged with some of the most serious crimes a public official can be accused of committing against the public?

No, he has not been convicted of anything yet, but that doesn’t mean he should retain his hold on a job that he can no longer adequately perform. His legal troubles won’t be over in a week or a month or several months. They could drag on for years, as did those of former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
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Cuomo ‘On Edge’ As Federal Corruption Probe Continues

Gov . Cuomo is “freaked-out and furious” over the bombshell criminal charges dropped on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver last week — and “obsessed with fear’’ because of the ongoing federal corruption probe.One source described Cuomo as “doubly enraged’’ by hard-driving Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s decision to bring the five criminal corruption charges against Silver just hours after the governor delivered his State of the State address — and then, less than 24 hours after that, to indict Albany’s “three men in a room’’ culture in which Cuomo is the lead player.

“Cuomo feels Preet just walked all over him,’’ said the source.

Knowledgeable insiders, including law-enforcement experts, said it wasn’t accidental that Bharara brought the charges against Silver just hours after Cuomo’s State of the State.

“Prosecutors have a lot of discretion, and when they time a high-profile arrest in a way that steps all over Cuomo’s speech, that’s the use of discretion for a purpose,’’ a former federal prosecutor told The Post.

And several sources described Cuomo — who along with his aides is being investigated by Bharara over the abrupt disbanding of the governor’s Moreland Act commission on public corruption — as “on edge’’ over Bharara’s ominous statement Friday that the public should “stay tuned’’ for more criminal charges to come.

“Andrew’s been working the phones day and night, staying up into the early morning hours, making hundreds of calls in one day trying to find out what the hell is going on,’’ a source close to the governor said.

Cuomo, who has retained a private lawyer, has enlisted several former federal and state-level prosecutors with ties to Bharara’s office including Steve Cohen, his former chief-of-staff, in an effort to find out Bharara’s next move, the sources said.

“He’s freaked-out, furious, and obsessed with fear, it’s like a nightmare for him. The whole narrative he laid out for his second term has been derailed by Bharara,’’ said a source in regular contact with the governor.

“The narrative has been taken over by Bharara and it’s all about Albany’s corruption, not Cuomo and his program for the state,’’ the source said.

State political circles are abuzz with speculation that Bharara is seeking to determine if Cuomo had any knowledge of Silver’s allegedly illegal outside income last spring when he agreed with Silver and Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos to fold the commission.

The hair-pulling turmoil that has engulfed Assembly Democrats over the possible (and many believe likely) need to replace Silver as speaker hasn’t been seen since Syracuse-area Assembly Majority Leader Michael Bragman unsuccessfully sought to oust Silver in 2000.

A half-dozen names of possible replacements are on lawmakers’ lips and here, direct from a usually authoritative Assembly member, is a late bulletin on the maneuvering: “The Queens County organization is making calls for [Queens Assemblywoman] Cathy Nolan.

“A Queens/Bronx coalition would counterbalance a Brooklyn/Manhattan coalition under [Assemblymen] Joe Lentol [Brooklyn] and Keith Wright [the Manhattan Democratic chairman], with 30 votes each.

“Bronx County Chairman [Carl Heastie] is looking like the kingmaker here.’’

That said, a lot of smart money is on well-regarded Assembly Ways and Means Committee Chairman Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr. of Manhattan, a former state Democratic chairman, as a non-controversial successor to Silver, at least on a short-term “interim’’ basis.

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The Clothes Make the Man, Not a Mayor

mayor byron brown

Mayor Brown of Buffalo not only finds it difficult to tell the truth, but impossible.  In my personal relationship with the Mayor he has shown me he  is more concerned that his clothes are the best.  He is such a fool he believes clothes make the man.  He fails to understand the BS he throws around lands on his clothes and soils them beyond salvage.

He doesn’t have the inner integrity or honesty to be a man who can help change a city, instead he brought in more racketeers and crooked businessmen.  He seems to be expecting the President to select him to serve on a more responsible job.  That won’t happen but there are must be some good haberdasher shops that need sharp dressers to run these shops in the Arctic Circle.  Mayor Brown buys nice clothes.  Now he can sell sharp men’s hats and clothes.

Why all this background information on Mayor Brown?  Our Mayor today shut down 3 bars which have been having troubles.  They are in the Elmwood triangle but Brown hasn’t shut down any of the dangerous bars on the Eastside.  Is this because the Mayor gave many of these bar owners government money to be used to help build new houses on the Eastside when instead they opened up bars?  When the government went to investigate what the Mayor did with the money his face turned red and said he couldn’t collect any of the money because the men he gave it to wasted away on trips, booze, cars and women.

Brown got angry at these people and told them not to do it again!  Wow.  That was a vivid statement.  Here he shows his lack of true grit because above all he needs the black, Hispanic and America Indian vote to keep winning.

Brown is smooth and when he had his right hand man Steve Casey were running Buffalo, Brown was a perfect mannequin.  There is a huge danger keeping this powder puff as Mayor.  There is major crime here and more gangs are coming to Buffalo.  We need a Mayor who is honest, tough and has a good, fully inflated, set of bal_s.

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Mad Hatter’s Gala

Mad Hatters Gala 2015

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Sheldon Silver Temporarily to Give Up Duties as NY Assembly Speaker

Sheldon Silver car

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has agreed to give up his duties temporarily while fighting federal corruption charges.

Silver has agreed to step away from his duties, at least temporarily.

A spokesman for Silver said the speaker planned to brief Democratic members of the Assembly on his intentions Monday.

He is accused of using his position as one of the state’s most powerful politicians to obtain millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks masked as legitimate income.

The criminal complaint says there is probable cause to believe that Silver obtained about $4 million in payments characterized as attorney referral fees through the corrupt use of his official position.
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His attorney should hope for “not guilty”, a far cry from ” innocent.”  Wonder what they will do over at Luxembourg & Weiss?  In the end, maybe like Al Capone, they’ll nail him on taxes!

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The Results Are in! The Unhealthiest Cities in the U.S. Are…

The Results Are in! The Unhealthiest Cities in the U.S. Are...

BetterDoctor has ranked the unhealthiest cities in the U.S.

Is it any surprise that the former home of Elvis — the man who famously ate peanut butter, fried banana, and bacon sandwiches — ranks as the unhealthiest city in America?

Yes, Memphis, Tennessee is the land of overeating, bad habits, low physical fitness rates, and pathetic access to good healthcare, according to BetterDoctor, which just released its first ranking of the healthiest and unhealthiest cities across the country.
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The Top 25 Unhealthiest Cities
(each city’s total score on a 100-point scale is shown in parentheses)

1.) Memphis, TN (15.8)
2.) Oklahoma City, OK (24.1)
3.) Louisville, KY (26.3)
4.) San Antonio, TX (27.3)
5.) Nashville, TN (29.0)
6.) Indianapolis, IN (29.5)
7.) Las Vegas, NV (29.8)
8.) New Orleans, LA (30.8)
9.) Los Angeles, CA (32.7)
10.) Jacksonville, FL (34.6)
11.) Detroit, MI (34.7)
12.) Riverside, CA (35.1)
13.) Phoenix, AZ (35.6)
14.) Orlando, FL (36.7)
15.) Tampa, FL (38.2)
16.) Miami, FL (38.3)
17.) Columbus, OH (38.5)
18.) Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (38.9)
19.) Houston, TX (40.0)
20.) Kansas City, MO (40.0)
21.) Charlotte, NC (40.1)
22.) Birmingham, AL (42.2)
23.) Cleveland, OH (42.5)
24.) Virginia Beach, VA (42.9)
25.) Milwaukee, WI (43.4)

The Top 25 Healthiest Cities

1.) Boston, MA (74.5)
2.) Minneapolis, MN (73.6)
3.) Washington, DC (72.6)
4.) San Francisco, CA (66.4)
5.) Hartford, CT (62.7)
6.) Pittsburgh, PA (60.1)
7.) San Jose, CA (58.6)
8.) Salt Lake City, UT (58.5)
9.) Seattle, WA (57.7)
10.) Cincinnati, OH (57.6)
11.) Portland, OR (56.7)
12.) Denver, CO (56.6)
13.) Sacramento, CA (56.6)
14.) Atlanta, GA (55.9)
15.) San Diego, CA (55.3)
16.) Baltimore, MD (55.0)
17.) St. Louis, MO (54.7)
18.) Austin, TX (53.9)
19.) Raleigh, NC (52.7)
20.) Providence, RI (51.3)
21.) Buffalo, NY (50.3)
22.) Richmond, VA (48.6)
23.) Chicago, IL (48.4)
24.) New York, NY (47.7)
25.) Philadelphia, PA (44.0)

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A World War II Nurse’s VA Lobotomy Takes Toll on Family She Raised

Patrick Welch1

by Patrick W. Welch, PhD
U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)
Veterans Advocate & Educator
Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court – Senior Mentor

I am sick and disgusted.  In all my years of veterans advocacy I have not ever heard the stories of the VA giving lobotomies to World War II veterans.  This story in the Saturday edition of The Wall Street Journal states that 2,000 WW II vets were treated this way because they just were not right after they returned from the war.  I am lost for words to express my feelings about such a tragedy for those who bravely served this nation.  WTF were they thinking?  Cut out parts of their brains to quiet them down, just pathetic and I feel like I want to vomit.
A World War II nurse’s VA lobotomy takes toll on family she raised :

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Michael Kearns Could Be Next Assembly Speaker

by Matthew Ricchiazzi

Assemblyman Kearns (D, R, I)

In the face of Sheldon Silver’s arrest on public corruption charges, the Albany establishment — long entrenched in the culture of corruption that Silver typified — has been shaken to its core.

As we speak there are rumblings in Albany that South Buffalo’s Assemblyman Michael Kearns could become the next Speaker of the New York State Assembly.

Kearns has said that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility.

The rumors come shortly after Erie County Republican Chairman Nicholas Langworthy, an influential figure in the NYGOP, endorsed the Kearns’ candidacy. Kearns ran for election with the backing of the Democratic, Republican, and Independence parties.
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Letter to the Editor: Not So Quicksilver

letter to the editor

This was a bad week for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a worse week for NYS Democrats, and horrible for the citizens of the State of New York.  Corruption involving money in politics maybe endemic, and historical, but will never be eliminated unless or until we can either publicly fund these political campaigns, or set finite campaign finance limits, or both.  Repealing or legislating away the Supreme Court decision that money is somehow free speech would be a big help too.  From the looks of things, there may be more criminal charges against other state politicians as well, which we should welcome if warranted, if not eagerly await.

While it is true, like any one else charged with a crime, Speaker Silver and the others have a presumption of innocence, and the prosecution must be willing and able to prove the government’s case beyond a reasonable doubt.  However given the sensitivity and prominence of the position involved, I would hope Mr. Silver, and others, would at least step aside from any leadership post and take a leave of absence during this prosecution, if not resign.  If he does not want to resign his Assembly seat, that becomes a district issue between him and his constituents, which at the worst can be decided in 2 years at the polls, if not in court.  However to the degree he is a statewide leader, it is an issue for all the rest of us, and I for one among many, am sure, I want him to step down, if not out.  The Assembly belongs to all New Yorkers and should not be held hostage to the personal desires of a leader who does not see the impropriety of attempting to continue to lead under this prosecutorial cloud.

More importantly this provides us all with a reform moment.  It’s time to end the infamous “3 Men in a Room” style of governance. It is not good government now, if it ever was.  Open up the Legislative halls in Albany with new rules changes to make governing a more democratic process.  Close behind that should be an end to the seniority system, another painful structure of a latter day no longer necessary.  Make again all the members equal and that can go to eliminate special financial favors as lulus as well.  Finally, a time to take up term limits for members and for committee chairs as well.  The current system only breeds corruption, and all the lack of energy and new ideas any such system of long term incumbencies inevitably produces.

We in WNY have traditionally been dominated by NYC and downstate political interests and this could provide the spark for meaningful legislative reform and allow us to realign state government more along our interests and policy needs.  Let’s not lose the opportunity. We can do better.
Dan Ward

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