Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Mar. 17, 2018
May the Road Rise to meet You

Irish Blessings image

May the roads rise to meet you.
May the wind be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow.
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

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On St. Joseph’s Day; Pass the Sfingi and Honey Balls

Mar. 17, 2018

To Buffalo’s Sicilian population, St. Joseph’s Day looms large.

For the rest of us, it is something of a mystery.

It is sandwiched between two gigantic Western New York party days, St. Patrick’s Day and Dyngus Day, falling on March 19 in 2018. These noisier occasions tend to obscure it. You do not find store aisles devoted to St. Joseph’s Day, as you do for St. Patrick’s Day. Though there is a massive St. Patrick’s Day/St. Joseph’s Day/Dyngus Day celebration, the holiday in the middle is in a class by itself.

It is celebrated wherever Sicilians are, said Peter LoJacono, the president of the Buffalo Federation of Italian-American Societies.

The roots of St. Joseph’s Day, adding to its exotic nature, are distant and medieval. St. Joseph saved Sicily from famine in the Middle Ages, and Sicilians have been thanking him ever since, by holding St. Joseph’s Tables – elaborate feasts.

A St. Joseph’s Day feast is always meatless. There were two reasons for that: One was that the day invariably falls during Lent, and rules used to be far stricter than they are now.

The other reason was less meaty, but more practical.

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Former Hippies Put in Horrible Position of Rooting for F.B.I.

Mar. 17, 2018

Satire from The Borowitz Report

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Former hippies across the United States have been put in the unbearable position of rooting for the F.B.I., hippies have confirmed.

From Vermont to California, erstwhile hippies bemoaned a nightmare scenario that has forced them to side with a law-enforcement agency they have despised since the Summer of Love.

“I always dreamed I’d spend my retirement surrounded by my grandchildren, telling them that the F.B.I. were fascist pigs,” Carol Foyler, a former hippie who lives in Santa Cruz, said. “That dream has been shot to hell.”

Her husband, Mick, nodded his head in sad agreement. “We were so happy when pot was legalized in California,” he said. “But the fact that we’re now on the same side as the F.B.I. has ruined even that.”

Now in their seventies, the Foylers are spending their days doing things they never dreamed possible when they traipsed through the mud at Woodstock: going door to door in Santa Cruz, asking other former freaks to sign a pro-F.B.I. petition.

“Donald Trump has wrecked America’s standing around the world, spread misogyny and bigotry, ravaged the environment, and endorsed a child molester,” Carol said. “But making people like us support the F.B.I. is the most unforgivable thing he’s done.”

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Mar. 17, 2018

In his first substantial interview in a decade and his first extensively about football since the ’90s, Simpson spoke to The Buffalo News earlier this week. He talks about his time in prison, his life since his release, football, CTE and more.

LAS VEGAS — The dishwasher was chirping, and he couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. The thermostat was a mystery. A freshly discovered leak dripped from a large stain in the garage ceiling, and he couldn’t locate the cause.

He hunched as he moved around the house, smoothly but with a shuffle more than a glide. Reading glasses perched on his salt-and-pepper head. He wore a black button-up sweater over a white golf shirt, black slacks, black Nike sneakers.

He looked like Mr. Rogers, not the running back who once scored 23 touchdowns in a season, not one of the most infamous men on the planet.

But that baritone voice, that incandescent smile. Yes, this was O.J. Simpson.

And he was ready to sit and talk.
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Donald Trump Hails Andrew McCabe’s Firing As ‘A Great Day For Democracy’

 Lee Moran,HuffPost 7 hours ago

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Amherst IDA Names Boardroom in Honor of Former Executive James Allen

Mar. 17, 2018
The name of James J. Allen, the longtime executive director of the Amherst IDA who died in October, marks the entrance to the IDA's boardroom. (Buffalo News/Stephen T. Watson)

The Amherst Industrial Development Agency board of directors on Friday dedicated its boardroom in memory of the agency’s longtime former executive director, James J. Allen.

Allen, who died Oct. 31 at the age of 68, served as the agency’s executive director for 37 years.

Allen’s former colleagues on Friday lauded him as a mentor and as a leader of Amherst’s transformation into an economic engine for the region.

Allen’s first meeting as executive director, in 1979, was the IDA’s 65th meeting. His last, in March 2016, was the 477th.

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Priest Denies Sexually Abusing Children; Diocese Says Allegations Prompted Removal

Mar. 17, 2018

Three men have told The Buffalo News they were sexually abused as boys by the Rev. Donald W. Becker, a Catholic priest removed from the ministry in 2003.

On Friday, a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo told The News that Becker was barred from performing priestly duties then because of sexual abuse allegations against him.

Bishop Richard J. Malone made a similar statement Friday to a reporter from WKBW television news station.

But Becker, now 75 and living in Florida, denied the allegations.

“No, I did not,” Becker told The News, when asked if he had ever molested children. “Certainly not sexual…This is quite shocking.”

Becker said “illness” was the sole reason why he stopped practicing as a priest. He said he suffers from Parkinson’s disease. “It’s debilitating and it’s progressing,” Becker said.

Becker said he can’t explain why diocese officials said he was removed because of abuse allegations.

“I haven’t talked to the bishop about this. I’d have to talk to him about it,” Becker said.

Although he no longer practices as a priest, he added, “I’m still a priest.”
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UB Fans Bull-ish on Basketball Team After Huge NCAA Win

Mar. 17, 2018
UB student Kyle Hughes gives the 'horns up' salute outside his South Lake apartment building at UB North. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
UB student Kyle Hughes gives the “horns up” salute outside his South Lake apartment building at UB North.

If you want to know how everyone at the University at Buffalo felt after Thursday night’s historic NCAA Tournament win by the men’s basketball team, watch the video of Kyle Hughes dashing out of his apartment after the game.

The UB senior, wearing only a T-shirt, shorts and socks, jumped off a step and crashed onto a folding table set up on the sidewalk, breaking it in half as he fell to the ground.

Hughes – best known as the student who sank a half-court shot at a UB home game to win the princely prize of 12 medium pizzas – let out a guttural roar before hurling a section of table out onto the snow-covered lawn.

“I know I owe my roommate a new table,” Hughes said Friday morning.
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A Lesson for the World in a Paper at the Door

Mar. 17, 2018
A woman delivers the morning newspaper to Gerri Mrugalski, waiting in the garage of her home in Clarence. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

The woman had one condition. She was surprised when she met a couple of us from The Buffalo News in a driveway on Bridlewood Drive South in her Clarence neighborhood, and at first she wasn’t sure she wanted to see anything about what she was doing in the paper.

She thought it over. She took a good look at Gerri and Donald Mrugalski, standing in the garage and smiling at her, and she understood why they had called us.

It was their gift, their way of saying thanks.

All right, the woman said in a gentle voice, so moved by the Mrugalskis that she teetered between laughter and tears. She told me to go ahead and write a column, but there was a stipulation: She did not want her name to be used, because that seemed to undermine the fundamental point.

“This is something we’re supposed to do,” the woman said.
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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter Dies

Mar. 16, 2018

Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, who had represented Western New York in Congress since 1987, has died. She was 88.

The Congresswoman’s Chief of Staff, Liam Fitzsimmons, said Ms. Slaughter passed away early Friday morning surrounded by family at George Washington University Hospital.

Her office revealed earlier this week that she had suffered a head injury after a fall, and had been hospitalized with a concussion.

Slaughter was the oldest member of the House of Representatives.

Local Congressman Brian Higgins (D-26) released the following statement after hearing the news:

“It is with great sadness we learn of the passing of my friend, and a great friend to Western New York, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. Her commitment to public service was extraordinary, serving 47 years in elected office, including 32 years in Congress. She was a strong and respected leader in the House of Representatives and a passionate advocate for the community she represented and loved. The nation has lost a fervent defender of righteous policies and Western New York has lost a champion. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

In a statement, NY Senator Charles Schumer (D) spoke highly of Congresswoman Slaughter and her service to her state and country:

“Congresswoman Louise Slaughter was a giant. She had deep convictions — on both issues important to the people of Rochester, and for the integrity and honesty of the political system. Throughout her entire career, Louise worked with people from so many different philosophies and backgrounds, because she was such a genuine human spirit. The ferocity of her advocacy was matched only by the depth of her compassion and humanity. Her passing will leave a gaping hole in our hearts and our nation. My sincere condolences go out to her daughters and grandchildren and to the legions of people who loved and admired her.”

And from Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown:

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. Congresswoman Slaughter was a fierce advocate for Western New York and the progressive, Democratic values of New York State. Her compassion was boundless, and her tenacity was inspirational.

“From her authorship of the Violence Against Women Act to her work combating discrimination and bias, Congresswoman Slaughter was a voice for women, diversity, and the belief that through equality and opportunity our country’s greatest days lie ahead.

“Congresswoman Slaughter’s impact on Buffalo, her beloved home city of Rochester, and all of Western New York will be felt for generations. She will be greatly missed.”
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