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Scorecard: The Week's Winners and Losers

The Week's Winners & Losers

Youthful Exuberance

Just hours after Russia stunned Canada to win the gold medal at the World Juniors, the crew of a Delta flight at Buffalo/Niagara Airport on Jan. 6 refused to allow the allegedly rowdy and intoxicated Russian team to board their return flight home. In Soviet Russia, vodka drink you!

Legal Grandstanding

Judge Thomas Franczyk threatened Frank Sedita with contempt of court on Jan. 7, accusing Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita of grandstanding at a press conference the day before. Sedita had lashed out at the almost two years of delays in the controversial Muzzamil Hassan beheading trial.

Pink Slips

A Jan. 10 independent report that justified Mayor Byron Brown’s firing of HR director Karla Thomas—who paid health insurance premiums to 170 dead workers, wasting the city $800,000—allowed Brown to finally drop the axe for good, putting an end to the four-month-long termination hearing.

Northern Aggression

In response to a Buffalo News column criticizing the loutish behaviour of some Canadian hockey fans at the World Juniors, shiny-pated Toronto Star columnist Cathal Kelly wrote a scathing rebuke to Buffalo that got downright nasty. I’m just going to leave this here:

Regressive Taxation

Erie County Exec Chris Collins announced on Jan. 11 he was ready to cut property tax by upwards of 40%, but only if the state cuts services offered by Medicaid. So…cut healthcare for those who can barely afford a roof over their heads, and pass that on to those who comfortably own their homes. Right.

By the numbers...


Number of days before the city of Buffalo recorded its first official homicide of 2011. Police on Jan. 10 discovered the body of a 61-year-old man who died suspiciously in an East Side apartment complex. This marks the latest date the city has recorded its first homicide in five years, with three of those years having recorded a homicide on the first day of the year.


Approximate salary received by Buffalo HR director Karla Thomas after Mayor Byron Brown announced his intent to fire her in September. Following a four-month hearing into her termination, during which Thomas continued to receive her $91,374 salary, Brown fired her for good on Jan. 10. Thomas’ lawyer announced his intention to sue to city for the estimated $330,000 remaining on her six-year contract.


Buffalo’s ranking on Forbes magazine’s latest list. This one purports to measure the nation’s most affordable cities. The only cheaper city in the country—based on the magazine’s analysis of median asking price of homes, median salaries of workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher, cost of living index, and unemployment rate—is Omaha, Nebraska.

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