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News Feature

Amnesty International Spooked by Buffalo Activist

by George Sax

It’s certainly not as if Leslie J. Pickering is unaccustomed to being involved in public controversy. Not by a very long shot. Over the last seventeen years, the leftist Buffalo political organizer and educator has been the subject of extensive, sometimes inflammatory national press coverage, and the target of governmental investigators.

Cultural Giving

Give the Gifts That Keep on Giving

by Jamie Moses

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. It would be unusual to give someone a fish for Christmas, or to teach them to fish on Christmas day.

News Feature

Cult of NXIVM Series Part 5: Bronfman Sisters Join NXIVM and Lose Millions of Dollars

by Frank Parlato

It’s worth noting that well before I was hired as a consultant at NXIVM in 2007, the two Seagram heiresses, Clare and Sarah Bronfman lost a staggering amount of money.

News Feature

King Con Shmuel Shmueli learns new trade: Stiffing lawyers and winning through losing --lawsuits

by Frank Parlato

We’ve previously written in this series that while living in Brooklyn Shmuel Shmueli started a Hebrew newspaper, Israel Shelanu (Our Israel), and instead of hiring reporters, he found it convenient to “lift” stories from other Hebrew newspapers without their permission.


Coming to Buffalo: The World Juniors

by Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell

We all remember the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Juniors.

The annual event consists of under-20 junior hockey players from 10 different countries, playing in a pool and then elimination format to determine a world champion.

Upon Further Review

Deja Blue, Red and White

by Dave Staba

This was the season it was all supposed to be different, but it turned out just the same in the end.


Drink in the Season

by Buck Quigley

In Buffalo, drinking season officially kicks off on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and runs until New Year’s Day. It’s a relatively short period, but very intense.

What's Brewing

Anchor Steam Christmas Ale & Holiday Beer Guide

by Erik Wollschlager and Chris Groves

"We’re not just changing for change sake. We always hope that each year, it’s going to be a little better,” says Anchor Brewing brewmaster Mark Carpenter, regarding the annual release of their Christmas Beer.

Tap This

Roll Out The Barrels

by Erik Wollschlager

As Buffalo beer continues to grow and make its mark in the craft brewing industry, local brewers are hard at work expanding their creative portfolios. Whether they are trying their hand at sour beers, experimental hops, or innovative additives, the ever-churning minds behind Buffalo’s beers are regularly cranking out new and interesting brews. Several local brewers have begun to barrel-age some of their finest standard beers, and the results are fantastic.

Art Scene

Starlight Studio and Art Gallery holiday show and sale

by Jack Foran

What’s to say about a perfect Christmas dinosaur? Such as the feature character in the Starlight Studio and Art Gallery holidays show and sale, a work by Starlight artist Chace Lobley. Brontosaurus—possibly—in a Santa hat and peacefulness of the season mood. A look on his Jurassic reptilian face of goodwill to all—even pesky raptors—and hope for the future, despite the disheartening record of the past.

Film Review

The Big Short

by Jordan Canahai

Adam McKay’s The Big Short offers a front-row seat in the financial arena in the months and years before the 2008 financial crisis, aligning itself with the perspectives of the handful of traders who saw that the housing and credit bubble was ready to pop, and got very rich as a result.

Theatrically Speaking

Joseph's Gospel and So Much More

by Anthony Chase

As the holidays become nearer, festive theater fare begins to wind down, but there is still plenty to see.

Classical Music Notes

BPO Holiday Pops Welcomes New Conductor

by Jan Jezioro

Without a doubt, the most popular Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concert of the entire year is the annual Holiday Pops event. The overwhelmingly positive proof for this statement is evident by just a quick glance at the BPO’s season schedule. Every Classical Series concert enjoys two performances, as do the vast majority of BPO Pops concerts, with other special events generally having a single concert appearance.

Get Lit

From Ink to Industry

by Heather Cook

Are you a creative writer with a stack of polished poems and/or short stories consuming your desk(top)? Congratulations on finishing and revising (and revising again) your pieces! “Now what?” you ask. It’s time to find an authentic audience. Let’s get your name out there.


On The Boards Theater Listings

Movie Listings (Friday, December 18 - Thursday, December 24)

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Graphic Traffic

Sattelite Sam & Descender

by Jack Dumpert and Carolyn Marcille

In the days of black-and-white television, the independent DuMont Network struggled to survive in competition with the major alphabet networks. DuMont’s most popular program was a daily fifteen-minute children’s science-fiction series, Captain Video and his Video Rangers.

Offbeat News

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

In November, lawyer Michael Petersen of Appleton, Wisconsin, was ordered by county judge Philip Kirk (in a sentence for contempt of court) to inform every client he acquires in the following 12 months that Petersen is a “crook,” “cheat,” “thief” and “liar.”


Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Garnets are considered less valuable than diamonds. But out in the wild, there’s an intimate connection between these two gemstones. Wherever you find garnets near the surface of the earth, you can be reasonably sure that diamonds are buried deeper down in the same location.