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Cover Story

Police Story: Inside the Buffalo Police Department

by Jamie Moses and Geoff Kelly

If you searched the entire history of the Buffalo Police Department you would be hard pressed to find a better crime fighter than Detective Eddie Cotter – even if you went back to the BPD’s horse-drawn patrol-wagon days of 1871. For years, he and his longtime partner Detective Timothy McDonald patrolled the streets of Buffalo, sharing their natural instinct for finding guns, drugs, robbers, cheats and burglars.

Letters to the Editor

The Bruce Jackson article on the proposed Buffalo Casino (“Kerchung! You Lose!” Artvoice v5n3) was a breath of fresh air...In Buffalo, as in the suburbs, the developers have for too many years shamelessly led us down paths that destroy our communities. The Fourth Estate is perhaps our last hope, and, given the lack of courage of our mainstream press, Western New York has to depend primarily on Artvoice for this leadership. Clearly, bravo! And no sleeping!

In the Margins

Flashes of Emotion

by Forrest Roth

Kim Chinquee, the featured visiting writer for the first of three COMMUNIQUE readings to be held at Big Orbit Gallery, spends most of her time on a deceptively challenging task: crafting very short stories that require investing only a minute (or less) to read yet longer to comprehend their significance. This creative undertaking, which has proven quite successful for Chinquee, was born out of a writer’s necessity to step away from convention. “I think truth comes in small bits,” Chinquee explained in a recent e-mail interview, “and this form allows me to find those truths without feeling too overwhelmed ... With the longer form, sometimes I feel exhausted with emotion.”

Book Reviews

Evening Everything: The Collected Poems of Loren Keller

by Anni Brill

This big, attractive hardcover book by Buffalo poet and longtime Kenmore West teacher Loren Keller includes hundreds of poems written over the course of six decades. As such, it gives the reader a view of the world as seen through the quiet, earnest eyes of a poet. Keller typically writes short, tight works, like the one printed here:


Does Buffalo Really Need Another Wal-Mart?

by Daniel B. Honigman

With a reputation of sprawling superstores, low prices and cutthroat business practices, Wal-Mart is now looking to increase its presence in the WNY area. Plans to build a behemoth 217, 000 square-foot Wal-Mart Superstore are in the works, with a re-zoning vote pending by the Amherst Town Board. The proposed site is on a 67-acre piece of land in North Amherst on the corner of New Road and Millersport Highway, designated in 1974 for the future construction of a shopping center. With several Wal-Mart stores in and around Buffalo, the question is, do local residents and shoppers really want another one?


An Army of Kids

by Peter Koch

Last fall, on a gray, pouring-rain morning, Bruce Beyer (pictured) drove his daughter, Elizabeth, and her friend Jennifer Brown to Hutchinson-Central Technical School. When he picked up Brown, she was decked out in military dress, part of her uniform for the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) class she was enrolled in at school. Glancing in his rearview mirror, Beyer casually asked her how she liked the JROTC program, one his daughter had opted out of at summer orientation. “I hate it,” Brown said. “So why do you do it?” Beyer asked. “Every freshman was forced to enroll,” she answered, and once you were in you couldn’t withdraw from the class.

News Interview

The Senecas' Buffalo Creek Casino, Part II

by Bruce Jackson

Dianne Bennett, one of the region’s top lawyers, is a member of the steering committee of Citizens for a Better Buffalo, the group which has funded and organized the legal actions opposing the Senecas’ proposed Buffalo Creek casino. She recently retired from Buffalo’s largest law firm, Hodgson Russ, where she was president.

Fine Dining

Fiamma Stakes Its Claim

by Arthur Page

With each month that passes, Hertel Avenue provides new proof that it deserves to be recognized as Buffalo’s “Restaurant Row.” The sheer number and eclectic mix of restaurants help clinch the case for that claim.

Stage Fright

by Javier

Holy passage of time! It was forty years ago this month that Batman first aired on TV (Frank Gorshin as The Riddler was the first guest villain). Burt Ward (pictured above) who played Robin, the Boy Wonder, was 20 years old at the time. Prior to the TV show, Ward’s only experience working with actors was as an apprentice at the Bucks County Playhouse in Pennsylvania back in 1963. Now mostly retired from acting, Ward dedicates much of his time to his charitable foundation, Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions, which helps rescue “gentle giant” dogs. Incidentally, while obituaries for the great American actress, Shelley Winters, recalled that she replaced Celeste Holm on Broadway in the original Oklahoma, most neglected to mention her star turn as a villain on the original “Batman”; she played Ma Parker in 1966.


by Anthony Chase

Two shows playing locally at the moment feature biographies of 20th century American entertainment super stars. In Sammy & Me at MusicalFare, actor/playwright Eric Jordan Young explores his own fascination with Sammy Davis, Jr.; Always … Patsy Cline at the Kavinoky is a biographical sketch told by Louise Seger, a devoted fan who forges a friendship with the country music legend during a memorable night in Houston.

Film Reviews

Posting Bond: The Matador

by M. Faust

Not the Orient Express: The White Countess

by George Sax

Family Ties: Transamerica

by M. Faust

See You There

Resolutions 2006

by M. Faust

Shift & Switch Launch Party

by Kevin Thurston

Mozart's 250th Birthday

by Daniel B. Honigman

Maria Schneider Orchestra

by Mark Norris


Cinderella Mann: An Aimee Mann Interview

by Jennifer Behrens

It takes a lot to rattle Aimee Mann. Just consider her last show in Buffalo: her appearance at Thursday at the Square in August of 2003 coincided with the largest blackout in U.S. history. A nervous crew kept generators ready, anticipating that the massive power failure would soon hit downtown Buffalo as it had hit the rest of the Northeast (including nearby suburbs). But somehow the city lights stayed on and Mann played a blistering set before an enthusiastic crowd. After more than two decades as a touring artist, such snags fail to faze the 44–year-old singer-songwriter.

Left of the Dial

The Plus Ones: Oh Me of Little Faith

by Matt Barber

Ris Paul Ric: Purple Blaze

by Matthew Holota

Kate Bush: Aerial

by Joe Sweeney


Hello Blue Hudson

You might like our music if you like....

Death Cab For Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, Radiohead, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Anniversary, Longwave, Elliott, The Mars Volta, The Postal Service and The Appleseed Cast.

Artist of the Week

Rhyson Hall

by Daniel B. Honigman

The lowdown: Rhyson (pronounced “Reason”) Hall isn’t your average hip-hop emcee. An African-American Studies major in his senior year at UB, he is one of the featured stars on local rap label DeepThinka Records. Having amassed a solid local following and with his single, “Still Raw,” heard on the college airwaves stateside and in Canada, Hall is set to release his debut album, The Restoration, this spring. With a wide-open style, Rhyson uses his smooth delivery to speak to audiences about his life, his art, and pretty much anything else he wants you to know. Hall is one of the opening act performers for a concert featuring the critically acclaimed hip-hop group Little Brother on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 9pm at the Icon. You can check out Hall’s new single and DeepThinka Records at

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium. Chemist John Walker invented the match. Physicist Wilhelm Roentgen was the first person to find out about X-rays. What do these great minds have in common? They all refused to take out any patents in connection with their innovations, believing that they shouldn’t make any profit on something that rightfully belongs to everyone. They’re your role models right now, Aquarius. Let them inspire you to give away your brilliance for free. (P.S. I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but there’ll be a big reward for you if you do what I suggest.)

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ Inappropriate Kisses: Malaysian Shahimi Abdul Hamid, 33, announced that on March 11, he will, as a matter of Asian pride, challenge the world record for speed-kissing a venomous snake, which is held by an American, and he smooched up a 9-foot-long cobra at his press conference. And last Oct. 31, according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune police column, “An employee of a business... complained that a former co-worker had been constantly showing up and kissing his truck, leaving lip marks all over it. Police warned the man to stay away.”