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Cover Story

His Majesty's Dog at Kew

by Bruce Jackson

About 2:30 on Halloween afternoon, the Buffalo Common Council voted 6-3 to approve Mayor Byron Brown’s plan to sell two blocks of Fulton Street to the Seneca Gaming Corporation. In the same session, the Council also approved a resolution to limit the environmental impact study of this deal to those two blocks, rather than the whole nine-acre development site, thereby ensuring that, unless the Control Board or a court steps in, none of the potential harm the casino would do to the city’s life and economy will be given any serious consideration by any agency with any power to say, “Stop this foolishness now.”


Lockport Plant Downsizing

by Lisa Cialfa

The Delphi plant in Lockport used to be one of the area’s top employers, but over the past year has cut its work force drastically. The company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Its executives say it is “transitioning,” that Delphi will emerge as a profitable company in the next few years. No one is holding their breath. Last month the beleagured company offered its remaining workers an option: Take half your pay with no benefits or take a buyout of your contract of up to $140,000. About 1,300 workers at the Lockport plant have taken the buyout so far. The company’s president, Ronald M. Pirtle, has been quoted saying, “Being such a leader to this region’s bottom line is a responsibility we take very seriously at Delphi Thermal.” Shortly after he said that, the SEC fined Delphi for fraudulent accounting. Would you take the money, the pay cut or stand your ground?

Letters to Artvoice

Since I was pretty miffed over Artvoice’s recent campaign against the Seneca’s casino project, I haven’t read your newspaper for a few weeks. But a friend talked me into reading the article by Bruce Jackson on the recent law passed allowing the President of the US to lie about whether he sanctions or even orders torture of political criminals (“Normalizing Torture,” Artvoice v5n43). I thought Professor Jackson had pretty much wasted the past year fretting about whether Buffaloans gambled their monies away, which is a worry we just don’t need right now. However, with his article on this phoney torture legislation, he has come a far way to redeeming himself. When the American government effectively writes the president’s dishonesty, brutality and hypocrisy into law, then any law we thought we had in America stands revealed as hypocrisy pretending to be law, and the government by law (and not the personal whim of the head-of-state) ceases to exist, the only public sanctions to our behavior devolving into violence and the threat of violence. When that happens, the only real political question to raise publicly is whether there is to be a politics at all. Right now, it appears to be the case that our votes count for nothing; what good is it to discuss social causes, whether gambling or snowplows or jobs or taxes, if the government is wholly unresponsive to our voices?

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Dear Mr. Sensitive Astrologer: Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t want peace of mind! So stop trying to talk me into going after it! It’s impossible to have it on this earth. Got that? And another thing. I don’t care about your time-consuming emotional resolution stuff! I’m not interested in chasing after the unrealistic goal of being a nice person. I just want pure, raw, naked success—the kind of glory that makes me feel really proud of my powerful effect on people. That’s it! So shape up and start giving me what I want in your little horrorscopes. —Truth-Telling Scorpio.” Dear Truthy: I love to help my readers achieve glory that makes them feel proud of their powerful effect on the world. But in my opinion the best way to accomplish that is by cultivating peace of mind, emotional resolution and kindness. By the way, it’s now an excellent time to make great progress in this work.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ In September, the headmistress of the Dvergsnes primary school in Kristiansand, Norway, proposed that boys be taught to urinate while seated, in order to reduce splashing and mis-targeting, which burden the cleaning staff, but many parents and politicians reacted bitterly. Said Vidar Kleppe of the Justice and Order party, “It’s a human right (for a boy) not to have to sit down like a girl,” adding that the school was “fiddling with God’s work.” Parent Nancy Bakke was proud of her seven-year-old boy’s ability to aim: “This rule goes against everything I’ve tried to teach my son.”


by Javier

TV and movie star Lorenzo Lamas (pictured above) is making his New York cabaret debut this week with Lorenzo Sings About Love, a show featuring standards and contemporary songs, now being performed at Feinstein’s at the Regency through November 11. The son of Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl, Lorenzo got his first big break when he landed the role of Tom Chisum in the film version of the musical Grease.


by Anthony Chase

The current production of Richard Greenberg’s play, Three Days of Rain, at Studio Arena Theatre, is historic. This marks the beginning of Kathleen Gaffney’s reign at the artistic helm of Buffalo’s most prominent theater.

In the Margins

Writing Your Way Out

by Forrest Roth

Rochester poet and fiction writer Peter Conners will be in town next Thursday night for the latest installment of Just Buffalo’s COMMUNIQUE Flash Fiction reading series at Rust Belt Books, with Buffalo State assistant professor Lou Rera opening. The event begins at 7pm and is free to the public.

Design Matters

Redefining Space

by Albert Chao

Much of the damage from the freak October storm has healed in these past weeks. Before clearing the debris, Buffalo looked like a city in ruin, with fallen branches rendering different parts of the city unrecognizable. Movement was confined by debris along the road and by the power outages that plagued the traffic lights.

Film Reviews

Royal Perogative

by M. Faust

Early in The Queen, Steven Frears’ new film about a troublesome period in the recent life of England’s monarch, Elizabeth II is preparing for an official meeting with the newly elected Tony Blair, who won’t technically become England’s prime minister until she invites him. Wondering about his potential as an anti-monarchist, she recalls a previous meeting where she found his wife Cherie’s curtsey to be “shallow.”


Squeaky Wheel Turns 20

by Geoff Kelly

Twenty years ago, out of the ashes of the fabled Media Study Buffalo, rolled the Squeaky Wheel, an oasis for independent media art which—like so many of the city’s under-the-mainstream cultural assets—often draws more attention and acclaim elsewhere than it does here at home.

Puck Stop

Record Denied!

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

It all came down to this: one last breakaway attempt in a shootout. Thomas Vanek facing Atlanta’s Kari Lehtonen. On the line? A date with history. Never before had a team in the NHL started a season 11-0. And the Buffalo Sabres, playing catchup the entire game with the equally formidable Atlanta Thrashers, were within striking distance of claiming a hallowed spot in the record book. This all came about thanks to Jochen Hecht’s tying goal with 1:44 left in regulation, when it seemed that all was lost.

Left of the Dial

Jerry Lee Lewis: Last Man Standing

by Buck Quigley

The title of this disc is a reference to the famous photo of the Million Dollar Quartet—Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis—who formed by chance on December 4, 1956 at Sun Studios and recorded a loose jam of mainly gospel and spiritual music. These four are like the Mount Rushmore of rock and roll, and it’s puzzling to think that Jerry Lee Lewis would outlive the rest, considering his full-throttle approach to life. But then, none of these guys were what you’d call “straight edge.” Now they’re all gone but Lewis.

See You There

The Bottle Rockets

by Buck Quigley

Modernism to Minimalism

by Anthony Chase


by Eric Boucher

A Voice for All Seasons

by Nikki Kozlowski


Sunshine Supremacy

by Donny Kutzbach

From the fresh-spirited troubadouring of “Catch the Wind” into the psych-tinged pop milieu of “Mellow Yellow” and “Sunshine Superman,” through the spine-tingling dark majesty of “Season of the Witch” and the epic pre-prog grandeur of “Atlantis,” the music of Donovan not only stands like a timeline totem of the 1960s but has reverberated through each generation since.

Calendar Spotlight

Invisible Choir

by Lisa Cialfa

James Cotton

This Day and Age


Scott H. Biram

Now It's Overhead