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Scorecard: The Week's Winners and Losers

The List

You may have heard that on Feb. 21, Buffalo landed on Forbes’ list of the 10 “Most Miserable” cities in America for a third consecutive year. Forbes, the undisputed king of ubiquitous and superfluous city ranking lists, based their highly scientific and conclusive assessment of our collective misery on unemployment data, taxes, weather, crime, and even sports teams. We at the Week in Review commend Forbes for so accurately illustrating how much life in Buffalo sucks and can’t help but be awed by their list-making prowess.

In honor of Forbes (apparently the authority on our happiness), the Week in Review used our own highly scientific ratings metric to come up with our list of the best Forbes city lists.

Best Cities For Commuters, 2010

Buffalo: No. 2

Our Analysis: You can pretty much get anywhere in this town in under 25 minutes. Buffalo could still use more investment in clean mass transit, but there’s something to be said about the benefits of not having to spend two hours every day soullessly idling in traffic.

Fastest-recovering Cities, 2009

Buffalo: No. 16

Our Analysis: Boy, that recession was a bitch. Guess we’re pretty lucky we don’t live in Florida or California, places hit hard by the housing bubble and struggling with massive foreclosures and 20% unemployment. With stable, unspeculative housing prices we have the security of knowing if you never boom, you won’t go bust.

Best Cities for Singles, 2008

Buffalo: No. 30

Our Analysis: Cost of living is cheap and the bars are plentiful. Sounds like a solid combination to us. Just think how many $16 martinis it would take to get a girl in Los Angeles to even talk to you.

Well, look at that. Based on some of Forbes’ own lists, it seems that life in Buffalo isn’t as bad as its latest list would have you believe. Granted, Buffalo still has a lot of problems, but the Week in Review doesn’t think life here is “miserable,” and thinks that maybe Forbes should give these lame lists a break.

The Week's Winners & Losers

Bar Tabs

Hundreds of Buffalo firefighters picketed the State of the City address Feb. 19, angered by the city’s refusal to reimburse alcohol expenses at the funerals of two comrades. The city is obligated to pay $12,500 per funeral, but balked at the $9,630 tab.

Woodlawn Beach

Buffalonians who enjoy swimming in raw sewage were dissappointed on Feb. 19 that Gov. David Paterson is putting the beach on his list of 55 parks and historic sites to close. The measure would save $6.5 million against the State’s $8.2 billion deficit.

America F*ck Yeah!

Thanks to a stonewall performance by Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, on Feb. 21 an underdog American team dispensed with the favored Canadians 5-3 at the Olympics. The US team also featured locals Pat Kane and Brooks Orpik.

Tax-Free Cigarettes

Despite objections from Senecas that tax collection on cigarettes sold on reservations violate 18th-century treaties, Gov. David Paterson advanced regulations on Feb. 23 to prohibit the sale of tax-free smokes. Let the tires on the Thruway burn.

Wishful Thinking

In his Feb. 19 State of the City address, Mayor Byron Brown called for elimination of the controversial development agency BERC. Too bad Brown can’t simply disband all alphabet soup agencies—like the FBI, and the NYSAG, and HUD IG.

By the numbers...


Percentage increase in Wall Street bonuses in 2009, according to a report released Feb. 23 by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. DiNapoli says bonuses paid to finance executives last year will exceed $20 billion.


Total bonus in dollars paid to Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio by J.P. Morgan Chase in 2009, on top of his $260,000 salary. Lazio took home $325,000 in base salary and $1.3 million in bonus in 2008, when J.P. Morgan took TARP money from the Federal Reserve.


Dollars of damage inflicted on the hardwoood floor of an Elma house by 18-year-old Ryan Baczkiewicz of Cheektowaga. Baczkiewicz was arrested on Feb. 21 on charges of criminal mischief and trespassing for alledgedly breakdancing at a house party while intoxicated and wearing a diamond-studded belt buckle that heavily scratched the floor.

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