School bus driver turned in for hit-and-run by bus passenger

❝ A college student from Buffalo, New York, was surprised to find his car mysteriously dented last week, but he was even more shocked by the note left on his car.

The note was not left by another driver, but rather, someone too young to be responsible for a hit-and-run…

❝ The note writer specified it was a Buffalo Public School bus that hit Sipowicz’s car. That’s right, the anonymous good Samaritan was just a kid, on her way home from school. She signed the letter: “a 6th grader at Houghten Academy.”

Andrew Sipowicz, owner of the dented vehicle, tracked down the 6th grade schoolgirl who left him the note and plans a reward for her good deed. As for the bus driver…?

Buffalo beer silos

giant 6-pack

A cluster of 100-foot-tall grain silos in Buffalo is being turned into the world’s largest six-pack.

Crews are installing rolls of vinyl wrap spelling out Labatt Blue on six silos at the former GLF grain mill operation near the city’s Lake Erie waterfront, home to several long-defunct grain elevators.

The six silos have been painted blue to resemble huge Labatt beer cans. The silos are part of the Buffalo RiverWorks, a former grain elevator that’s being transformed into a brewery, entertainment and recreation complex.

A co-owner of the property says the vinyl being used to display the Labatt name can be removed easily to return the silos to their original look. The owners aren’t saying how much Buffalo-based Labatt USA paid for the huge outdoor advertising.

Now, if those silos were filled with beer we could do a remake of Strange Brew.

Thanks, Cináed

Candy maker’s “Jolly Lollys” are marijuana-based — Busted!

With Halloween right around the corner, police said several University at Buffalo students were having a special treat of candy-flavored marijuana when they got spooked by a raid Thursday.

Alexander J. Zito was throwing a party for the students at his Delaware Avenue apartment when Buffalo narcotics detectives arrived to discover chocolate-flavored marijuana, hard candy containing marijuana, 640 “Jolly Lolly” marijuana lollipops and 5 pounds of regular marijuana…

Zito, 26, allegedly arranges to obtain the marijuana on trips to California under the guise that it is for medicinal purposes and then has it shipped here through the U.S. Postal Service. Medical marijuana in California is legal under state law, but that is not the case in New York…

Though Zito claimed to be unemployed for two or three years, he apparently was prospering. Police found records indicating his rent was paid six months in advance and the furniture in his residence was brand new. Business cards, Mulhern said, also were found stating Zito was the proprietor of a medical marijuana shop in San Diego…

But different forms of marijuana were not the only thing Zito had, police said. Hashish and crack cocaine also were found at his residence. He was charged with felony possession of marijuana and cocaine.

Now, if we were rid of the anachronistic and absurd laws making this behavior illegal, he could have turned himself into Buffalo’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Albeit, in a decriminalized environment, Zito would have had to conform to useful business protocols – like paying taxes.

$300 million Michelangelo painting stashed behind sofa

A dusty old painting stored behind a family sofa could be a Michelangelo worth up to $300 million and potentially one of the art finds of the century, according to an expert.

The unfinished painting of Jesus and Mary has long been in the family of US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Martin Kober, who lives in Buffalo, New York.

He and his relatives nicknamed it “The Mike” because of a family legend that it had been painted by the Renaissance artist.

The painting had hung in the Kober home but was knocked off the wall by a stray tennis ball 27 years ago, so it was wrapped it up and put behind the couch.

In 2003 Mr Kober decided to research the origins of the 25in by 19in work and eventually took it to Antonio Forcellino, an Italian art restorer and historian. Mr Forcellino is convinced it is a genuine, painted depiction of the Pieta, Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of the body of Jesus on his mother’s lap, which is housed in St Peter’s Basilica…

According to Mr Forcellino’s investigation, a letter in the Vatican library points to the painting having been done by Michelangelo for his friend Vittoria Colonna in around 1545, nearly half a century after the young artist sculpted the Pieta.

The painting later belonged to a German baroness who left it to a lady-in-waiting, who was the sister-in-law of Mr Kober’s great-grandfather. It arrived in America in 1883.

Cripes! We haven’t anything more than dust bunnies behind our living room sofa.

‘Dear Mr. President, I need a freakin job. Period’

A Buffalo billboard displayed a succinct message when President Obama visited the economically distressed city Thursday, according to reports. The billboard read “Dear Mr. President, I need a freakin job. Period.”

The president was scheduled to stop in Buffalo – a city that had fallen on hard times long before the recent recession – as part of his “Main Street” economic tour.”

The billboard was part of a media campaign known as the INAFJ Project, organized by a local businessman who saw his own small business go under 15 months ago.

“We employed 25 people and it was the most heartbreaking situation I’ve been through in my life” Jeff Baker told CBS News. The ad – and a video posted on YouTube – features college students.

Baker told the Buffalo News that the banks had refused to work with him and his brother Scott, according to the Washington Examiner. The men rented the billboard space for $5,500 a month ago, before they knew that the president would be visiting their town.

Timing couldn’t have been better.

I heard a radio interview with Baker – and it’s not like he’s uptight with Obama or the programs that are in place. Like a lot of areas, like a lot of people, it’s just that more is needed.

Baker is brighter than slackers like the teabaggers who figure that blaming the people who are trying to pick up the pieces after two terms of dumbo is what working people and seniors should do.

Jail refused meds to cancer survivor – held for $15 parking ticket


A New York state cancer survivor says she was held in jail in Buffalo for a weekend and denied access to her medication because of a parking ticket.

A month after she was released, Linda Arthur, 60, of Evans pleaded guilty to the parking violation and paid a $15 fine…

Arthur told the newspaper she decided to go public now because she is angry at the way staff treated all inmates as criminals even if they had not been convicted.

“They are passing judgment on people,” she said. “And that’s not their jobs.”

Her troubles began Dec. 27 when she went to local police to find out if they could help her get support from her estranged husband. Police found an arrest warrant from Buffalo.

She remained there until Monday, Dec. 29.

When she said she needed her tumor-shrinking medication, she was ignored.

The holding center already faces a lawsuit and a state investigation over the death of a 54-year-old woman who suffered a stroke after being denied her blood pressure medication.

Nice folks running Buffalo, eh?

Buffalo plane crash reignites deicing debate

Daylife/Reuters Pictures

As the families of the victims prepare to identify the remains of their loved ones, crash investigators and air safety experts also have a difficult task ahead: determining how frozen water could have brought down a brand new plane with high tech deicing equipment…

Former Federal Aviation Administration chief investigator Steven Wallace says propeller planes, even large ones like the one that crashed near Buffalo, are far more susceptible to ice buildup than jets.

“Jetliners, one, they tend to climb up and down through the altitudes faster and icing only occurs in a 10 to 15 degree centigrade span,” Wallace says. “And one difference with a big jet airliner, they typically have heated wings. They bleed air off the engines to heat the wings.”

Turboprops, on the other hand, tend to have inflatable devices called boots mounted on the edges of the wings to knock ice off…

Last October, the NTSB renewed its criticism of the FAA over its snail-paced revisions of its recommended deicing procedures. In a blistering release it accused the FAA of complacency: “The FAA has stated that no unsafe conditions exist that warrant actions beyond those that have already been completed or are in the process of being completed. The Board is concerned that the FAA has reached this conclusion based on a lack of accidents or serious incidents.”

“You do a rash of wing icing accidents,” Robert Benzon said. “We rattle our sword. The industry gets its act together and then as time passes, things start to slip and 10 years down the road you get another rash of this type of accident. It’s a difficult thing to overcome.”

Good article – a great deal of detail and history. Worth reading if you want to have an educated opinion on the topic – and you should. You or your loved one might be on one of these critters some winter.

Buffalo Gourd

It’s one of my favorite wildflowers, here in New Mexico. The root systems are known to track up to 150 feet to find water – though that’s not a problem with these.

This is at the bottom of our back meadow, the water table is about 4 feet down, the Santa Fe River is about 50 feet away.

Mostly, I’m still settling in to my new camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ50. The ergonomics are the best ever.