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WBfO and BRO: Rehab Headaches, the Skyway (again), Coast Guard Land, Trees and Rusty Chain Beer

In this week’s Buffalo Rising Roundtable visit to WBFO‘s studio, we talked to Mark Scott about all of the above and then some.
In the piece about out-of-town investors, one wonders if all of a person’s good intentions might be better served by having a local building manager (or community advocate liaison). True, this may add on to the cost of doing a rehab here in the City of Buffalo while living elsewhere, but by the time a person is repeatedly fined for violations connected to their rehab efforts, would it cost more? This raises that continuous question of whether an investor needs to invest a little more, or rely on tax dollars to do the job through a city workers. How can we help homeowners to help a neighborhood?
In the Buffalo Sector Coast Guard story we talk about the Coast Guard gifting land to the city with the help of Senator Clinton and Representative Higgins. There’s nothing left to do but hope the senate approves the plan and coughs up. We’re working toward reclaiming the waterfront for public use, parcel by glorious parcel. So far, so good.
The skyway and Route 5. Mark lobbed this one at us again, and we answered pretty much like we always do: Keep Route 5 as an at grade boulevard, but make a plan for the skyway. Many plans have been proposed–from taking it down, to repurposing it, to giving it a new look and celebrating it. We know what John Norquist thinks, but a definitive plan–soon–would be nice.
The tree that came down on Elmwood last week came up in conversation again. Some have said it’s trite. After all, it’s just one tree. But the thought of taking a tree down to paint a building, when it could have been avoided, and while so many people and organizations are making an effort to replenish our trees…seems unconscionable. We’ve been known as the City of Light, City of Good Neighbors and City of Trees. Let’s not unnecessarily eradicate that for which we’re known.
Lastly, Newell talked about his plans to install bike racks, coupled with the brainchild for a beer that could fuel the effort. Flying Bison brewery has offered to make a batch of beer, sponsored by local businesses. (The Pink and Campieri’s were on board before the weekend, and one can imagine that Newell has signed many more in his rounds since then). Rusty Chain Beer would be the label and Newell is already working on the theme song, which I apologize for stepping on at the end of this podcast. Yes, he sang–listen for it. I think we can expect a worthy beer for a worthy cause coming to us soon.
As for the picture, we face Bert Gambini’s studio window every week, and the man behind the glass with the velvet voice and impeccable delivery popped in to say hello. Debbie Sims got out of frame before we could catch her, but here’s our Bert, appropriately labeled and ready for action.

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