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A Matter of Course

It wasn’t long after attorney and civic leader Kevin Gaughan announced his intentions to team with legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus to design a couple of golf courses in the Olmsted Parks that he came under fire from critics. One critic in particular, Bruce Jackson, asserted that Gaughan used The Buffalo News and Buffalo Rising as pawns to get his idea framed in a positive light. Jackson’s article, slamming Gaughan personally and professionally, was posted in The Public last week. 

The other day, in the weekly paper, The Public, a writer published an inexplicably mean, personal attack on me, my personal life and my Olmsted parks proposal. It was filled with invented stories and false assertions. Like so many WNY’ers, I admire The Public, and read it regularly. I’ll continue reading and admiring it. But I don’t think I’ll read this particular writer much anymore.

– Kevin Gaughan

After formulating a response (Letter to the Editor), which was posted by The Public, Gaughan then called to notify me that Jackson had accused Buffalo Rising of being in cahoots (with Gaughan) from the start. I’ve known Gaughan for a long time, and yes, we are friends. I have always admired him for his inventiveness and his fortitude when it comes to how he envisions a greater Buffalo. I initially wrote about his idea to work with Nicklaus after I read about it in the newsletter he regularly sends to a wide range of people. I genuinely liked the idea, and therefore wrote about what I saw as its advantages. It never crossed my mind that BRO would be accused of being in league with Gaughan. As much as I like Gaughan and many of his ideas, I would never take editorial direction from him.

Ultimately, Jackson got the last word in The Public, which is not surprising since he is a writer for the publication.

For the record, I have always been a fan of Jackson and continue to be, despite his alleging that BRO was Gaughan’s pawn. I felt I needed to make it clear that I am behind Gaughan’s initiative only because I believe it would be great for this city.

Gaughan is now in the process of entering into formal discussions with the Olmsted Parks Conservancy*. He has been invited to speak with the conservancy’s Long Range Planning Committee on Wednesday, August 3. In an effort to show his commitment to the project, Gaughan has invited Dr. Frank Kowsky, SUNY distinguished professor emeritus and trustee of the National Association for Olmsted Parks to accompany him to the meeting. Gaughan has also aligned his vision with John Reese, Chief Executive Officer of Nicklaus Companies, and John Thornton, Co-Chair of The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.

*Gaughan’s letter to Conservancy chairman, Kevin Kelly. Lead image: South Park – Olmsted Conservancy 

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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