Author: Michael J. Billoni

Michael J. Billoni

A journalist for nearly 50 years who was an award-winning sports reporter for the Buffalo Courier-Express until it closed in 1982. He was the former vice president/general manager of the Buffalo Bisons and a member of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame. Handled the promotions and publicity for Buffalo’s undefeated heavyweight boxer, “Baby Joe” Mesi. Founder and is managing partner of Billoni Associates. He authored and managed “Robert E. Rich—Memoirs of an Innovator,” the biography of the founder of Rich Products Corp; published 'All In," the memoir of businessman Ronald Zoeller and is currently publishing The Seasons of Buffalo Baseball, the most comprehensive history of professional baseball in the city. It will be released April 17, 2020. Mike and is wife Debbie love Western New York and always try to help others and encourage positive thoughts

When the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament held its Selection Sunday on March 13, 10 huge sports buddies, including three college fraternity brothers, met in Tim McGuire’s Fort Smith, Arkansas living room anxiously awaiting the news of where the Razorbacks would travel for the Round One and Two games. Seven of the 10 guys were just interested in learning where the Razorbacks would hopefully start their drive to The Final Four in New Orleans for the first time since 1995. The other three, Sigma Nu Fraternity brothers from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith: McGuire, 28, who works in logistics;…

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Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns, a strong advocate of public transportation, has notified Kimberly Minkel, executive director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, of his plan to create a new Erie County Clerk’s Public Transportation Task Force, and if he does not see positive changes for residents, he could hold back the $2 million monthly payments from the Clerk’s office to the NFTA. Clerk Kearns testifying at the Erie County Economic Development Committee hearing. (Photo courtesy of Erie County Clerk’s office) In a letter sent to Minkel on March 10, Kearns expressed his desire to include the NFTA in its…

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Discusses Impact of Mortgage Defaults in Erie County and Importance of the ‘Stay In Your Home’ Campaign Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns and the Stay In Your Home Campaign released a staggering report during a press conference on Thursday about Post-Moratorium Pre-Foreclosure Notices received by many homeowners across Erie County. According to data from New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), approximately 2,930 homeowners, residing in 64 zip codes in Erie County, received pre-foreclosure default notices in the last six months. These homeowners could be anywhere from sixty to hundreds of days behind on their mortgage payments. In…

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For Therese “Tee” Forton-Barnes, the stage was set for the third and what easily would have been the largest and most raucous Buffalo Water Buffalo Club tailgate party at the Big Tree Inn in Orchard Park prior to the AFC Championship game against Cincinnati in Highmark Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Irma Cortes of the Seneca Nation of Indians in Irving, her daughter and two friends officially joined the Water Buffalo Club before the regular season finale against the New York Jets because they are lifelong Bills fans. That is why the four of them left Irving last weekend for the…

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Like many of us growing up, Therese Forton-Barnes never missed an episode of the Flintstones cartoon series.  She loved hearing Fred Flintstone screaming: Yabba Dabba Do! Being a life-long booster of her hometown of Buffalo, Tee, as she is affectionately referred to by friends, was immediately intrigued by Fred and his sidekick, Barney Rubble’s men’s only fraternal organization in their town of Bedrock—The Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes. Its Grand Poobah, Water Buffalo Hall, secret handshake, song and of course, its signature hat, truly caught Tee’s interest. Yaaba Dabba Doo! Many years later, when the Ithaca College graduate and entrepreneur…

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Mentors present our youth with great advantages in navigating through this often turbulent, rocky and scary road of life. Mentors provide suggestions based on a wealth of experience and information and for those who actually listen and follow some of this advice, they will eventually find themselves in a better place. Organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Compeer of Greater Buffalo; and Our Lady of Hope Home School on the St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy campus are just a few of the many offering mentorships. The Compeer mission says it all: “The Compeer volunteer can be life changing.” Growing up…

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During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we were mandated to stay indoors while the former President of the United States, Dr. Fauci, the former Governor of New York, the Erie County Executive and the Buffalo Mayor created their own reality television shows called “COVID-19 UPDATES!!!” the most common question we asked was: “What will the new normal look like?” Since the Delta Variant has arrived it’s still too early to determine what the new normal will be since we are still in Covid-19 protocol and masks are mandatory in schools (unless that is going to be their new…

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In the Book of Matthew in The Bible, it says: “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth. When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ My dear friend, Lenny Lane, one of the founders of the Buffalo F.A.T.H.E.R.S., a group of East Side men who have been working tirelessly to protect the children and to provide for families in need 24/7/365 needs help and in doing so we can fulfill that Bible verse. Calling it their most daunting task in 20 years of existence,…

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Story and Photos by Michael J. Billoni Buffalo sports history will occur on Tuesday, May 18 at 10:00 a.m. when a Buffalo Bisons’ season ticket holder will purchase the first Major League Baseball game ticket in the Queen City since 1915.  The Toronto Blue Jays delayed the sale of tickets by one week for games they will play in Buffalo’s Sahlen Field “to ensure this plan is safe for all fans, players, staff, and the local community, and consistent with protocols at other Major League venues in the state,” the Jays said in a statement released early Tuesday morning. For…

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Therese Forton-Barnes was born to party, celebrate and spread the wealth of having fun.  For her, the glass is neither half full nor half empty.  It is overflowing.  As the founder and owner of Events to a Tee her motto has always been “Go Big or Stay Home!” “Tee,” as she is known by her friends, is also a “die-hard Bills fan,” who clearly could be “The Queen of the Bills’ Mafia.”  A season ticket holder for the past 25 years, she has never missed a home game, regardless of the weather or the team’s record and she never heads…

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