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Another Voice

Here’s something that drives me crazy about the Buffalo News: the “Another Voice” column on the editorial page. It would be a nice idea, except that so often it is not given over to “another” voice. It is given, rather, to the same old voices: to people who are frequently quoted as sources in articles, who are in positions of political or economic power, to folks whose job is to push agendas—to people, in other words, who have no difficulty making their voices heard.

Today’s “Another Voice” column is by Ron Rienas, general manager of the Public Bridge Authority. None of the evasions he offers here are new, nor has Rienas lacked opportunity to make them in a public forum. He has been quoted in at least 40 Buffalo News articles in the past year. He wrote another “Another Voice” column in January.

In the past two months, the column’s authors have included incoming State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, who earns headlines somewhere in that state nearly every day; Tom Golisano, who can order up a microphone and reporter whenever he needs one; Erie County Legislator Maria Whyte, with whose column I agree but who already  has occasion to speak with reporters weekly; UB President John Simpson, stumping for the UB 2020 plan that is frequently the subject of articles in the news pages; Erie County Executive Chris Collins, also no stranger to headlines; and outgoing Congressman Tom Reynolds, who, it is true, has not been much in the limelight in the past two years.

And Rienas’ column today is a response to a recent “Another Voice” piece by attorney David Colligan, chairman of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. I agree with much of what Colligan says in that piece, but he’s another guy who hardly lacks opportunity to speak his mind: He is quoted in the pages of the Buffalo News about once a month, sometimes more often than that.

In between these privileged perspectives, the column frequently comprises articles by the mouthpieces for lobbying or special interest groups. It would be nice, I think, if “Another Voice” were afforded solely to those who are invisible in the news media, underrepresented in government, underserved by our institutions and economy.


  • James

    What else do you expect from the remedial idiocy of the BuffNews? There is no voice, it’s the lack of voice and opinion that they hope to keep us dumb and dumber. Thank God for ArtVoice. Everytime you comment about their inability to execute any kind of real journalism, they delete your comments. I will never spend another quarter on that rag and look forward to its demise in the coming depression.

  • John Q Blogger

    I’m now a redacted Buffalo News blogger. I have been titled spam.

    We have hope that now with President Elect Obama that manifest destiny development will be prevented from occuring on the U.S. side of the Peace Bridge.

    The most egregious, on going manifest destiny development is being conducted by D’Youville College against the residents of Fargo Avenue between Vermont and Connecticutt Streets.

    D’Youville College manifest destiny for parking lots must be terminated immediately! The two historic homes on Fargo Ave that D’Youville College has attempted to destroy has de-valued two homes in perfect condition, at the cost of over $90,000. This doing of vile has gone beyond the shannigans of allowing buildings to fall into disrepair, like the Peace Bridge has done. It is a covert voiolation of Constitutional rights of resident, home owners on a Buffalo street. Life-time, owners are being pushed off their street by a process that is unfair and not just. It is the owner residents of a street who should have their rights protected first before those of outside institutions or authorities. The residents of Fargo have become pawns in a game run by an institutional monarcy.

    D’Youville College has security camera’s on their properties yet does not know who their employees are who walk into their buildings on residential Fargo Avenue between Vermont and Connecticut streets and strip and destroy historic buildings older than most of the buildings on Connecticut Street? Right?

    D’Youville College has used criminal tactics to destroy properties that they own on Fargo Avenue. Why weren’t the names of their workers listed on the cash paid asbestos permit, from the City of Buffalo? Why is D’Youville College being allowed to employ Watergate like tactics to disinvest people from their homes? This is an undemocratic process from start to finish. We know it. Which leads to these questions of prime importance:

    Why is D’Youville College allowed to employ mission creep tactics that are neither democratic or transparent against those who live and own their homes on Fargo Avenue?

    What are the health costs of placing parking directly abutted to a person’s home?

    What damage is done to a families health by building parking lots for automobiles around three sides of a persons home?

    Buying and destroying multiple homes in a residential neighborhood viloates zoning and master planning which is part of living in a nation that is based on we the people. Mission creep is a form of tyranny. It takes away the voices of the people on a street and disinvests them from having self determination.

    I would say that these tactics are those of a institutional tyrant that is running rough shod in a neighborhood of working people.

    Last week in Chicago a group of workers who were fired were denied their rights. They peacefully took over the factory they worked in and demanded their rights.

    The time has come to a point where the only solution is peaceful resistence like that demonstrated in Chicago last week. It is time to take back Fargo Avenue and demand sane development and preservation for the resident owners/voters. It is time for remit the state of Fargo Avenue to that of a residential community instead of an expanding parking lot for consumers of middle eastern oil. Even people along highways have noise abatement better than the residents living next to D’Youville College’s parking infection on the body of the people of Fargo Avenue.