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Certo Speaks Out

peace bridgePeace Bridge Neighborhood activist Peter Joe Certo is upset with The Buffalo News for playing fast and loose with its own policies. Here’s an email he sent around to dozens of media folks, including many writers at the daily paper. He offers real estate records and email strings as evidence. Read on…and on...

“A writer or household may be represented in the column only once in 60 days.”

This is to call your attention (again!) to a violation of your guidelines for publishing letters in Everybody’s Column.  This is not the first time you’ve violated/waived your own guideline for repeat publishing, nor is it the first time I’ve called your attention to it.  Below are links to two letters: one published today; the other less than “60 days” ago. They are written by members of the same “household”: neighborhood scribe and self-styled “legal” expert Barbara Battista and her home’s co-owner and co-habitant, Joseph Paternostro.  While both letters are ill-reasoned screeds, you certainly may publish them, but not in violation of your own guidelines.  This is not this first time I’ve brought this (same exact) violation to your attention (see attached e-mail of 11-17-08).  At that time, you promised to “check it out.” There is evidence you’ve exercised this restriction in the past; in fact, you’ve exercised it on me (see attached e-mail of 12-17-07).  Why you don’t do it with others is beyond me.

07-09-09/Battista letter
http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/everybodyscolumn/story/728324.html

06-25-09/Paternostro letter
http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/everybodyscolumn/story/713946.html

And while we’re at it, why do you consistently exhibit selective amnesia in your reporting?
Recent example: How about that Zoning Board denial of Al Coppola’s request to build on Columbus Parkway.  Remember, the “Juggernaut” decision?

THE BUFFALO NEWS
04-23-09
Bid denied for home on site sought by Peace Bridge
http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/buffaloerie/story/648741.html

Did you hear Brian Meyer, did you hear Margaret: the laughably insupportable denial was reversed on appeal?

ARTVOICE
06-18-09
Court Reverses Zoning Board on Proposed New-build Near Peace Bridge
http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/2009/06/17/court-reverses-zoning-board-on-proposed-new-build-near-peace-bridge/comment-page-1/#comment-5666

Why did we read this in ARTVOICE and not THE NEWS?  Because ARTVOICE is fast becoming the Paper of Record; The Buffalo News, the Paper of Toilet

I await the pleasure of your reply.

Peter Joseph Certo

–Forwarded Message Attachment–
From: CFeind@buffnews.com
To: peterjoe@certobrothers.com
Subject: RE: SUBMISSION GUIDLINES VIOLATION
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 13:38:05 -0400

Thanks for the tip. We’ll check it out.
Carol Feind

From: Peter Joe Certo [mailto:peterjoe@certobrothers.com]
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 12:16 PM
To: Feind, Carol
Cc: Editor
Subject: SUBMISSION GUIDLINES VIOLATION
Importance: Low

This is to inform you that your submission guidelines have been violated.  The letter attributed to
Joseph Paternostro in Everybodys Column today (11-17-08) is authored by a member of the same
household that published a letter on 10-21-08.  The October letter was submitted by Barbara Battista,
co-owner–with Mr. Paternostro–of the same 7th Street residence (see property detail report below).
Did you just miss this, or we’re you deceived?

From Guidelines for Everybody’s Column
“A writer or household may be represented in the column only once in 60 days.”

Joseph Paternostro letter: http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/everybodyscolumn/story/495998.html

Barara Battista letter:http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/everybodyscolumn/story/469538.html

Property Detail Report
For Property Located At:
831 7TH ST
BUFFALO, NY
14213 2110

Owner Information:
Owner Name:
PATERNOSTRO JOSEPH A / BATTISTA BARBARA L
Mailing Address:
831 7TH ST , BUFFALO NY, 14213 2110
Location Information:
Legal Description:
166.50 NW RHODE IS
County:
ERIE, NY
APN:
140200-099-580-0007-001-000
Census Tract:
0070.00
Alternate APN:

Township Range Section:

Subdivision:

Legal Book/Page:

Map Reference:

Legal Lot:
1
High School District:
BUFFALO
Legal Block:
7
Township Name:

Last Market Sale Information:
Sale Price:
NaN
1st Mtg Amount:

Recording Date:
//
1st Mtg Int. Rate:

Sale Date:
//
1st Mtg Int. Rate Type:

Sale Type:

2nd Mtg Amount:

Document Number:

2nd Mtg Int. Rate:

Deed Type:

2nd Mtg Int. Rate Type:

Transfer Doc Number:

Price Per SqFt:
NaN
Lender:

Seller Name:

Prior Sale Information:
Prior Sale Price:
NaN
Prior Lender:

Prior Recording Date:
//
Prior Stamp Amount:

Prior Sale Date:

Prior 1st Mtg Amount:
NaN
Prior Doc Number:

Prior 1st Mtg Int. Rate:

Prior Deed Type:

Prior 1st Mtg Int. Rate Type:

Property Characteristics:
Living Area:
2598
Parking Type:

Total Rooms:

Garage Area:

Bedrooms:
5
Garage Capacity:

Bath(F/H):
2
Number of Stories:
2
Year Built / Eff:
1820
Basement Area:

Pool:
N
Finished Basement Area:

Air Conditioning:
Y
Roof Type:

Fireplace:
1
Roof Material:

Quality:

Foundation:

Condition:

Exterior wall:

Other Improvements:

Site Information:
Land Use:

Acres:
.1394
Flood Zone:
X
Lot Area:
6072
Flood Panel:

Lot Width/Depth:
46/132
Flood Panel Date:

Zoning:

County Use:

State Use:

Tax Information:
Assessed Value:
$51,000
Tax Exemption:

Land Value:
$5,600
Property Tax:
$265
Improvement Value:
$45,400
Tax Area:
140200
Assessed Year:
2008
Tax Year:

Order ID: 78198192

–Forwarded Message Attachment–
From: LetterToEditor@buffnews.com
To: peterjoe@certobrothers.com
Subject: RE: PUBLIC BRIDGE AUTHORITY’S MOTIVES ARE CLEAR
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:12:29 -0400

Thank you for your letter to the editor. Unfortunately, you are not eligible
for publication at this time. The News allows a writer or household to be
represented in Everybody’s Column only once in 60 days. Since your last
letter was published on December 8, you will again be eligible for
consideration on February 8.
Carol Feind

—–Original Message—–
From: Peter Joe Certo [mailto:peterjoe@certobrothers.com]
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 4:29 PM
To: LetterToEditor
Subject: FW: PUBLIC BRIDGE AUTHORITY’S MOTIVES ARE CLEAR

(Slight punctuation change)

—–Original Message—–
From: Peter Joe Certo [mailto:peterjoe@certobrothers.com]
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 4:23 PM
To: LetterToEditor@buffnews.com
Subject: PUBLIC BRIDGE AUTHORITY’S MOTIVES ARE CLEAR

Thanks again to Mayor Brown, this time for informing Columbus Park
residents that the Public Bridge Authority had scheduled Community Workshops
to “modify and improve”  their proposed plaza expansion plan; and not a
moment too soon, for if he hadn’t told us, no one at all might have attended
the first workshop.  The method the PBA chose to inform the public–printed
flyers placed on porches–was barely medieval, and the timing–one week in
advance (and only after formal inquiry)–was more than suspect.

For whom are these workshops intended?  The PBA continues to treat this
massive public works project as if it were the building of a sandlot ball
field, inviting only 200 homes to the first workshop.  And, since 125 of
those homes sit within the area of the proposed new plaza, less than 40% of
the invitees conformed to the PBA’s own standard for participation.  By my
estimation, only one homeowner present fit the PBA’s profile of residing in
the “surrounding” neighborhood.

What is the goal of these workshops? They’re designed to provide “options”
to “modify and improve” the plaza “through a series of exercises.”  The
exercises are comprised of questions relating to neighborhood and
construction and are obviously worded to induce the neighborhood to
collaborate in its own demise; the brick and mortar equivalent of asking,
“Which would you prefer: blindness or deafness? ”

Workshop moderator Bruce Campbell, a PBA consultant, was visibly affected by
the unexpected and lively debate this first evening.  I sense he hasn’t the
stomach for this type of conflict.  I hope he has the decency to be pained
over his role in this charade.  But this evening was so heated, even PBA
General Manager Ron Rienas appeared pale and unsure as he flubbed his sound
bite for the television audience.  It’s unfortunate the media coverage
focused only on the conflict, when the real story was the PBA’s effort to
obscure and obfuscate the truth; to stage an event solely for the purpose of
documenting due diligence while forever avoiding an open an honest
discussion of their plan.

This workshop shows:  the PBA “has no clothes.”

Peter Joseph Certo


  • John Q Blogger

    I absolutely agree the Buffalo News is engaging in public relations for the Buffalo and Fort Erie Peace Bridge. The newspaper is playing favorites on this issue. The proponents of the truck plaza and buy out are getting printed multiple times. The opponents are being blocked from being heard as often.

    The Buffalo News has shown they are biased against citizens who don’t want their neighborhood polluted with higher ozone emissions and turned into a trucker inspection zone. The Buffalo News is anti self determination and into imposed development that harms the City of Buffalo and citizens who are like Rosa Gibson.