• Paladino: What Happened To The A-Team?

    Just like Hannibal Smith, Carl Paladino may love it when a plan comes together.

    But in a speech before the Conservative Party Political Action Conference this afternoon in Colonie, the Buffalo businessman and one-time gubernatorial candidate, pities the fools in the Senate GOP conference.

    “It takes three to tango in New York state — to make something happen,” he said. “Did we send out our A-Team in what could be the last year we have a seat the table? Did we have our A-team out there? I don’t think so. What happened to these people?” Read more ›

  • Construction Watch: 14 North Street

    Ellicott Development isn’t wasting any time diving right into their latest residential conversion, 14 North Street. It was built as a Baptist Church in 1899 and retains much of its original architectural features, inside and out. The building will house eleven residential units, ranging from one to three bedrooms as well as a commercial space occupying about 1000 square feet.

    Although Ellicott Development is not utilizing historic tax credits, the adaptive reuse of the church is extremely sensitive to the history of the building. Many projects cannot utilize the historic tax credits because most often times the reuse calls for splitting up the massive space, which defines the building’s original purpose. Read more ›

  • Amherst IDA gives lift to Paladino Project

    With the last two approvals secured, Ellicott Development Co. is poised to begin work within the next month on turning the Stereo Advantage property along Main Street into a mixed-use project anchored by a hotel and apartments.

    The Amherst Planning Board, on Jan. 19. signed off on an environmental review and the Amherst Industrial Development Agency   , on Jan. 20, unanimously approved an incentive package that’s critical to financing the $22.74 million project.

    The actions clear the way for Ellicott Development, through its 5000 Group LLC affiliate, to close on the property and raze the buildings that sit on the parcel. Stereo Advantage, next week, will be moving into the Walker Center. Read more ›

  • Advantage Co Ellicott Spur Amherst developments

    New development plans centering on theStereo Advantage    and its presence as retailing anchor in Williamsville are progressing on two fronts.

    First, representatives of the Stereo Advantage confirmed it will close its longtime location at Main Street and S. Forest Road on Jan. 27 and re-open the next day in the nearby Walker Center as the Stereo Advantage Business Center. The Walker Center has been developed by the owners of Stereo Advantage and its parent, the Advantage Co.    Read more ›

  • Paladino offers hugs — then a tongue-lashing

    When Carl Paladino arrived at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday night, he walked up to the front of the room to hug some board members, then wandered back to his seat.

    “Carl! Carl! Don’t I get a hug?” Superintendent James A. Williams called after him. “Mr. Paladino, you didn’t hug me.”

    “You don’t want a hug from me,” Paladino called back.

    PaladinoWilliams persisted — and Paladino headed his way. The two longtime foes exchanged a quick embrace, amid much laughter in the boardroom.

    And that’s about where the lovefest ended. A few minutes later, Paladino was up at the podium, eviscerating the board for what he deems to be its failure to adequately educate children in Buffalo.

    The board had no business extending Superintendent James A. Williams’ contract through 2014, Paladino said. He cited a letter over the summer from Don Ogilvie, the BOCES superintendent, which Williams withheld from the board.

    “The board was not made aware by the superintendent of a letter from Don Ogilvie of BOCES condemning many aspects of the operations of the system and the way many of the schools in the district are run. The failure to disclose the letter to the board was clearly fraud on the inception,” Paladino said.

    “The superintendent should immediately be discharged for cause and the board should commence a national search for a high-quality replacement who can provide not only the vision, but also who has the intestinal fortitude to carry out the structural reforms so necessary to the future of our children.”

    The former gubernatorial candidate also called on the board to open boarding schools for children as young as 6, work to end state mandates, and battle the state laws that he says give unions the upper hand in contract negotiations, among other things.

    You can hear for yourself all of what Paladino had to say to the board:

    (Or, if you prefer, you can read his full comments here.)

    Board President Ralph Hernandez, who came under fire from fellow board member Florence Johnson for attending a Paladino rally this fall, defended Williams.

    “I do not agree with most of the stuff (Paladino) said, in particular the comments he made about Dr. Williams,” Hernandez said. “We respect (Paladino) and we expect him to come in this forum and respect us. We don’t mind the criticism. But then there’s also a professional decorum expected from every speaker that steps up to that podium.”

    Paladino promises his comments Wednesday night were just the beginning. He gave the board 30 days to start taking his advice — or resign.

    It doesn’t seem likely either one will happen.

    The consequence? Paladino says he’s going to get the Common Council to withhold its $70 million or so in annual contributions to the district.

    He told me outside the meeting that he doesn’t have any other community leaders offering to back him on this, and he hasn’t even tried lining up support on the Council yet. Nonetheless, Paladino says he’s confident he’ll be able to mobilize the community to support his efforts.

    It’s anybody’s guess what will happen next.

    My guess, though, is that we’ve seen the last of the hugs.

     Mary Pasciak

    E-mail me at mpasciak@buffnews.com or follow me on Follow  SchoolZoneBlog on Twitter Twitter. Check out the Buffalo News’ education page at www.buffalonews.com/schools.


    News Article: http://blogs.buffalonews.com/school_zone/2011/01/paladino-offers-hugs-then-a-tongue-lashing.html


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