Genealogy & Local History in Buffalo, NY

Honoring the memory of Robert N. Davis, Jr. (April 8, 1955-March 17, 2007)
Rob, August 2004
Our friend Rob, who also went by Bobby, was many things, including a network administrator, a would-be bicycle racer, a weight-lifter, a skilled researcher, a voracious reader, a self-described "library rat," a father, and the co-founder of the first Black genealogical society in this area, the Buffalo Genealogical Society of the African Diaspora.    He was the 1997 honoree at the annual  Family History Dinner sponsored by the
Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier.

He was our first lasting friend in Buffalo and we loved him to pieces.  He taught us how to pronounce Herodotus.  He was there for some big events in our life and was a fun email buddy.

Rob was remembered by friends and family at a memorial service at the Langston Hughes Institute on April 1, 2007.  No death notice appeared in the Buffalo News.

These quotes were culled from Buffalo Issue Alerts, a list for which he was one of the first subscribers.   Passages by other list members are included in order to supply proper context.  The names of living people have been truncated.  Comments inserted by the webmaster appear in italics.

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat Nov 6, 2004  2:10 am
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Bill Greiner on why UB is in Amherst    

I've asked this before:

1. Has UB ever publicly said, "Dammit! We want that Metro Rail extension...."?

2. How is it that the NFTA can be prevented from providing for the greater good of the community because of a minority of people in Amherst?

3. Can someone explain to me exactly how I get that TV/stereo/fish tank from an Amherst home onto the Metro Rail car and into my apt before the Amherst P.D. has me drawn and quartered?

(just asking...)

-r. davis

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu Nov 4, 2004  6:54 pm
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Bill Greiner on why UB is in Amherst

I find the information being presented about the move to Amherst very informative.

I don't believe that anyone can say for sure that a different location for UB would have "saved" the city or even mitigated the effect of the economic and social forces that have shaped it's current condition. (On the surface, it seems silly to even argue about it.)

I will, however, say that it appears (from the outside looking in) that the university seems "exclusionary."

While it's true that as an institution it brings a wide range of scientific and artistic talent to the general area, the remoteness of the campus limits the effect that it could have on the general atmosphere within the city limits.

It appears to limit its reach. As an educational entity, it doesn't look to cross boundaries: UB seems content to play to those who are already listening....

...and maybe for some, that's ok....

-r. davis

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri Oct 29, 2004  9:47 pm
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Re: LVT & Parking - Preservation, too

Pat wrote:

> The existing system incentivizes demolitions. For example, currently

> a fully restored historic building will be taxed more than a new,
> cheaply built structure of the same size on the same site.


Wow. Is that really a word?



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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed Sep 15, 2004  9:55 am
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Concerts upset VFW

I'm intrigued by this recently popular idea that the only way to "honor" the memories of those that lose their lives on behalf of U.S. citizens is to more narrowly define and/or restrict the freedoms that are guaranteed in the Constitution.

The concerts around the monument? What greater expression of the U.S. way of life than the free and peaceful public assembly of individuals from all ethnic, class and socio-economic backgrounds? Hey, it even promotes the capitalistic aspect of our system as well. After all is said and done, isn't that REALLY what the armed forces are supposed to fight to protect ---- our way of life?

It's a public monument. PUBLIC. There may be many opinions about how the monument should be treated, but that's all they are is opinions. They should be
treated with the same respect as any other opinion should be treated.

> bavpa  wrote:
> http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20040914/1027615.asp
> What is everyone's take on this?
> I think the VFW folks have a point....
> But I also think the concert series is valuable.....

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed May 19, 2004  9:12 am
Subject: Re: Fwd: [BfloIssueAlerts] Re: Empty downtown at night


1960s...downtown in the City....

....Dead? Hardly. There was still a thriving retail district in the 1960s. Hengerer's , AM&A's, Kleinhan's, Berger's, W.T. Grant, Neisner's, Martin Jacobi. The Main Place Mall was thriving. The movie theaters were still there. There were book stores, retail on side streets.

I think that the dates may be off.

The steel industry was still huge at this time. The forges and auto plants, too. The Catholic churches were still holding mass in the middle of the night.  Factories ran 24 hrs a day.

Shift changes at Chevy or the steel complexes along South Park looked like rush hour traffic at 11:30 at night.

Most of this didn't change until the oil embargo in 1973.

Oh, and by the way: Mugging was never a major problem in the downtown business core. Still isn't. If you have any cop friends, (like I do), please talk to them.

-r. davis

--- jjmleitner wrote:

> Anyone left on the "East Side" in 1965 had to have  been farther East, in what was largely a Polish area.
> By the '60s downtown was already pretty well dead
> and dangerous and getting worse. I used to have to
> come down to Buffalo on the Greyhound Bus from Toronto and wait to be picked
> up on Main St.. The station was so full of derelicts that I could never
> figure out where to stand in order not to be mugged. Yet I remembered those same
> blocks as a small child, when my mother would take me by the hand and we
> would walk in actual crowds, looking in all the store-front windows and going
> shopping. It had been a "real  city" in those early days.
> When there are not people who have any prosperity
> who live in and near a downtown, of course it becomes a never-never land or
> a place for commuters to land only temporarily.
> If you read Jane Jacobs, you will see how the
> economic scheming led the whole spiral effect that put Greater Buffalo where it is
> today.

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue May 11, 2004  4:42 pm
Subject: Re: Fwd: [BfloIssueAlerts] Are Attitudes Killing The Region?

If you are a black man (especially a young one) this is par in any major American city.

You don't leave home without ID. You make sure that you have money. You make sure that you know where you are going. You keep receipts from where you've been....

After a while, the anger and frustration are buried so deep, they're unnoticeable even by the carrier.

--- Joel wrote:

> I was so angry. The worst part is he was not -- he
> had come to accept this sort of thing from our law enforcement. It was
> just part of his life. Carry your ID everywhere in case you get  stopped.
> I think about it still today.

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue May 4, 2004  10:15 pm
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Are Attitudes Killing The Region?


Uncomfortable to own a car. Because you have to go a block? Doesn't sound like an extreme expectation. It barely qualifies as "walking."

People in this City think that they have exclusive ownership of the street space in front of their houses. The very notion is ridiculous.

As for one way streets being able to "calm traffic":

Anecdotal experience is a wonderful thing, but it can go either way. I can show you any number of streets that were changed from narrow two-way thoroughfares to one way streets...they are now virtual drag strips since the drivers now have no fear of opposing traffic. Kids no longer play football in those streets the way we did. They can't.

Funny thing about the thread that's been generated about my posting is that it wasn't my intention. I used traffic as an example of a mental attitude that appears to indicate that we have a culture here that doesn't support a city lifestyle.

Everyone claims to want a city, but no one here wants city living. City living by its definition is crowded. It's tolerant of other people.  Its dependent on a sophisticated population that makes a hundred compromises daily so that they can benefit from the collective energy that a city generates.

What I see here, more and more, is that whenever "city" issues arise, the proposed solution is either to move to the suburbs or to make the city more like the suburbs.

Better schools? Please. We can't even properly treat that "red-herring" subject here.

So what should we do if the economy ever does get straightened out? Create cul-de-sacs and parking lots and streets with synchronized traffic lights from one end of the City to the other? No? Then where does it end?

Will we pull suburbanites over for being in the wrong neighborhoods after dusk? Maybe demand that anyone in a City pool show some ID proving their residency?  Keep them out of City parks? Change zoning and build so that poor people can't afford to live here? How about we just prevent buses from the East and West sides from making stops anywhere else but the East and West sides??

Any excuse is good enough to give up.

-r. davis

--- wms wrote:

> I agree with Jim. My sense is that one-way residential streets (as
> opposed to commercial or arterial streets) are a
> reasonable way to calm  traffic and, in some cases, limit anti-social
> behavior that relies on being able to get into, and out of, an area quickly.
> As a concrete example, most of the side streets off
> Allen Street are one-way toward Allen, this makes it impossible for
> people turn onto these streets from Allen as a short-cut to North or
> Virginia. Some people (mostly the people who live on the street)
> are inconvenienced by this because they "can't get there from here" half
> the time, but on the whole the residents (tax-payers, lawn-mowers,
> flower-planters, neighbor-helpers) on the street are better off.
> Also most of these streets would be too narrow to
> have two-way traffic and a lane of parking so you'd end up with a faster
> street with no parking if you insisted on everything being two-way.
> It also seems to me that even if there were an
> attempt to reduce competition for on-street parking it might be
> legitimate. After better schools (as a generalization) what do the suburbs
> have that the City doesn't? Garages and private driveways.
> Some of us (myself included) bike to work everyday
> and to some other daily destinations, but virtually everyone else
> drives. It's easy to say people should walk more, but we're going against
> the vast weight of contemporary culture here. If you make the City a
> place where it's uncomfortable to own a car people will give up the
> City before the car.


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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue May 4, 2004  2:47 pm
Subject: RE: [BfloIssueAlerts] Are Attitudes Killing The Region?

(((LOL))) :-0

I'm an avid cyclist, too. I bike more than I drive.  I may run into a pothole, I've been hit buy a car and yes, people can be rude.

The issue is: What makes people think that laws should be selectively enforced for them, but rigorously enforced for everyone else?

As for your specific issue:

Maybe I'm wrong, but an adult who'd rather take a chance hitting my 6 year old as we walk down the street together rather than abide by the law gets little sympathy from me. Maybe they aren't ready for City street riding....

Some aren't.

-r. davis

--- geoff wrote:

> I've had people yell at me, telling me I was supposed to ride my bike on the
> sidewalk - or that cars have the right of way over pedestrians at
> cross-walks (even when the "WALK" light happens to
> be working)  I hate having to tell people what the law is... I'm
> a foreigner, I don't drive, and even I know the NY highway code better
> than some locals...?  Doesn't make sense...
> The problems with cycling in buffalo include the
> potholes, the inconsiderate/arrogant/just-plain-dangerous drivers,
> the inexperienced drivers (some places, like the Netherlands & France,
> people have no problem with cyclists: they see them everywhere, everyday;
> and most drivers are probably cyclists a lot of the time, too; here...
> It's like you're some weird alien if you dare to ride a bike out
> there...)...
> So: overall, it's probably safer for everyone if you
> cycled on the sidewalks, seeing as a cyclist hitting a pedestrian
> would probably make a smaller splat than an SUV running down joe cycle
> (and it's not as if anybody walks, anyway, is it?), but... That's only because
> cycling down the roads is such a crap shoot -
> Build more bike lanes, educate drivers, enforce
> existing laws (hey: buffalo city police could rake in a fortune standing at any
> intersection with digital cameras, photographing people as they drive
> by, talking on their cell phones), make the roads safer for cyclists, and
> then you might have a case for getting the bikes off the sidewalks
> I don't; but I do understand where these people are
> coming from, and I sympathize...Can we put in a plug for Critical Mass...?

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue May 4, 2004  12:26 pm
Subject: Are Attitudes Killing The Region?

Let's forget politics, economics and government for a minute.

Just try.

I was sitting at my desk at work and 3 guys were having a conversation just outside my cube.

The discussion centered around a guy who lives in the City complaining about getting parking tickets because he doesn't move his car for alternate parking in his neighborhood on time. He asked parking enforcement to "...start somewhere else..." in the neighborhood, so that he had more time to move the cars (to no avail.)

He actually thought that this was reasonable.

The next comment from another guy was "...time to move to the suburbs...."


This is interesting only because I've seen the very same issue raised repeatedly in the Op-Ed section of the paper; usually suburbanites complaining because they were ticketed for being illegally parked while they were downtown on a weekend.

Ironic that these people suggest that laws be selectively enforced for them in the City, so that they can go to the suburbs where people are routinely *handcuffed* for minor traffic violations (or stopped by law enforcement for no violation at all!)


I was talking to someone (who should have known better) about adults riding bicycles on the sidewalks in the city and they said that they had no problem with it.

(Uh....it's illegal. There's a LAW written against it and for good reasons.)

If you advocate for bicyclists, traffic laws have to be enforced for them equally, n'est-ce pas?

Does this way of thinking actually make sense to people?

-r. davis

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri Mar 5, 2004  10:49 am
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] ECC
[Erie Community College, which has three campuses]

To respond to your questions:

1. We don't have very many urban people here.

2. Not forever, but at least until control shifts to city-centered thinking as opposed to *WNY* thinking.

3. Yes.

The one argument that I haven't seen emphasized regarding this issue is that this is supposed to be an institution for education: An education that would be enhanced by the unique mixture of different people, cultures and ideas that a consolidated downtown campus could offer.

-r. davis

--- bavpa  wrote:

> I can understand why reps from OP and Sprawlherst
[Orchard Park and Amherst, two affluent suburbs with Erie Community College campuses]
> oppose the consolidation from a quality of life standpoint.
> What I don't like is the throwing out of every WNY
> stereotype imaginable about downtown!!!!
> What is wrong with us here in the Buff???
> Are we doooomed to forever make backwards decisions????
> Is the city now at the mercy of the burbs????

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun Jan 4, 2004  1:35 am
Subject: Good Expatriates

The only good expatriate is an eloquent, articulate expatriate. ;-)

We get some very shallow thinkers on this list, as well as some who can be condescending. I admit to having been quite sarcastic at times, but indulge me
just for a moment...

[emphasis mine]

I can't imagine any Buffalonian, local or expatriate, making that statement. Certainly not anyone on this list. I can only *wish* that I had written it. It should be on billboards all over town.


"This is a city that once embraced the modern with determination. Buffalo knew that to have growth and development, there must be constant change. Cities don't ever remain static; it is a fallacy that you can keep things as they are. The reality is that they either grow and change, or they shrink and fail and decline. EITHER WAY, THERE IS CHANGE."

[emphasis mine]

"...Here is a city that BELIEVES that it is going to conquer the world,...."

[emphasis mine]

Has anyone else read this? This was written on 21 December 2003 in the News. It was written by a journalist/author of some renown. It was written in regard to the City's architecture. What he has written, however, is relevant on many different levels unrelated to architecture.

One of the City's adopted nicknames is "The City of No Illusions." How ironic that is. There is one great illusion here. No one wants to talk about the fact that the collective attitude stinks. This City lies to itself. That's the biggest problem that we have; not weather, or taxes or mediocre politicians. Not the decline of any particular ethnic group. I believe that it's a major reason why younger people leave. They can't quite articulate it, but they feel it.

(When you go to New York, you know it's a hostile, rough and tumble environment. No one tries to sugar coat it. They don't apologize for it: You don't like it? Take yourself and your opinion stick it in...Jersey!)

I have been to some absolutely horrible places like Newark, NJ. I lived in a suburb of Newark for 6 years. When I told someone that I was leaving, the comment was, "You don't like Newark?!" They were sincere.

On the other hand, I lived in Charlotte, NC for a few years also. No one is likely to write;

"Charlotte has...the power of authentic place."

Attitude is everything. I don't know who said it, but I truly believe the following quote/paraphrase:

"We have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us!"

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon Dec 1, 2003  6:28 pm
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Re: So, how do you revitalize a city?

--- judy wrote:
> Cities that are undergoing revitalization make the
> most of immigrants. These cities encourage new
> business development among these groups, as well as
> public celebrations of the new cultures.


More thinking like this is needed. These are things that will make a difference in the atmosphere in the short term.

My guess is that once there are enough of these new and interestingly different ethnic neighborhoods, those that have avoided the City will find a reason to spend more time in it.

Revitalization is a game that's played in one's head.  As one post suggested, you can't revitalize a place where no one will go. So: You make them want to go there. :-)

Marketing. Positive thinking. They work. They haven't been used very well here. The efforts have been pretty lame.

The founder of this list had an interesting idea:

She had the idea that there are a number of "non-minority" younger City denizens that are, "...more curious than afraid..." of the East Side.  She proposed a shopping tour of the East Side.

This is not as far-fetched as it sounds.

She happened to find that there is something on the East Side that she couldn't find anywhere else in the City. It doesn't matter what it is. She also knows that it's not as "dangerous" to venture across Main Street as one would be led to believe.

It can be done.

-r. davis

[Buffalo east of Main Street is predominantly African-American, so that's where you go to get bean pies, squash pies, and sweet potato pies.  I once pitched to him the idea of co-organizing a chartered-bus shopping tour of the East Side.]

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003  6:51 pm
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Re: So, how do you revitalize a city?

--- jjmleitner wrote:

> No, I don't have anything against having as many refugees as want to come to
> Buffalo come there. But promoting their immigration
> is no answer, because as I pointed out, no one, no matter how motivated, can
> operate in a vacuum.

What was "pointed out" above ignores the facts that I have stated. My guess is that if we had more members of these ethnic groups in the City, we'd have even more of their little family-run businesses.

They ARE operating. They're doing it in the very "vacuum" that exists in the downtown area, the poor East Side and the poor West Side areas.

As a matter of fact, they are the only small business start-ups in the poor areas other than the black and Hispanic-owned businesses.

Another good thing about these groups is that although they are poor, they usually don't stay in the welfare system very long. Language barriers preclude a lot of them from getting traditional middle-class jobs.

Moving UB would be real nice, but this is something that we could do RIGHT NOW. It will make a difference RIGHT NOW. It's actually happening RIGHT NOW.

Swimming with the tide makes a lot more sense to me in the economic climate that exists here.

But then, I am a nobody, right? What do I know? I just live here.

-R. Davis

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu Nov 27, 2003  6:49 pm
Subject: RE: [BfloIssueAlerts] Re: So, how do you revitalize a city?

I think that there's good reason to be skeptical of massive projects that are supposed to be the cure-all for revitalization. They rarely work. Anywhere.

No one will address the fact that things like the Erie Canal don't just keep happening. This city just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

*And* there were a lot of other things going on.  Little things like...the Industrial Revolution, US population center shifted over the area, westward expansion, Midwestern agriculture development, need for commercial transportation, railroad expansion, etc.

Now everyone wants to blame [Mayor] Masiello (or the politico du jour) for not reversing everything that's gone on for 50 years prior to his arrival. It's ridiculous....

The City is not dying. Anyone that thinks it is has limited historical perspective and little understanding of how cities work.

Some of those on this list are old enough to remember catching the last fruit of 100 years of development and expansion. It ended in the 1950s. Sorry, but it's time to move on and get over it.

I believe in dreaming, but this discussion about moving UB has gotten way out of hand. Let's talk about what can be done *now* while swimming with the tide instead of against it.

For instance:

Let's look at demographics.

The overall population is declining.

Let's look further:

The minority population is increasing. There are more Asians, Latinos and African Americans than there have ever been in this City's history.

They are less wealthy overall. They're more dependent on public transportation. They'll work for crap and they'll work like dogs. They'll take risks that you won't take in starting new businesses. Hell, they're actually way more interesting than most of you are because they are willing to create their own environment. (Just check out Connecticut Street.)

******* *** NEWS FLASH *** **********************

Suburbanites aren't moving back into the City to revitalize it.

Expatriates aren't coming back to save it.


Make the City a haven for immigrants:

They don't require a certain salary level. They know the truth about school systems and the function they serve. They'll stimulate this town.

Why do you think New York and San Francisco seem so vital? What about Toronto? Atlanta? All that energy comes from people that are moving in there. What do you think created all the energy that this place had?  People from other places with new ideas and different ways of thinking.

You don't need a $100,000 study to figure that out.

-r. davis

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed Oct 1, 2003  11:14 am
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Casino

This argument is specious.

It either belongs or it doesn't. It can't be both ways. One can't make such a good argument on the demerits of a casino and then say that it "belongs downtown...." It would cannibalize other jobs and venues in the downtown area, unlike a stadium.

++++++++ In a Related Matter +++++++++

In reference to an earlier post, the entire city is not the "downtown" area no matter what people want to think. The Science Museum is *not* downtown.  Canisius College is *not* downtown. The Zoo is *not* downtown. The Richardson Towers are *not* downtown.  Neither is the New York Central Terminal.

-r. davis

--- Dale wrote:

> With tongue and check I suggest moving it north on
> Transit to between Genesee and the Thruway.
> Seriously, outside of jobs (low paying service
> sector ones), there is not
> much spillover benefit of a casino. MGM spent $50
> Million for their temporary facility in downtown Detroit, to be
> replaced by a $150 Million
> one. Adjacent neighborhood gets nothing. 2 blocks
> away from the Windsor casino, empty storefronts.
> I know some stores and restaurants opened in Niagara
> Falls when the casino opened there, but are they viable today?
> Myself, if there is to be one, it belongs downtown
> for all the reasons UB,
> Stadium, etc belong there. The existing road and
> transit structure is
> focused on downtown. It will be easier for workers
> to get there.

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue Dec 30, 2003  10:42 am
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Re: Clearing sidewalks

--- Joseph  wrote:

> Its not obvious to me. If I can't do something I
> get or hire someone else
> to do it. Nobody compensates me because I'm not old
> or handicapped. Is that  fair?

Let me be the first to say that I'm glad that you have the resources (physical/economic) to get things done.  We can rest assured that wherever you live, the adjacent walkways will always be clear of impediments.

> When I go to the museum is it fair that I have
> to pay full price knowing
> fully well that some others are paying a discounted rate?
> Its not obvious to me. When the city doesn't fix
> the sidewalk in front of
> my house...should I be penalized for not shoveling
> it? If I pay the taxes at
> my property why am I denied services to that
> address? Is that fair? When if I
> can't pay the taxes at my address? Is it fair that
> the city takes my house?

Life isn't fair and I'm not sure of where the idea came from that it ever was.

Shortcomings of City services (or anyone else for that matter) do not absolve us of our responsibilities. If so, then what kind of environment would that create?  What kind of atmosphere would that foster? Fairness doesn't enter into the equation.

Things have changed for many reasons. The answers are not nearly as simple as some would have us think.

An example:

My parents tell me that when they were growing up in the City, the garbage men (that's what they were called then) used to walk up the alleys and driveways, bring out the garbage cans (big steel jobs!), dump them into the truck, and return them to where they found them. Oh, yeah, and there was a guy with a broom that cleaned up anything that they may have dropped while dumping!

The "sanitation" workers no longer do any of this and it took several years of fighting with the union just to get them to work even close to a full day.

As for snow removal, there are any number of poor elderly who have neither the physical nor economic wherewithal to get snow cleared from their sidewalks.  Some are just too damned scared to ask a kid to shovel for them. They live in a different world from you.

Is this "fair?"

-r. davis

P.S. - I read this and I think; "City of Good Neighbors"? What's a "good neighbor?"

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat Nov 29, 2003  10:24 am
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Re: So, how do you revitalize a city?

We need new blood, folks. New ideas in the City.

There are people that will live in places that you won't live in, in neighborhoods that you won't go into and work jobs that you wouldn't consider. Their kids learn and excel and get educated in public schools that you consider inferior. They'll open businesses in neighborhoods that you consider "too risky."

They call those people "immigrants."

We keep drawing our "leaders" from the same pool of people with the same ideas.

None of the things being discussed are what gives a region it's vitality. No matter what project it is.  It's people living in the City that does it. Most of our failed projects were "great ideas" that were believed to have worked somewhere else in the U.S..

The best ideas come from people that live in the environment. The City should concentrate on fixing sidewalks and streets, and provide basic services, no
matter what the neighborhood is like. Then let the resident population drive the change.

Suburbanites and expatriates aren't going to make it happen.

***** They don't live here. *****

Is no one is hearing this?

-r. davis

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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri Nov 14, 2003  3:33 pm
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] Re: Reusing Central Terminal (was Casino)

Although this reads like a coherent viewpoint, the writer is misinformed.

1. There is no dangerous, blighted "ghetto" adjacent to the traditional downtown area.

Almost all of the neighborhoods adjacent to the downtown area were razed years ago and were replaced with newly built neighborhoods and new single family housing. The only exception is the former Ellicott Mall, once a dangerous high rise housing project, but now a rather attractive apartment building surrounded by garden apartments and homes. This area is now called the "near east side."

2. Speculation that you can't easily get businesses to relocate to a blighted area don't stand the test of reality.

In the blighted area of Renssaelaer/Exchange street area stands the Larkin building, vacated by Graphic Controls (ten stories.) The area around it is rather bleak looking: empty lots and storefronts. Mostly poor neighborhood. But, lo and behold! Some enterprising individuals bought the building, rehabbed it, and it's filling up faster than you can say "revitalization." I believe Kaleida Health is the last big tenant that I remember reading about that was moving in there. Several other professional tenants including a major law firm from the 'burbs are moving in also.

I live here. I know a few cops in the city that patrol downtown. They tell me that there is practically no violent crime downtown EXCEPT for the suburban Chippewa crowd. Fights all the time.

The closest they get to mugging, downtown, is usually panhandling.

-r. davis

--- jjmleitner wrote:

> I also believe you can't easily interest people to
> locate businesses downtown
> when downtown borders on a blighted ghetto. People
> don't want a business
> where two blocks away they may be mugged or where
> they are so close to vacant
> lots and falling down neglected houses they feel
> they are in the twilight zone.
> We could have a vibrant, diverse downtown and East
> Side and City of Buffalo
> if people could mobilize the right forces to make it  happen.


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From: "R. Davis" <rndavis@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu May 29, 2003  10:44 am
Subject: Re: [BfloIssueAlerts] schools (was Re: Change in Riverside will make me stay
All cities are imperfect.

You are urban people and, therefore, are the true minority group around here.

Most of this area is made up of suburbanites and farmers, not urban people. URBAN LIVING IS COMPLICATED. It requires more sophisticated thinking and solutions. They want the simplicity of suburban or rural lifestyles, and city living does not appeal to them.

People who don't want engage in a city lifestyle should place themselves in the appropriate setting.  There's no point in being miserable and making everyone around you miserable by constantly complaining and trying to implement bad solutions.

Once everyone knows what they really want and stops trying to force the wrong solutions on the wrong environment, then things will start to work.

--- Peter  wrote:

> Dear Medea et.al.,

> We're still here, not because we are gluttons for
> punishment, but because we believe in the ideas of
> urban living (even in this so imperfect city).

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Updated 18 March 2010