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Letters to the Editor

WGRZ, THE GARBAGE PEDDLER
By Carl Paladino
Mar 8, 2011, 14:51
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On Friday February 18, 2011 Scott Brown did a story on Channel 2, WGRZ about the Erie County Water Authority's 20,000 sf tenancy in the Ellicott Square. He interviewed Gunner Tronolone, an objective and respected broker in the community, who purportedly said that if the Authority were to relocate to a location in Cheektowaga it could save $85,000 per year in rent. Authority Commissioner Jack O’Donnell then stated that he was "shocked" and would seek better value elsewhere.

Brown admitted that the Ellicott Square’s rent is competitive for downtown but didn’t mention Mr. Tronolone's statement that it was below market and actually below the cost of any comparable space downtown or in the suburbs. He also neglected to point out that the historic Ellicott Square has been home to the Authority for over six decades. He didn’t consider relocation costs and didn’t identify the space he was using for comparison or state that it has very limited windows and is located in an industrial setting surrounded by warehouses with no proximate services for employees. He didn't say whether the competitor's rent was net or gross when comparing nor did he give the name of the competitor. He didn't acknowledge that the Ellicott Square is central for the Authority's service area and easily accessible from every direction and most major bus routes terminate within two blocks.

Obviously the story was a hit piece concocted by a lazy and lame reporter and an immature Commissioner at the behest of political friends seeking favor with Andrew Cuomo and control of the Authority.

WGRZ’s negative attitude about development in downtown Buffalo is tragic. Jim Toellner, the station manager, saw no problem with the story even after he read Gunner Tronolone’s letter [copy attached], which said he was upset at the misrepresentation of facts in the story, and he felt he was used.

Yes, downtown parking is not free. Yes, the Ellicott Square has never had a real estate tax break always paying full value taxes and it has never had a grant or other such subsidy. Its rents today are the same as they were in 1990. It has suffered the loss of many tenants in the last few years as a result of the recession. In fact the loss of the Bass Pro deal at Canal Place destroyed the confidence of three jewelers who have been in the building for ages and they have left or are leaving. It has been a struggle to keep the building alive in a marketplace that is otherwise a disaster because of terrible public and private leadership.

The failure of Brown and O’Donnell to disclose their personal relationship and other conflicts in a deceitful and unfair news story is a violation of journalistic ethics and a violation of the public’s trust in a government official. O’Donnell should know better and not be led into the abyss by his “friends.” The smoke and mirror corrupt games of our local political/governmental class demean and are symbolic of the sick socio/economic condition of our community.

If a reporter’s wife or girlfriend were my political adversary, the reporter would be obliged to disclose the potential conflict. Likewise if a male reporter’s male significant other is my political adversary disclosure is required. Scott Brown did not disclose that his boyfriend has been my adversary for years and is part of a political cabal, which seeks to take control of the Water Authority and appoint Brown’s boyfriend as Executive Director.

The cabal also appears desperate to endear themselves to Andrew Cuomo. They assume that the potential loss of the Water Authority’s tenancy will shut down my criticism of Cuomo. The fact is I'm not intimidatable. If Brown is anticipating a special interview with Andrew Cuomo for doing his dirty work, he shouldn’t hold his breath.

This is not a matter of what these press and political characters do in their private lives. This is about a non-story becoming a politically motivated story that smells like the tactics of Andrew Cuomo.

The story would never have been but for relationships among political parasites who have spent their entire lives feeding at the public trough. When they are otherwise out of work they seek to nest at the Water Authority.

WGRZ does not have basic journalistic ethic.




Link to Scott Brown’s report: http://www.wgrz.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=793030904001&odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|featured#/Water+Authority+Paying+%24250%2C000+A+Year+In+Rent/795365826001

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