Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jay (John F.) Bonfatti: A Friend to All

When Buffalo News reporter Jay Bonfatti (bylined John F. Bonfatti) died last week, the outpouring of people who worked with, drank and ate with, enjoyed music, jammed and shared life with him was and remains immense, just like Jay's life and indeed, his being.
I won't go as in-depth as those who knew Jay better than me have, especially here at the Buffalo News' blog on Bonfatti, have because they tell such rich and vibrant stories that mine would pale against, so I will confine things to some small appreciations of the man. I met Jay more than 20 years ago through several friends, writers and sports types at shows at the New Pink Flamingo, Nietzsche's, the Sportsmen's Tavern and other places, as well as on the softball diamonds of Houghton Park in the Western New York Media Softball League.
Sharing some musical tastes, when we met Jay said that he had read and enjoyed some of my music writing (Buffalo Night-Life Magazine, Artvoice, Sacred Cow, etc. at that point). As I wondered if he was just being nice, he then said back to me, verbatim, things I had written about two bands he enjoyed. Damn.
Jay lived less than two blocks from me, and we would frequently see each other when I was walking our dog, Walker Evans, whose name Jay appreciated, as well as when he sometimes bemusedly watched me campaigning as part of my duties as a Democratic committeeman in the district in which he lived (campaigning Jay never entered my mind, because I could only imagine the jokes he would rightfully subject me to). He particularly enjoyed watching me run door-to-door in some cold late-October or Novmeber rain. But we would talk when I was walking my dog about music, sports, journalism and other topics, with Walker Evnas frequently sitting and then laying down as we talked.
Friday, I walked Walker Evans on our route down Norwood Avenue and other streets, passing the house Jay's apartment was in; I had to look and slow down, and I felt I don't even know what, probably the fact that an amazing life force was no longer just in this neighborhood, but was now spread around for everybody.
Walker Evans and I continued our walk, including on Lexington Avenue; as we passed the home of Mark Wisz, a very, very good friend of Jay's, I looked to see Mark sitting on his side stoop, looking about as blah as me. We both waved, but I kept walking, becuase words were still escaping me and we both knew that Jay had died and that this was a great loss, nothing I could have made better. You can read Mark's musings on Jay here.
Walker and I also passed The Place, which has reopened at the corner of Norwood and Lexington; how many of us wish we could just have one more night to spend with Jay and listen to him talk about ... anything. I'd say rest in peace, Jay, but we know he still has many things he wants to do.
You can read former Buffalo News reporter and great friend of Jay's Elmer Ploetz's comments on Jay here.

Cooperative Weather

For those of us, me included, who have complained about the weather being a bit less than conducive to outdoor activity this summer (or any other season), the Labor Day weekend has been outstanding so far and should continue to be great.
The rain has gone away, the high temperatures have been in the high 70s-low 80s and the sun with just a few wispy clouds have given all of us a chance to get out and enjoy ourselves before fall arrives. Val and I have been having fun and will continue by heading to the Lasalle Park dog park with Walker Evans in a few minutes.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sad Weekend

Val and I are up early today to attend the funeral of Rocco A. Celeste of East Amherst, retired Buffalo firefighter, former Muscular Dystrophy Association leader and, most importantly, father of our dear friend, Pine Dogs and former Outlyers drummer Jim Celeste, as well as father to another son and daughter, husband and grandfather.
We are also mourning the loss of Buffalo News reporter and incredible all-around person Jay (John F.) Bonfatti, who died Wednesday night while on vacation with his family in Cape Cod, Mass. One of the most friendly, conversant, talented repoters and major music, sports and food fans around, he has left a large group of sad friends in the wake his death. I will try to write something a bit more deserving of Jay later today.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ooh, Shiny Things, Ani DiFranco Style

When I got home from work Thursday, I saw that the mailbox was not closed all the way and that something reddish/magenta was sticking out of it a bit.
Opening the mailbox, I saw that there was a package in metallic red/magenta mailing paper that looked more liked wrapping paper for a wedding/shower gift; it was jammed in the mailbox, so I had to wrestle it out. My slight confusion turned to a smile when I saw the Righteous Babe Records return address sticker on the package, which turned out to be an advanced review copy of Ani DiFranco's new CD, "Red Letter Year."
This will certainly help what is looking like a blah Friday morning.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Early Halloween Candy Display Unmasked

I had to stop at Wegmans on Amherst Street in Buffalo on the way home from work Tuesday night to pick up a couple of things so I could make dinner.
After a stop in the dairy section, I made my way to the Mexican food/sauce area, passing the aisles at and near the soda pop/energy drink section, where some bulk and seasonal foods are displayed.
The entire area was filled with bags of miniature candy bars, all ready for Halloween sales and starting in late August. I always buy our Halloween candy early and look for sales, but damn, not in late August. Let's see how soon Wegmans and others start their Christmas/holiday displays this year.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Feeling of Musical Meh

I always try to find moments of interesting musical usage or referrals in public spectacles, from presidential conventions and campaigns to inaugurations, advertising and commentary from candidates, positive or negative.
In this sense, the Democratic National Convention has been somewhat of a boring disappointment; not only have I not heard any captivating musical usage or referrals, I haven't heard much of the music being used while watching MSNBC becuase their commentators are constantly verbalizing from the moment a speeeh ends to the moment another one begins or when a commercial is run. It took a train whistle to get Keith Olbermann (who I enjoy) and Chris Matthews to pause for a moment Tuesday night.
Obviously, the commentators are there to commentate, and some, like Rachel Maddow, are more often than not informative and entertaining, but some don't know when to stop. While Patrick Buchanan can be once in a great while on target and entertaining in an "uncle you'd swear didn't say what he just did/wow, he really is a right-wing lunatic" way, his bluster has grown tiring and I am starting to wonder if he is just doing so to get attention or because he thinks that is what the viewers want to see.
If you have heard of any interesting musical references from the convention, please let me know in the comments section.

Lady Hillary of Orange

I thought U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a very good speech at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, hitting all of the right notes in urging her supporters to back Democratic Senator Barack Obama in this fall's presidential election.
But Clinton's biggest impression may have been the orange pantsuit she was wearing while delivering this speech; I mean, wow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Athletes Are NOT Decorated

One of my English Language pet peeves was illustrated and all but flogged to death during the 2008 Summer Olympics, the overuse of the word "decorated" to describe anyone who has apparently won anything.
Decorations should be easy to understand; of course, there is the noun for items used to liven/spruce up a room or building, or even a tree, for a festive occasion. But, at least during my more than 45 years of life and 18 as a journalist, decorations designate awards that military service people, police/law enforcement, first responders/first aid, intelligence and diplomatic service members receive for valorous and/or meritorious service. Occasionally, a civilian will commit such a brave act or high amount of service that a decoration is presented.
I have never, and still do now, believe an athlete is "highly decorated" for winning several Olympic medals, receiving several trophies or winning individual awards. Decorated, to my mind, was always saved for the above-mentioned people and a highly selective, out of the ordinary honor and designation.
I do not remember the words "decorated" and "decoratons" being used in this manner while I grew up and first started writing, but I have noticed their use in this way grow over the last couple of years. Why, I do not, know, and I believe the use of the word should be reserved for those who actually earn decorations, and not just a fancy way of saying something else.
This may not seem like a vital matter to some, and I am certainly not conservative, but I do not see why the use of a word should be bent from honoring those who serve above and beyond their nation's and community's call should be equivalent to hitting a baseball sucessfully about 3 out of 10 times or for running with a long, brown ball on a green field, sometimes real grass, sometimes turf.

Monday, August 25, 2008

We Return You to Our Lame Programming

Now that the 2008 Summer Olympics have ended, it appears that we and most people will return to our "normal" television viewing, or lack of viewing, habits. With "The Office" still in reruns, I am trying to come up with a reason to watch NBC-TV programs, possibly the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
We go back to viewing new episodes of "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," and have been watching "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." Otherwise, it is NBC News with Brian Williams during dinner and "Antiques Roadshow" and "History Detectives" on PBS, and non-television music.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic Organizers, Meet Theodore Geisel

Watching some of the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the wheeled drums in all sorts of arrangements and carriages being pulled by volunteers. It looked exactly like the instruments in parts of Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" television special; I was looking for the tamtooklers.
Val and I both remarked on the similarities, and almost fell on the floor laughing when we saw the "bicyclists" riding in the almost dark with lighted wheels revolving above and below them, just adding to the Dr. Seuss effect.
And when the female dancers appeared with rows of bells on their arms, Val quipped, "I bet those are made in China."
I'm still not sure what to say about Jimmy Page playing along with "Whole Lotta Love."

Busy Saturday

Val and I had a very busy Saturday this weekend, with most of out time spent at the first day of the annual Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts.
The majority of our festival time went to listening to lots of good music; former Western New Yorker Gurf Morlix performed a stunningly good set, Terry Sullivan and Low-Lamp Session also delivered a fine, rocking time, David Kane's Them Jazzbeards were fantastic in a somewhat more funked-up, hard version and John and Mary and the Valkyries were also entertaining. We will have more writing and photos on that part of the festival very soon.
It is also great to see the artwork of the late Mark Freeland featured on festival posters and t-shirts.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Roger Bryan and the Orphans August 23

Roger Bryan and the Orphans will release their new CD, "Recovery," on Harvest Sum Recordings, at a shindig along with Johnny Nobody, while Mark Norris and Jesse Mank provide their vinyl DJ skills, Saturday, August 23, at Mohawk Place, 37 East Mohawk Street in Buffalo.
Bryan and band were good enough to provide a CD preview copy of this vinyl release (recorded by Matt Smith, guitarist for the Orphans and formerly with Scott Carpenter and the Real McCoys, and mixed and mastered by Armond Petri), and it sounds real good; to me, what/who comes to mind is Paul Westerberg with a little Ryan Adams thrown in, both meant to be compliments. Bryan's CD from 2007, "The Engine Hum," made my best-music list for 2007, and I planned to finally fully review it here before the August 23 show, but you can see where that has gone so far.

Bad Timing? Bad Taste? Hey

English glam rocker Paul Gadd, way better known as Gary Glitter, has all but destroyed his life with recent problems due to convictions and jail terms for child abuse and child porn in Thailand and Vietnam, from which he was recently released and kicked out of this week, heading back to England for possible further court action. He is best known musically for his hockey arena chant classic "Rock and Roll, Part Two."
So it made me sit up in recognition when, during the men's beach volleyball Olympic gold medal match, between the U.S. team of Todd Rodgers and Philip Dalhausser and Marcio Araujo and Fabio Magalhaes of Brazil, won by the U.S., 23-21, 17-21, 15-3, the between-point music played at one point was Gary Glitter's "You Wanna Be in My Gang." Seeing China is very close to Vietnam and Thailand (and likes to fill its gymnastics team with young females), someone must have know that this would be noticed by geeky music types like me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Warmth of the Sun

After several cooler-than-normal days, it appears that summer and its accompanying heat are returning today and will really hit Buffalo and Western New York starting Friday.
While I have enjoyed the cooler weather and the good sleeping nights, I worry that the less warm days will soon be here for a while as fall arrives, so I will not complain even if we hit the record high temperatures pegged at 88 degrees so far for Friday.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wow, Wow, Wow

So, this is what it's like to use a state-of-the-art computer that allows you to update your operating system and other programs? Damn, this new iMac is a wonderful tool to have.
Of course, with great computer hardware comes great responsibility, so I will be increasing my writing output and other work very soon. Darn these Olympics; they're cutting into my evening work time, and there are some things I can immediately get to when I find the time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Musical Letdown, Radio Style

Driving home from work Friday, I again heard a great song, ""Ol' '55," written and originally recorded by Tom Waits, performed as a cover by The Eagles on 107.7 FM The Lake.
When the Lake came on the air a few years ago, it claimed to be and actually was different, playing deeper cuts off albums we've heard plus songs by bands that are influential and just plain damn good that listeners to most commercial rock radio didn't hear much, if any of, on the airwaves due to most stations tightening their playlists to miniscule numbers.
Sadly, The Lake has now likewise shrunk its playlist and gotten rid of most of its air staff, which was knowledgable and at one time allowed to talk about the music, which I as a listener enjoyed and appreciated.
I can't remember the last time I heard Tom Waits sing one of his songs (or anybody else's) on The Lake, and hell knows when I will again. But hey, the station can play hundreds of songs by the Eagles and other overplayed 1970s, 1980s and 1990s bands, if you're interested. I am less and less interested each day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our New Addition

Here it is, folks, in all its beauty; the newest addition to the Dunne-Hosey Estates, my brand-new Apple iMac. Isn't it gorgeous? The reason the photo is a reverse image (see the Apple logo) is because it was taken by the mini-camera on Val's MacBook (yes, we're a serious Apple/Mac family).
Honestly, I have to thank Val for all of her computer knowledge and patience in being the real brains behind the installation of my new iMac. This new computer is replacing my more-than-5-years-old eMac, which has a non-working CD/DVD drive and cannot be upgraded.

And Baby Makes Four

Val and I want to congratulate the Geek Household, as Buffalogeek and Mrs. Geek are the proud parents of a new baby girl, Louise Charlotte Smith, who joins his brother, Cole. We are glad that everyone is doing fine and at home.

Slight Delay

Due to certain jobs, efforts and functions taking a bit longer than expected, the addition to the Dunne-Hosey Estates has been put on hold for about 24 hours, but I will have the information out to you fine readers soon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sorry for the Silence

Val and I want to apologize for the lack of contact we've had the past 24 hours or so; we are preparing the room for our new addition, scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Someone in the Family Did Good

Val and I want to enthusiastically congratulate our brother-in-law, Brad Dossinger (married to Val's sister, Tricia), for being named to this year's "Forty Under 40" List by Buffalo Business First.
Brad, who by day is an associate vice president at M&T Bank, does a ton of volunteer work and community involvement, including with Habitat for Humanity, is a Buffalo Bills season ticket holder/sharer, a major music fan, Amherst Democratic committee man and would probably be happiest to be known as a husband, father and good friend.
We last saw Brad, Tricia and their son, Jack, Tuesday night at the Pine Dogs' show at Transit Road Middle School (moved due to wet grounds from Bassett Park), and he did not let on at all about this honor.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

From the Frying Pan Into the Sleeping Bag

Because I only need about 4-5 hours of sleep a night, and often less, I have a habit/fault of staying up too late watching something on television or, more likely, being online and catching up with blog reading, writing, etc.
The Summer Olympics being broadcast out of Beijing and China seem to have solved this for now, but not completely well. I have fallen asleep around midnight while watching Olympics coverage Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week so far, and expect to do so tonight, regardless whatever I try to do to stay awake.
I do watch a lot of the coverage, but I seem to relax after feeding Walker Evans at about 11:45 p.m. and end up waking up in a sleep-confused state between 2:30-3:30 a.m. I would much rather be sleeping in bed with Val, and the good sleeping weather we've recently had seems to be doing the trick as well.
Slap of realization: Maybe I should watch the end of the evening Olympics coverage in bed and fall asleep there. Wow ...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Oh, No, Now Cindy McCain?

I have detailed here over the months the various fund raising and action requests I have received from Republican Senator and presidential candidate John McCain and the National Republican Committee, interesting because I am a liberal Democratic committeeman.
Last week, I received a missive with a return "signature" of Cindy McCain; I knew right away it wasn't real because there was no pancake makeup, lipstick or formaldehyde on the envelope. Inside, I read that Cindy was writing to "request your help with a special family project," which was a solicitation for a $25, $50, $100 or $500 donation and my signature on a "birthday card" to mark Senator Methuselah, er, McCain's birthday August 29.
It doesn't often feel this good to spend no money.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pine Dogs at Bassett Park August 12

The Pine Dogs, Buffalo's best roots rock/Americana band, will play one of its now rare shows at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, August 12, at Bassett Park, 359 Klein Road in Amherst. So join the smart, cool, ever-tasteful music fans like Val, me and hundreds of others for a great show tonight; it looks like the weather will nicely cooperate.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Picking Up the Slack

Slack was one of the best zines/publications Buffalo has ever seen, edited and published by Mark Wisz; besides Mark's graphics and humor genius, he gathered a great stable of writers, and I still have several copies in my collection.
Mark is now making editions of Slack available in PDF format at his blog, Roam Buffalo, and if you either never had the chance to read Slack or want to again see how good it is, be smart and download a copy. Mark has also posted a review of mine from Buffalo Night-Life Magazine on one of the editions of Slack that was mostly positive, but had one major concern/criticism which I remember as clear as if I wrote it yesterday.

Isaac Hayes 1942-2008

It was sad to hear of the death of musician Isaac Hayes during coverage of the Olympics last night; he was a very talented musician, songwriter, composer and producer, and he found later fame and critical cache as the voice of Chef on the animated series "South Park."
But my best memory of Isaac Hayes is that of the Lancaster High School Marching Redskins, of which I was a member, playing the marching band/drum corps version of 'Theme from Shaft" during our field shows and parades for several years in the mid-1970s. Besides enjoying playing it, we always got a great crowd response, and because of our success during competitions and the great memories we had as members, us Marching Redskins never forgot the song or our gratitude to Hayes.
Strangely, as of 7 a.m., his website has not reflected his death.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I HATE "Staycation"

Having been a journalist (reporter and editor) for 18 1/2 years and a freelance writer for about 25 years, I get anal about non-words, fake words and made up words. While once in a while I can live with a new word, they are mostly stupid, lazy creations that should not find their ways into regular communications.
The newest made up word, which Val and I share a major loathing for, is "staycation," the incredibly dumb word for spending one's vacation at home. Is this dumb ass created word in any way necessary? No, of course not.
OK, it's time for my pill.

Say It Ain't So, Jaquandor

Our friend Jaquandor/Kelly posted a slightly cryptic, slightly scary message at his fine blog, Byzantium's Shores, that worries me and other to think that he might be saying goodbye to blogging.
My lord, please don't leave the Buffalo Prefecture of Blogistan, as you have so well called it, Jaquandor; we need you, your sense of humor, your lefty politics and even your frequently, um, contrary musical taste.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Best Laid Plans ...

I took today off from work to basically get to a bunch of household cleanup projects, all of them indoors after the rain left the lawn and yard wet. As usual, I got to some but not all, and some planning would have helped.
That even goes for breakfast; on workdays, I eat a bowl of cereal and drink a mug of coffee and glass of juice, and when I am off, if Val and I are not off together and going out to breakfast, I like to make an omelette, fry some eggs for eating regular or in a sandwich, or pancakes. When I opened the refrigerator, I saw that there were no eggs because I didn't put them on the grocery list. When I opened the cupboard the pancake mix (Bisquick or Pillsbury) is kept in, there was no mix.
I had about 8-10 spoonfuls of Wegmans version of Fruit Loops, a very good generic cereal, in its box, but they were old; I also had more than a half-box of Wegmans flakes du frosted, which I had just decided to try and found out weren't as good a generic version of Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes as the other cereal was.
My breakfast ended up being the fake Fruit Loops remains and a half doughnut, as well as coffee and juice; Val is letting me pick dinner, and I believe we are going Indian tonight; I am freaking hungry, having skipped lunch.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sooner Than the Annoying Commercials

I actually started my Christmas/holiday shopping earlier this week; I can't divulge what it I got, for obvious reasons, but I didn't want to wait and not get the proper size.
For as long as we've been together, Val and I have established and almost 100 percent adhered to our policy of shopping on Elmwood Avenue, Hertel Avenue and online for the holidays, with a couple of exceptions for Buffalo/Western New York musicians and artists. Otherwise, I have shopped at the Mac Store in the Walden Galleria a few of times for Val, but that is it. With New World Record now closed, that will probably lead to more Internet shopping, such as I did this time.
It was strange to be doing this holiday shopping while the temperature was in the mid-80s and the humidity was just about as high, with no colon-clenching holiday music or television/radio commercials to be heard, but I was able to handle it.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Surprisingly Good Treat

In my recent battle to lose 12 unexpected extra pounds, I dropped a decent amount of snacking and changed others. I have lost at least half of that gain and am on my way back to 204-205 pounds.
But, being a chocolate fanatic, I can't entirely do without candy or other chocolate treats, and I found one that remains relatively good for me while being pretty tasty: Weight Watchers' Nutty Nougat candy. I eat one of them a night (although, after going four nights without one, I ate two last night); they are delicious and do their job without requiring me to stuff my face.
Any suggestions for other chocolate items that aren't so bad for me would be appreciated.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Wee Bit on the Muggy Side

As I sit here, sweating like Nixon (remember the cool Buffalo band, Sweatin' Like Nixon? Any update will be appreciated), I noticed that, according to the National Weather Service, the temperature is 73 degrees and the humidity is ... 90 percent.
Yep, nothing like hot, muggy, moist summer nights in Buffalo to bring out the worst in sleeping weather and, naturally, ability to sleep. Fans, schmans.

Maybe a Cattle Prod Would Help

OK, once again, I have fallen a bit behind with some of my music writing, mainly CD reviews and a couple of live show reviews for here and our blog, Buffaloroots.
Indeed, I want to get my review of Roger Bryan's fantastic "The Engine Hum" CD done in the next day or two, before he releases his new CD. No one is to blame but me for the delays at this stage, and I apologize for them.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A New Pritchard Arrives

Val and I want to congratulate Kevin Pritchard at Bfloblog and family for welcoming a new child into this world, and, happily, the City of Buffalo, as well as, of course, the family of Buffalo blogs and Sabres fans.

Not a Good Start

For some reason, we had an alarm malfunction this morning, so I am running 10 minutes behind schedule. To add to the fun, I have knocked a few things over and don't exactly feel as energetic as I need to be today.
Let's see if the day goes OK or if I turn into a whiny little simp here later tonight, detailing the day's proceedings.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Coincidence? Hint? Kick in the Ass?

I used to write a column, "The Hosey Report," first for Buffalo Night-Life Magazine and later for Buffalo Beat, which for some reason gained a bit of local renown/notoriety. It was mostly on music, my reviews and rantings on mainly local original music (live and recorded), along with live reviews on national bands, other musical topics, and eventually politics and culture.
It ran monthly from 1987/88-2000, if I remember correct, and I have recently been thinking of reviving it, although possibly on a quarterly basis. As well as wanting an outlet for my comments and thoughts on music and other topics (it may actually sound just like this blog), there are shows Val and I attend that I want to comment on but don't merit full reviews such as the ones we publish/post at our web site, Buffaloroots.
So it was interesting to find someone getting to this blog from the search "Kevin Hosey Report" today. This may be the final push I need to start up the column again, and if any old readers of The Hosey Report are here, let me know if you think I should revive it or let it stay retired.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

McCain Mailings: As Bad As His Campaign

You guessed it; I received another mailing from the Republican National Committee, seeking membership and/or a donation from me for the Republican Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, this week.
I have lost count of how many mailings I have received from the RNC and the McCain for President Campaign, seeking donations and membership from me (I have never been a member of either). I still remain a registered, liberal Democrat and a Democratic committee person on Buffalo's West Side, and a strong supporter of Senator Barack Obama for president.
And yes, I have visited Germany, Berlin in particular, when it was West Berlin and surrounded on three sides by Communist East Germany, connected to West Germany only by a narrow highway corridor. I was at the site that Obama spoke, and can only imagine a U.S. Senator and his/her party's presidential candidate speaking to such a large crowd there.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Elmer Ploetz Shifting Gears

There are some major changes, good news division, in store for (soon to be former) Buffalo News reporter Elmer Ploetz, who will be hosting a happy hour from 6-8 p.m. today, Friday, August 1, at the Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst Street near Grant Street in Buffalo.
Ploetz, a great guy as well as a very good reporter and writer from topics such as straight news to music and culture, is leaving The News after 23 years to become a full-time professor and get the journalism program going at Fredonia State College. The News' loss will definitely be Fredonia State's and the students' gain.
As well as food and lots of friends and colleagues, Ploetz notes that some form of the Steam Donkeys will be playing at the happy hour (or two, or three hours), and "there may also be some pseudomusical surprises."