Bookish Buffalo?

We are at least somewhat well read.

A recent News article indicated that Buffalo has moved up the annual rankings of the “most literate” cities in America – 29th position on the list, up from 47th as recently as 2005.

Perhaps many Buffalonians would not be surprised at the improvement in rankings among cities of more than 250,000 people, which measured categories such as booksellers, educational levels, Internet reading habits, libraries, periodical and magazine publications and newspaper circulation. And there are also subcategories.

Buffalo has shown measurable progress from a 33.5 ranking on the list last year and 41 the year before that.

As Jack Miller, the president of Central Connecticut State University and author of the study, said, sometimes the old Rust Belt cities don’t get their due. Keep reading, Buffalo. Keep reading.

While Congress won’t win any popularity contests, its favorability has actually edged up. At least, that is according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll indicating that three in 10 respondents said they viewed Congress in a favorable light.

The numbers are still pretty awful for the political body. They indicate only a snapshot in time when lawmakers weren’t overly busy taking potshots at each other. Maybe they even got something done … well, the point is someone out there likes them.

But members shouldn’t get too excited. They’re still in the same rating territory as used-car salesmen and, you guessed it, journalists.

Who’d have thought it? More than seven months before the election, Mayor Byron Brown’s bid for re-election has been endorsed by none other than the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Western New York’s principal business advocacy organization. And it did so even before any opponents announced their candidacy.

The partnership’s outgoing president, Andrew J. Rudnick, explained it this way: “Mayor Brown has proven himself to be a valuable, reliable, and continuous partner for Buffalo’s business development. This ‘early’ endorsement directly reflects our ongoing confidence in Byron Brown and what he can continue to accomplish going forward.”

It is certainly true that Buffalo is seeing better days, more so than at any time in recent memory. Clearly, Brown does not get all, or even most, of the credit for that, but the fact is that it is happening on his watch and he is encouraging it along. And not messing it up. We are not close to offering an endorsement in that race, but it is interesting – even heartening – when business leaders find something to admire in a Democratic mayor. That’s a good sign for Buffalo.