Those madcap politicians
A news conference Thursday revealing the expansion plans for Empire Genomics, a life sciences company located on the edge of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, brought out a gaggle of politicians and generated plenty of fodder for us.
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said she was happy to be in the Western New York Medical Arts Center, and she recalled the difficulty officials had in gaining support for the project.
“This was about three or four governors ago – we change them so quickly of late,” Peoples-Stokes said to laughter.
Empire Genomics CEO Anthony Johnson then flubbed his introduction of State Sen. Tim Kennedy, calling him “Assembly member,” before apologizing when he returned to the lectern.
Kennedy took the demotion in stride and then grabbed the opportunity to poke a little fun at former Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, now the regional director for Empire State Development.
“Has Sam Hoyt – have you ever seen him look better? Ever since he’s been working for the governor, he wears a tie to work every day,” Kennedy quipped.
The Force is strong with them
Tuesday’s news that Disney is buying Lucasfilm and its “Star Wars” franchise prompted a brief search for local fans.
We interviewed Larry Tewtewsky and his wife, Janice Mergenhagen, about the deal and the prospect that Disney will produce three more movies.
Sure, the Kenmore residents are part of the North Ridge fan group, whose members dress up as characters from the six “Star Wars” movies for various events. But we wanted proof that they’re serious “Star Wars” fanatics.
First, they said they’ve seen the original “Star Wars” movie (Episode IV) alone at least 50 or 60 times in theaters or screenings at fan conventions.
Their house is filled with “Star Wars” paraphernalia, and not just the Kenner toys from the late ’70s and early ’80s. They have “Star Wars” curtains, blinds, bath towels and bed sheets.
They dressed as Jedi for their Las Vegas wedding 30 years ago, and their rings are inscribed with, “May the Force be with You.”
“We live ‘Star Wars,’ ” Tewtewsky said.
Speaks the truth, does this one.
No Goal, and no class
Brett Hull can’t leave us alone.
Thirteen years ago, the Dallas Stars stole the Stanley Cup from the Buffalo Sabres when Hull scored the “winning” goal in Game Six of the Finals while his left skate was planted in Dominik Hasek’s goal crease.
Hull was violating NHL rules, but the league didn’t care.
The Cheater still gloats about his “No Goal” and antagonizes still-bitter Sabres fans. (Get over it? We’ll never get over it).
Last year, he changed his Twitter avatar to a photo of him holding a miniature Stanley Cup and wearing a “Brett Hull is a Cheater” T-shirt.
His latest obnoxious move came just before Halloween, when he tweeted a picture of a jack-o’-lantern carved to replicate the famous, aerial-view photo of his goal, along with this note: “Happy Halloween to all my friends in Buffalo!”
Hull’s “friends” didn’t appreciate it.
“I hate Brett Hull and pumpkins equally now,” Brian Guarino wrote on WGR Sports Radio 550’s Facebook page, one of the few printable reactions.
The maestro assassin
A “60 Minutes”/Vanity Fair poll in the November issue of the magazine had mixed news about the public’s knowledge of American history.
Sure, 75 percent accurately answered “Who shot Abraham Lincoln?”
The problem? Twenty-five percent didn’t know it was John Wilkes Booth. Seven percent thought it was Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated John F. Kennedy, while another 2 percent said it was James Earl Ray, who killed Martin Luther King Jr.
And 1 percent selected Michael Tilson Thomas as Lincoln’s assassin. Thomas, of course, served as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for most of the 1970s.
“Personal note to 1 percent of you (and you know who you are): Michael Tilson Thomas, his three names notwithstanding, is in fact a conductor and composer,” the editors chided.
Written by Stephen T. Watson. email: email@example.com