Of a politician's better half, true blue Bills fans and Black Friday security
Cynthia Bianco, chairwoman of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners, thought she would do the appropriate thing and allow Sen. Charles Schumer to jump ahead of another speaker at the groundbreaking ceremony for the HOPE VI project earlier this week.
Just as she was about to introduce the senator, Schumer motioned to her, suggesting that she go ahead with the schedule as planned.
Bianco hesitated, admitting, “I usually don’t like men telling me what to do.”
Schumer’s decision to stay put in the pecking order put Owen Steed, president of the Center Court Resident Association, into the spotlight.
He wasted no time in firing a zinger of his own.
“I usually don’t like women telling me what to do,” he said.
When Schumer finally did get to speak, he started with a story that reminded him of the whole episode.
He talked about an evening several years ago in which his wife reminded him of why it’s important for politicians to have a better half.
While lying in bed one evening, Schumer said he and his wife watched in horror as the rather outlandish former New York City Mayor Ed Koch embarrassed himself during an interview on television.
Schumer said his wife noted that Koch was notorious for saying inappropriate things, probably because the former mayor didn’t have a mate to tell him how obnoxious he sounded.
“When he goes to bed at night,” Schumer said his wife told him, “there’s nobody lying next to him who says, ‘Do you know what a dope you sounded like?’ ”
To which Schumer deadpanned: “Dear, I have a lot problems — that’s not one of them.”
Tony Quaranto, Mrs. Quaranto and Patriots Nation
I’ve bumped into many regulars in local politics since my return, and a few irregulars as well.
Tony Quaranto, former Niagara Falls City Council chairman, doesn’t really fit into either category anymore, but I thought I’d mention him just the same.
Quaranto’s still active in the community, keeping tabs on local bowling leagues and volunteering his time to help patients at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.
The always-quotable Quaranto says he’s doing well, feeling good and remains optimistic about the city’s future under Mayor-elect Paul Dyster.
His main concern the day I saw him was his beloved Buffalo Bills.
Quaranto admitted that he and his wife stayed and watched the entire game last week, a one-sided affair that saw the New England Patriots drub the Bills, 56-10.
I asked Tony what it was like being the only non-Buffalo fans left in the stadium as the final seconds ticked away.
“We’re true blue Bills fans,” Quaranto said. “We always stay until the end, no matter what.”
Just doing our jobs, sir
Should you for any reason feel compelled to approach the front end of the line of shoppers at your local Wal-Mart next Black Friday, be warned: The people in line do not take kindly to cutters and neither do the employees.
Ducking under the rope line that separated the shoppers from the parking lot on my way to speak to some people standing at the door, I was met rather abruptly by three Wal-Mart employees.
“Hey,” one of the men shouted. “You can’t go through here. You gotta go to the back of the line.”
“I’m a reporter,” I said. “I just want to talk to a few people up front.”
“You got any ID?” the worker replied.
“Um, no, I didn’t think it was going to be a high security situation,” I said.
“Well, it is,” shouted a woman in line.
Contact Mark Scheer at 282-2311, ext. 2250, or at email@example.com.