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Ask the Editor live chat

Bring your questions and comments to the conversation, which starts at 2 p.m.

In case you missed the earlier invite, here it is.

Marshall Crenshaw at the Sportsmen's Tavern on a very Buffalo night -- with video to prove it

This is what I mean.

You drive five, or possibly six, minutes from your home.  When you pull up on Amherst Street, only feet from the Sportsmen's Tavern, that quintessential Buffalo thing awaits: the perfect parking spot.  You take it.

You go to the door of the Sportsmen's, and one of the wonderful Hall family members waves you in.  The place is full, but magically, there are two bar stools right in front of the stage.  You order a beer.  It's cheap and cold.  Your friends arrive.  Geoff takes the other stool.  Donn is in the balcony.  Anna and Cheryl show up eventually.

A few minutes later, one of the great rock songwriters of all time takes the stage.  No, Marshall Crenshaw is  not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but that has nothing to do with his talent or output.  It has to do with the craven nature of American pop music, perhaps a larger subject than we have time for right now. 

His back-up band is the Bottle Rockets and they are sounding fantastic on this night -- crisp and soulful alike.   The set is tight, full of Crenshaw's best tunes: "Marianne," "Someday, Someway," "There She Goes," and many more.  He even covers Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" with considerable verve.  We're waiting for "Cynical Girl," and it arrives, making the show perfect.

 All is right with the world, until you go out to your car again (carrying a beautiful flower arrangement but that, too, is a story for another day).  And, oh, no! Aaargh!  Damn!  Stuck under a windshield wiper is one of those hideous and omnipresent blazing-orange envelopes -- a City of Buffalo parking ticket.

But wait. When you open it, no ticket lurks inside, just a handwritten note from the ticked-off homeowner whose driveway you may have intruded upon.

Understood.  It won't happen again.

And here is "Cynical Girl" by Marshall Crenshaw at the Sportsmen's Tavern on August 15, 2012,  a very Buffalo night:


 (This video is dedicated to Keith McShea)

An invitation to my last live chat with News readers Thursday at 2 p.m.

I am heading into my last couple of days at The News, after 32 years at the paper and nearly 13 years as editor.  On Sept. 4, I start as public editor of the New York Times.  In between, there's some packing -- and the beach.

I've been occupied, in part, with writing a retrospective piece for The News' August 26th Spotlight section.   I've also been cleaning out files and reluctantly parting with stacks of newspapers, notebooks, and memorabila of all sorts.

I've even given away my old Royal typewriter on which -- for a year or two after I arrived here in 1980, before we moved to a more modern system -- I tapped out reviews and news stories.

These days, of course, I'm all about being digital.  So on Thursday, I'll host the last of my monthly live web chats with News readers.  So I invite you to participate with questions, comments and last-minute complaints.

It should be an active day for local news with the buzzed-about sentencing of James Corasanti in the morning.  And much to take up on the national news front with Mitt Romney's choice of running mate Paul Ryan.   So I hope we'll have a mix of new and old to discuss.

Please come by the home page of for the chat at 2 p.m.

Notes from all over on Romney's pick for vice president, Paul Ryan

Talk about good timing.  The August 6 issue of the New Yorker magazine featured Ryan Lizza's profile of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, appearing just before  Mitt Romney tapped him as his running mate. The story's standout paragraph:  "To envisage what the Republicans would do if they win in November, the person to understand is not necessarily Romney, who has been a policy cipher all his public life.  The person to understand is Paul Ryan."   Lizza is one of the best political writers on the scene.  Here's his piece, "Fussbudget: How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P."

Also of interest on the subject of Ryan is The Buffalo News' Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski's takeout from Sunday's paper on the link between the would-be veep and Jack Kemp, the late Republican Congressman from Hamburg.   That story was part of a two-fer front page for Zremski on Sunday.  His strong look at the Buffalo ties to Super PACs on both sides of the aisle -- in the form of Bill Burton and Carl Forti -- was in the works before the Ryan story broke this past weekend.

Meanwhile, on an absurd note, in the Washington Post's political blog, "The Fix," be sure to read what Paul Ryan and the word "shirtless" have in common in the wonderful world of Google.


Unrelated to politics, but in the same issue of the New Yorker is one of the weirdest tales I've read in a while:  Mark Singer's "Marathon Man," the story of a Michigan dentist who apparently faked his way into blazing-fast running times in marathons all over the U.S., until the running blogosphere sniffed a rat. Here's a summary; you'll have to buy the print magazine or be a subscriber to see the full story.

It's a fascinating read, even if the only kind of marathon you're involved in is the metaphorical kind, like that described by Lewis Carroll's Alice: "Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place."   I know the feeling.

Dramatic Olympics pages get recognition -- and so does former Buffalo News reporter Juan Forero

OlycoversStarting with last Saturday's spectacular front page covering the Olympics opening ceremonies, several Buffalo News page designs have earned national notice over the past week.   News Design Director Vincent Chiaramonte and designer Andrea Zagata are largely behind the pages, with other designers joining in.  

Scroll to the bottom of this one from the Society of News Design.  Do this same with this one, to see a page designed by graphic artist Christina Wilemski, also recognized by SND.  Meanwhile, the Washington, D.C.-based Newseum recognized two Buffalo News front pages this week in its daily Top Ten.

Says Chiaramonte: "We're really reaching for a broader audience than just sports, and using these dramatic photos for compelling storytelling." 

Meanwhile, former News reporter Juan Forero -- now South America correspondent for the Washington Post and NPR -- was recognized this week  by Columbia University with its Moors Cabot award, which has been given for 74 years to journalists across the Americas for coverage of regional issues. Here's the link:

Forero, born in Bogota, Colombia, came to the United States at age 5.   His stint at The News -- mostly as a police reporter -- began in 1988, shortly after he graduated from Columbia University's graduate school of journalism, and lasted until 1992.   In an email, he recalled today that he got his first taste of foreign reporting here:

"My very first foreign assignment was for the Buffalo News. In 1989, Pablo Escobar's hit men assassinated the the front-running, reformist presidential candidate in Colombia, Luis Carlos Galan. And I was doing a stint on the Sunday magazine at the time. The editor decided to send me to Colombia to do a first-person story about my return to Colombia during a time of tumult (I hadn't been to Colombia since 1981, when I was still a kid). And if memory serves, I also did four articles for the news pages. Very exciting and got me hooked on foreign reporting and Latin America! When I left the News, I went to LA and Mexico City to do a year-long fellowship that focused on Latin American affairs."

Congratulations to all.

Twitter: @SulliView

Jerry Sullivan on covering his seventh Olympic Games: 'the greatest place on earth'

I caught up by phone with Buffalo News Senior Sports Columnist Jerry Sullivan in London today, just after he had interviewed his favorite female athlete -- Serena Williams -- and made his first visit to the legendary tennis courts at Wimbledon.

He said the tennis star sounded thrilled to be there, "almost giddy," and I can say the same for Sully.  The veteran sportswriter is covering his seventh Olympics, but he's far from jaded.

"I always feel as if I'm in the greatest place on earth," he said.  How do these Games differ from those he has covered in China, France, Spain and elsewhere?

"This is the women's Olympics," he said.  "In sports generally, women often get relegated to the back of the bus.  But this time around, the women are often a better story.  Their stories are more engaging, and it gives everything a fresh, new feeling."

Editors here in Buffalo have been displaying Sullivan's columns prominently each day, believing that readers will be keenly interested in their focus on local athletes, the effect of Title IX, the exciting women's gymnastics gold medal, and more.

Look for Sullivan's interview with Serena Williams in Thursday's paper and online -- and for a preview of that interview, see his Sully on Sports blog today.

With the changing economics of newspapers and other media outlets, many metropolitan  papers and television stations have decided not to staff the Olympics this year or to reduce their staff presence significantly.  Jerry Sullivan is the only member of the Buffalo media at the Games this year, at least to my knowlege.

As you can tell from the front-page display his columns are getting, we're very happy to have him there.

Twitter: @SulliView