Support The Arts: Eat Local

Have I said this enough? Localism is the best feature of capitalism. We, the consumer/citizen have the most control when our economy is as local as possible. The challenge is that sometimes it can be prohibitively expensive for many. That dilemma exists across a range of categories, and ultimately we’ll have to choose which ones are most important to us, and what we can eliminate to be more of a local consumer.

But restaurants are largely the exception. There are greasy spoons, family kitchens, cafes, and gourmet eateries that match every price point of their national competitors. Local restaurants keep three to five times the money in the area as do national chains. So if you’re spending the same amount of money, wouldn’t you want more of it coming back to you? The food is usually better at local spots, the service is

local economyprobably the same. But even if there was no remarkable difference, I would still choose a local restaurant every single time. You can help too. At least during Local Restaurant Week (Apr 22-28 in Buffalo), Olive Garden’s parking lot should be empty. Use this opportunity to try somewhere new and let creativity rule.

The chef at National Restaurant X doesn’t really have the opportunity to be an artist She has to play the music of the recipe “as written”. The General Manager usually doesn’t have too much control over hosting benefits or choosing which charities and community organizations to support. The District Manager can’t decide to open a new location in an up and coming neighborhood because he thinks his business will help them turn the corner. He goes by whichever zip code the consultants determined for him.

The local restaurateur on the other hand, paints a canvas. Mike Andrezejewski didn’t ask for permission to make downtown Buffalo more exciting with an amazing hotel bar, top notch sushi, and parties that connect passionate socialites. Prish Moran saw Grant Street at a tipping point and went all in. Deep Singh greets his customers at each of his restaurants to make sure they’re loving their food. These are just a few of many, who earn our dollars and our praise. They give it back. They inspire us. And more than any corporate chain ever could, they breathe life into the expression, “belly full, heart content”.

Who else should be recognized in the local restaurant community?

Shooting Themselves in the Foot: The NRA’s School Safety Report

By Griffin Jones

I do not own a firearm at this point, but I support gun rights for a few reasons.

1). Access to firearms is necessary to protect the balance of power between individuals and the government.

2). I oppose military expansionism. The idea behind private citizens owning high capacity firearms and forming militias is that our national defense is not supposed to involve a large standing military that is based around the world.

3). I expect a war on guns to be as futile as The War on Drugs and The War on Terror. It already is. Gun prices have more than doubled and the demand trumps supply of ammo.

The National Rifle Association certainly champions Point #1. They don’t hold back on communicating the threat of a police state. The threat of a police state is certainly the galvanizing force behind the zeal of many gun rights proponents.

So when pressured to come up with an alternative to increasing restrictions on gun ownership as a solution to prevent gun violence in schools, the NRA proposes…armed personnel in public schools. Love it. I actually can’t think of a better way to protect personal liberty and prevent a police state than armed police (private and public) at every level of the government funded institutions that teach people how to think.

Whew. That was close.