Daily Digest

Buffalo, NY – The Masiello administration plans to solicit bids from private contractors for garbage and recycling pickups in Buffalo. The proposal is part of a plan to ease the city's fiscal crisis. But the head of the city's blue-collar union, William McGuire, says the idea won't work. McGuire says that any private company won't be able to match the level of service by city employees.

***

Fire fatalities in the city of Buffalo dropped to six in 2001, from seven the year before. Three of those deaths came in an early December fire on Fillmore Avenue, caused by a boy playing with matches. Another seven people died in fires in Erie County outside of the city during the year that just ended.

***

In recent weeks, a plan was unveiled to convert Buffalo's Public School 18 into a charter school. But support among teacher waned as the Buffalo Teachers Federation union said that such a conversion would eliminate tenure and seniority for teachers. However, that claim is being challenged by others. Teachers kept their seniority and tenure in New York City when some public schools became charter schools. State education officials say if the union and the city work together, teachers could retain their benefits if School 18 is converted.