As important local elections near, Spree takes a look at how the political discourse is influenced by Western New York citizen/activists. How are local blogs affecting how we see issues and receive news? Who are the most clicked-to bloggers? We also include a detailed look at the accomplishments of one of the most blogged-about local activists, Harvey Garrett. Meanwhile, the Guy on the 13th Floor has more to say on Erie County and Medicaid.
By Anna Hausmann, Elizabeth Licata,
Dan Mica, and the Guy on the 13th Floor.


We have expanded our usual fall arts preview to include commentary and interviews about how Western New York arts organizations are surviving, even thriving, as the local economy is, well, diving. Spree writers spent the summer investigating collaborations between organizations,innovative strategies by private foundations, the future of arts education, and other belt-tightening measures. But it’s not all serious stuff. We also profile some cool local artists and artisans, highlight some hot arts destinations, and preview the upcoming season. And more.
By Bruce Adams, Catherine Berlin, Anthony Chase, Devon Dams-O’Connor, Bruce Eaton, Ron Ehmke, Donna Evans, Terri Hilmey, Lisa Kane, Elizabeth Licata, Darwin McPherson, Jeannine Pitas, Melissa Sandor, Chris Stucchio, and Joe Sweeney.


Is Western New York one of the scariest places in the U.S.? Many ghost-watchers think so. As Halloween approaches, we take a look at paranormal phenomena across the region, and across the border, including ghost sightings in Lewiston, Grand Island, Hamberg, Blasdell, Allentown, Lockport, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. We talk to both believers and unbelievers, including our most well-known ghost expert, our most well-known ghost skeptics, and a local psychic. Finally, we reveal what happened at the Richardson Towers séance.
By Bruce Adams, Nikki Drag, Mike Keenan, Jay Pawlowski, Kathryn Radeff, Maria Scrivani, Joe Sweeney, and James Williams.

Dancing for Dollars, Canal Culture, Village
Walking, Heart Happenings, and more
By Nikki Drag, Ron Ehmke, Anna Hausmann,
Elizabeth Licata, and Rachael Silverstein

Great Indoors: A Tour for Every Taste
By Maria Scrivani and Elizabeth Licata
Gardening: Bulb Therapy
By Elizabeth Licata
Style: Building a Better Treehouse
By Mark Licata
Gadget Planet: Geek Style
By William C. Altreuter and Catherine Berlin
Vanity Wars
By “Faith” and “Ambrose”
Fitness Watch: Real Men
By Bruce Adams

Restaurant Reviews: Upscale with a Smile
By Alan J. Bedenko
Kitchen Stories: Bread, Part 1
By Joe George
Wine: Aspiring to the Bench
By Mark Criden
Beer: Homebrewing
By Ron Ehmke
The Foodies Fake It
By Vicki G. Marshall and Margaret M. Toohey
Plus: Bench recs, foodie recipes, bread recipes, and a chat with Wolfgang Puck