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This just in: Hamister to break ground. Maybe. Possibly. Or maybe not.

December 31, 2015 Anna Howard 2
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Chairman Andrew Touma has heard a rumor: Hamister may break ground one day soon.

The Reporter, in its December 30 print edition, stuck the proverbial fork in the hind end of the Hamister hotel project as we called it “deader than dead.” The very next day council chairman Andrew Touma appeared on the Vince Anello radio show to say, during his one hour visit, that the Hamister hotel could potentially break ground within coming weeks.

Chairman Touma told Joe Schiro, an Anello caller, when Schiro mentioned the moribund Hamister project: “Joe, multiply your frustration by ten times and that’s my frustration” with the Hamister arrangement. The chairman then said he had heard there may be a Hamister ground breaking coming soon. The show’s host chuckled at the thought of a purported winter construction start. But the Hamister deal stopped being amusing a long time ago. read more

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Free Emergency Preparedness Training offered twice in Buffalo on January 6

December 31, 2015 0

BUFFALO- New York National Guard troops, in conjunction with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, will be presenting a free disaster preparedness class twice on Wednesday, January 6 at the Catholic Charities office in Buffalo.

The two-hour program will be held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Catholic Charities is 525 Washington ST, Buffalo.

The event is opened to any interested citizen and no sign-up in advance is required.

The taxpayer-funded event is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s continuing Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program, which “provides citizens with the knowledge and tools to prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions,” according to a press release announcing the classes. read more

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Columbia U and LA Times joint investigation looks at ‘How Big Oil Braced for Climate Change’

December 31, 2015 0

How Big Oil Braced for Climate Change
It was two-pronged strategy: Publicly emphasize doubt about climate change science, while internally gird for rising sea levels and warming temperatures. As we told you in October, Exxon took that approach in the late 1980s. Records and interviews show the strategy was widespread within the oil industry during the 1990s and early 2000s. Read the latest in The Times’ and Columbia University’s joint investigation.

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City Taxpayers Footing Bill for Scores of $100,000 Salaries Here

December 31, 2015 Mike Hudson 1

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One hundred thousand dollars.

It’s a lot of money anywhere, but in a place like Niagara Falls, where money’s tight and jobs are scarce, it can be considered a fortune.

In a city where the per capita income for all residents is just $20,327 and the average household scrapes by on $31,531, according to the website City-Data.com, $100,000 is the stuff that dreams are made out of.

A report by the New York State Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments shows Niagara Falls to be the most highly taxed municipality in New York State in proportion to the value of the property being taxed. read more

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Jury Nullification Has Long History of Righting Wrong Laws

December 31, 2015 Frank Parlato 0

Below is something that somehow is not taught in public schools. It is history nonetheless and easy enough for anyone who is interested to verify.

Jury ended power of Kings

In 1215, when the Barons of England compelled King John to sign the Magna Carta, trial by jury was established. The King now had to seek permission through 12 citizens unanimous in their verdict before he could take anyone’s freedom away. That’s why we have jury trials: To protect people from government oppression.

Right of Assembly; Freedom of Religion; jury can’t be punished read more

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Second Amendment Watch: We Need Guns and Armed Guards, You Don’t, Say the Wealthy and Politically Connected

December 29, 2015 Anna Howard 1
Michael Bloomberg, BArrack Obama and Hilary Clinton all enjoy the Secoind Amendment while fervently desiring that you shall not.
Michael Bloomberg, Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton all enjoy the Second Amendment while fervently desiring that you shall not.

What do presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and President Obama have in common? And what do President Obama and Hillary have in common with Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City?  All three of these famous individuals have around the clock armed guards guaranteeing their personal security and protecting their property.

The similarities of this renown American trio doesn’t end with the commonality of their particular security details. These three folks all have a well-publicized desire to limit the average American’s access to the Second Amendment: in other words, this renown trio is in favor of stringent gun control. In fact, President Obama has recently gone so far as to make it known that he now plans to use an executive order, if need be, to institute the tougher gun laws that he’s been unable to move through Congress in the last seven years. read more

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The Eyes Have it as the Reporter Launches Dyster Watch 2016

December 29, 2015 Anna Howard 0

We’re looking, we’re listening, we’re paying attention. The Reporter is watching the moves of Mayor Dyster as his re-election fades in the rear view mirror and the post-election city hall gears get greased with quid pro deals that were made pre-election.

The mayor cobbled together a clumsy but ultimately effective political campaign as his witches brew of support gave him a third term with a mere 47% of the vote. That John Accardo would be getting sworn in as the new mayor next month, had Glenn Choolokian not engaged in a doomed from the start write-in campaign, is beyond doubt. read more

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   DiPizio Construction Co. Wins Major Appellate Court Ruling on Canalside Suit

December 29, 2015 Tony Farina 1
A lot went haywire since then: December 5, 2011 - Congressman Higgins and Rosanne DiPizio of DiPizio Construction Announce That Buffalo is 3rd in the Nation in Construction Jobs Added in 2011.
December 5, 2011 – Congressman Higgins and Rosanne DiPizio of DiPizio Construction Announce That Buffalo is 3rd in the Nation in Construction Jobs Added in 2011. A lot went haywire since then.

The local construction company suing the state over its termination as the Canalside contractor in July of 2013 has won a major victory in the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court.

In a unanimous ruling handed down last week, the court reinstated DiPizio Construction’s claim that the president of the state’s Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) may have lacked the legal authority to terminate DiPizio from the $20 million replica canal project without authorization in the form of a vote from the Board of Directors, something DiPizio’s lawyers contend never happened. read more

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CULT OF NXIVM PART 6: RANIERE AND THE BRONFMANS TRY TO BUY THE DALAI LAMA

December 23, 2015 Staff 0

During my tenure as a press consultant for purported cult leader, Keith Raniere, and his benefactors, Clare and Sara Bronfman (heiresses of the Seagram’s liquor fortune), I was tasked with improving Raniere’s public image and that of his company, NXIVM.

Officially, NXIVM conducts “human potential and ethics” seminars in Albany, Mexico City, Los Angeles and elsewhere. However, several mental health experts have critiqued its trainings, comparing the methodology to “thought reform,” commonly called “brainwashing.” read more

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Grandinetti offers openness on a city council shrouded in secrecy

December 23, 2015 Anna Howard 0

By Anna Howard

The Niagara Falls Reporter continues to catch flack for recommending Kristen Grandinetti for council chairwoman. We recommended, not once, but twice, that she be given the big chair in the council chambers. Why’d we do that?

Frankly, it’s because we see her as a breath of fresh air on a utterly stifling council. On a council that has had, consecutively, two chairmen that have been truth challenged lackeys to a truth challenged mayor, we see Ms. Grandinetti as honest…honest to a fault. read more

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Can the dreariness of losing in Buffalo get any more prolonged?

December 23, 2015 0

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John Tavares (right) is retiring after an illustrious career with the Buffalo Bandits

2015: The Year In Sports

> BY ANDREW KULYK AND PETER FARRELL

The University of Buffalo mens basketball team finally, finally made it to the Dance and the NCAA tournament after so many years of trying. That was the highlight of the year in these parts, as the march to the playoffs remained just a pipe dream for our two major sports teams.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great stories. From the new coach at One Bills Drive to the tank over at First Niagara Center, one thing proved true…we still have some of the most steadfast and loyal fans anywhere. In most other places people would have bailed in droves by now. read more