A public art display of some 19 murals on exterior walls of buildings on an alley between the 400 block of Third Street and Ferry Avenue has been renamed “Art Alley”.
As an unfortunate coincidence of the unveiling of this new and artistic alley – and in keeping with Niagara Falls’ designation as the most violent crime riddled city in New York State – at around 6:30 p.m., on Saturday October 22, while covering the event, a News 4 photographer and a reporter were assaulted by four men who demanded money and the expensive TV 4 camera.
No sooner had a story appeared in the Buffalo News about how Niagara Falls Police pulled over a lady driver Saturday night only to find her not only drunk but naked from the waist down, did people start making not so nice cracks about her.
She was Cheektowaga’s Sharon Turner and it was clearly after dark – when at about 7:30 p.m., she was driving her Chevrolet Equinox a little erratically on Cayuga Drive beneath the LaSalle Expressway overpass.
By John Duke
While watching my favorite political shows on Sunday, Deface the Nation and Meet the Depressed, I decided there was no way I could vote for either major party candidate. I couldn’t vote for Trump because for some unknown reason all the fair and balanced television stations are telling me not to. Why else would NBC (Nothing But Clinton) CBS (the Clinton Broadcasting Station) ABC (All aBout Clinton) and CNN (the Clinton News Network) tell me not to vote for him. Plus, I can’t vote for Clinton because she doesn’t like Roman Catholics and I am one. And since I want my vote to somehow count, I’m voting for Bernie Sanders!
It’s never been easier to write in a name. I’m writing in Bernie’s. The Buffalo News published the results from April’s presidential primary and in our district, the 60th State Senate District, Bernie won overwhelmingly. Hillary carried Buffalo’s east side and Cheektowaga, the 63rd State Senate District, but lost everywhere else. Hillary owes her victory in Erie County entirely to Mayor Byron Brown, she could not have done it without him. To put that in perspective, when Andrew Cuomo first ran for governor in 2010, he chose Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy to be his lieutenant and promptly lost Monroe County. When Duffy left before the 2014 election, Cuomo replaced him with Kathy Hochul and promptly lost Hamburg, N.Y. The difference is Byron Brown delivers and the others don’t.
The question now becomes, “Will Byron Brown be able to help his candidate, Amber Small, in the 60th State Senate District (North Buffalo, Kenmore, Tonawanda, Grand Island and the Southtowns)? Small has 2 opponents, County Clerk Chris Jacobs, whom she is currently running a smear campaign against, and Green Party candidate James DePasquale, whom she’s trying to keep off the ballot to limit voters’ choices.
If DePasquale’s name seems familiar to you, it’s because it goes back to the Roc Mar, Milsher Days when he bowled with friends John Masiello (Tony’s brother), and Ben Galletti, sometimes known as King Ben because he holds court at Casey’s on Amherst Street on week nights.
DePasquale’s a newcomer to WNY’s world of rough and tumble politics. He is an environmentalist, not known for politics. He decided to campaign from the Green Party line when no one else did. Basically he’s a one issue candidate who hopes to clean up Hoyt Lake. According to DePasquale, “(I am) the only candidate who can win this year without being elected if (I am) able to focus the other candidates attention on the environmental disaster Hoyt Lake has become. State senator after state senator as well as mayor after mayor have promised to clean up Hoyt Lake and then forget their promises once they’re elected.”
This year every politician state-wide is promising to clean up the corruption in Albany. It’s the new “in-thing” to do. Without term limits that can’t be done. DePasquale says, “First things first. I’ll let them clean up Albany, I want to clean up Hoyt Lake.” I believe DePasquale has the right idea and his friends are right to shout “Run Jimmy Run” reminding every one of when Jimmy Griffin ran on a minor party line and won. I’ll be voting for DePasquale and Bernie this year and can only shout, “Run Jimmy Run!”
The other day we sat down with Frank Dux (pronounced “dukes”), legendary martial artist and fight choreographer who is visiting Western New York to explore film opportunities here, among other business ventures. Dux established his own school of Ninjitsu in 1975, called Dux Ryu Ninjutsu. An article about his exploits that appeared in Black Belt magazine in 1980 was the eventual inspiration for the 1988 classic film “Bloodsport” starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as Frank Dux. Dux fight-choreographed the film. Donald Trump told the New Yorker magazine in 1997, that Bloodsport was his all-time favorite film.
One sinister, one heroic: Robert Moses and Frederick Olmsted
by Nate McMurray, Supervisor of Grand Island
In the last several months I have heard the name Olmsted thrown around a lot. Several people have actually told me that he designed West River Parkway and thus it must be preserved. Did he? And who was Frederick Law Olmsted really? What did he want? And what was his relationship to Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Grand Island?
Olmsted designed many of America’s greatest public parks, including Central Park in New York City. And when I say design, I mean design. Central Park used to be a swamp, not a series of pastoral fields, hills and groves. Olmsted engineered the park, rather than preserve its natural state. He believed in manicuring nature to reflect the sort of visions you might find in great works of romanticism. And he did this for a purpose: to create spaces where we can reflect on the purpose of life, goodness, and greatness.
Perhaps the great Will Rogers said it best: “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
All of us who know and love dogs understand what the great man was saying because I’m sure most of us feel exactly the same way about our best friend. And that’s exactly why there is much pain in the heart of a 68-year-old Niagara Falls man these days who is still grieving over the loss of his best friend last summer in a tale almost too painful to relate. But he wants his story told in the hopes that somehow it will help other people, so here it is.
The 2015 report “Crime in the United States”, published annually by the FBI, has officially ranked the city of Niagara Falls as being the most violent city in New York State.
There were a total of 555 violent crimes reported for Niagara Falls for all of 2015. Based on a population of 48,989, that means that if you are a resident of the city of Niagara Falls, there was more than one chance in 100 that you were robbed, raped, murdered or assaulted last year. It also imparted to the city the ignominious distinction of having the highest per capita rate of violent crime in the state.
We think that this Art Alley/public art initiative has a great deal of potential, especially when Mayor Paul Dyster’s breathtaking Boundary Waters Commemorative sculpture gets its grand dedication at the center of the Rainbow Boulevard traffic circle, just down Third Street a few blocks. Not that the classic stainless steel artistic magnum opus is breathtaking – but its $585,000 price tag sure is.
Of course, Dyster refused another work of public art when he said “no thanks” to the Tesla sculpture that the Niagara Falls City Council, the Niagara County Legislature and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area board all passed unanimous resolutions to obtain from State Parks as a gift to the city. All he had to do was put out his hand and that priceless sculpture would be gracing downtown as you read this. But alas, as Ceretto staffer Robert Nichols said in a recently leaked email, “(Hufnagel) constantly criticizes John and the mayor.”
“This will be a perfect backdrop for tourists, as well as wedding parties,” said Seth Piccirillo, Director of Niagara Falls Community Development, “We want people to come in here and take pictures.”
We decided to take Mr. Piccirillo up on his kind suggestion and, as you can see on these pages, we snapped some photos of the “public art” masterpieces now gracing an alley off Third Street in the city’s tourism district. And as far as wedding pictures, who wouldn’t want to pose with their beautiful bride and her attendants in front of any one of these fine urban streetscape compositions?
We were saddened to learn of the passing last week of Carol Sensabaugh of Niagara Falls, a retired cosmetologist who devoted much of her time and energy to fighting legalized abortion. Pro-life, as well as a Pro-lific writer of letters to the editor to local dailies such as the Niagara Gazette and Buffalo News, Sensabaugh waged her own private war against the grotesque butchery of pre-born human beings, as pro-lifers might phrase it, that has plagued this country as a result of liberal policies run amok.
Choolokian Castigates Ceretto for Lack of Principles
By Glenn Choolokian
When you think about the people who are representing our city, do you envision them trying to serve themselves, their political party or the people that they represent? Which do you think is right? I think most of us would agree that, first and foremost, politicians should serve the people.
What I find intriguing about the upcoming election for the New York State Assembly’s 145th District is how we have an incumbent candidate, John Ceretto, who will do anything to keep his political title and his high-paying job even if it means abandoning other past and present local elected officials who had the same beliefs as himself in representing the community as a whole. Mr. Ceretto has chosen to join forces with the side that he was so adamant against for years. Mr. Ceretto has no loyalty but to himself. The recent articles about incumbent Democrat Assemblyman John Ceretto’s emails should be very disturbing to all the constituents that Ceretto represents. It looks like John Ceretto and some of his staff members have betrayed the communities and taxpayers who elected Mr. Ceretto to office. With that being said, on the other side we have a new candidate, former Judge Angelo Morinello, who wants to extend his public service so he can continue to help people. He believes that can be best achieved by allowing people to earn a living and develop businesses and jobs without constant overwhelming political favoritism, bureaucratic rules and so many government regulations.
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster’s new budget has both good and bad news. The good news is that he found $192,000 in the budget to fund the empty Niagara Falls train station next year. The bad news is – it’s still in your pocket.
Mayor Dyster was out for a walk one evening when he was accosted by a street thug, who demanded, “Give me your money!”
“Do you know who I am?” shouted Dyster, “You can’t rob me… I’m the mayor!”