Theater Masks

Niagara Falls jokes

November 30, 2016 Staff 0

Theater Masks

Sign frequently seen at Delaware North concession stands: If our food, drinks or service aren’t up to your standards, please lower your standards.”

***

A tourist purchases a cup of coffee at the Cave of the Winds snack bar in Niagara Falls State Park, and complains to the worker behind the counter, “There’s a dead fly floating on top of my coffee!” The Delaware North employee replies, “No worries, it’s the hot coffee that kills them.”

***

A Health Inspector walks into Delaware North’s Top of the Falls restaurant overlooking the Falls and takes a seat to where he can see the kitchen. While he is sitting there, an order goes back for a pizza. The cook appears and the Health Inspector nearly chokes when he see that he is not wearing a shirt. As if the Health Inspector didn’t already have enough to cite the establishment fuel, the chef proceeded to grab a lump of pizza dough and press it out flat on his bare chest.

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brokenjustice

Was Parlato Case a ‘Ham Sandwich’ Indictment?

November 26, 2016 Tony Farina 1
As former New York State Chief Judge Sol Wachtler once said, “a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich, if that’s what you wanted.”

In other words, prosecutors can convince a grand jury that a crime has been committed, if that’s what they wanted, even if the evidence is not really there.

That’s exactly how real estate developer and newspaper publisher Frank Parlato feels about the 19-count federal indictment he’s facing for allegedly cheating the IRS, a business partner at the One Niagara tourist center in Niagara Falls that he started, and the two daughters of the late Seagram’s liquor chief Edgar M. Bronfman.

“They [FBI, federal prosecutors] spent several years chasing me, and eventually convinced a grand jury that I’ve done something wrong, a notion that I strongly dispute,” says Parlato, who last week filed a lengthy defense motion that pretty much accuses the government of concocting the case against him.

Lawyers representing Parlato allege in the filing that a sixty-two page affidavit by an FBI agent in support of an application for seizure warrants is filled with factual assertions that are untrue and inaccurate, 38 of them in all.

As an example, Parlato states “I was never in a civil adversarial position with Larry Reger, and despite the claims by the agent that I established certain entities and banks accounts ‘for no legitimate discernible business purpose’ there was a clear business purpose and the government was told precisely what it was.”

Parlato’s motion points out that Parlato was advised to use corporate entities and related bank accounts by his Niagara Falls attorney, Paul Grenga, as a method of asset protection and as a litigation strategy, and that’s what Grenga told prosecutors.

The strategy was designed to protect assets and shield funds from a well-funded litigant, Shmuel Shmueli, who Parlato believes was likely committing fraud upon the courts by claiming he had an ownership interest in One Niagara when he did not.

Shmueli, who repeatedly hired and switched high powered attorneys and commenced some 10 lawsuits in five different courts, continuously made secret (ex-parte) applications to the courts to seize company money.

In two simultaneously filed federal cases, Shmueli told the Hon. William M. Skretny, United States District Judge for the Western District of New York, that Parlato was about to flee the United States to the Bimini Islands with stolen millions.

Parlato did not even have a passport at the time, a requirement necessary to go to the Biminis.

Judge Skretny didn’t buy Shmueli’s story and denied the seizure of company money. Had it been successful, Shmueli would have crippled the company, Parlato said.

Shmueli lost every civil action he took against Parlato but not without nearly bankrupting the developing companies with exorbitant legal fees.

As for allegedly cheating his business partner, the late Larry Reger, a worldly and savvy investor for decades before his death, Reger himself denied under oath in civil testimony of any problems with Parlato, and in a letter to federal prosecutors, the lawyer for the Reger family confirmed that position.

Attorney Gregory Photiadis wrote the following:

“During his partnership with Parlato, Larry never claimed that he was defrauded or cheated by Parlato nor did he initiate any civil proceedings in that regard.  To the contrary, his testimony in the various Shmueli civil actions was complimentary of Mr. Parlato.  Likewise, it is the position of Larry’s family–who now own his Niagara Falls interests–that Larry was neither cheated nor defrauded by Parlato.”

As for the Bronfman daughters, Sara and Clare, Parlato was hired to help them recover real estate from a business investment gone wrong in Los Angeles and he did so to the tune of more than $26 million, according to both Parlato and Clare Bronfman.

Clare Bronfman declared under oath that Parlato “help[ed] us figure out what was going on and that he had discovered what had been going on…. I’m very grateful for what Mr. Parlato did…  I’m very glad that he did uncover the situation… Mr. Parlato’s job was to come here and secure our assets and determine what had happened and what was happening. And I believe he did that.”

After recovering more than $26 million in assets for the Bronfmans and securing control of their company for them, Parlato was terminated by the Bronfmans in a dispute over expenses.

At issue is a $1 million loan made to Parlato by the Bronfman girls for his work that Parlato claims was a success and was indeed acknowledged as a success by Clare Bronfman during her testimony in a civil proceeding on the property case in Los Angeles.

“We loaned Mr. Parlato a million dollars … It sounded like a lot of money. It is. Compared to 26.43 [million dollars Parlato recovered for the Bronfmans] it was worth it to us,” Clare Bronfman said under oath.

The government however claimed that Parlato violated a signed letter of intent on the $1 million with the Bronfman girls, but Parlato says there never was a signed “Letter of Intent” and the government, despite its claims, has never produced a signed letter.

The Bronfmans also said under oath that there was no signed letter.

Nonetheless, local prosecutors have seized the $1 million from Parlato even though it was being handled as a civil dispute between Parlato and the Bronfman heirs.

For his part, Parlato claims he was wrongfully terminated by the heirs and in fact is entitled to damages beyond the $1 million because he was terminated before he could finish his work in the dispute over expenses.

In his court papers, Parlato is seeking “disclosure of transcripts of all testimony before and all exhibits considered by the grand jury that indicted him.  The Court should order production of the transcripts because defendant has particularized need for the transcripts” which outweighs the grand jury policy of secrecy.

The court papers allege that “Mr. Parlato is the subject of a bare bones indictment, which in many ways does not set out criminal conduct.  Mr. Parlato has limited information as to who the witnesses against him will be.   The particularized need justifying disclosure is so that we can ferret out misleading information given to the grand jury.  It seems highly unlikely that the government was not aware of the true and accurate facts given their access to the same documents and witnesses such as the defendant’s attorney Mr. [Paul] Grenga.  For these reasons, the grand jury transcripts and evidence should be disclosed to counsel, or at the very least reviewed by the court.”

The papers filed on behalf of Parlato by attorneys Paul Cambria, Herbert Greenman, Justin Ginter, and Joel Daniels, cite case law which they say makes clear that “supervisory power can be used to dismiss an indictment because of misconduct before the grand jury, at least where that misconduct amounts to a violation of one of those ‘few, clear rules which were carefully drafted and approved by this Court and Congress to ensure the integrity of the grand jury process.'”

The legal assertion by Parlato’s attorneys is that if the government knowingly disregarded true facts to mislead the grand jury, the indictment must be dismissed.

As he has demonstrated in his role as a newspaper publisher, Parlato is not easily turned away. His dogged determination and investigative reporting on the Maid of the Mist boat rides yielded an open-bidding process and a $300 million windfall to the Canadian government and a $40 million bigger return to taxpayers on the American side from a rent increase for the iconic Maid of the Mist, which had been a gold-plated revenue stream on both sides of the river to Niagara Falls businessman Jimmy Glynn.
As a businessman, he filled the huge, empty hole in front of the old Occidental Building  – the remnants of the failed Aqua Falls project, which the Buffalo News once called “the signature eyesore” of Niagara Falls.

Parlato then developed the run-down and empty property on a shoestring without a dime of public money, and turned it into a very successful tourist center (One Niagara), a downtown hub on the American side of the falls.

As one of his lawyers told me, “Frank is a little unconventional, but he is certainly relentless.  He won’t quit or admit something he didn’t do.  That’s for sure.”
Win or lose, Parlato has said he won’t plead guilty because he’s not guilty.

It would seem his lawyers have plenty of good evidence to work with in his defense, starting with the testimony of his late business partner, Larry Reger, an alleged victim in the government’s theory, who was complimentary of Parlato and never claimed he was cheated or defrauded by Parlato.

As his lawyers claim, at issue is what the government told the grand jury that returned the indictment and perhaps, more importantly, what they didn’t tell them.

Was it a “ham sandwich” prosecution to justify four years of work?  Parlato says yes and he’s going to fight it all the way.

Given his history, I don’t expect anything less.

Next week: Investigative Reporter Tony Farina reviews more of the 38 inaccuracies contained in the FBI-prepared affidavit that resulted in the grand jury handing down what is increasingly looking like an ill-founded indictment.

Frank Parlato at the One Niagara building.

Frank Parlato at the One Niagara building.

Frank Parlato took the gigantic failure known as Aqua Falls with its one acre hole and developed a prosperous and mammoth tourist center.Frank Parlato took the gigantic failure known
as Aqua Falls with its one acre hole and developed
a prosperous and mammoth tourist center.

frank4r

frank3r

Frank Parlato developed One Niagara establishing nine restaurants, numerous retail stores, outdoor vending, built a large bus tour company, added an observation tower, and a convenient parking lot for tourists visiting Niagara Falls and created over 100 new private sector jobs – many of them well paying – and all without taking one dollar in taxpayer subsidies. The latter is in keeping with his philosophy that “a man shouldn’t rob the labor of taxpayers (through subsidies) to build his private businesses.”

As the Government knows but chose to ignore, attorney Paul Grenga advised his longtime client Parlato on forming entities to protect the assets of the new and developing companies' at the One Niagara building from the perjury and continuous, secret (ex parte) motions of Shmuel Shmueli. As the Government knows, but chose to ignore, attorney Paul Grenga advised his longtime client, Frank Parlato on forming entities to protect the assets of the new and developing companies at the One Niagara building from the perjury and continuous, secret (ex parte) motions of Shmuel Shmueli.

FBI Special Agent Brian Burns who filed the affidavit that Parlato's defense team claims is 'inaccurate.'FBI Special Agent Brian Burns filed the affidavit that Parlato’s defense team claims is ‘inaccurate.’

The real villain? Shmuel Shmueli hired and fired more than two dozen lawyers in his 10 lawsuits against Parlato and Lawrence Reger. Shmueli lost every single lawsuit. Parlato and his attorney Paul Grenga alleged Snmueli was engaged in "litigation financing", luring investors with false claims about his need to pay lawyers for the lawsuits against Parlato and Reger. As court records unmistakably show, Shmueli stiffed more than two dozen lawyers and sued or was sued by one after another of his lawyers in succession in Western New York, Brooklyn and China. Parlato published a series of articles on Shmueli, who is presently suing his own mother and brother, alleging Shmueli, a ruthless serial litigator, pocketed the litigation funding by not paying his lawyers and committed fraud by claiming an ownership interest in the Parlato companies by creating fictional companies with the same names in different countries. The Government showed little interest in pursuing Shmueli despite the fact that Parlato offered to provide evidence that Shmueli defrauded Parlato partner Larry Reger, Paul Grenga, and Parlato himself in Shmiueli's 10 (unsuccessful) lawsuits against them.

The real villain? Shmuel Shmueli hired and fired more than two dozen lawyers in his 10 lawsuits against Frank Parlato and Lawrence Reger. Shmueli lost every single lawsuit. Parlato and his attorney, Paul Grenga, alleged Shmueli was engaged in “litigation financing “luring investors with false claims about his need to pay lawyers for the lawsuits against Parlato and Reger. As court records unmistakably show, Shmueli stiffed more than two dozen lawyers and sued or was sued by one after another of his lawyers in succession in Western New York, Brooklyn and China. Parlato published a series of articles on Shmueli, who is presently suing his own mother and brother, alleging Shmueli, a ruthless serial litigator, pocketed the litigation funding by not paying his lawyers and committed fraud by claiming an ownership interest in the Parlato companies by creating fictional companies with the same names in different countries. The Government showed little interest in pursuing Shmueli despite the fact that Parlato offered to provide evidence that Shmueli defrauded Parlato partner Larry Reger, Paul Grenga, and Parlato himself in Shmueli’s 10 (unsuccessful) lawsuits against them.

 

______________________________________________________________________________
Parlato’s motion accuses FBI Special Agent Brian Burns of 38 inaccuracies. Since it comes from three of the most respected lawyers in Western New York – Paul Cambria, Herbert Greenman and Joel Daniels – men who are not known for signing frivolous motions which they have not vetted – there appears to be much more than meets the eye in the Parlato case. 
Attorney Paul Cambria (Left) is a nationally known First Amendment and criminal defense lawyer with many high profile clients and a stunning string of successes through motion practice and at trial. Joel Daniels (Center) is a legend in the local legal community and as anybody who has gone up against him knows, he has a startling legal mind. Herbert Greenman (Center), one of the great criminal lawyers in the region and the consensus "go to guy" for less experienced lawyers with complicated criminal cases. His record at trial is probably second to none in the history of Western New York.
Paul Cambria (left) is a nationally known First Amendment and criminal defense lawyer with many high profile
 clients and a stunning string of successes through motion practice and at trial.
Joel Daniels (center) is a legend in the local legal community and as anybody who has gone up against him knows, he has a startling legal mind.
Herbert Greenman (right), one of the great criminal lawyers in the region and the consensus “go to guy” for less experienced lawyers with complicated criminal cases. His record at trial is probably second to none in the history of Western New York.

______________________________________________________________________________

Fromer AUSA Anthony Bruce had an unsigned contract that he may have pretended before the grand jury was an executed contract. This may be prosecutorial misconduct. Frank Parlato was indicted with the Bronfmans being named as victims apparently based on a bogus contract which AUSA Bruce knew was bogus.

Parlato believes in full transparency; That includes on the prosecution side

November 25, 2016 Staff 7

The Niagara Falls Reporter has taken a lot of space this week to examine the case against Frank Parlato.

We believe it is warranted not only because Parlato is the publisher and editor in chief of this newspaper and his credibility reflects on the credibility of this publication, but because it should be of interest to readers on more generic terms: This is a rare chance to get an insight into how the US Attorney’s office, in coordination with the FBI, conducts an investigation, presents to the grand jury and indicts and prosecutes a citizen in America.

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According to the Buffalo News, former Federal Magistrate Judge Carol Heckman wrote to AUSA Bruce that she "uncovered new evidence that exonerates Parlato. In subsequent letters, she said the evidence would prove that neither Reger nor the Bronfmans were victimized by her client."

Defense Team Tried to Demonstrate Parlato’s Innocence; were told they had orders to Indict

November 25, 2016 Staff 1

It might be informative to readers to get a peek inside the US Attorney’s investigation and prosecution of an American citizen.

The Parlato case might be a good example of how the office works.

     While trying to show the US Attorney’s office, then under William Hochul, that indicting him was a deep injustice, Parlato, who has professed his innocence, retained former New York State Attorney General and former US Attorney Dennis Vacco; former Federal Magistrate Judge Carol Heckman; former Assistant US Attorney [under Preet Bharara] Brian Feldman, and Parlato’s two civil litigation lawyers, Ralph Lorigo and James Roscetti, who had successfully battled serial litigant Shmuel Shmueli for years.

     Every one of these lawyers, all known for their long history of integrity, went on the record with the US Attorney that they believed Parlato was innocent of criminal wrongdoing.

Former Magistrate Judge Heckman and former Assistant US Attorney Feldman gave a 126 slide Power Point presentation showing extensive, exonerating evidence to Assistant US Attorney Anthony Bruce, FBI Special Agent Brian Burns and others with the US Attorney’s office, then under Hochul.

     Assistant US Attorney Bruce reportedly sat there with his legs folded, not taking notes, expressing great annoyance and rudely urging former Magistrate Judge Heckman to hurry up. FBI Burns reportedly made it a point at times to heckle, laugh and scoff during the presentation.

Afterward AUSA Bruce told former Magistrate Judge Heckman that he had “marching orders” from US Attorney Hochul to indict Parlato.

     Former New York State Attorney General Vacco presented an exhaustively documented “White Paper” to AUSA Bruce and FBI SA Burns which argued that the government’s theories were demonstrably wrong and that the issues in dispute were at best civil and not criminal matters.

     AUSA Bruce reportedly told Vacco that, based on the time FBI Agent Burns and an IRS agent had invested in the case, he had to have at least one fraud (for the FBI) and one tax (for the IRS) felony count.

     AUSA Bruce offered Parlato, over a ten month period in 2015, a series of plea deals – each with lower contemplated sentences, from four years, to two, to less than a year and finally one with a possible halfway house and/or home confinement – all with two felony counts – one for the FBI and one for the IRS.

     Most offers were accompanied with deadlines of “take the plea or be indicted”.

Parlato refused to accept any plea deal since he claimed it would require him to lie to the judge in admitting to a crime he did not commit.

     Parlato was indicted on Nov. 20, 2015 and faces 20 years if convicted on all counts.

     Parlato has said he has come to realize that the decision to indict him was decided long before his attorneys met with the US Attorney’s office under Hochul.

     He also said he understood that most people are not in a position to fight the enormous forces of the government, and even though they are innocent might be tempted to take a plea deal.

In spite of extensive, exonerating and documentary evidence presented to the government, FBI Agent Burns allegedly ignored documents in his possession and, as alleged in Parlato’s recent motion, made 38 “inaccurate” statements in his affidavit filed with Hon. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. during the prosecution’s secret (and ex parte) hearing to seize Parlato’s funds.

     Parlato said that FBI SA Burns must have felt he needed to insert these inaccuracies since he had documents in his possession that contradicted the false claims made in the affidavit. However, without the inaccuracies, Magistrate Judge Schroeder might have declined to approve the seizure or called for a hearing during which Parlato’s attorneys would have been permitted to appear and explain why it was unjust that their client’s funds should be seized before there was a trial proving any wrongdoing.

     How many of the 38 alleged inaccuracies which FBI SA Burns inserted into his affidavit before Magistrate Judge Schroeder were also presented to the grand jury is unknown by the defense, and forms the basis of their motion to review the grand jury minutes.

     It will be up to a federal judge and not the prosecution to decide.

Brian Feldman, a former AUSA, made a serious, three-months long effort to try to persuade AUSA Anthony Bruce that it was wrong to indict Frank Parlato. During that time, AUSA Bruce reportedly erupted with anger repeatedly, often swore profusely, refused to listen to exonerating information and only wanted to know if Parlato would take a plea deal, otherwise he would be indicted.

Brian Feldman, a former AUSA, made a serious, three-months long effort to try to persuade AUSA Anthony Bruce that it was wrong to indict Frank Parlato. During that time, AUSA Bruce reportedly erupted with anger repeatedly, often swore profusely, refused to listen to exonerating information and only wanted to know if Parlato would take a plea deal, otherwise he would be indicted.

"We provided so much information to the U.S. Attorney's Office on so many topics," Ralph Lorigo told the Buffalo News, expressing surprise at how the government ignored all the documentary exonerating evidence. "I'm very taken aback by what I read in the indictment."

“We provided so much information to the U.S. Attorney’s Office on so many topics,” Ralph Lorigo told the Buffalo News, expressing surprise at how the government ignored all the documentary exonerating evidence. “I’m very taken aback by what I read in the indictment.”

He was both the New York State Attorney General and a US Attorney, making Dennis Vacco probably the most prominent, well known and best qualified prosecutor in Western New York. Vacco went to bat for Parlato, writing a comprehensive "White Paper" which Vacco put his name to and which clearly showed he believed Parlato was innocent and that the government wrongly asserted theories of criminal liability which included actual mistaken identification of critical documents. These serious mistakes by the government may have spread to the grand jury.

He was both the New York State Attorney General and a US Attorney, making Dennis Vacco probably the most prominent, well known and best qualified prosecutor in Western New York.
Vacco went to bat for Parlato, writing a comprehensive “White Paper” which Vacco put his name to and which clearly showed he believed Parlato was innocent and that the government wrongly asserted theories of criminal liability which included actual mistaken identification of critical documents. These serious mistakes by the government may have spread to the grand jury.

According to the Buffalo News, former Federal Magistrate Judge Carol Heckman wrote to AUSA Bruce that she "uncovered new evidence that exonerates Parlato. In subsequent letters, she said the evidence would prove that neither Reger nor the Bronfmans were victimized by her client."

According to the Buffalo News, former Federal Magistrate Judge Carol Heckman wrote to AUSA Bruce that she “uncovered new evidence that exonerates Parlato. In subsequent letters, she said the evidence would prove that neither Reger nor the Bronfmans were victimized by her client.”

pregnant-teen

Depression, Suicide Attempts, Risky Sex response of Niagara Falls’ youth to life in state’s “most violent” city

November 25, 2016 James Hufnagel 0
pregnant-teen      The recently-released FBI report “Crime in the United States” singled out the city of Niagara Falls as having the highest rate of violent crime in all of New York State. During 2015, residents experienced 555 violent crimes, characterized as robbery, rape, murder and assault, a per capita rate of over one violent crime for every hundred people who live here.      According to another 2015 study, this one carried out under the auspices of the federal Centers for Disease Control, named the “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey”, Niagara Falls middle and high school students do their share of contributing to the distressing statistics, especially in the instances of assault and rape, as we reported last week.      The CDC survey also examined the psychological effects on our young people from living in such a violent environment where, in addition to all the crime, political corruption is rife and economic opportunities are nil.      For example, as compared to the state average, Niagara Falls High School students suffer from higher rates of suicide attempts (including those serious enough to require medical treatment), having feelings of sadness and hopelessness, and risky sexual behaviors, including having sex, early initiation of sex, being physically forced to have sex and having had multiple sexual partners. Particularly striking were the 30.1% who responded that they felt sad or hopeless almost every day for 2 or more weeks in a row (so that they stopped doing some usual activities, at some point during the 12 months before the survey) as compared to the state average of 23.8%. In addition, 19.2% seriously considered attempting suicide in the year leading up to the survey, far exceeding the state’s 13.7%.      In other words, nearly one in three of Niagara Falls young people, with their whole lives ahead of them, reported that they were depressed for extended periods of time, with nearly one in five contemplating suicide. Over one in ten (10.4%) reported that they had attempted suicide, with 3.7% requiring medical treatment as a result, during the year leading up to the survey.      The Youth Survey was also conducted at Gaskill and LaSalle Prep schools, and revealed that 21.9% of middle schoolers here had seriously thought about killing themselves, 14.5% had made a plan about how they would do it and 9.5% had actually attempted suicide.      City Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti once referred to the lack of comprehensive sexuality education in Niagara Falls schools as “criminal”, a word she subsequently retracted and apologized for. In light of some of the numbers reported by the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, however, she was probably justified in excoriating the school district over its shortcomings when it comes to educating young people on how to avoid sexually-transmitted infections (STI’s) and unwanted pregnancies.      For example, Niagara Falls high school students exceeded state averages when it came to all of the following categories: Ever had sexual intercourse (42.6%), had sexual intercourse before age 13 years of age(6.5%), have had sexual intercourse with four or more persons (14.3%), recently sexually active (had sexual intercourse during the 3 months before the survey, 32.8%), did not use a condom during last sexual intercourse (40.0%) and did not use birth control pills to prevent pregnancy before last sexual intercourse (83.7%).      According to New York State Health Department statistics, for three of four Niagara Falls zip codes, 14301, 14303 and 14305, teen pregnancy rates are higher (97.5, 95.2 and 63.2 per thousand) compared to the state average 33.3, as are teen birth rates (68.3, 59.5 and 39.0, respectively) compared to the state average of 21.7 per thousand.      Of course, the difference between the Niagara Falls teen pregnancy average rate for those three zip codes, 85.3 pregnancies per thousand teens, and the number of births, 55.6, is that for every thousand young women in Niagara Falls, thirty got abortions.      The members of the Niagara Falls City School District Board of Education are James Cancemi (President), Robert M. Restaino, Ron Barstys, Earl F. Bass, Rev. Kevin Dobbs, Arthur “Art” Jocoy Jr., Anthony Paretto, Russell Petrozzi and Nick Vilardo. In January, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster will be commencing his tenth year in office.
A Hamilton, Ontario resident shows his love for Tesla with an awesome tat.

Hamilton, Ontario renames Street, School to Tout Tesla, while Niagara Falls Neglects Nikola

November 25, 2016 James Hufnagel 3
     This summer the city of Hamilton, a prosperous Canadian city of over a half million inhabitants located just over the border in Ontario, renamed a portion of its heavily-traveled Burlington Street, “Nikola Tesla Boulevard”.      According to the Hamilton Community News, “Several hundred spectators attended the road renaming, just east of Ottawa Street, including Mihailo Papazoglu, ambassador of Serbia to Canada… Following Sunday’s noon hour ribbon cutting ceremony, the Nikola Tesla Electric Festival was held on the Hamilton beach strip, featuring Serbian dancing, food, music and a variety of technological demonstrations inspired by Tesla’s work.”      Nikola Tesla, of course, has been garnering a great deal of attention of late, partly due to the electric car and company named after him. Recent recognition of his scientific and engineering contributions to life today as we know it, including the game-changing effects of AC electricity as it is transmitted to our homes, offices and factories, development of radio transmission (precursor to TV) and invention of the electrical induction motor, among other discoveries and inventions, have elevated him to a kind of pop culture icon internationally the past couple of years. Tesla Facebook group membership numbers in the tens of thousands of fans worldwide.      So what was Tesla’s connection to Hamilton, to the extent that they decided to rename a street after him?      The CBS listed five reasons why the time had come for Hamilton to begin to capitalize on its Tesla legacy. For one, Hamilton was the first city in Canada, in 1898, to implement an AC electrical grid based on Tesla’s design. In fact, amazingly, the Decew Falls Generation Station Number 1, built that year, is still in operation today.      The first such commercially-viable, AC hydropower generating facility in history, designed by Tesla and constructed under his supervision, of course, was right here in Niagara Falls, USA, on Buffalo Avenue. It was known as the Edward Dean Adams Power Plant and commenced operations in 1895, three years before the Hamilton plant, sending AC power to Buffalo.      A second reason is hydroelectricity built and sustained the industrial base of Hamilton from then until the present day. Hamilton’s steel plants supply 60% of Canada’s steel. Companies in operation there include Westinghouse, International Harvester, Otis Elevator and Procter and Gamble.      Wikipedia characterizes Hamilton’s bustling economy as follows: “The most important economic activity in Ontario is manufacturing, and the Toronto-Hamilton region is the most highly industrialized section of the country. The area from Oshawa, Ontario around the west end of Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls is known as the “Golden Horseshoe” and the centre of it is Hamilton… Major industrial products include motor vehicles and parts; iron, steel, and other metal products; foods and beverages; electrical goods; machinery; chemicals; petroleum and coal products; and paper products.”      Of course, all of the factories fled the city of Niagara Falls back in the 1960’s, when NYPA commandeered all the hydropower from the Niagara River, which had previously powered local industry, and started shipping it to New York City and out-of-state to profit Albany.      The other three reasons given to honor Tesla by CBC included, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that a group of Tesla enthusiasts cared enough about their hero to make it happen, that it was an excuse to have a big outdoor party and that “Everyone loves Tesla”. Elon Musk was apparently impressed by all of this – a recent ad for an autopiloted Tesla Model S was filmed in Hamilton.      And that’s not all the city of Hamilton has in mind for promoting the memory of Tesla. There’s a movement to name the new high school the “Nikola Tesla Secondary School”. An online petition states that “Our goal is to inspire youth to higher education, technology and innovation. For that we need the youth to be aware of Tesla, his inventions, and to be informed of his significant contributions to the world, to Hamilton, and to the way we live today! Think of how much electrical distribution, the electric motor, and wireless transmission, have made our life better… We want to make sure the youth know that, and are inspired by him… Let’s name the new high school to the “Nikola Tesla Secondary School”, to show the world that we are serious about education, technology and innovation.”      In addition to the Tesla street, Tesla school and annual Tesla festival, Hamilton plans on unveiling a statue of Tesla as a public work of art.      Here in Niagara Falls, on the other hand, the original 1890’s Transformer House on Buffalo Avenue, where Tesla worked his magic, serves as a warehouse for a local construction company. Politicians Dyster and Ceretto blacklisted a nascent Tesla Museum grass roots group due to its peripheral association with a reporter they didn’t like, and Dyster turned down an opportunity to obtain the famous Tesla sculpture that had graced Goat Island for decades and was being relocated to an out-of-the-way spot by State Parks, and display it at a prominent place in his city, something that would have made international headlines.      Maybe State Parks should have offered the Tesla statue to Hamilton.
A Hamilton, Ontario resident shows his love for Tesla with an awesome tat.
A Hamilton, Ontario resident shows his love for Tesla with an awesome tat.
Three men with a shovel. While Mayor Paul Dyster (left) may not make a good Santa Claus for the taxpayers of Niagara Falls, he has been a good Santa to millionaire developers like Mark Hamister (center). 
Above, Hamister gets help from Mayor Dyster and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (right) in breaking ground for a small hotel with a lot of subsidies, some 300 feet from the entrance to the Niagara Falls State Park. 
The Reporter believes the deal involved initially a rigged selection scheme and later a fraudulently, provably, inflated price tag for the smallish, low amenities hotel to be built on one of the most important undeveloped sites in Niagara Falls - in order to secure millions more in taxpayer subsidies for Hamister.  
There is a chance that Dyster and Cuomo were secretly complicit in arranging the financing scheme.
As Franklin said, "Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead."
Let's see how this shakes out.

Reporter to reveal fraudulently inflated price of Hamister hotel — again

November 25, 2016 Frank Parlato 2
Maybe this time someone will listen. We’re talking about the Hamister Hotel now being built in downtown Niagara Falls. So far we have written about it dozens of times. And so far, as far as we can tell, federal and state investigators seem content to ignore this ‘hide in plain sight’ financing fraud, perhaps because the US Attorney until recently was William Hochul, the husband of Gov. Cuomo’s lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul. This would seem to make Hamister, a Cuomo donor and ally of Dyster, a protected class of citizen in Western New York. However, with the new Trump administration and an expected new US Attorney appointed sometime next year, this clear scam of the taxpayers may be green lit to be investigated after all. Maybe FBI Special Agent Brian Burns will get the nod to look into this. More than a year and half ago, the Reporter offered to provide US Attorney Hochul incontrovertible evidence that Hamister was fraudulently inflating the construction cost of his hotel in order to get more taxpayer money.  At first his office agreed, then later declined to meet with Reporter publisher Frank Parlato who was then under investigation for a number of improbable and what will soon be revealed as unprovable charges.  The result with Hamister was that nothing happened other than Parlato being indicted several months later on charges that rely on a dead man who never claimed he was a victim, a contract that was never signed and a fanciful story that perfectly legal activities can be made illegal if you make up enough lies to create a circumstantial but utterly fictional story. (see related reports in this edition).

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Last year's Holly Trolley, promoted far and wide by City Hall and Old Falls Street USA, scrooged out by skipping a promised stop at City Market, kids there getting a lump of coal. Note (above) image, Mayor Dyster's face appears in the trolley.

Nothing Says Merry Christmas like the Holly Trolley!

November 25, 2016 James Hufnagel 1
Last year's Holly Trolley, promoted far and wide by City Hall and Old Falls Street USA, scrooged out by skipping a promised stop at City Market, kids there getting a lump of coal. Note (above) image, Mayor Dyster's face appears in the trolley.
Last year’s Holly Trolley, promoted far and wide by City Hall and Old Falls Street USA, scrooged out by skipping a promised stop at City Market, kids there getting a lump of coal. Note (above) image, Mayor Dyster’s face appears in the trolley.

The gala “Holly Trolley” featuring Santa Claus and his public sector equivalent, Mayor Paul Dyster, will be making the holiday rounds again this year on Dec. 2. The trolley will leave City Hall at 5:15 pm, stop at Gill Creek Park at 5:20 pm, Tom Barber Park, next to Foley’s at 5:55 pm, drive through LaSalle Waterfront Park and Hyde Park, stop at 6:45 pm in Highland Community Park, at 7:15 pm at Columbus Park on Pine Avenue, at Schoellkopf Health Center at 7:35 pm, drive around the Niagara Tourism and Convention Center for no apparent reason, stop on the middle block of Old Falls Street at 8 pm and then return to City Hall.

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WKBW has commenced a shocking investigative series of patient neglect and abuse at the Niagara Rehab Nursing Home at 822 Cedar Ave., in Niagara Falls.

Niagara Rehab under fire for Alleged Violations

November 25, 2016 James Hufnagel 1

There seems to be no let-up of bad news for Niagara Rehabilitation & Nursing Center as just this week Channel 7 Eyewitness News reported yet another incident involving the facility, which has frequently been the target of state investigations over the years.

A patient named David Willis simply walked out the front door and was not discovered missing for seven hours, when he somehow turned up at Buffalo General Hospital.

Our attention in particular was drawn to the story, reported on by WKBW investigative journalist Charlie Specht, who has covered Niagara Falls for the Buffalo News, chiefly because Niagara Falls author and historian, and friend of this newspaper, Paul Gromosiak, figured prominently in the scandal.

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Miss Marsha McWilson brings her elegance and style to Niagara Catholic for a benefit concert Sat. Dec. 10 at 6 pm.

Superb Holiday Concert at Niagara Catholic features Miss Marsha and Richie Derwald

November 25, 2016 Staff 0
High energy and with a voice that rocks the house, Miss Marsha puts on a scintillating show.
High energy and with a voice that rocks the house, Miss Marsha puts on a scintillating show.
Niagara Catholic High School will present an evening of musical entertainment as Miss Marsha McWilson and Richie Derwald, backed by the rhythmically tight Beautiful Music Band, perform a benefit concert on Saturday, December 10.
Showtime is at 6 pm at the High School at 520 66th St. in Niagara Falls.
As for the performers, Miss Marsha is expected to belt out her soul stirring renditions of hits made famous by Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and Tina Turner.
Miss Marsha McWilson brings her elegance and style to Niagara Catholic for a benefit concert Sat. Dec. 10 at 6 pm.
Miss Marsha McWilson brings her elegance and style to Niagara Catholic for a benefit concert Sat. Dec. 10 at 6 pm.
And, as those who have heard her know, Miss Marsha has an incredibly elastic, passionate voice.
When she brings her voice down to her thick and weighty bottom range, her slightly smoky voice is resonant and powerful – room filling.
When she ascends into the belting range, hers is a voice so authentic and pure that few in the audience fail to get goose bumps or chills up and down their spines.
In the higher ranges, while Miss Marsha’s voice becomes lighter, she can sing complex vocal runs and hold notes for lengths of time with ease.
When Richie Derwald assumes the persona of the aging Elvis, he can make you alternately laugh with delight at the aptness of the impersonation and cry at the lonesome tones of the aging King, who too soon was gone at the age of only 42.
When Richie Derwald assumes the persona of the aging Elvis, he can make you alternately laugh with delight at the aptness of the impersonation and cry at the lonesome tones of the aging King, who too soon was gone at the age of only 42.
Also on the program is singer, comedian, impersonator, and actor Richie Derwald, with his high energy and rather dazzling tour de force performance of the songs of great baritones and tenors.
His legendary ‘worn velveteen’ interpretations of Frank Sinatra songs are show stoppers.
So is his full-throated, robust baritone sound – of Tom Jones, or his cool and ‘gravelly voiced’ Neil Diamond.
And when he hits that indefinable quality of yearning that was heard in the evocative voice of Elvis Presley, Derwald seemingly becomes Elvis for his growing audiences.
In keeping with the season, this top talent vocal soul and pop concert will also feature a selection of beautiful holiday songs, fun and inspiring and, of course, infused by the love of the season, and of the host’s gracious hospitality with guests being served complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres.
All are welcome.
During intermissions, attendees will undoubtedly enjoy a chance to meet and greet the teachers and administrators, the parents and the students of Niagara Catholic Junior and Senior High School.
The show is for the benefit of this highly-rated and reputed school with its excellent standards of academics combined with its superb efforts at inculcating in its students the clean and healthy, life affirming concepts of virtuous living in conformity with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
This show will likely be one of the treats of the 2016 holiday season.
Tickets are $20 pre-sale (online via marshamcwilson.com) or $25 at the door.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the school and contribute further to the education of its students.

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Nov25TN

Print Edition: Nov 24, 2016

November 25, 2016 Staff 0
Heron Pointe's 232 new apartments, now under construction, look similar to many apartment complexes in the pro-growth, developer friendly, Town of Amherst.  At Heron Pointe, one bedrooms are listed for rent starting at $1050 per month. Two bedrooms start at $1325 per month.

Grand Island Needs an Updated Master Plan

November 25, 2016 Staff 0
Heron Pointe's 232 new apartments, now under construction, look similar to many apartment complexes in the pro-growth, developer friendly, Town of Amherst. At Heron Pointe, one bedrooms are listed for rent starting at $1050 per month. Two bedrooms start at $1325 per month.
Heron Pointe’s 232 new apartments, now under construction, look similar to many apartment complexes in the pro-growth, developer friendly, Town of Amherst. At Heron Pointe, one bedrooms are listed for rent starting at $1050 per month. Two bedrooms start at $1325 per month.

(Editor’s note: Town of Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray sends out often lengthy, very well written and informative emails rather regularly to the public about the Town of Grand Island. We believe McMurray is a sincere and earnest man in a world of political cravens and is trying to do what’s best for Grand Island. We are also aware that he works as an attorney/voice president for Delaware North. In our opinion there is no conflict of interest with McMurray being the Supervisor of Grand Island and his employment with Delaware North.

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