Dennis Virtuoso (above) takes the lead in opposing the development of a lodge in Goat Island.

Cuomo’s Goat Island ‘World Class Lodge’ Under Fire

February 15, 2017 Tony Farina 0
            The governor’s Goat Island lodge plan, rolled out during one of his State of the State speeches in Amherst last month, is coming under strong attack from Niagara Falls legislators.            Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it is time for a “world class lodge” on Goat Island, something to create a year-round tourism destination, but three of the Cataract City’s county legislators will sponsor legislation next week opposing the governor’s plan as the wrong investment in the wrong place, urging Cuomo to focus instead on downtown economic development.            The legislation, co-sponsored by Minority Leader Dennis Virtuoso (6th District, including the state park), Legislator Jason Zona (5th District) and Legislator Owen Steed (4th District) would oppose “further commercialization of the Niagara Reservation State Park,” and would ask the governor to cease any efforts to develop a “lodge hotel” anywhere in the state park.            In addition, the legislation asks that the state redirect staff resources to assist with economic development efforts outside the state park in conjunction with the City of Niagara Falls Comprehensive Plan.             Environmentalists have already spoken out against building a lodge on Goat Island as not being a good fit with the nature preserve setting envisioned by Frederick Law Olmsted, the park’s designer.
Dennis Virtuoso (above) takes the lead in opposing the development of a lodge in Goat Island.
Dennis Virtuoso (above) takes the lead in opposing the development of a lodge in Goat Island.
             Virtuoso says he has received many calls from residents opposing the governor’s proposal as well as from hoteliers downtown who are concerned this lodge would be unfair competition, adding “we don’t know if this lodge would be paying property taxes or bed taxes.  We’ve worked too hard rebuilding out downtown to go this route.”   Being on state land, the lodge would be tax exempt.           “I have many concerns with this proposal,” said Zona in a press release, adding the state and Olmsted opposed commercialization of the park 130 years ago, restricting such efforts.             “We have a comprehensive plan  for downtown and this falls nowhere under that,” said Zona.  “All of our joint efforts should be to develop the areas outside of the park and grow our local economy.”              Steed said “it is important that all of our local officials, whether city or county, stand in opposition to this proposal.”               The legislators expect a protest at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting against the lodge plan, and both the council and the legislature will discuss the plan at their sessions next Tuesday.              Local historian Paul Gromosiak called Cuomo’s proposal for a Goat Island Lodge an insane idea.              “He [Cuomo] needs to read about Olmsted’s vision when the state park was established in 1885,” said Gromosiak in the Niagara Gazette, “and how Goat Island was to be kept as much as possible in its native state.  If they want another hotel, let them build it downtown.”
Goat Island was reserved by the New York State Legislature to be a parkland and the original design was planned by Frederick Law Olmsted. It did not include a lodge.
Goat Island was reserved by the New York State Legislature to be a parkland and the original design was planned by Frederick Law Olmsted. It did not include a lodge.
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Success of Gala demonstrates support for Memorial Hospital

February 15, 2017 Staff 0
hospital-1 by Dharshan and Shannon Jayasinghe Dr. Michael and Liz Mitchell Co-chairs, The Premier 2017 Western New York again demonstrated just how much it appreciates and supports Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center on January 14 when 950 people attended Memorial’s sold out annual gala, The Premier. This year marked the gala’s 13th year at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, which once again provided five-star food, entertainment, and beautiful accommodations. We were pleased to honor two very special people for their service to Memorial and the community, Dr. Komal Chandan and James Roscetti.  Dr. Chandan has served our community as a family practice physician since 1992 and is known far and wide for the knowledgeable and compassionate care he has always provided his patients. He now shares his wisdom and vast knowledge with new physicians as a faculty member of Memorial’s Osteopathic Family Practice Residency Program. Mr. Roscetti is a longtime Memorial board member and chair who also serves as deputy counsel to the Niagara Falls City School District.  He has served as a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority commissioner and as a trustee for Niagara County Community College, the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club, Niagara Falls Public Library and the YMCA of Niagara Falls. Enjoying the evening with all our guests was tremendously rewarding as was seeing everyone so generously support this wonderful healthcare institution. We are also very grateful to everyone who generously made our text-to-pledge drive a success – raising over $45,000!  Proceeds from The Premier, which has raised well over a million dollars during the past 13 years, will support Memorial Medical Center’s Full Circle of Heart Care, a comprehensive heart health improvement initiative. It takes a dedicated team to produce The Premier.  We are grateful for the generous support of more than 80 corporate and individual sponsors. Special thanks go to our hosts, Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino and the Seneca Nation of Indians for sponsoring the headline entertainment.  The management and staff at Seneca Niagara really distinguished themselves in providing us all with a five-star experience. Special thanks also go to our many volunteers.  We couldn’t be more grateful for their hard work.  And WGRZ-TV news reporter and anchor Maryalice Demler was just stellar as our mistress of ceremonies!   The Premier 2017 was an unforgettable celebration thanks to the support of all our sponsors, contributors, volunteers and attendees. Thank you all for your contributions — we hope to see you again next year! Caption: Attorney James Roscetti (left) with former State Senator George Maziarz. Roscetti, chairman of the board at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, was honored for his efforts to place Memorial at the vanguard of community service and modern technology despite its being located in one of America’s poorest cities.
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CAN THE PRESIDENT BAN ALIENS OF A FAITH OR RELIGION FROM ENTERING THE UNITED STATES?!

February 15, 2017 Staff 0
lgd J. Gary DiLaura First we need to look at our laws. Several laws apply to this very situation but the most prominent, obvious and easiest to read (even for attorneys) is the 1952 Immigration and Naturalization Act (Public Law 414). Paragraph 2 Sec 212 specifies aliens who the President can exclude from entry by proclamation;    “(F) Aliens who advocate or teach or who are members of or affiliated with any organization that advocates or teaches (i) the overthrow by force, violence, or other unconstitutional means of the Government of the United States or of all forms of law…”    “(G) Aliens who write or publish, or cause to be written or published, or who knowingly circulate, distribute, print, or display, or knowingly cause to be circulated… or who knowingly have in their possession for the purpose of circulation…any written or printed matter, advocating or teaching opposition to all organized government, or advocating or teaching (i) the overthrow by force, violence, or other unconstitutional means of the Government of the United States…”   If a Faith/Religion calls for the overthrow of our government or Rule of Law by violence… then the answer to our question is YES, Religion can be used as a criteria for banning aliens from entry! There is NO doubt, Islam calls for the overthrow of America, and any other nation that does not believe in Islam, by violence! Those of you who think “I’m” extreme need to Google “ISIS executions” and see what you find! Read English interpretations of Islam writings!! Those Youtube killings are recent and not photoshopped!   I would say that ISIS, Al Quetta, Iran, Palestine, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and numerous other Islamic Nations all fall into the above categories, wouldn’t you?   This law has been used by numerous presidents (are you ready for this?)… In 1979 President Carter in EO 12172, used Title 8 USC SEC 1185 to ban Iranians (no legal challenge by Republicans)…On 9-29-81 President Reagan cited T 8 S 1182f in EO 12324 to stop Haitians and was challenged unsuccessfully (court ruled it is Constitutional), Reagan again cited T 8 S 1182f, this time, in 1985 when he banned Cubans in Proclamation 5377… On 8-4-11 President Obama successfully used 1182f unchallenged. There are many more! It can’t be said enough, our Constitution applies to ANYONE on US soil, those here legally or illegally! However it DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY RIGHTS TO ALIENS NOT ON OUR SOIL! IT IS NOT A TREATY! If they were here legally, departed and want to return, they MAY be allowed back in, if they are vetted! For you lawyers who think otherwise, read some Supreme Court decisions or move to the 9th Circuit, become a Judge and you can make any laws you want!   The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Executive Branch’s power on Immigration so many times that it has become known as the “plenary power” over Immigration. There are many Supreme Court Cases, but one readers will like is in a three judge Federal Ruling that denial of Medicare rights to certain aliens is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision and ruled that Congress has no constitutional obligation to provide aliens with the same benefits as citizens (Mathews vs Diaz 426 US 67, 81,1976)! The Supreme Court has ruled over and over that the political branches of the federal government have the responsibility to regulate control over alien visitors, regardless what the 9th“Circus” thinks (with an 80%+ reversal rating). The Supreme Court has recommended that the 9th be broken up! I believe the 9th Circuit will become many different Circuits in the near future…what a shame… no more 9th Circus!    In an excellent paper written on 2-12-16 by William J Olson PC, www.lawandfreedom.com, for the US Justice Foundation, Mr. Olson echoes my non-attorney opinion, of several years, about Islam. In 2016, then Candidate Trump said he would stop all Muslims from entering the US and was the victim of Democrat and press accusations of “racist,” unconstitutional “bigot.” Mr. Trump was, and is, absolutely on solid legal ground!   Mr. Olson stated that the 2016 statements of Mr. Trump are, “Supported by Federal statutory authority, a long line of court decisions, and is (are) similar to a number of earlier Directives issued by both Republican and Democratic Presidents”.   President Trump’s current EO is substantially reduced from “banning all Muslims”, although I believe he should ban all Muslims, and also believe that eventually he will have to because of the deaths they continue to cause to Americans, Christians, Jews and other Muslims who are infidels (Kafirs).   I believe President Trump should do as Obama did and  quote 1182f banning all those people (non-specifically, just like the statute), open ended (no time period) whom the President believes want to overthrow our Government. Then do proclamations, as specifically as the President deems necessary for each country, or designated regions. He could do one with exemptions that may be granted by the President… or he could ban ALL alien, non-US Citizen, Muslims!
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Registered Apprenticeship

February 15, 2017 Frank Parlato 0

By Local 91

The US and New York State Departments of Labor recognize and monitor registered skilled apprenticeship programs in NYS and throughout the United States. The Laborers’ International Union of North America publicly promotes our successful model of labor-management registered apprenticeship programs to combat the growing emphasis on employer programs supported by taxpayers.

What is Registered Apprenticeship?

It’s a job. Apprentices start working from day one with incremental wage increases as they become more proficient. read more

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The Difference between Traditional Martial Arts and Mixed Martial Arts 

February 15, 2017 Reporter 8
 By Frank Dux;
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Frank Dux is considered by some as the father of Mixed Martial Arts.
Despite its name, ‘Mixed Martial Arts’ (MMA) is not a martial art. It’s a professional sport. It is a business and athletes are paid to compete.
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Frank Dux’s exploits became widely known after the 1988 film Bloodsport starring Jean Claude Van Damme [as Frank Dux] became in international success.
The perception that MMA training is superior to traditional Martial Arts in terms of preparedness in dealing with a street crime or sudden attack however might be the greatest misperception a person might make in his life, and possibly his last. To compare the physique of an MMA fighter to the traditional martial artist is not enough to judge truth.  In sudden confrontation, the physique is part of the totality, which is judged in a lens of many considerations, such as does the aggressor possess a hidden weapon, which actions outweigh potential legal entanglements arising from his injury or death, and challenges of defense in an inhospitable environment. These are common variables needed to be taken into account instantly when planning which tactics are  suited to survive, uninjured, and prevail by ending the aggressor’s ability to pose danger. As Sun Tzu stated, “Battles are won or lost before they are ever fought.” This is not part of MMA training.

All forms of martial arts exist as ‘never cold without hot.’  There exists no superior way but there exists the superior fighter.

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Frank Dux (right) trained the actors in the fight scenes on the film set of Bloodsport.
The claim that MMA training is superior to other martial art disciplines is dangerously invalid. At Ft. Lewis, Washington, The US Special Forces stationed were impressed by the MMA. The Green Berets explored integrating its training into their own warrior training. They turned to their civilian trainer/adviser, a martial artist named Kelly Worden. Worden objected. He found his opinion challenged. He consented to a match with a professional MMA fighter. Comparing the men’s physiques, Worden appeared doomed. He would be taken to ground, and subdued through the grappling arts. Worden instincts were not sports orientated. The contest began and observers wondered how many seconds Worden would last. In unsportsmanlike manner, and in violation of MMA rules, Worden gathered dirt and, with lightening fast movement, shoveled it into his opponent’s mouth, cutting off breath; taking him down, prepared to suffocate him. The match ended in abject surrender. The difference between sport fighting and battlefield skill is the mindset of a warrior. Playing by the rules Worden was outmatched, but when defending life there exists no rules or referee. Worden’s opponent was ill-prepared for his action, unable to take into account the way his environment would be used against him. This vulnerability stemmed from perfecting his skills in a controlled MMA gym environment. The term “Mixed Martial Arts” therefore is misleading given it suggests sports training is a system of self defense, a compilation of many systems mixed to procure the “best of the best”, taken from all traditional and modern martial arts disciplines, then honed into one superior method. This perceived “conglomeration” contributes to the illusion that MMA training is superior to other self-defense systems. The MMA industry facilitates this by calling attention in advertisements to the legacy of Bruce Lee and of avoiding “the classical mess” — using only what is personally useful and disregarding the rest. The suggestion of shortcuts to proficiency in martial arts is falsehood. The term “Mixed Martial Arts” or “MMA” was created out of rebranding a business, the unsuccessful Gracie family- run UFC that promoted this sport under the “No-Holds-Barred” aka “NHB” banner. Critics allege the name change from NHB to MMA was made to legitimize athletes and transform them from being viewed as thugs and brawlers into role models.  The term MMA enabled the UFC to expand market share by attaching itself to the traditional martial art community irrespective of the fact that full-contact sport’s athlete’s skills have little to do with Traditional Martial Arts training. Their skills being more a mixture of bar room bare knuckle boxing accompanied by basic Brazilian JuJitsu or Greco Roman wrestling.  Rounds and weight classes were introduced, along with the banning of certain strikes and holds that would be no longer permitted. The spongy matting provided an advantage to the techniques of Brazilian Jujitsu. The reason for reinventing UFC has been linked to allegations that the Gracie family were barred from having events in Las Vegas because they fixed fights by bribing judges, referees and embellishing the records and skills of inferior opponents to make bets offsite. The UFC is attempting to monopolize the martial art industry by establishing gyms in competition with Traditional Martial Arts schools openly calling attention to how few “traditional martial art practitioners” are able to compete in MMA, suggesting that Traditional Martial Art training is inferior. The presumption is a fallacy since the purpose of martial arts training is to prevail in violent conflict. There are no weight classes, no padded mats, no holds barred in sudden confrontation. No martial art system may be judged by the number of participants in sporting events. These events have rules to protect the athlete that handicap those who train to kill or maim rather than ‘KO’ an opponent. The emphasis placed upon honorable conduct and martial art etiquette is necessary to produce military bearing, a code of conduct with is absent in MMA culture. The undisciplined, hedonistic, episodic behavior of MMA icons are alien to Traditional Martial Artists. MMA stars in interviews reveal their success is meaningless. The popular MMA athlete Rhonda Rousey after suffering defeat to Holly Holme confessed she contemplated suicide over it.
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A still from a video, reportedly of Frank Dux (left) fighting an opponent in a real Kumite no holds barred fight. Dux is seconds away from landing a knock out blow.
Showing respect for one’s opponent defined the first MMA matches, called among other names, “Kumite” as portrayed in the film Bloodsport, which inspired a generation of fighters responsible for having breathed life into the present MMA movement. Things are different now. Most MMA  stars appear lost, more concerned with how they are going to be accepted and perceived as fighters versus living in the true way of the warrior or “martial way”. The mindset of the MMA practitioner or any professional athlete is foreign to a martial artist. Mixed Martial Arts is not martial (military) arts training.  The reason is that it is taught without ethics, honor and sense of duty. Military traits that develop the will to prevail in life and death matches. The attainment of honorable accomplishments requires honorable behavior.  It means acting in accordance to rules of war, or peacetime, following its code of ethics. Ethical behavior comes through self-control: overriding impulses, breaking compulsive cycles, doing things that need be done when unenjoyable. Traditional Martial Arts are more concerned with self-control to maintain a code of ethical behavior in life; being capable of making the ultimate sacrifice in defense of family, friends and country. That is not to say all MMA sports fighters are brutish. But the focus of MMA training is winning in a ring. Fame and fortune are paramount. MMA culture is void of the protocols that instill ethical actions, a code of conduct, a respect for self and others. The nature of the MMA culture promotes anti-social behavior when stars, like Brock Lesner, spit on audiences, or when at weigh-ins, thug like performers hurl epithets, chairs and punches at each other.
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Frank Dux (left) trained Jean Claude Van Damme to play him in Bloodsport.
When Traditionalists face off to compete they bow or salute, demonstrating mutual respect. The MMA pattern of behavior promotes antisocial thuggery and is the antithesis of traditional martial arts decorum. The way of war is an art and science. Being trained and mentored in true military skills instills the discipline to remain focused for long periods, to act with measured force, to follow through under duress. Self-discipline is necessary.  The experience of combat, be it sport or life and death, teaches the student that each is responsible for his actions some which may be foreseeable and some which may inadvertently cause suffering for ourselves or others, possibly involving life and death.
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As Frank Dux advanced in age, he maintained the way of the warrior fighter.
The MMA and Traditional Martial Artists have this in common: Each must learn to coordinate multiple actions toward one goal. To succeed, both must master the skill or task to achieve higher goals; to remain in control of breathing, regardless of chaos going on, and the level of danger and stress. And to understand how to dominate our adversary or environment, which requires skill and a disciplined mind. Mixed Martial Arts fighters and Traditional Martial Artists possess combative skill sets and condition themselves for trauma. But the Traditional Martial Artist is defined by self-discipline that honors traditions, ethics and etiquette. These bring success outside of the world of martial arts. But are summoned at a moment’s notice, when the world becomes martial, unplanned, not in a ring, but in the arena of life, where discipline alone will mean the difference between extinction or survival, of servitude and defeat or dominance with honor.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during his "Make America Great Again Rally" at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa, Tuesday, August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Ben Brewer
Donald Trump told The New Yorker that Bloodsport is an old favorite of his. The movie follows Frank Dux, a U.S. soldier entering a violent, underground martial-arts competition. Dux did the choreography for all the fight scenes.