State’s monopoly on Park, failed Economic Development policies to blame
By James Hufnagel
The city of Niagara Falls suffers from some of the highest rates of taxation and poverty (nearly double the rate of childhood poverty), and from the highest rates of per capita violent and property crime of any city in the entire state. Now we’re adding another grim statistic to that list.
Despite the endlessly-repeated factoid that eight million tourists visit here every year, Niagara Falls has a chronically high rate of unemployment.
By Darryl McPherson
It was announced on Tuesday that the financial outlook for the City of Niagara Falls was changed from “stable” to “negative” by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), one of the Wall Street credit rating agencies. Sometimes a government has to sell bonds on the market in order to have enough cash on hand, either for a specific purpose like building a police station or buying a large piece of equipment, or to cover its immediate cash needs. Those bond offerings are then judged by the rating agencies based on the government’s ability to pay the money back with interest.
Somewhere, somebody, dropped the ball. Big time.
That ball contained the hopes and dreams of local politicians, who believed it held a financial windfall in the form of revenue from casino gaming in New York. Starting in 2002, that shining orb would bounce in every year, and the community would supposedly benefit by allowing the Seneca Nation of Indians to bring their games to these streets.
But then the ball wobbled, and the funds stopped flowing. Gov. Cuomo and his team jumped in and brought the bounce back, or so they believed. In March 2017, the Senecas took the ball, but they didn’t go home. The casino is still there, but the revenue is gone.
By James Hufnagel
Governor Andrew Cuomo, by loudly and publicly demanding that the July 29 discharge of black, smelly wastewater into the area surrounding the Maid of the Mist dock be promptly and thoroughly investigated by his State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), is engaging in a blatant 180-degree flip-flop deserving of a collective smirk and eye-roll from all who care about our local natural and tourism resources.
That’s because, just a few years ago, Gov. Cuomo was the driving force behind a stealth effort by state agencies and the Niagara Falls Water Board to import millions of gallons of frackwater from the drilling rigs of Pennsylvania for treatment and dumping into the Niagara River.
It’s impossible not to notice that during the 23 and 1/2 hours a day when the four score or so daily Amtrak passengers at the new Niagara Falls International Railway Station and Intermodal Transportation Center are not in the process of arriving or departing, the station takes on this empty, deserted kind of appearance, so we at the Reporter have some suggestions for Mayor Paul Dyster and the cohort of local public officials who brought us this gleaming citadel for making it look a little busier, thus enticing more people to step inside, check it out and maybe even decide to start taking a train instead of their usual, convenient, heretofore-preferred mode of transportation.
By Nate McMurray
Town Supervisor of Grand Island
I was in a public park in San Francisco once and I saw a young woman pray to a tree. Yes, a tree. And it wasn’t even a particularly nice tree. She was covered in crystals, she spoke loudly, and made grand gestures as she said, “Dear goddess, we worship you, and we ask forgiveness for our crimes against nature.” After much of that, she wept loudly.
I want nothing to do with any of that scene. It’s strange and insincere. I’m not going to pray to any trees. I’m no extremist.
As Niagara County’s Republican-dominated Legislature met Thursday night to pass a series of resolutions seeking multiple criminal probes of the Niagara Falls Water Board in the wake of the sludge-dumping scandal—and with one local law enforcement official confirming that such probes are already underway—one unidentified lawmaker couldn’t resist the urge to compare the imbroglio to the granddaddy of all scandals.
While none of the lawmakers were yet ready to call the actions of the Water Board a scandal on the record, county Republicans laid out a prosecutor’s case against the body, pointing to an ever-changing narrative being pushed by the Water Board’s leadership.
By Candra Thomason
As the September 12th Niagara Falls City Council Primary draws near, I would like to remind those that saw my announcement earlier this year and inform those that missed it, that I Candra Thomason am running for Niagara Falls City Council.
Now More than ever before the City Needs your help because YOUR VOTE COUNTS! As many of you, I am highly and genuinely concerned about the many problems our community continues to face. Clearly, we are in dire need of good leadership and teamwork. I will make wiser and more prudent decisions by collaborating with our current and other newly elected officials to address and focus on making decisions to spend tax dollars on the Basic Quality of Life necessities we deserve. Focusing on taking care of our residents and businesses first. Your voice will be heard once I am elected.
My name is Lakea Perry and I am a candidate for Niagara Falls City Council.
Running for City Council is a task that I do not take lightly. I am so passionate about making our city a thriving city again that I lay my time, energy, experience, and personal reputation on the line for the possibility of facilitating great change.
There are three questions I would like to address: What is my financial solution for rebuilding our reserve fund balance? What is my public safety policy? What is the service I plan on providing?
An employee at the Niagara Falls Water Board treatment plant on Buffalo Avenue was doing routine maintenance on a submersible pump in sedimentation basin #5 when he realized that, in order to prevent a catastrophic black water discharge into the Niagara River on a Saturday afternoon during the height of the tourism season, he was going to have to replace a Latham sprinkler head attached to the pump.
So the technician was working on the Latham sprinkler with a Langstrom 7″ gangly wrench when the plant’s Chief Operator walked by and saw what he was doing.
By Jim Ostrowski
The progressive left is blathering about a living wage. There are numerous fallacies at play here. Suffice it to say that, by and large, your wages are determined by the customers who buy the goods and services you help produce. If you work at a fast-food place and decry your wages, don’t blame the “greedy” employer; blame the “greedy” customers for not wanting to pay more for that burger and fries. NBA owners are not less greedy than fast-food restaurant owners. Rather, they have customers who place a higher value on the jump shot than on fast food. Using the law to force the employer to raise your wages will, obviously, chase away those customers or force the employer to hire fewer workers. They will of course select the smartest, hardest working employees to make up for the increased workload per worker. That means the most “disadvantaged” employees are hurt by such silly legislation.