Creepy Dyster-Hamister Love Affair Smells Big Time to Those Affected Here
By Mike Hudson
(Editor's note: The following article, written by the founding editor of the Reporter, does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Reporter staff. In other words, this is pure, unadulterated Mike Hudson.)
Mark Hamister is the greatest thing to happen to Niagara Falls since Mark Rivers staged his infamous “Holiday Market” here back in the winter of 2011.
You remember the Holiday Market. Out-of-town developer Mark Rivers, who had scads of public money thrown at him by the Dyster machine, came to town, performed a comically tragic or tragically comic piece of dumb performance art, left town with a couple hundred thousand of your dollars in his pocket, and the mayor telling everyone who knew better what a great success it had been.
The Niagara Falls City Council last night tabled a Dyster proposal that would give Hamister nearly an acre of the most valuable vacant downtown city property available for almost nothing so that Hamister could live his dream of operating a hotel with more full-time employees than there are rooms.
Think about that. The Hamister proposal calls for “130 permanent jobs” to be created in order to service a 104-room hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton in Paris, France, doesn’t have that many full-time employees per room.
But Mayor Dyster believes Hamister. Just like he believed Mark Rivers about the Holiday Market. And like he believed Kevin Cottrell and the patent lie that Harriet Tubman brought 300 freedom-seeking escaped slaves through the city and across some bridge into Canada. The black tourism industry would be a bonanza for the city, Cottrell promised, but after years of development and millions of dollars spent, city taxpayers have seen zero return on their substantial investment.
The Dyster record on this kind of stuff goes back to before he was mayor. When he was a city councilman, he promised taxpayers that, by running developer Nate Benderson out of town on a rail, and handing the decrepit former Niagara Falls High School over to a bunch of wanna-be “artists," the near east side would be transformed into a sprawling community of hipsters.
That intervention alone cost the city more than a million dollars a year in property tax revenue, millions more in subsidies, and at least 100 jobs the Benderson strip mall project would have provided at the corner of Pine Avenue and Portage Road.
And then of course, there was the hundreds of thousands spent on the Hard Rock Café concert series, which was the only one of many Hard Rock series held across the country that was underwritten by taxpayer dollars. The mayor got demonstrably loaded, the bands involved collected triple to 10 times their normal rates, and the Hard Rock benefited considerably from the sale of overpriced and watered-down drinks. But the taxpayers, as usual, took it on the chin.
So this is who brings us the Hamister hotel proposal, this business mastermind named, Paul Dyster.
"We were operating with an understanding here that we were going to try to achieve certain things with this development effort," Dyster said. "If they are going to kill the largest development in downtown Niagara Falls since the casino, they are going to have to explain it to the people who would be getting jobs here.
"I don't get it. I just don't get it,” he added.
He doesn’t “get” much. He bitterly opposed Nik Wallenda’s daredevil high-wire walk across the great Cataract separating us from our Canadian cousins until he lost the power to affect it one way or the other. Now, to hear him tell it, he was instrumental in the Wallenda event.
Dyster seeks credit for the accomplishments of other men. He’s been elected, time and again, on his phony claim of having negotiated with the Soviets, during the Ronald Reagan administration, to end the arms race and reduce the levels of nuclear armaments existing on the face of the earth.
What he did, actually, was get coffee and sodas for those guys, the negotiators.
Right now, he’s attempting to give away — for the silly sum of $100,000 —– a property you own that is worth maybe $2 million. It’s one of the crookedest deals to come down the pike, in this historically crooked town.
Dyster and Hamister are peas in a pod. Neither man has apparently done anything in their entire lives to make dollar one without begging for corporate welfare.
The way they make money is to take your money, the taxpayers, stealing like a thief in the night. And then pretending they’ve done you a favor.
Creeps of the first class, and able to function only because the Niagara Frontier is so broken and bereft that losers of the first order can seem like big-shots amidst the crumbling walls.
So go ahead. Think you’ve beaten Sam Fruscione and Bob Anderson and Glenn Choolokian.
You beat yourself instead. And — if you want nothing more to happen downtown —– go ahead and believe what the mayor tells you.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
JUL 09, 2013