Goat Island, Andrew Cuomo Lodge

Goat Island Lodge Plan Could Be Coming Soon

April 2, 2017 Tony Farina 0

By Tony Farina

It was only a few weeks ago that the state plan to build a “world-class lodge” on Goat Island State Park was swirling in controversy as the Niagara Falls Council and the Niagara County Legislature voiced strong opposition to the idea of marring the pristine beauty of the park and hurting downtown business interests with a tourist-magnet lodge.

Feeling the pressure, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s development honchos sought to cool the furor and said other state parks along with Goat Island would be considered for the governor’s lodge and that RFP’s would soon be issued.

read more

Roger Stone

Part 3: STILL No evidence of Roger Stone’s collaboration with Russia

April 1, 2017 Staff 0

Should Americans Trust the Intelligence Community on Russian Hacking?

By Frank Parlato

The US Intelligence Community has concluded with ‘high confidence’ that hacks which led to leaks of emails of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta were orchestrated by the Russian government.

In analytics, “high confidence” is defined as an assessment deemed very likely to be true yet carries with it the possibility of being in error.

For instance, in 2002, the US Intelligence Community concluded with “high confidence” that Iraq was “expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs.” After lives were lost, taxpayer money spent, a nation destabilized, and American multinational corporations enriched, it was found to be false.

read more

George Maziarz pleads not guilty to Schneiderman's charges

Ortt, Maziarz Vow to Fight Schneiderman’s Charges; Ortt Believes Case Politically Motivated

March 24, 2017 Frank Parlato 0

By Tony Farina;

State Sen. Robert Ortt (R-62nd District) and his predecessor, George Maziarz, plan to vigorously fight the eight felony charges of filing a false instrument returned against them on Wednesday by an Albany County Grand Jury in a case presented by the Public Integrity Unit of Atty. General Eric Schneiderman’s office.

A third leading Republican figure from Niagara County, Henry Wojtaszek, a long-time time aide to former Sen. Maziarz, pleaded guilty to an election law misdemeanor count on Wednesday and is seen as a likely witness in the cases against Maziarz and Ortt.  This newspaper reported last week that indictments were expected this week in the probe by the attorney general’s office.

read more

judge-morinello

Morinello Urges the Two Sides to Go to Arbitration on Gaming Payments

March 23, 2017 Reporter 0

By Tony Farina;

Assemblyman Angelo Morinello (R. C. – Niagara Falls) is urging the governor and the Seneca Nation of Indians to use the arbitration provision in the gaming compact to come to a “timely resolution” of the latest gaming dispute, triggered by the announcement this week by Seneca officials that they no longer are required to make payments to the state under the compact.

The Senecas have announced they will stop making revenue sharing payments to the state from its three Western New York casinos at the end of the month, with Seneca President Todd Gates saying the obligation to the state contained in the compact that began in 2002 has ended and no more payments will be made.

read more

seneca-allegany-casino-resort-ny

Seneca Nation to Stop Gaming Payments to State

March 23, 2017 Reporter 0

By Tony Farina

The long and sometimes bitter gaming war between the State of New York and the Seneca Nation ended in the summer of 2013 with an agreement that started casino revenue-sharing payments flowing again under the gaming compact to the three Western New York cities where the Senecas operate casinos–Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Salamanca in Cattaraugus County.

But while the agreement between the state and the Senecas came in the nick of time for the three cities which had been badly damaged by the loss of the slot revenue from the casinos, it now looks like the Senecas believe they are no longer obligated to pay the state about $110 million a year because while the compact was extended until 2023, the Nation believes the payment terms are not extended and ended in 2016.

The Senecas contend the payments under the compact expired at the end of 2016 and no further payments are spelled out after a payment expected this month that is really from last December.

read more

Rob Ortt

Indictments Expected Next Week in Maziarz Probe

March 16, 2017 Reporter 0

By Tony Farina;

A state grand jury sitting in Albany County could return indictments next Thursday (March 23) in the investigation into the Niagara County political operation and campaign war chest run by former Republican State Sen. George Maziarz of Newfane.

According to our sources, the State Atty. General’s Pubic Integrity Unit is zeroing-in on three main targets:  Maziarz, who ruled his district with an iron fist; Henry Wojtaszek, a North Tonawanda lawyer who worked as Maziarz’s political lieutenant for most of the 19 years Maziarz held his State Senate seat; and State Sen. Robrt Orr, a former mayor of North Tonawanda who won election to Maziarz’s 62nd District seat in 2014 after Maziarz announced he was retiring as reports surfaced originating from the now-defunct Moreland Commission that Maziarz topped the list of un-itemized campaign expense filings totaling more than $140,000 between 2008 and 2013.

read more

roger_stone

No evidence of Roger Stone’s collaboration with Russian spies, hackers or ‘Guccifer 2.0′ – Part #1

March 14, 2017 Reporter 0

By Frank Parlato;

Media articles published in the last few days are reporting that Trump friend and adviser, Roger Stone has admitted he had a private Twitter exchange with “Guccifer 2.0”, an online entity suspected of being a front for a Russian spy group.

Reportedly, Stone is under investigation by the FBI over suspected contacts with Russian hackers – including potentially Guccifer 2.0 who allegedly exposed damning information about Democratic Party leaders that may have tilted the election toward Trump.

read more

Steve Pigeon with his attorney Paul Cambria.

Democrats line up in various roles as Pigeon trial is set for September

March 13, 2017 Reporter 0

The trial of renegade Democrat, G. Steven Pigeon is scheduled to begin Sept. 5. before acting State Supreme Court Justice Donald F. Cerio Jr., a mainstream Democrat.

Pigeon was once a mainstream Democrat when he was chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party from 1996-2002. After being ousted, he served as an outsider to the mainstream party often upsetting their plans in primaries and general elections. Most notably he engineered a coup that toppled Democratic control of the state senate in 2009.

read more

download

Touma Appears Poised to Announce He’s Running

March 10, 2017 Reporter 0

By Tony Farina

Three of the five incumbents will have to win re-election this year to continue to serve as members of the Niagara Falls City Council.

The three lawmakers who are up this year are Chairman Charles Walker, Kristen Grandinettti, and former Chairman Andrew Touma.

Walker, who pleaded guilty last January to election law violations, is not expected to seek another term, but Grandinetti will face voters in November and Touma, the dean of students at LaSalle Preparatory School, says he’ll announce his decision shortly as the list of potential council candidates seems to grow by the day.

read more

blj-connors-terry-012516-1024xx682-384-0-253

Connors Wins $3.2 Million Settlement in Orleans County Case

March 10, 2017 Reporter 0

By Tony Farina

A noted Buffalo attorney has won a $3,225,000 settlement, one of the largest ever in Orleans County, for a Town of Shelby man who died in a December, 2013, one-car accident after losing control of his vehicle on flooded South Gravel Rd. before it overturned in a swampy area.

According to attorney Terry Connors, 43-year-old David Russo unknowingly drove into an ice-covered and flooded area of highway, lost control of the vehicle and landed upside down in a water and ice-filled ditch, causing him to drown.  A passenger in the car was injured but was saved by rescue crews.

read more

GeorgeDMaziarz

Maziarz Probe Heating Up

March 9, 2017 Reporter 0

By Tony Farina

The Niagara Falls Reporter has learned that state grand jury subpoenas issued in the investigation into the campaign account of former State Sen. George Maziarz are returnable next week and witnesses could be called to testify as the investigation picks up steam.

Sources say the Public Integrity Unit of the state Attorney General’s Office is conducting the probe that sources say is focusing on Maziarz and possibly others in connection with activity involving the former senator’s campaign account which at one time totaled more than $1 million.

read more