GeorgeDMaziarz

State Grand Jury Focusing on Maziarz Campaign Fund

March 2, 2017 Tony Farina 0

GeorgeDMaziarz

I reported last October that the State Attorney General’s office was focusing squarely on the campaign account of former State Sen. George Maziarz and the former senator himself, and we have now learned that subpoenas have been issued in that investigation and evidence could be presented to a grand jury as soon as later this month.

Sources familiar with the probe say that Maziarz, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing in connection with his campaign account that once totaled more than $1 million, is among the targets of the grand jury investigation and there may be others.

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Airport Taxi Service Publishes Letter to NYS Assembly on Uber Challenge

March 2, 2017 Staff 1

From the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Buffalo, New York, Gerald Chiarmonte, Vice President ITA of Airport Taxi Service has released to Artvoice a letter sent to New York State Assembly members.

Airport Taxi voiced its concerns about proposed legislation that regulates the taxi industry while allowing ride sharing companies, essentially providing the same service, to escape the same requirements through loopholes, which create an unfair playing field.

The letter in full:

AIRPORT TAXI SERVICE

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Behold the Niagara Lodge (on right). Described as having "breathtaking views of the Falls and State Park" can only mean that the new hotel is slated for Goat Island, not DeVeaux, Whirlpool or Devil's Hole State Parks.

Cuomo’s State Park “Lodge” a Mockery of Olmsted plan

March 2, 2017 Staff 2

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial proposed “lodge” on Goat Island in the Niagara Falls State Park has been scaled up in size, according to design sketches posted by USA Niagara this week.

USA Niagara is a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state development agency charged with “encouraging growth and renewal of the tourism industry in the City of Niagara Falls,” according to its mission statement.

According to www.niagaraexperiencecenter.org, a website maintained by USA Niagara, and updated recently with this new information, “The lodge will feature three stories of guest accommodations, 250 rooms in total, with a wraparound veranda offering breathtaking views of the Falls and State Park… Additional features of the lodge include an elegant main dining hall, smaller private dining rooms and a family health spa with a swimming pool and ‘green roof.”

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Kendra McClain, happily hired.

WATER BOARD COUP SEEMS PLANNED TO RAM THROUGH UNION CONTRACT?

March 2, 2017 Staff 1

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Did the Niagara Falls Water Board meet illegally to carry out their reorganization of the body? And are Water Board customers about to get hit with an expensive new labor contract?

Last Thursday’s Dyster Administration-engineered coup on the Niagara Falls Water Board has left members of the board’s former majority crying foul, and pointing to violations of state open government laws that have left the actions of the new politically-tinged majority shrouded in secrecy.


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Snow covers the Sierra Nevada mountains and the shoreline of Lake Tahoe on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, near Memorial Point, Nevada.  (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

Snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada at 185% of average

March 2, 2017 Staff 0
Snow covers the Sierra Nevada mountains and the shoreline of Lake Tahoe on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, near Memorial Point, Nevada.  (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)
Snow covers the Sierra Nevada mountains and the shoreline of Lake Tahoe on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017.

Measurements taken in the Sierra Nevada show the range’s snowpack at historically high levels. The average snowpack across the range was at 185% for March 1, the Department of Water Resources said. The Sierra Nevada provides about a third of California’s water when it melts in the spring and summer. It’s the biggest snowpack in 22 years and another sign that doomsday has not arrived for California, at least.


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Jeff Flach (left) with Niagara Hub's "Soapbox" host Craig Avery.

Flach to Challenge Virtuoso

March 2, 2017 Tony Farina 0
Jeff Flach (left) with Niagara Hub's "Soapbox" host Craig Avery.
Jeff Flach (left) with Niagara Hub’s “Soapbox” host Craig Avery.

A decorated Iraq war veteran and the owner of the Gorge View Hostel has announced his candidacy for the 6th District Niagara County Legislative seat now held by Democrat Dennis Virtuoso.

Jeffery Flach, who has the full support of Niagara Falls City Republican Chairman Bill Carroll, returned to Niagara Falls in 2014 after leaving active military service as an army major.

Flach, 46, said in the announcement of his candidacy that “transparency lets both residents and decision-makers clearly see how resources are being allocated as well as the direct result of those allocations.  By prioritizing transparency, we remove the distractions of ignorant debates and replace them with informed discussions on how to realistically solve problems based on available resources.”

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Anthony Bruce sent this picture which he prefers to others used.

Bruce writes letters, claims I demonized him, and is sent email inviting his response

February 23, 2017 Staff 0
One of several letters Anthony Bruce wrote, unsolicited, to me.
One of several letters Anthony Bruce wrote, unsolicited, to me.

For the growing number of readers who eagerly await the next in the series on former Assistant US Attorney Anthony M. Bruce, there is some news.

Mr. Bruce has sent me a series of letters giving snippets of his view of his side of the stories – and there are many – about people, I suspect, he falsely tried to prosecute.

Mr. Bruce sent seven letters, some of them handwritten, some typed. All were mailed to my post office box.

I hope to publish them and address the issues he raises in an article very soon.

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Niagara County’s ‘Big Al’ Cutaia gets 25 to life for sex assault of child

February 23, 2017 Reporter 0

By Frank Parlato;

It will be a long time, maybe never, before Alfonso ‘Big Al’ Cutaia rides again.

Formerly of North Tonawanda, Lockport, Pendleton, Wheatfield, Wilson, and, recently Niagara County jail, Big Al, 41, was sentenced to 25 years to life for sexually abusing a child.

There was a spate of pictures posted on Facebook now deleted – of Cutaia, in his leather vest, back patch, pins and his “Thunder” moniker patch, sometimes with children seated behind him on his bike at big bikers’ events. He rode his bike as if he owned the road and it would never end.

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Oddsmakers

Oddsmakers Taking Wagers: Goat Island Lodge a Done Deal for Delaware North

February 23, 2017 Reporter 0
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Goat Island is on its way to be developed like it never has before. The lodge is only the beginning. Delaware North has many plans for Goat Island and indeed the entire state lands in Niagara Falls.

     

The Reporter strongly suspects Goat Island is the preferred choice for the lodge and a developer/operator has already been selected by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

jeremy-jacobs-florida-spread

That operator is Delaware North headed up by Gov. Cuomo’s magnificent campaign donor, Jeremy Jacobs.

It may be coincidence but Gov. Cuomo’s Lt. Gov. is Kathy Hochul and Jacobs’ General Counsel is William Hochul. They are husband and wife.

Shortly after Mr. Hochul was hired, a lodge on Goat Island became the front burner issue for Cuomo’s plans for the Niagara Falls State Park.

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Grandinetti Slightly Wrong;  Goat Island Lodge Still in PLay

February 23, 2017 Reporter 0

By Tony Farina;

It appears that Niagara Falls Councilmember Kristen Grandinetti may have spoken too soon at Tuesday’s council meeting when she told opponents of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan for a “world class lodge” on Goat Island that the governor had backed off the proposal he unveiled last month at one of his State of the State speeches in Amherst.

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Councilmember Kristen Grandinetti got a text from the governor’s assistant saying other sites are under consideration for Cuomo’s Lodge. Grandinetti said the text showed the gov. was listening to her. 

Opponents of the Goat Island lodge plan applauded after Grandinetti said she had received a text message from a Cuomo aide that more locations and proposals will be offered, adding “this tells us they were listening to us,” a reference to the strong opposition the controversial proposal had generated from residents and elected officials across the region.

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This artist’s impression shows an imagined view from the surface one of the three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth that were discovered using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory. These worlds have sizes and temperatures similar to those of Venus and Earth and are the best targets found so far for the search for life outside the Solar System. They are the first planets ever discovered around such a tiny and dim star. In this view one of the inner planets is seen in transit across the disc of its tiny and dim parent star.

Planets identified around dwarf star, 40 light years away, might support life

February 22, 2017 Reporter 0
This artist’s impression shows an imagined view from the surface one of the three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth that were discovered using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory. These worlds have sizes and temperatures similar to those of Venus and Earth and are the best targets found so far for the search for life outside the Solar System. They are the first planets ever discovered around such a tiny and dim star. In this view one of the inner planets is seen in transit across the disc of its tiny and dim parent star.
This artist’s impression shows an imagined view from the surface one of the three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth that were discovered using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory. These worlds have sizes and temperatures similar to those of Venus and Earth and are the best targets found so far for the search for life outside the Solar System. They are the first planets ever discovered around such a tiny and dim star. In this view one of the inner planets is seen in transit across the disc of its tiny and dim parent star.

Seven planets have been discovered orbiting a ‘dwarf’ star named ‘Trappist-1’ which is about 40 light years [235 trillion miles] from Earth.

The findings appeared this week in the journal Nature.

Telescopes on the ground, in space, and scheduled to launch next year, should be able to study the atmosphere and determine if any planet can support life.

Trappist-1 is eight percent of the size of our sun and, at a temperature of 4,150 degrees Fahrenheit, 10,000 degrees cooler.

All seven planets are close to the star, which means they orbit quickly – between 1.5 days to 12.35 days. Scientists think the surfaces of the fourth, fifth and six planets might be at the right temperature to have water, one of the essential conditions for life.

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Native American Ferry Proposal Advanced as New Falls Attraction

February 22, 2017 Reporter 0

BY FRANK PARLATO;

Last week, the idea for ferry service along the Lower Niagara was announced by Matthew Ohji^grago: Ricchiazzi, a Cornell-trained urban planner with an MBA in private equity. He leads a Buffalo-based investment group and his company is Native American owned.

The ferry, consisting of a fleet of 30-passenger boats, will transport tourists along the Lower Niagara at the bottom of the gorge where neither the Maid of the Mist nor the Whirlpool Jet Boats run. For the first time in modern history, passengers will have water access along this safe section of river, below the stratified rock gorge, from near the Niagara pool to the Whirlpool Rapids.

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