Whether exposing the crooked Glynn Maid of the Mist monopoly, criticizing the Niagara Falls State Park “Landscape Improvements” plan which ruined Three Sisters Islands, sounding the alarm on the Parks Police barracks which was slated for the edge of the scenic Niagara Gorge, rallying the public against the demolition of the 1864 Carriage Barn of DeVeaux Woods State Park, documenting how the south Robert Moses Parkway upgrade serves to further isolate the city from its waterfront and tourist assets, or even complaining about closed restrooms at Whirlpool and Devil’s Hole State Parks during the off-season, the Niagara Falls Reporter has served as the de facto watchdog of State Parks for over a decade.
The Reporter was pleased to see freshman council member Ezra Scott decline to support Mayor Dyster’s attempt to walk on a surprise resolution at the recent council meeting. The resolution aimed to tap the city till for up to $75,000 to support the hosting of a meeting of the Great Lakes Council Initiative. The mayor sits on the board of that organization.
We give high marks to Mr. Scott in recognition of his reluctance to spend taxpayer cash on short notice with insufficient information. That being said we can assure the councilman that this won’t be the last time he’s presented with late or deficient resolutions and requests for expenditures.
There’s a mystery brewing on historic Chilton Avenue and several community activists have expressed interest in getting to the bottom of the puzzle’s particulars at the January 13 Planning Board meeting.
The city, under the guidance of Seth Piccirillo, director of Mayor Paul Dyster’s Community Development Department, sold 631 Chilton Avenue to Develop Niagara LLC for $500. The remarkably low selling price has people questioning the deal. While the Planning Board signed off on the property transfer the final approval of the council is now needed to close the purchase.
Vince Anello is a former Niagara Falls mayor and a current radio talk show host. He is also, by the nature of his time as mayor and councilman, a consummate student of municipal government. And for that reason he has become persona non grata with the Dyster administration.
On his December 31 show the former mayor explained in a frustrated tone how the current mayor has apparently decided that he’s someone to be ignored. Mr. Anello explained that Mayor Dyster, “continues to take shots at me…I’ve been out of office for eight years now…none of my calls are returned.”
The Midtown Inn.
For many residents on the city’s Southeast side, the ramshackle rooming house held a terror that would rival that of the Bates Motel, featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1963 tale of terror, “Phycho.”
The inn was a target of controversy in 2009 when the New York State Division of Parole began placing level 2 and level 3 sex offenders there after their release from prison. At one point, sexual predators were housed in the joint, which is located in an otherwise quiet residential neighborhood, 1,500 feet of the city’s Niagara Street Elementary School and less than 200 feet from a church operated day care center.
One hundred thousand dollars.
It’s a lot of money anywhere, but in a place like Niagara Falls, where money’s tight and jobs are scarce, it can be considered a fortune.
In a city where the per capita income for all residents is just $20,327 and the average household scrapes by on $31,531, according to the website City-Data.com, $100,000 is the stuff that dreams are made out of.
A report by the New York State Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments shows Niagara Falls to be the most highly taxed municipality in New York State in proportion to the value of the property being taxed.
By Ken Tompkins
During my campaign, I focused on ways in which to reduce the city’s financial footprint and save tax payers’ money.
One way was to reduce or eliminate the health care benefits and insurance opt-out payments for part-time elected officials and part-time political appointees (like the civil service commissioner).
On Monday, January http://southbuffalonews.comhttp://southbuffalonews.com, 20http://southbuffalonews.com6, the Niagara Falls City Council passed two resolutions. The first resolution, which defined city employees not included under the collective bargaining agreement as full time employees, was unanimously passed.
These days every other website is doing rankings.
And website ranking opinions are like certain anatomical parts – everybody has one or two of them.
So this website called Road Snacks decides to rank cities in New York State and using their yardstick – Niagara Falls is the third worst place to live in New York State.
They don’t live here. Maybe they haven’t even spent a day here. It doesn’t mean too much, but here is what they wrote anyway:
Goodness gracious what was councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti thinking as she put pen to paper, or cursor to screen, to write her Gazette January http://southbuffalonews.comhttp://southbuffalonews.com, guest view titled, “The resumes are in”? The column heartily defended Mayor Dyster’s pre-Christmas call for a review of department head resumes. Dyster’s demand for his top people to submit resumes and letters of intent was first reported on by the Reporter and later used without attribution by other media. No matter, the Reporter sees this sort of story “borrowing” as the highest form of journalism flattery.
In fairness, the city of Niagara Falls’ share of the total cost is “only” $50,000. The remaining funds are to come from USA Niagara and the Niagara
Aside from the fact that they all happen to be Democrats, President Barack Obama, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Paul Dyster all have another trait in common – The belief that they can punish members of the press and the news organizations they work for by freezing them out, obstructing the news gathering process in retaliation for anything less than favorable coverage.
The tactic is not new. In fact it was developed by movie studios and record companies who literally ran reporters out of New York City and Hollywood and bankrupted publications for criticizing their product, a practice that has continued in those places to this day.
Bad luck comes in threes, they say, and for residents of Niagara Falls this cliché has been visited with a vengeance. The perennially cash strapped city has both the highest crime rate and the highest taxes per capita of any municipality in New York State, and is run by a disproportionately large number of administrators who make more than $http://southbuffalonews.com00,000 annually.
The city boasts one of the best known tourist attractions on the face of the earth, the majestic falls themselves, and is the site of the Seneca Niagara Casino which, until recently, has contributed an average of $20 million a year into the city’s coffers.