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Shocking Cuomo press release reveals real Rationale for Robert Moses Parkway Upgrade

July 22, 2017 James Hufnagel 0
It couldn’t have been made any clearer had it been posted on billboards, shouted from rooftops or written in skywriting.   If there was ever the shadow of a doubt in your mind that the south Robert Moses Parkway reconstruction was intended to do anything other than convey tourists past the city’s business district and directly into Niagara Falls State Park, we recently came across stark evidence, consisting of a press release from Governor Cuomo’s office which was largely overlooked when it was issued a little over a year ago, that spells out the true purpose of the so-called “Riverway” project.   To summarize, the vaunted $http://southbuffalonews.com9 million “Riverway”, promoted by State Parks and local politicians like Mayor Paul Dyster as “removal”, supposedly to reclaim waterfront, until it became obvious to all that nothing was being removed (at which point they started to call it “reconfiguration”), converted a small section of the parkway from four to two lanes, lowering the speed limit on that brief stretch as it approaches a newly-installed European-style traffic circle. An overpass and large berm were removed, so now drivers can enjoy a brief glance at the river as they zip along. Huge signs from the Grand Island bridge to the city limits practically beg drivers to avoid the city and drive directly into the state park.  

All this, of course, after local citizens turned up in large numbers at scoping hearings to demand removal (see the April http://southbuffalonews.com, 20http://southbuffalonews.com4 issue of the Reporter,  read more

We Told You So: Dyster Administration Was Engineered to Fail From the Start

July 22, 2017 Anna Howard 0
The City had a fully qualified engineer, Jeffrey Skurka. Mayor Dyster fired him.
The City had a fully qualified engineer, Jeffrey Skurka. Mayor Dyster fired him.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster’s city hall now has its very own version of the hit http://southbuffalonews.com988 romantic comedy, Groundhog Day, that starred Bill Murray and Andie McDowell. Just as Bill Murray, in pursuit of Andie McDowell, was condemned to relive Groundhog Day until he could understand the errors of his ways, so too are the residents condemned to suffer from the errors of Paul Dyster’s ways as he annually, and insincerely, places his want ad for a city engineer. The latest incarnation of the mayor’s scheme had him placing his call for a city engineer in local papers and on monster.com last week. read more

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Goat Island becoming one big Parking lot 

July 22, 2017 James Hufnagel 0
Goat Island becoming one big Parking lot             Local politicians fiddle as City further deteriorates  

While 20http://southbuffalonews.com5 was a tough year for the newspaper business, the Niagara Falls Reporter came through with flying colors. read more

What’s Really Going on With the Rumored City Hall Personnel Changes?

July 22, 2017 Anna Howard 0

In our last edition, the Reporter explained how the mayor ordered his top personnel to submit updated resumes if they hoped to keep their jobs. Sources told us the mayor was going to rely heavily on the council to review the resumes. The council was to help him decide who had been naughty or nice.

Our column warned that involving the council in personnel matters violated the city charter. It appears the column was read inside city hall because the council has declined to act as Dyster’s personnel management flunky. read more

Taxpayers get cold shoulder on ice pavilion transparency  

July 22, 2017 Anna Howard 0
The city recently announced that it’s accepting RFP’s (requests for proposals) to operate Sal Maglie Stadium. In a Gazette article of December 27, Mayor Dyster said, “We don’t regard the direct operation of Sal Maglie as a cash cow…It doesn’t have the income possibilities as something like the Hyde Park ice pavilion.”

While the story was about the stadium Dyster’s remark opens a door to a question the Reporter has been asking for some time: Exactly how much of a “cash cow” is the ice pavilion? And how can the city possibly justify the more than $http://southbuffalonews.com0 million it has sunk (and continues to sink…the December 28 council agenda has more change orders for the ice rink) into the ice pavilion without providing the taxpayers two things: A complete reporting of how the money has been spent and a credible balance sheet detailing gross and net income generated by the facility. read more

Sensible business or sweetheart deal? Chilton Avenue residents want to know

July 22, 2017 Mike Hudson 2
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The Chilton Ave. small apartment house has been in disrepair for some time.

Niagara Falls – A city-owned Chilton Avenue apartment house set to be sold to a volunteer member of the Dyster administration for $500 was never advertised as being for sale, and no sign was ever posted on the front lawn describing it was such.

Instead, Community Development Director Seth Piccirillo placed a small legal notice in the classified section of the Niagara Gazette asking for a Request For Proposals (RFP) to develop the property.

Why? The move all but ensured that the building would be purchased by a developer rather than a private individual, who may have lived in it while doing renovations. read more

Hard Ball Questions We Would Ask Dyster If He Appeared On Our Talk Show

July 22, 2017 Anna Howard 0

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster appeared on the Tom Darro radio show Wednesday December http://southbuffalonews.com6, and while both he and the host spoke for one hour, little was learned as to how the mayor intends to handle the many serious problems confronting the city.

Little was learned because little in the area of hard questioning took place.

But we have questions of our own that we wouldn’t hesitate to ask if the mayor would sit for an interview with the Reporter. Such as:

The Hamister contract was signed over 25 months ago and still there’s no shovel in the ground. Is the project you hyped for the past two election cycles the complete failure it appears to be? read more

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City’s $435,000 traffic island sculpture nearly identical to $250,000 sculpture

July 22, 2017 Mike Hudson 0
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Niagara Falls is ready to spend $435,000 for a traffic circle art feature that looks a lot like one by he same artist in Virginia Beach (see below).
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This photo-shopped picture shows what the new $435,000 art feature will look like on Rainbow Blvd.

Who is Jeff Laramore? The obscure Midwestern artist selected by the city to design and install a $435,000 piece of sculpture on a deserted Rainbow Boulevard traffic island, directly in front of long shuttered Hotel Niagara, is hardly a household name.

According to his official biography, Laramore is the co-founder of the Indianapolis advertising firm Young & Laramore, an agency that has done business with Procter & Gamble, Goodwill Industries and other well-known companies. He also runs 2nd Globe Studios, a division of Young & Laramore, which he uses to produce and market his sculptures. read more

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It’s the end of the world as Paul Dyster knows it, and he feels fine

July 22, 2017 Anna Howard 0

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Wow, Mayor Dyster needs to take a chill pill…he’s scaring radio talk show listeners with oblique references to nuclear conflagration. When he appeared on the Darro show two weeks ago he told the host that “the natural gas reserves in the northeast have to be protected for the future in case we need them for World War III.”

Does the mayor know something that we – or the CIA or the Pentagon – don’t know? Does the self described “nuclear arms negotiator under the Reagan administration” have an inside track to the Obama White House? Does the three termer mayor have a red phone in his office patching him directly into Putin’s Moscow headquarters? Is that a hydrogen bomb in your pocket, mayor, or are you just glad to be re-elected by 47%? read more

Touma gets the chair, Grandinetti gets the bum’s rush…again

July 22, 2017 Anna Howard 0

(The Reporter’s resident feminist, Anna Howard, says the ‘woman was denied’)

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Andrew Touma is reelected as council chairman by his colleagues on the council

The city council held their 20http://southbuffalonews.com6 reorganization meeting today, January http://southbuffalonews.com, 20http://southbuffalonews.com6. And, as we feared, the male dominated council decided to let current chairman, Andrew Touma, remain in the big seat for 20http://southbuffalonews.com6.  As the saying goes, we’re shocked, but not surprised.

Grandinetti is in the third year of her second four year term and has never been allowed to serve as chairman. While time in office has no direct bearing on being chosen for the position it confounds both logic and common sense that the men on the council can’t see the errors in the way they continue to block the councilwoman from the leadership position. read more

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Niagara Falls Taxpayers will pay to host Great Lakes Conference Dyster given $75,000 blank check to spend as he likes  

July 22, 2017 3
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Conference to be held in Niagara Falls to discuss the Great Lakes; Mayor Dyster will host. Taxpayers will give him a $75,000 slush fund to spend as he pleases.

The city of Niagara Falls will “officially play host” to the 20http://southbuffalonews.com6 Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Cities Initiative annual conference this June.

City taxpayers will officially foot the bill.

The conference will host http://southbuffalonews.comhttp://southbuffalonews.com8 U.S. and Canadian representatives, including representatives from Niagara Falls, who will gather to eat, drink, network and discuss economic and ecological matters pertaining to the Great Lakes.

A last minute “walk-on resolution” by the mayor ensured city taxpayers will help fund the gathering. read more

Poverty Industry Provides Growth Sector For Struggling Falls Economy

July 22, 2017 Mike Hudson 0
What is the future of Pine Ave.?
What is the future of Pine Ave.?

The city of Niagara Falls is home to one of the natural wonders of the world, the mighty cataracts that bring 8 million tourists into the city each year.

The Falls also benefits from the local share of slot machine revenue generated at the Seneca Niagara Casino. In recent years, close to $200 million has been paid out to city officials, for the purpose of promoting economic development in the city.

With the exception of New York City, no other municipality in the state rakes in the tourism dollars like Niagara Falls. And, even though four other municipalities have Indian casinos, none generate the revenue for local government like the Seneca Niagara Casino does here. read more