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Engineers to get nearly $5 million for design work on Goat Island bridges

February 4, 2016 Mike Hudson 135

Greenman Pedersen, the Albany based engineering and construction firm overseeing the Peace Bridge project in Buffalo, is also in line to receive a healthy chunk of the $4.9 million design contract for the Goat Island bridge replacement project.

The firm signed off on a 131-page preliminary Design Report and Environmental Assessment on the project, which cost $2.4 million, and states that the final design report will cost another $2.5 million. The project itself is estimated at between $21.37 million and $37.32 million, and will involve halting the flow of water over the American Falls for at  least five and perhaps as long as nine months. read more

Chilton apartments given away to Insider: Bad deal or just stupidity?  

February 4, 2016 Mike Hudson 130
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631 Chilton was sold rather quietly for $500 by the city to Karen Mock.

The facts are in. Only two possibilities remain.

Either the purchase of an apartment building located at 631 Chilton Ave. by an appointed volunteer city official with close ties to the Dyster administration represents some sort of shady deal, or the Department of Community Development and its youthful head, Seth Piccirillo, simply botched the process, allowing valuable city property to be possibly transferred into private hands for a measly $500.

The building was never advertised as being for sale and no sign was ever posted on the property to let neighbors and others interested in the property that it was available. read more

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Will Dyster roll, roll, roll the heads at city hall or won’t he?

February 4, 2016 Anna Howard 46

Six weeks ago the Reporter broke a story as to how Mayor Paul Dyster had served his department heads with letters requesting their loyalty in writing along with an updated resume. The department heads had to submit the resume if they hoped to keep their job for 2016.

Other media outlets picked up the story we broke. The Niagara Gazette wrote two editorials on the matter with their second editorial recently calling upon the mayor to retain the current corporation counsel, Craig Johnson, city controller, Maria Brown and police chief, Bryan DalPorto. read more

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The Reporter has consistently led the way on train station coverage and analysis

February 3, 2016 Anna Howard 59

It seems that the Reporter has become – maybe it always was – the Rodney Dangerfield of news reporting. Especially political news reporting. And this in spite of the fact that this paper consistently covers, breaks and editorializes on the uncomfortable issues that are routinely ignored or wished into the cornfield by other media outlets.

Casino taxpayer dollars going out the window, city taxpayer dollars unaccounted for as discovered by the NYS Comptroller, non transparent bidding and public projects featuring seemingly endless work change orders are just a few of the the subjects the Reporter has examined. News that some find as inconvenient truths as the city slides deeper into an abyss of debt and deficit. read more

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Dyster’s claim that health care benefits are necessary to attract council candidates is ridiculous

February 3, 2016 Anna Howard 68

Last week the Reporter broke a story detailing how Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster had vetoed the recently passed council resolution ending the perk of taxpayer paid health insurance for future council members.

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Mayor Paul Dyster does not want to end health care perks for future part time council members.

While the mayor’s killing of the cost saving resolution has puzzled reporters and the general public alike no one has dared to go beyond the highly suspect veto and seek an answer to the question: Why did the mayor veto a perfectly fine, though rare, cost cutting council resolution? read more

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Dyster preserves gilt edged benefits for Council members

February 2, 2016 Mike Hudson 54
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Niagara Falls Council member Kenny Thompkins pushed to have health insurance benefits not made available to future part time council members. Dyster vetoed the measure.

It’s enough to make one wonder what happened to the servant part of public servant. Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster last week vetoed a resolution by the city Council that would have ended the gilt edged health care benefits Council members receive for their part time jobs.

Dyster said the highly unusual veto of a Council resolution for a benefit only Council members receive, was a simple matter of pragmatism.

“Providing a compensation and benefit package which is both fair and responsible is an important factor to ensuring we attract candidates with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints,” he told the Niagara Gazette. read more

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Keep an eye on Chemours Closing: Excuse to treat frackwater, hike taxes, water rates

January 31, 2016 Anna Howard 34

Niagara Falls -Keep an eye on the Chemours closing.

Chemours plans to close its Niagara Falls plant by the end of this  year, eliminating about 200 jobs at the Buffalo Avenue factory.

The Niagara Falls plant makes reactive metals for specialty chemicals industries such as pharmaceutical, pulp and paper and others. It is a DuPont spin off.

With the loss for both the city in taxes and water board in water fees, expect Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster to cite the loss as an excuse to raise taxes and for the water board to cite the loss as a reason to jack up water rates. read more

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When was the last time you did it?

January 31, 2016 Anna Howard 57

There was a time when husbands and wives did it frequently.

Lovers thought it was incredibly romantic to do over and over again.

Sometimes they did it all night long and from city to city.

When was the last time you did it?

Ride the train, that is.

Mayor Paul A. Dyster’s nearly completed $45 million train station will be called ” the Niagara Falls International Railway Station & Intermodal Transportation Center.”

That’s a mouthful – in fact it is the longest name for any train station in America. read more

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Dyster veto stops Tompkins’ council health insurance cost saving measure

January 28, 2016 Anna Howard 50

Niagara Falls – It didn’t take long for freshman councilman Kenny Tompkins to get a close up look at Mayor Paul Dyster’s veto pen. And from what we’re told Mr. Tompkins is not pleased at seeing the mayor – with a stroke of his seldom seen veto pen – strike down the councilman’s resolution, a resolution ending the health insurance benefit for all future members of the city council.

Tompkins’ resolution ending the taxpayer paid health care had been passed in a 3-2 vote at a council meeting two weeks ago. Tompkins, Chairman Andrew Touma and council member Kristen Grandinetti supported the resolution, while Council members Charles Walker and Ezra Scott opposed passage. read more

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Trademarking history: Glynn, Jacobs become owners of American heritage

January 28, 2016 Mike Hudson 46

 

On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill creating the nation’s first federal park at Yosemite, in northern California.

Now Delaware North owner Jeremy Jacobs Sr., who ran concessions in the park from 1993 to 2016, says a trademark he filed makes him the owner of the words “Yosemite National Park.”

The first boat christened The Maid of the Mist was launched in the waters below Niagara Falls in 1846.

 In 1993, Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co. owner Jimmy Glynn, who has run a tour boat concession at Niagara Falls since 1971, filed a trademark on the words “Maid of the Mist.” read more

Grandinetti’s bold commentary on “rape culture” hits home  

January 28, 2016 42
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Whether you agree with her or not, with Niagara Falls Council member Kristen Grandinetti, at least you know where she stands.

 Whether you agree with her or not, you’ve got to give Niagara Falls City Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti credit. She speaks her mind, lets the chips fall where they may and apparently doesn’t worry about what anyone thinks.

Last week, on her Facebook page, the kindergarten teacher posted a picture of a young woman, naked from the waist up, with a cigarette in her hand. Some white makeup is covering her nipples and the words “STILL NOT ASKING FOR IT” are scrawled across her torso with Magic Marker. read more

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Mayor Dyster DOES have a casino revenue spending plan: spend until the money is gone!

January 28, 2016 Anna Howard 57

Last week the city reported that their share of casino revenue had dropped once again. While the city’s handle of the annual slot drop peaked around $22 million in recent years the new annual casino revenue reality is now about $5 million less…and dropping still.

The city’s announcement of the tumbling numbers drew near audible gasps as reported in a Niagara Gazette article that featured quotes from the council chair, the city controller and a member of the council’s Finance Review Panel. read more