It's Only a Shanty in Old Shantytown?Bad penny Rivers turns up once again
By Frank Parlato
No, it is not shantytown.
Sitting in the Niagara Falls DPW yard, these handsome shacks are all that remain of Mayor Paul Dyster's Holiday Market, except, of course, the memories of empty streets and empty vending booths, an undersized Christmas tree, a vacant midget skating rink, concert venues where empty seats outnumbered those filled by a ratio 10 to 1, and of spending almost $500,000 with Idaho promoter Mark Rivers to “develop” this flop.
Promises Rivers made were never delivered. Vendors went unpaid. And neither sales taxes nor parking revenue went up in the city despite Dyster's insistence that the market would be a bonanza for both.
Back in the days leading up to it, Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti was the most ardent supporter of the festival, next to Dyster, saying at one point she was "over the moon" about the project.
The city spent more than $100,000 on the shacks alone and, as they sit rotting in the DPW yard, it is said that on a moonlit night, if one looks upon the shiny, rusting metal roofs, one can almost see the reflection of Grandinetti's silhouette as it passes gently, elegantly and excitedly across the silver moon, sort of a patron saint for naïve and uninformed elected officials who support using public money for immensely stupid projects, without the skill set to investigate their feasibility, and with no accountability for their dunderheadedness to the voters.
Recently the Niagara Falls Reporter got word that Rivers is now, as president of the Bronson companies, partnering with Hard Rock International and planning to put a casino at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield Mass. Hard Rock has proposed plans to build a $700-to-$800 million casino project and Rivers turned up as Hard Rock’s development consultant.
Maybe another shantytown is in the works.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||