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Block Clubs Stumble Under Spurback

By Mike Hudson

Mike Hudson with the beautiful Evita Corby, the famous fashion consultant, in Hollywood, Calif.
Spurback’s Facebook is filled with pictures ...of himself... Dancing
Spurback (r) with the inimitable Ken Hamilton (l).
Getting drunk....
Prestigious Facebook “friend,” Roger Trevino, the man who brought us Nik Wallenda and managed NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. The popular Trevino is a Facebook “friend” of Spurback, as he is with thousands of others.
A Facebook “friend”is not a friend in the true sense of the word. A friend is someone you seek to meet and see and enjoy a commonality of interests. A friend is someone you care about and respect. A Facebook “friend” is someone you merely have agreed to share Facebook information with. It costs nothing to “friend” someone. Republican super-attorney and power broker, Henry Wojtaszek (above), is a Facebook “friend” with Roger Spurback, but probably never spent a single day or evening in his company. Frankly, we cannot imagine a single thing the urbane Wojtaszek has in common with the crude and spiteful Spurback. Yet, when Spurback asked the gracious Wojtaszek to be his Facebook “friend,”he consented. Noblese oblige.

In my opinion, the block clubs of Niagara Falls can do some positive good, but, under the maleficent direction of its non-resident leader Roger Spurback, they have become little more than a protection racket.

I say this after considerable thought, careful deliberation and a desire to be of some public service.

The modus operandi of the Spurback-led block clubs is this: With politicians and businesses both, they promise support in return for money. The support isn’t so much, but if you turn them down they attack you. Vilify you on the front pages of the daily newspapers. Launch boycotts and bring in homeless people who picket in return for a sandwich from Arby’s.

It’s been a pretty sweet racket, and they’ve been at it a long time.
Spurback started coming to me back in the days when Jimmy Galie was mayor of Niagara Falls, and I was a cub reporter at the Niagara Gazette.

At our first meeting in Flo Acotto’s old Press Box restaurant, he made no bones about it. He wanted things, and expected me to deliver. This politician was good, that politician was bad.

This local business was run by people with hearts of gold, that local business was run by
heartless bastards who sought to rape the city and drive people out of their homes.

But most of all, he wanted to tell me what a great guy Jimmy Galie was and how he had the support of the people and how I should stop writing bad, albeit truthful, things about the mayor in the Gazette.

Clearly he thought the things he was telling me were newsworthy.

Clearly he was used to having his way with reporters recently parachuted into Niagara Falls from someplace else and – just as clearly – he considered himself a big shot, a superior mind and a man to be reckoned with.

But I’d come here from Manhattan, where big shots, superior minds and men to be reckoned with were pretty much a dime a dozen. To say that I wasn’t impressed in the least with his Hooterville godfather shenanigans would be an understatement. I went back to the office shaking my head at this comical character and his antics.

The years started to roll by and I left the Gazette, worked briefly for the Buffalo News, and then founded the Niagara Falls Reporter. Spurback kept coming around, shilling for Galie until he lost, then Irene Elia until she lost, and then Vince Anello until he lost, and then Paul Dyster.

No two people in the world could have been as different as the former nun Elia and the future convict Anello, but I didn’t wonder for a moment how Spurback could support both of them with equal fervor.

He supported them, like he supported the others, because they gave him money. City funding to his organization has been constant, because our fine Niagara Falls politicians have been too cowardly to say no.

Heck, it’s only the taxpayers’ money anyway!

Once in a while, like the blind squirrel finding the acorn or the broken clock being right twice a day, Spurback found himself on the correct side of some matter. Being an honest newspaperman, I pointed up the fact, even though I loathed him personally.
But most of the time we were at odds. He was always shilling for two-bit politicians as though they were Abraham Lincoln, and bothering people trying to do business in the city with endless demands for money.

Roger Spurback’s grasp on reality grew noticeably shakier after he left Niagara Falls. He began thinking he was actually me and, instead of shilling for worthless politicians, he liked to think he was actually exposing corruption. And instead of shaking down legitimate businesses, he told himself that what he was doing was for the good of the community.

He told many people he was like me, that he and I were two peas in a pod, and that he and I alone understood many of the problems in Niagara Falls like nobody else. After I moved to Hollywood in 2011, he and I became the closest of friends in his increasingly deluded mind.

After all, during my entire 14-year sojourn at the falls, Spurback never once visited my house, nor I his. I can’t remember us ever having a meal together, or a drink, or anything else that might suggest we were actual friends.

But his recent discovery of Facebook, where he can be “friends” with strippers he doesn’t know, and convicted felons he’s buddies with, along with respectable and upstanding Niagara Falls citizens like NFR’s Executive Vice President Roger Trevino, or Republican powerhouse attorney Henry Wojtaszek, apparently confused his mind even more.

Facebook “friends” aren’t really your friends, but don’t try telling that to Roger. As far as he was concerned, he and I were long lost twin brothers separated at birth, and he put up post after post detailing our unusually close bond.

He began “tagging” me in his posts, which meant that they were posted simultaneously on my page when he posted them on his. The vast majority of the people who follow my page have no idea who Spurback, Dyster, Councilmen Sam Fruscione and Glenn Choolokian or former State Assemblywoman Francine Del Monte are, and I don’t like to bore them with it. So I began deleting his posts.

Things escalated, Spurback got mad at the thought that I would have the temerity to disagree with him. He began attacking and threatening me on Facebook, and I wrote an article about it.

“Yet another, vile,..... gutless,...... (sic) outrageous attack from the NF Reporter. I stand proud to stand alone while the gutless politicians (sic) of NF Council use a third party drug abuser, drunken slob he calls himself to attack me on their behalf,” he wrote.

Say what you will, Spurback stands proud to stand alone. What the hell does that even mean?

I could only assume that the “third party drug abuser, drunken slob” he was referring to was me, but he is apparently under the misapprehension that I am attacking him on someone’s behalf.

That’s just not the case. I’m attacking him because he is a loathsome individual who has been part of the problem in Niagara Falls for more than 20 years. He is an enabler of corrupt politicians and one reason that so few honest individuals will come and try to do business in Niagara Falls.

His page is now filled with references to the Buddhist concept of karma, and the empty-headed speculation, expressed with all the eloquence of an inner city child forced to repeat third grade for the second time that the hurt I have done to him will return to me tenfold.

What Spurback doesn’t know is this: The Niagara Falls Reporter is karma.

His karma.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Feb 19 , 2013