04/24/11: Bradley files complaint with EEOC
Clarence Bradley has taken the first step toward getting his city job back. He retained prominent civil rights attorney Steven M. Cohen of the law firm of Hogan Willig, and on March 23, filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging the city treated him differently than other employees with similar sets of circumstances. Mr. Bradley was the only black man among those listed.
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04/24/11: Choolokian 'eager' for Holiday Market audit
Calling the Holiday Market a "flop," newly elected Niagara Falls council member Glenn Choolokian said he's "licking his chops" to see the report on the Holiday Marker due May 1 as part of an agreement crafted between USA Niagara, the city and the Market's developer Idaho businessman Mark Rivers.
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04/24/11: Dream pitched for Niagara Falls Epcot needs real money
Earlier this month, an interesting story appeared in the Niagara Gazette, written by Mark Scheer, entitled "'Dream' pitched for downtown Niagara Falls." The story is about 17-year-old Dominic Daoust, an intrepid Niagara Falls High School senior and "his mentor," Art Garabedian, owner of Art's Woodshop & School of Woodworking on Portage Road.
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04/17/11: Time to consider evicting Albany and Seneca
For more than two years, they haven't paid a dime. Perhaps it is time to consider eviction, foreclosure or to cancel the contract. Time to develop municipal muscle.
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04/10/11: School district referendum taking shape with specific renovation plans
The Niagara Falls School District is holding a referendum Sept. 25 for voters to decide whether the district should make certain capital improvements to their 11 campuses at, in effect, state taxpayers' expense.
Sixty percent of voters, a "super majority," have to agree to get the state money.
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04/03/11: Curbing a spendthrift Mayor
So now the city of Niagara Falls is out of money, because they just figured out that the Seneca casino money hasn't come in for two years.
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04/03/11: Maziarz, Anello FOIL Dyster spending
Niagara Falls Controller Maria Brown has been receiving a lot of FOILs lately.
All are requesting costs and budgets.
The spending spree of Mayor Paul Dyster is finally under review.
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03/27/11: Ceretto and Maziarz now challenging low-rent Maid of the Mist in State Park
New York State Sen. George Maziarz, R- Newfane, and State Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-Lewiston, met with representatives of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, a group that included a battery of lawyers and commissioner Rose Harvey, last week to discuss the status of boat tours in the Niagara Falls State Park.
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03/27/11: Tuscarora local government akin to dictatorship without police power
After months of hard pounding and harsh criticism by his detractors, with only silence on the part of Tuscarora Chief Leo Henry, his supporters have finally come to his defense.
And ironically his detractors have gone into hiding.
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03/20/11: True salaries FOIL-requested by Reporter for Mayor, top aides
It comes with the territory -- working in the public sector -- that your income is public. If you want privacy, work in the private sector, where people through taxation are not forced to pay your wages.
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03/20/11: School district to try referendum again to renovate schools with 100 percent state reimbursement
The 11 campuses of the Niagara Falls School District are in need of renovations. Sooner or later, things will have to be done.
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03/13/11: Ceretto to ask questions concerning New York Maid of the Mist
While the Maid of the Mist is preparing to launch boats early this year because of an unusually clement winter, an icy wind is blowing over Albany and the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (New York Parks) concerning the boat tours below Niagara Falls and the future of a lease New York Parks created in 2002 with Maid operator James V. Glynn.
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03/13/11: While beset with challenges and strife, Tuscarora Nation has taken steps to preserve the past and face the future.
We have devoted many pages of criticism to longtime Tuscarora Chief Leo Henry.
We have suggested he has saved money for the Nation in various accounts in the name of the Tuscarora people (controlled by Henry) that should already have been spent on the reservation to serve its people's needs.
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03/06/11: Ceretto, Maziarz meeting with parks to explore open bidding, other issues on New York Maid of the Mist
The people of New York are not getting a fair rent from one of their tenants -- James V. Glynn of Lewiston, operator of the Maid of the Mist in the Niagara Falls State Parks.
Right across the river, in Ontario, the province recently demanded fair rent from Glynn, who, as in New York, has for decades leased land and dock space for his Canadian Maid of the Mist operations. Ontario put that lease out to bid.
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02/28/11: How Glynn lost his lease
It began in January 2008, when Tim Parker, general manager of Ripley Entertainment, expressed an interest to then-NPC Chairman Jim Williams in bidding on the Canadian boat lease called the Maid of the Mist.
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02/28/11: Getting facts straight on Maid of the Mist
Let's get the facts straight.
The lease for the boat tour in Niagara Falls, Ont., currently called the Maid of the Mist, has been awarded to a new operator, Hornblower Cruises & Events.
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02/21/11: Drastically different Reporter stories, on shocking Tuscarora abuse and Niagara Falls Memorial's superior care
During the last year, the Niagara Falls Reporter devoted a fair amount of space to two ongoing stories.One is a success story: the struggle and triumph of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, under the leadership of Joseph Ruffolo and the board of directors there.The other is a kind of tragedy or horror story, a story of great injustice.
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02/21/11: Anello to give extensive interview on Paonessa show
Former Niagara Falls mayor Vince Anello will be granting what is presumably his first in-depth interview since emerging from federal prison, on the Niagara Broadcast Network (www.nbn7900.com), Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
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02/14/11: Schumer mistaken on risk of losing New York Maid of the Mist
Contrary to the scare stories, the Maid of the Mist boat ride in New York is not in jeopardy. The source of the scare comes from a misinformed press release from the office of U.S. Sen. Chuck E. Schumer that was picked up by local and national media.
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02/07/11: Local SPCA controversy over Euthanasia truly a national issue not easily solvable
The controversy surrounding the Niagara County SPCA, the protests and the publicity, might lead one to believe the evil alleged -- that staff regularly euthanized healthy or treatable dogs and cats -- was a local problem specific to that facility.
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01/31/11: SPCA investigation invites look at other forms of animal cruelty
There is, of course, a lot of controversy and indignation over the alleged improper and excessive euthanasia of cats and dogs at the Niagara County SPCA.
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01/24/11: Opponents must not sink to Dyster's level in attacking Grandinetti
A few weeks ago, Niagara Falls Republican City Chairman Robert Krause sent a letter to Niagara County District Attorney Michael Violante asking his office to investigate whether Niagara Falls City Councilmember Kristen Grandinetti intentionally or accidentally collected overpayments totaling $5,670 last year on her health insurance opt-out bonus from the city.
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01/17/11: Double standard of justice for Dyster
It was a very basic double standard. Consider how vastly differently Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster handled two sets of similar circumstances involving two employees of the city. Dyster said it was an "honest mistake," caused by a "clerical error," that permitted Council member Kristin M. Grandinetti to receive $5,670 more than she was entitled to receive last year.
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01/10/11: Being under investigation might be a good thing
I found out last week that there is a pretty good chance that I am "under investigation" by the FBI and IRS -- two combinations of pretty powerful-sounding letters.
This is something that usually strikes fear in everyone's heart, especially the guy being investigated. My reaction, however, to this interesting news was just the opposite. I was almost somewhat happy about it.
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01/10/11: Dyster should end corporate welfare
From Holiday Markets and Hard Rock taxpayer-funded concerts, to culinary institutes, Experience Centers, Underground Railroad museums, blues festivals, health spas, low-budget locally made amateur movies, studies for the benefit of private business on revamping old schools into apartments, to the opening of a simple wine bar or a chain restaurant like TGI Fridays, anything related to growth in Niagara Falls seems to require taxpayer-funded boosts from the administration of Mayor Paul Dyster.
Unfortunately, the model doesn't work.
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01/03/11: Grandinetti overpayment, Pine Ave. lights, and top-secret plans for 310 Rainbow Blvd.
At the Council meeting last week, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster told the Council that he, USA Niagara chief Chris Schoepflin, and Empire State Development local head Sam Hoyt have seven proposals for what has been called the "old balloon property" at 310 Rainbow Boulevard, about 1,000 feet from the brink of the American Falls.
Dyster would not tell the Council much about the nature of the proposals.
"It's confidential," he said.
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01/03/11: A bad experience for Dyster
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, along with the board of the Niagara Experience Center Inc., a so-called not-for-profit corporation, have been trying for years to get taxpayer money to help design a "virtual" Niagara Falls museum, to be built a few hundred feet from the real Niagara Falls.
Last month, the board tried but was unable to persuade Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Economic Development Council, headed by Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, to give them $5 million for plans, designs and studies.
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12/20/11: Grandinetti overpaid on health insurance opt-out, police underdeployed, Sal's jokes
Niagara Falls Council member Kristin Grandinetti, according to documents obtained by the Niagara Falls Reporter, has been wrongly listed on her health insurance opt-out paperwork, resulting in a scheduled overpayment of $6,186 in 2012.
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12/20/11: Shocking revelations at Holiday Market
The big news at the taxpayer-funded Niagara Holiday Market, aside from its continued dismal attendance, is that apparently, without disclosing it publicly, Market developer Mark Rivers is operating seven of the vending booths himself.
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12/13/11: Holiday Market attendance pathetic
The Niagara Holiday Market continued its downward spiral last week, with attendance figures averaging less than 200 people per day on weekdays.
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12/13/11: Seneca masquerading push poll as objective poll on gaming monopoly
We aren't quite as stupid -- we Americans -- as the Seneca leadership thinks we are.
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12/06/11: Holiday Market not living up to promises
Last week, it was widely reported that more than 20,000 people visited the Niagara Holiday Market over Thanksgiving Day weekend.The Market -- which consists of 33 vendors in wooden booths and tents along Old Falls Street, along with an ice-skating rink and some special events -- is a publicly funded venture meant to bring extra life and business to downtown Niagara Falls during the holiday season.
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12/06/11: Senecas clamp down on illegal cigarettes
Over the years, various illegal schemes have been used to evade taxes and fees when it comes to the sale of tobacco. They range from interstate trafficking to avoid paying state excise taxes to smuggling cigarettes into the United States by criminal organizations. One of the more serious schemes is the manufacture and sale of what are called "rollies," which are unlicensed, unmarked, unnamed cigarettes -- usually 200 at a clip -- generally sold in clear plastic ziplock sandwich bags, usually at Native American smoke shops.
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11/29/11: Patrol cars and pay cuts: Another day in city government
According to sources, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster phoned police one recent weekend evening to report that "shots were fired" in his neighborhood. A policeman responded, searched the neighborhood, the alleys, etc., and found nothing.
Except for who made the call, it was hardly unique.
11/29/11: Holiday Market headed for failure, waste of public money
It kind of looks like it was a total con job.But you can bet Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and USA Niagara chief Chris Schoepflin -- who together saw to it that Idaho developer Mark Rivers got $450,000 of public money to put on his Holiday Market -- will spin it as a rip-roaring success.But one look -- on opening day, for instance, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year -- indicates that this Holiday Market will be a total bust.
11/22/11: Anger misdirected at Fruscione for high insurance opt-out plan
The Buffalo News recently published a story that introduced to many people an interesting facet of local governance -- with a slight point sharpened at Niagara Falls.
First a little background: As most people know, government provides health insurance to its employees. Taxpayers pay for what is usually expensive and comprehensive, if not the Cadillac versions of health insurance for government workers. A health insurance policy for a government worker frequently costs more than $16,000 per year.
11/22/11: Will Holiday Market deliver?
Last March, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster worked hard to secure a deal that granted $450,000 of public money to Mark Rivers of Brix and Company of Idaho to develop a Holiday Market on Old Falls Street near the Niagara Falls State Park.
11/15/11: Dyster narrow re-election tempered by apparent Choolokian victory in Council
The voters in Niagara Falls decided not to fire Mayor Paul Dyster.
They re-elected him last week by a fairly slim margin.
It was, in fact, a record low turnout. Only 9,052 registered voters, out of a possible 25,401-- a mere 36 percent bothered to vote.
Of these, 4,756 or 19 percent of the total electors in this city voted for Dyster.
11/07/11: Destino offers hope for future; Dyster still wedded to the past
This well may be the last time a story appears in these pages about the doings of one Paul Dyster, current mayor of Niagara Falls. By the time you read this, the election may be decided and perhaps the good mayor will be a lame duck.
11/07/11: The time is now to determine if Dyster represents the best future for Falls
It is now 2011, and many of the people who overwhelmingly elected Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster in 2007 have had four years to contemplate his words versus his record. "It's pretty obvious something big is happening on the streets of Niagara Falls," Dyster told the Buffalo News last week. That is true, of course. There is something big on the streets -- crime, for instance.
11/01/11: Candidate Destino on the issues
Reporter: What is your view of the fact that Mayor Paul Dyster used $13,500 of taxpayer money to make his own street a historic district?
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11/01/11: Critical Falls Council Election favors Choolokian for good governance
In the event Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster is re-elected, a pro-Dyster or rubber-stamp City Council should -- at all costs -- be avoided. A vote for Glenn Choolokian, running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines, rather than Alicia Laible in the upcoming council election will help accomplish an independent council with proper checks and balances.
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11/01/11: Illegal power shut off linked to land grab on Tuscarora Nation
The madness continues on the Tuscarora Reservation, with the power-mad ruling clique called by many the Gang of Four continuing to strip individual members of the most basic of civil and human rights based on petty pique and personal vendettas. Just last week, a National Grid worker showed up at the reservation home of Brandon Rickard with the intention of turning off the electricity. The Upper Mountain Road home has been in the Rickard family for three generations, and he currently lives there with his children, ages 6, 4, 2 and 1.
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10/25/11: What a second Dyster term might look like
While crystal-ball gazing is considered esoteric, and by most hardnosed and practical people a largely useless bit of nonsense, there is one method that might be useful to predict the future of any person: a careful review of his past. With Paul Dyster poised to return for another four years as mayor of Niagara Falls, some folks around here are wondering what a second Dyster term might look like.
10/25/11: Radio-free Dyster or Softball Darro?
In 2007, before he was mayor, Paul Dyster successfully lobbied the Niagara Falls City Council to spend taxpayer dollars to repair the roof of the former Niagara Falls high school, whose occupants were operating then, as they are now, as the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, or the NACC.
10/18/11: What every school kid should know about Niagara Falls
Here are some facts every school kid should know about his hometown of Niagara Falls before he grows up and moves out of the area.
LITTLE CITY -- BIG TAXES
10/11/11: 'Slight tax increase' in Dyster budget slightly misleading
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster is proposing what has been called a "slight tax increase" that will accomplish a "balanced budget" for 2012. Before we get into details, let me remind the reader that, as the cover story reports, Niagara Falls' unemployment rate is the highest in New York state.
10/04/11: Doctored crime numbers portraying peaceful scene
According to a Sept. 25 front-page Niagara Gazette story, crime is down in Niagara Falls -- at least in the business districts. "From 2010 through this year, reported cases of serious crime were lower almost across the board in all seven of the city's business neighborhoods," theGazette wrote. "In the isolated instances where crime went up, the increases were in single digits."
09/27/11: NPC and Maid of the Mist lease investigated by OPP
Following a series of articles in the Niagara Falls Reporter on the secretive dealings between the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) and Lewiston businessman and longtime operator of the Maid of the Mist concession James V. Glynn, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are investigating the secret deal and other furtive dealings at the NPC. It was more than a year ago when the Ontario Minister of Tourism canceled Glynn's lease and put it out to bid. In the aftermath, all of the principal commissioners and the general manager of the NPC were fired or resigned abruptly.
09/27/11: Pine Avenue Hardware an authentic American pioneer
Enzo Luciani has been in the hardware business his whole life. His father, "Forty," got him into the business. Enzo, like most good men, thinks much of his father, who apprenticed at Hefilfinger's Hardware in 1912 at the location that was Pete's Market House.
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09/20/11: A pansy mayor and post-primary ruminations
It was a curious primary day in Niagara Falls -- that poorest of cities -- with perhaps the most famous natural wonder in the world. As a matter of fact, Forbes magazine ranked Niagara Falls as the eighth top destination in America. Yet the city is broke.
09/12/11: Dyster shows ethical and competency lapses
On Tuesday, Sept. 13, Niagara Falls Democrats will cast votes in their primary for the present mayor, Paul Dyster, or any of three other candidates -- John Accardo, Carnell Burch or Norton Douglas -- a referendum in effect on whether Democrats want incumbent Dyster or a fresh face to face the rising star of local Republicans, Johnny Destino, in the general election.
09/06/11: Dyster and Laible a primary pair to help Buffalo interests
Alicia M. Laible is Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster's hand-picked candidate for Niagara Falls City Council. Laible got the endorsement of the city Democratic Committee, a motley group of Dyster supporters, led by former state assemblywoman Francine Del Monte, who lives in a mansion in Lewiston; lawyer Craig Touma, whose wife was appointed City Court judge by Dyster and who sources say owns an elegant chalet in Ellicottville; and, of course, Dyster's wife, Rebecca.
08/30/11: Is Jayne Park really off the drawing board, as Dyster says?
For Cayuga Island residents, a small word of advice: Keep your eye on the ball. Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster sent a special campaign mailer to all Cayuga Island homes last week calling the writers at the Niagara Falls Reporter "liars" because we suggested his plan for Jayne Park is lying dormant until after the election.
08/30/11: Buffalo's LiRo Engineering has a lot at stake in seeing Dyster re-elected
It's now too late in the Niagara Falls summer tourist season to construct the proposed storefront/outside booths on Old Falls Street, even though about $150,000 of taxpayer money was set aside for LiRo Engineering of Buffalo to study and draw design plans for about 10 booths. They won't be built this year, if ever.
08/23/11: Who should vote for Dyster?
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster's fortunes are sinking fast. If the primary were held today, Dyster would probably be beaten badly by John Accardo, a lifelong resident, businessman and taxpayer in the Falls. Nevertheless, there must be some who will vote for Dyster. But who?
08/16/11: Darro asked to challenge Dyster
On Monday, Aug. 8, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster appeared on the Tom Darro WJJL radio call-in talk show. Dyster was not at his best. He made excuses for not fighting harder to get the casino money, saying he is using his superb knowledge of negotiating to play his cards correctly. He declined to comment on the death of the poor man on his bike who fell into an open catch basin on 17th Street -- saying it was a legal matter and he had to remain quiet.
08/16/11: Dyster's mailers reveal dishonest character
In the past few weeks, registered Democrats have been receiving in their mailboxes oversized postcards on cardboard stock -- political mailers, they're called. Most of these have content attacking mayoral candidate John Accardo. They were paid for by the Niagara Falls City Democratic Party Committee, run by and for the benefit of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
08/09/11: Mayor Dyster's dirty tricks against opponents show poor character
It is the policy of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster to sue every candidate who opposes him, claiming their nominating petitions are fraudulent, insufficient, invalid or anything he can think of.
08/02/11: Dyster discredits police by leaping to sign consent order
A consent order was signed between the city of Niagara Falls and the New York State Attorney General that mandates hiring a private consulting firm to monitor the behavior of police in this city. Its genesis apparently came from some 30 citizen complaints alleging that Niagara Falls police officers engaged in behavior the Attorney General's office said suggested a pattern of "excessive use of force primarily against African-American residents."
08/02/11: Six arrested selling stolen Discovery Passes to tourists
A combined task force led by New York State Parks Police arrested six men in connection with an organized criminal enterprise that operated out of a city-owned parking lot downtown. Four others were arrested.
07/26/11: Unsavory tidbits along Dyster trail
It's campaign time, and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster each moment is looking more like our fifth consecutive one-term mayor. His fortunes are falling faster than crime is rising, or than potholes are ruining cars here. I get a lot of Dyster jokes from comedic readers, most of them too filthy to print, but some clean ones deserve the light of day.
Q: What do you call 100 dead Dyster consultants on the floor of the ocean?
A: A good start.
07/26/11: Dyster lies in weeds at Jayne Park
Something's up. Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster had a Department of Public Works crew taking down dead trees all of a sudden, and he has taken out the girls baseball diamond at Jayne Park on Cayuga Island.
07/19/11: Radio free Dyster with Darro and the Dap-Kings
It seems whenever Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster appears on the Tom Darro WJJL radio show, nothing of substance is addressed. During the mayor's appearance last week, Darro never asked him about any of the controversial issues that haunt the administration as it plummets through its last dark months of inept existence before the voters get a chance to elect a competent mayor.
07/19/11: Dyster hands out taxpayer bucks for local violent film
There are some local people who have been producing what is by today's standards an exceedingly low-budget film they call "Crimson." They formed a company called Little Sicily Productions and work out of the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (NACC) on Pine Avenue.
07/12/11: Streets in disgraceful condition, despite Dyster's claim to be the 'paving mayor'
Before Paul Dyster became mayor of Niagara Falls, he announced he was appointing his good friend Dave Kinney as director of the Department of Public Works (DPW). No out-of-town hires here. No one from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Ohio or Florida. This job required a man of talent. But, because Kinney is only a local man, he need not be paid the $100,000-per-year salary Dyster reserves for out-of-town hires.
07/12/11: Accused embezzler duped more than IRS
From time to time, the Niagara Falls Reporter has the unpleasant task of reporting on the misdeeds of past or present advertisers.One of these cases is that of Marc Irwin Korn, 54, of Amherst, who advertised with us frequently as the proprietor of Fairchild Manor in Lewiston.
07/05/11: Wasting money a Hallmark of Dyster administration
The taxpayer-funded Blues Festival is expanding to three days this year. This event is put together by a group of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster's friends and supporters since 2008. Dyster is so proud of the festival -- I am not making this up -- that he posed in sunglasses to advertise the event. The city with the highest taxes in the country in proportion to the value of its real estate is spending $30,000 for a blues concert.
06/28/11: Taking credit a habit for Dyster
Along the way, a publisher of a local news publication such as the Niagara Falls Reporter is likely to learn a lot about various individuals in the community. A number of them have been elected to public office. As an example of what a publisher learns, for instance, on May 1, at 11:35 p.m., I heard -- as we all did -- that Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan.
06/21/11: Dyster levels propaganda charge
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster and his campaign team, led by the, depending on who you speak to, "outspoken" or "loudmouthed" city Democratic Party Chairman David Houghton, have accused this newspaper of being a "propaganda machine" working on behalf of "a behind the scenes coalition of Republicans and old-style politicians" who want to oust Dyster from office in the upcoming election.
06/21/11: Dyster and his Buffalo supporters
It is peculiar. From the evidence of his disclosure filings, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster may have more campaign contributors from Buffalo than Niagara Falls. Many of these donors have gotten something in return. It is interesting how high a rate of return one can get through a simple donation to the campaign fund of Paul Dyster.
06/14/11: The out-of-town dumbest and worst for Dyster and his voters
Back in 2007, Paul Dyster was elected mayor of Niagara Falls, in part, because of, or in spite of a fairly bizarre premise that he promised to the voters. He said he wanted his top positions at City Hall filled with the "brightest and best" people -- from out of town. He said he would conduct nationwide searches and get only people who never lived in Niagara Falls to run our city. The dumb locals would work under these new out-of-town hires.
06/07/11: Don Glynn and his 'shabby' state park, and Dyster without a canoe at Jayne Park
Don Glynn is certainly a fine writer and a bit of an institution in Niagara Falls. Last week, for the Niagara Gazette, he wrote of the opinion of some, including himself, that the Niagara Falls State Park is "shabby and underfinanced."
06/07/11: Delmonte mailer targets wrong man
Let it be duly recorded that the first negative piece of mail in the Niagara Falls mayoral campaign of 2011 came from Francine Del Monte's city Democratic Committee, which is backing the re-election efforts of Mayor Paul Dyster.
05/31/11: Lack of city engineer may be Dyster design
Mayor Paul A. Dyster is now in his fourth and probably last year in office. For most of that time, there has been no city engineer. Dyster had none from Jan. 1, 2008, when he first took office, until March 30, 2009, when he hired the ill-fated, unlicensed Ali Marzban from Los Angeles.
05/24/11: Dyster wastes money, permits dubious job assignments, out-of-town heads
Longtime readers will remember the name Willie Santiago, a foreman for the Niagara Falls Department of Public Works. Santiago -- or as he is affectionately known, "Millie Willie," so named for his 2003 arrest, a direct result of the reporting of this paper, for complicity in the theft of city asphalt millings -- was back at his old job.
05/24/11: Niagara Falls Memorial honors employees for years of service
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo -- the man credited with turning the hospital around -- congratulated some of the people who helped him accomplish what some describe as a miraculous save of one of the city's longest-operating institutions. Memorial was established toward the end of the 19th century.
05/17/11: Virtuoso on Paonessa show, Dyster hams it up in movies
Last week, Dennis Virtuoso appeared on the Sal Paonessa Internet talk show -- the Niagara Broadcast Network, www.nbn7900.com -- to decry certain things written in this publication. Among the noteworthy things Virtuoso told Paonessa was that he worked 60 hours a week at his City Hall job. This means Virtuoso gets 20 hours a week of overtime for his hybrid role as acting director of the Code Enforcement Department and as a code enforcement officer. He is presumably both a union member with rights to overtime and a department head with the right to assign work requiring overtime.
05/17/11: Incumbent Anderson's independence leads Dyster regime to deny endorsement
Many of our readers found it interesting that the Niagara Falls City Democratic Committee did not endorse incumbent Democrat Council member Robert Anderson, possibly the most popular Council member in recent history. Incumbents like county Legislator Dennis Virtuoso and Mayor Paul A. Dyster of Niagara Falls easily won endorsements, but oddly, Anderson did not.
05/10/11: Maid's 'Troubled Waters' due to Reporter
As Mayor Paul Dyster and County Legislator Dennis Virtuoso whine about coverage and threaten to sue the Niagara Falls Reporter, it is weirdly reminiscent of an earlier mayor and other subjects of some of the Reporter's stories. They all -- to a man and woman -- said what we published was patently untrue, until the fateful day came when it was proven to be true and a sea change came to the people and the institutions involved.
05/10/11: Memorial to hold stroke awareness month
Niagara County's first New York State-designated stroke center, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, will hold a series of community events to promote stroke awareness and prevention in May. Headlining the series will be "Time Lost is Brain Lost: Preventing and Treating Stroke." The free event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 14, at Niagara Catholic High School, 520 66th St., Niagara Falls.
05/03/11: Bradley arrest, Bax enforced leave set precedent for Dyster publicity and ouster
Now that the Dyster administration -- and, perhaps, Mayor Paul Dyster himself -- appears to be under federal investigation over the Dyster-Liberale demolition scandal, it might be instructive to look back at Dyster's handling of the arrest of Clarence Bradley and the enforced leave of Guy Bax.
05/03/11: Memorial's message for National Stroke Awareness Month: 'Time lost is brain lost'
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is planning an intensive outreach to teach the community about Stroke awareness and stroke prevention. Numerous events will occur during May.
04/26/11: Are you better off than before Dyster?
Back in 2008, when Mayor Paul Dyster insisted on a $110,000 salary for his new city administrator, Donna Owens of Atlanta, some insiders predicted he would seriously skew City Hall salaries for years to come. And so he did.Today there is an endless run on the bank and endless bellyaching, as those who don't make as much as Owens wheedle and connive behind the scenes to get what she got from the mayor.
04/26/11: Get involved in School Charter issue
This is one you ought to attend.
A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Niagara Falls Board of Education Auditorium at 630 66th Street. The topic will be a proposed and costly charter school, in this case, one with a fancy name, College and Career Girls Prep Charter School.The hearing should be of interest to every taxpayer and particularly everyone who has children in Niagara Falls public schools.
04/26/11: Spin-off? What spin-off?
Albany gave the Seneca Gaming Corp 50 acres of land in the heart of Niagara Falls, tax free status and a monopoly on gaming throughout this region in 2003.
04/19/11: Dyster the butt of tasteless jokes
Mayor Paul "A-for-Apple-Head" Dyster is not what he appears to be. Or what he says he is. Everybody knows that.
04/19/11: Memorial hospital offers top-flight ER
Several years ago under the direction of Joseph Ruffolo, president of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, a determination was made to improve the Emergency Department (ED).
04/12/11: From Bombs to Brews... and other stupid things the Mayor does
Many of the lesser intelligent lights in this city think that Mayor Paul "A-for-Apple-Head" Dyster is what he appears to be. We have the definite impression that he is not.
04/12/11: Crayon sign at City Hall praises Mayor
I know some of you will find this a little hard to believe, but Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster has a 10-foot-tall paper sign, written in crayon or colored markers, hanging in the main lobby at City Hall directly across from his office. The sign appears written in a child's hand, or rather several children's hands. It's been there for about a year.
04/12/11: Downsizing school board may create unintended problems
A potential plan to reduce the Niagara Falls Board of Education nine-seat school board to five is one of the dumbest ideas proposed in a long time. School board member Johnny G. Destino, who was elected to a five-year term last May, said downsizing the board would save money on conference and travel expenses and "rightsize" the board to the current population of Niagara Falls.
04/05/11: Do all paved roads lead to Dyster's re-election?
Mayor Paul Dyster's sycophants, the misinformed and the gullible, are walking around town muttering, "He paved so many streets, I guess we have to re-elect him." Our standards for political leadership have fallen so low that the simple act of applying asphalt on a city road -- a simple, normal and expected function of governance in most cities -- becomes here the road to re-election.
04/05/11: Charter School issue has Mayor working hard behind the scenes
Mayor Paul Dyster, we learned, apparently loves charter schools -- schools paid for by the taxpayers -- without an elected school board to oversee them. It is believed he has been talking to the charter school planners of Buffalo for some time now.
04/05/11: Dyster can't fix Falls, solves Libya
The day to day scramble to fill news space on television stations is a rugged test fit only for the heartiest news-chasing souls.
Perhaps it was in that frenzied state of "how do we fill the half hour," that Channel 2 sent out reporters to track down Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster on March 28 to get his take on the crisis currently playing out in Libya.
04/05/11: Dyster's election opportunity: Calling us racists wont' get votes
There are experienced political observers who believe that Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster's motive behind the creation of an Equal Employment Opportunity office in 2010 was a cynical political ploy.
The mayor, some believe, stoked the fears of the minority community so he could then hold himself out as their savior, the fireman who could extinguish the blaze of racism in Niagara Falls.
03/29/11: Anderson ready to do without big tobacco companies on reservation
New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo hopes to collect state excise taxes on cigarettes on Indian reservations. This would garner a hoped-for $130 million for the state and end the $5-per-pack disparity between reservations and regular retail operations in local stores -- at least for the sale of major brands of cigarettes.
03/29/11: Labor pains or labor gains for Dyster and high-priced Buffalo lawyers?
Last week, we reported that big-time Buffalo lawyers are wooing Dyster, and not only taking him to fancy events, but throwing big Buffalo fundraising parties for him. We wonder why?
03/29/11: Fruscione, Anderson hold Dyster, Rivers accountable on Holiday Market
Let's give a little credit to Council Chairman Sam Fruscione and Councilman Bob Anderson for rewriting Mayor Paul Dyster's deal to give $225,000 of public money to Mark Rivers of Brix and Co. to develop a Holiday Market on Old Falls Street near the state park. The deal got better for the city, and some safeguards were added by the two Council members that would not have been there had the Council merely gone along with Dyster's original proposal to give city money to Rivers with no questions asked.
Read more >>
03/22/11:School referendum here a missed opportunity for real improvement
What were they thinking? The voters who came out to vote down the plan to improve the Niagara Falls School District -- what were they thinking? Back in January, Niagara Falls School District officials outlined a plan to borrow up to $130 million for a capital projects plan. The district, near its debt-borrowing limit, held a Feb. 15 referendum to borrow the money. In order to pass, voters had to support the project by a 60 percent margin.
03/22/11:Anderson's native growth industry
It's a part of our Niagara area culture that people drive to the Tuscarora Reservation to buy cigarettes at a cheaper price than what they pay in local stores. New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to enforce an existing law permitting the collection of state taxes on cigarettes on reservations that would end the price disparity The governor's proposed budget assumes the state will collect $130 million in taxes on cigarettes sold by Indian retailers.
03/15/11: Fruscione, Anderson question, as Dyster lobbies for 'Holiday Market'
Santa Claus is coming to town. Or trying to. Only this isn't the Santa Claus who gives gifts. He gets them. His name is Mark Rivers from Ellicottville, and his plan for a downtown "Holiday Market" -- a real holiday for Rivers at least -- was tabled by the Council last week.
03/08/11: A holiday market for spendthrift Mayor
A developer from Ellicottville wants a public handout to create an indoor-outdoor temporary market on Old Falls Street this holiday season. The developer, one Mark Rivers of Brix and Company -- a company based in Idaho, while Rivers himself lives, at least part time, in Ellicottville -- wants the city and state to pony up nearly a half-million dollars so he can build temporary booths to run a "holiday" vendors market and reap the profit.
03/08/11: Heart Center at Memorial propels hospital to forefront of Heart care
In 2003, a landmark study was published that showed Niagara County ranked No. 1 for deaths from heart disease out of 3,141 counties in America. An admixture of factors including genetics, lifestyle, environment, obesity, the prevalence of diabetes and high blood pressure, and economics contributed to this distinction. Read more>>
03/08/11: City Attorney stymies attempts to expose truth of secret Dyster Fund
It had the sickly, reeking smell of a swamp right from the start. Mayor Paul Dyster came into office with a plan to hire only "the brightest and best" from out of town to fill top positions at City Hall. Elite, non-local employees were not to cost taxpayers more than what locals, already employed at City Hall, were being paid, in spite of the fact that these new hires would get six figure salaries. Secret donors would pay the difference. Read more>>
03/01/11: Are Hard Rock's 'Free' concerts a waste of public's hard-earned money?
Mayor Paul Dyster has secured for the Hard Rock Cafe -- a billion-dollar corporation owned by the Seminole Nation of Indians -- almost $500,000 in public money, most of it casino funds, to put on a series of "free" outdoor concerts.
Last year alone, Dyster sought and the council approved $230,000 for Hard Rock to stage six summer concerts and one on New Year's Eve.
03/01/11: Memorial proposes 'Medical home without walls'
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center submitted what may be a revolutionary Medicaid cost-cutting proposal last week to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team.
The hospital calls their proposal "Medical Home Without Walls."
02/22/11: Has James Glynn's ship sunk?
After 40 years, it finally may be over for Maid of the Mist boat tour operator James. V. Glynn of Lewiston, N.Y. The multimillionaire's fortunes sank like the Titanic following an expose on his secretive dealings with the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) published in the Niagara Falls Reporter.
02/22/11: Editor Mike Hudson making news from coast to coast on book tour
He leads a double life. Mike Hudson is best known here as founding editor and chief writer of the Niagara Falls Reporter, and for his popular books "Mob Boss" and "Niagara Falls Confidential."
02/22/11: Does Dyster care about history, or only about his property value?
As readers know, homeowners on Orchard Parkway and Chilton Avenue, thanks to Mayor Paul Dyster, had their homes registered as "Historic" with the New York State Board of Historic Preservation and the National Park Service. The mayor, incidentally, lives on Orchard Parkway.
02/15/11: Were courthouse construction change orders a chance to repay Dyster debt?
You decide. The Public Safety Building on Main Street in Niagara Falls -- better known as the new courthouse -- was planned under former mayor Vince Anello and constructed under Mayor Paul A. Dyster's administration. State Sen. George Maziarz described the courthouse as a "$22 million building, we paid $50 million for."
02/15/11: New bulbs on Pine Avenue a dismal failure
The original plan was for the City of Niagara Falls to improve the street lighting in front of the popular Italian restaurant The Como, on the 2200 block of Pine Avenue, where a number of nighttime accidents occurred. It is dark there, and in fact, up and down Pine Avenue it is an extremely poorly lit street at night.
02/08/11: Dyster's head not in the game as he hands governor a jersey
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster rather abruptly had to leave the Memorial Medical Center press conference to promote cardiac health, held Friday at City Hall in order to attend Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press event at Daemen College in Amherst.
Read more >>
02/01/11: Hospital survives hard times
A fascinating result of our recent coverage of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is the startling number of readers who expressed surprise that the sole hospital in Niagara Falls is not funded by taxpayers. This comment has replaced to some degree a previously oft-repeated comment made by people who perhaps don't understand the facts and who invariably quip that "the hospital always has its hand out."
02/01/11: Why doesn't the watchdog bark? Dyster silent on Seneca compact renewal
The Seneca Gaming Compact will expire in January 2016. That means that during the next mayoral administration most of the negotiations over whether to renew the compact and what the terms may be for a proposed renewal will take place.
01/25/11: Reviewing Dyster: The secret hiring fund and its legacy
Now that Mayor Paul Dyster is seeking re-election, his record seems due for a careful review, to assist our readers in their efforts to decide if this is the man they want to continue to lead the city. An item to review is the rise and fall of Dyster's secret fund to hire out-of-town employees to work at City Hall. When he came to office in January 2008, Dyster proposed to hire extraordinary people for important positions such as city administrator, economic development director, city engineer and corporation counsel. He said he would search the nation to find "the brightest and best."
01/18/11: From the publisher: Bidders revealed in Canadian competition for Maid of the Mist
The Niagara Falls Reporter's expose on the secret dealings surrounding the Maid of the Mist boat tour lease at the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) in Ontario was instrumental in leading the minister of Tourism to order the NPC to put that lease out to bid. Subsequently, most of the NPC commissioners were fired.
01/18/11: Mayor left veterans to chat about trains
Mayor Paul Dyster's alleged preference for hiring, or for that matter, preferring someone, anyone, as long as they are not from Niagara Falls is well-known. The saying goes that Dyster prefers a piece of cut glass, if it comes from afar, over a diamond formed locally.
01/18/11: Light plan mushrooms on Pine Avenue
It started out small and simple. But the originally discussed plan to merely add lighting in front of the famed and popular Italian restaurant The Como, on the 2200 block of Pine Avenue, where a number of nighttime accidents occurred, has mushroomed into a full-blown plan by Mayor Paul Dyster to replace 146 fixtures on 73 lightpoles along Pine Avenue from Portage Road to Hyde Park.
01/11/11: New Fire Chief hopeful after rough start
What do Peter Kay of Perrysburg, Ohio, Ali Marzban of Los Angeles, and Roger Melchior of Ellenton, Fla., have in common?
They were hired by Mayor Paul Dyster, after he searched the nation for the brightest and best to serve in his administration.
01/11/11: From the publisher: Jayne Park still on drawing board as Mayor strives to preserve grant
Back in May of 2009, we let the public know there was a plan to change Jayne Park on Cayuga Island in the city of Niagara Falls.
The news unsettled many of the residents of Cayuga Island.
01/04/11: City Hall cronyism traceable to Dyster's Campaign fundraising
Recently fired Economic Development director Peter Kay was the topic for Mark Scheer, distinguished reporter for the Niagara Gazette. Kay left City Hall last week after the City Council voted to cut his salary to $1. Scheer lamented our ingrained habit of hiring locals. We didn't want Peter Kay from Ohio.
12/14/10: Sweeping changes at NPC may impact maid lease
Two years ago, the Niagara Falls Reporter started digging into secret lease arrangements between the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) of Ontario and Lewiston businessman James Glynn for his Maid of the Mist boat tours.
A lot has changed since then.
07/06/10: USA Niagara flops on Italian pavers for Glynn
You know, it's just not fair to Jimmy Glynn.
You know the guy.
He runs the Maid of the Mist boat tours and, some say, City Hall.
Mayor Paul Dyster's largest campaign contributor. Read More>>
06/29/10: Why the State refused Cordish Co. $2 million for Theater in the Mist
Documents obtained by the Niagara Falls Reporterthrough a Freedom of Information Act request show that do-nothing developer David Cordish was denied a highly publicized $2 million state grant for his Theater in the Mist souvenir store after investigators discovered he hadn't spent anywhere near the $8.5 million he originally claimed on the project.
06/22/10: Fight the taxes
06/15/10: Mayor sings for Hard Rock's supper
06/08/10: New DeSantis plan would lay off hundreds of Falls workers
06/01/10: Tobacco shop and tax-free gas planned at Splash park
05/25/10: Cordish, Antonacci hire Whitney to make bad deal look foolish
05/18/10: Paonessa calls writer to talk Cordish
05/11/10: Being sued by a so-called billionaire named David Cordish
05/04/10: Cordish 'Attraction' proves big-money loser to submissive city
04/27/10: From parking lot to parking lot, another failed development plan
04/20/10: Cordish threatening to sue writer
04/13/10: Guido rebuts while Cordish deceives city
04/06/10: Cordish tenant Guido defies city
03/30/10: Conman Plyam cons N.Y. Post on land deal
03/30/10: Disney entering Maid of the mist fray as contract competition grows fierce
03/16/10: An investigation into Glynn's N.Y. maid lease is warranted
03/02/10: Absent Glynn-bias, competitive bidding may make Maid of the Mist tours better in Canada
02/23/10: A reasonable apprehension of bias toward Glynn in upcoming Maid lease bid
02/02/10: Glynn the competitor hopes to scare competition away
01/26/10: Katzman 'The Kat' bodes ill for fairness in Niagara Parks Commission - Glynn bidding
12/01/09: Glynn's house of cards collapses with Canadian report, U.S. lawsuit
11/03/09: Maid of the Mist lease ordered reopened
10/27/09: Dyster fumbles FEMA ball as Cayuga pays unnecessary flood insurance
10/13/09: Amid half truths and bald lies, it's up to Parliament
09/29/09: How Dyster and DeSantis are being green
09/15/09: Glynn's tower is for the birds
09/01/09: Guy Bax, Mayor Dyster and the loss of the presumption of innocence.
08/11/09: Olmsted be damned at Olmsted Park
08/04/09: In defense of One Niagara
07/28/09: Famed park run solely for the benefit of one man
07/14/09: Pigeon and Golisano: Men who changed the state Senate
07/07/09: Mayor goes nuts in Niagara Falls
06/30/09: Maid of the Mist lease awaits rent reduction as Ontario parks fall into decline
06/16/09: In spite of silence, secret Glynn Canadian lease remains unsigned
05/26/09: Desantis weaves tangled web in Jayne Park cover-up
05/12/09: Desantis plan for Jayne Park targets old trees, waterfowl, anything green
05/05/09: Injustice and Glynn's N.Y. lease
04/28/09: Same-sex marriage and the spousal politics of the Niagara Tourism Convention Corp.
04/21/09: With layoffs and budget shortfalls, why did they lower Glynn's rent?
04/14/09: Wasteful spending, uncertain results: Is Percy's NTCC a useless organization?
04/07/09: Glynn's New York lease has state actually paying him to run boats
03/30/09: NTCC President Percy takes wasteful expedition to India with public money
03/24/09: Canadian troubles could hurt Glynn's standing on the U.S. side, Windsor says
03/24/09: Members of Parliament demanding open bid on Maid of the Mist lease
03/17/09: Secret Maid of the Mist lease rent goes down, not up!
03/10/09: Maid of the Mist comes up with new excuse; dutiful cub reporter writes what he's told.
03/03/09: Lawsuit sheds light on secretive Niagara Parks Commission; Glynn lease may be stymied by Ontario Superior Court
02/24/09: Trooper descends on Palumbo on his way to court; Misconduct investigation into state trooper in offing
02/17/09: Company files ethics complaint against Commission in Maid of the Mist scandal
02/10/09: Growing chorus of critics demands, send Maid of the Mist lease back for competitive bidding
02/03/09: Canadian Integrity Commission investigation intensifies
01/27/09: Glynns may lose Canadian Maid of the Mist lease
01/20/09: Was former Lew-Port Board member Lenny Palumbo falsely accused?
01/13/09: NTCC needs to be put to bed
01/06/09: Wintergarden demolition put on hold
12/23/08: As pay soars upward at City Hall, Dyster's secret fund found dead from dose of sunlight
12/16/08: Francine and brother John cook up cozy deal
12/09/08: Does Dyster have secret or lax role in cost overruns at new courthouse?
12/02/08: Coincidences or secret planning between Dyster and developer Glynn?
11/25/08: Stupid is our name
11/18/08: A tale of two developers and two mayors
11/11/08: The fall of Niagara Falls Mayor Vincenzo V. Anello and the rise of the Niagara Falls Reporter
10/28/08: Doubts raised over stalking charges against Lew-Port member
09/23/08: Americans demand equality with Seneca
09/09/08: Public meeting: Equality with Seneca - How to obtain it
09/02/08: Public meeting: Equality with Seneca - How to obtain it
08/26/08: Some citizens to sue Niagara Falls State Park for false advertising?
08/19/08: Should Seneca have legal superiority over Americans?
08/12/08: Setting aside $500,000 to protect Seneca?
08/05/08: Some call it racist, some call it sexist
07/29/08: The decimation of Niagara Falls by its crude master: Albany
07/22/08: Double the pleasure: New slot machines coming to One Niagara?
07/08/08: One Niagara showing strong signs of improvement
07/01/08: New double standard set at City Hall
06/24/08: Like it or not, Seneca is killing the town
04/22/08: Mismanagement, shocking new suspicions discredit Chevron's David Ho's arm 'pit' creation: AquaFalls
04/15/08: Albany, along with Seneca, is killing the town
04/08/08: Media Reports Stupendous Achievement: Or How to Fill a Hole in Niagara Falls
A Tale of Two Cities in New York
Gambling Monopoly, Tax- Free Zone in Our Midst Stifling Niagara Falls
Crime of the Century: Who Took the Power Out of "The Power City"?
Out of the mouth of babes
Dissecting the lyrics of popular songs :
Coward-dog Vs. Heroic song lyrics from songs of pop culture
Green day article stirs debate