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October 14, 2019

Fast, reliable, reasonable: $400k fiber-optic grant could see better internet at Falls Airport

For businesses at the Niagara Falls International Airport campus, the “high-speed” Internet is slow, unreliable and “far too expensive,” according to Niagara County Economic Director Michael Casale (above left).

Casale cited an airport stakeholders’ assessment during last week’s economic development committee meeting that also found the complex suffered from having just a few internet providers.

“The stakeholders mission is to make the airport more inviting for businesses,” Casale said.

With a $400,000 grant from the Empire State Development, the airport might get the internet it needs to be more competitive. 

“There is no [...]

 
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September 2, 2019

Lumber City Pedal Tour: 2019 Slow Roll NT in pictures

It’s easy to misunderstand the Slow Roll concept until you actually get into gear and participate. The 11-mile loop of North Tonawanda started on Sweeney Street at the Dockside Grill. Dozens of Slow Roll volunteers held positions at intersections and stop lights, directing bikers to stay within their rights as cyclists and under the law as users of the roadway. Like in the numerous Slow Roll events having already taken place in almost every community across WNY, bikers got to see the nooks and crannies of the city you don’t usually notice in a car. Ed Smolinski, one of the local organizers of the event, addresses the 400+ cyclists gathered behind St. Paul’s church [...]
 
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August 7, 2019

EDITORIAL: A sad night for open government at the Niagara County Legislature

In a stunning betrayal of open government and transparency, the Niagara County Republicans sabotaged a compromise Tuesday to move most public speaking to the first 30 minutes of its legislature meetings.

Last week, during the legislature’s Administration committee meeting, Paul Wolf of the Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government, spoke and recommended passing a legislator’s resolution that would move “For the Good of the County” speaking to the beginning of meeting.

Currently, residents wishing to speak to the legislature about non-agenda items must wait usually two or three hours to do so. 

Additionally, the meeting is adjourned so the [...]

 
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August 6, 2019

Changes coming to public participation at legislature; but Randy Bradt resists

If you’d like to speak for “The Good of the County” at Niagara County Legislature meetings, chances are you’d be waiting two or three hours to do so. 

You’ll also find the meeting has just been adjourned. So the gallery is mostly empty, and department heads and legislators could be heading out. Furthermore, there’s zero record of your comments in the meeting minutes.

“The process you have isn’t very welcoming or encouraging,” said Paul Wolf, president of the Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government, during last week’s administration committee meeting. 

Wolf has made the trip to Lockport several times to speak before the Legislature. [...]

 
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July 9, 2019

Waterfront complex on former brownfield commanding rents up to $3,200 a month

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who’s been instrumental in toxic-waste site clean ups in Niagara County, re-appeared in North Tonawanda this morning to tout the state’s brownfield remediation program in catapulting the brand-new apartment complex on River Road as a catalyst for more development along the waterfront.

Hochul: “I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time in North Tonawanda. And the transformation to someone is so visible. When I lived in the Southtowns we didn’t actually come up to the Northtowns. We didn’t spend time in North Tonawanda. Now it’s a destination. It has a reputation for being a culinary place. A place where people can congregate. New [...]

 
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July 6, 2019

Basket raffle Thurs. benefits Kaboom! “destination” playground at Mayor’s Park

East of the Twin Cities Highway, there aren’t many community assets in North Tonawanda.

With the July 27 build date for the Kaboom! playground at Mayor’s Park, though, that short list is getting a little bigger.

Enjoyable for all kids — but designed for those with special needs — the playground will feature a zip line, climbing areas, slides and a forgiving play surface.

The playground will be built in six hours through the help of about 200 volunteers. (You can sign up here.)

“There’s a job for everyone,” said Kaboom’s Bryan McNamara during the design day May 13, when kids doodled their dream playgrounds.

Afterward, adults [...]

 
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July 3, 2019

NT belatedly pursuing security concerns at city hall; ignores questionable ethics

Two threats to the well-being of NT city government were handled very differently by the common council Tuesday.

After last week’s firearms-and-explosives scare at city hall, Alderman at Large Robert Pecoraro — who that night also lost the Independence Party primary by a wide margin to challenger Bob Brennan — called to create a committee focusing on the security of the city’s municipal buildings.

During Tuesday’s meeting, however, the mayor noted he’s brought up security concerns in past years and is still worried about “all the nooks and crannies” at city hall and its many points of entry.

Alderman at Large Austin Tylec also said he’s spoken to NT [...]

 
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June 26, 2019

NT Independents score impressive victories over incumbents

The North Tonawanda common council may be getting a major makeover in November judging by Tuesday’s primary results as well as Erik Herbert clobbering majority-party appointment Jesse Gooch in his county-legislature race.

The most lopsided victory of the day found Independence Party member Herbert knocking out Gooch by a margin of 89 to 23. Going into the primary, Gooch held many tactical advantages over Herbert including his legislature appointment and pseudo-incumbent status, extensive media coverage, more help going door-to-door and Herbert’s relative obscurity in Wheatfield (which covers two thirds of the 7th legislative district.)

On the city side, [...]

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1
NT Independents score impressive victories over incumbents
 
2
Erik Herbert sets his sights on Niagara County Legislature
 
3
EDITORIAL: A sad night for open government at the Niagara County Legislature
 
4
Niagara County’s Independence Party is a total sham! Here’s what you need to know …
 
5
Waterfront complex on former brownfield commanding rents up to $3,200 a month
 
6
NT belatedly pursuing security concerns at city hall; ignores questionable ethics
 
7
From North Tonawanda to Tinian: A Story of John Lukasik
 
8
Niagara County Legislature doubles down on secrecy
 
9
Your ‘Game of Thrones’ guide to Niagara County politics
 
10
Lumber City Pedal Tour: 2019 Slow Roll NT in pictures