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November 2, 2018

Taxes, environment, transparency: What they all agreed upon at Lockport’s mayoral, assembly debates

Hard to believe, but the five candidates offering their thoughts on the City of Lockport and NYS Assembly District 144 seemed to agree on most major, common-sense issues.

An environmentally cleaner City of Lockport, including radioactive Simmonds Steel and heavily polluted 18-Mile Creek.

Also, reducing the financial burden on property owners who are bearing too much of the responsibility to fund public education.

And getting a better deal with the New York Power Authority as we ship most of the power of Niagara Falls downstate while paying some of the highest rates in the country.

Creating more jobs [...]

 
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October 12, 2018

NT council signs again with accounting firm linked to Lockport’s missing million

Going against the professional opinion of NT chief accountant Amanda Reimer (above), North Tonawanda’s common council voted 3-1 to retain the services of Amato, Fox & Company to perform the city’s annual audit.

Amato, Fox & Company — NT’s audit firm for the last 39 years — was examining the books for the City of Lockport in 2012 when its council balanced the budget with a surplus that proved to be a mirage.

In 2014, the State Comptroller’s Office said the City of Lockport could have avoided some of the resulting layoffs and program cuts if the audit had been carried out differently and if Amato, Fox & Company had informed the [...]

 
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October 8, 2018

WNY open-government group lauded for “critical work” by state-level reformers

It got pretty geeky at the Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government’s recent forum featuring Susan Lerner from Common Cause and Alex Camrada of Reinvent Albany, two state-level advocacy groups seeking to establish local connections.

Subjects ranged from the need in smaller communities for elected representatives to file financial disclosure forms to the state comptroller losing the ability to review contracts and how that contributed to the Buffalo Billion corruption as well as professionalizing the state’s board of elections and making sure “shadow government affiliated non-profits” follow the same open meeting and FOIL laws as [...]

 
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August 18, 2018

EDITORIAL: On the subject of those shameless raises in Niagara County

President Trump has called New York — home to high taxes and low temperatures — a “failed state.”

So what exactly does that make Niagara County?

And yet, local elected officials across this land of apparent plenty and prosperity — at least for those on the “Friends and Family Plan of Niagara County ®” — are giving themselves raises left and right in an environment they see as nobody watching or caring.

Commenting on the pubic pillaging is a mortal sin, inviting fierce pushback which ultimately keeps criticism — and even just discussion and disclosure — to the bare minimum.

Former residents of Niagara [...]

 
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July 23, 2018

OUT for REVENGE: When’s the Maziarz bombshell press conference dropping?

Former State Senator George Maziarz says he’s sitting on a motherlode of damning information about his former friends and colleagues that threatens to burn down the Niagara County Republican Party he spent 30+ years building.

This bombshell information surfaced during his own trial for inappropriate use of the Maziarz political treasury and includes unsavory pushed-through deals at the county level — and much more — involving the political figures he helped create: attorney Henry Wojtaszek, recent Niagara County GOP chairman Scott Kiedrowski, Assemblyman Mike Norris as well as other widely-known political figures.

They [...]

 
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July 22, 2018

Corning GlassBarge fires up N.T. on tour of Erie Canal

Residents of the Twin Cities on Wednesday stepped onto a barge on the Erie Canal and learned about the art and science of glass and its role in the history of New York State.

“In 1868, the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company relocated to Corning N.Y., via the New York Waterways, and evolved into the company that is today known as Corning Inc.

To honor the 150th anniversary of this journey, the Corning Museum of Glass launched GlassBarge—a 30’ x 80’ canal barge equipped with its patented all-electric glassmaking equipment— in Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 17.

GlassBarge travelled north on the Hudson, then westward along the [...]

 
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July 22, 2018

Voccio lone opponent against public union-affirming N.F. council resolution

It doesn’t mean anything.

Or does it mean everything?

The city’s public workforce got a strong show of support from the Dyster administration as well as the Andrew Touma-led city council on Wednesday last week when it passed a resolution “expressing its grave concerns regarding the Janus case and its outcome for our economy and our workforce.”

Although the resolution doesn’t call for any specific action by the administration or council — as the city tries to craft a 2019 budget under a loss of $13 million dollars and previous budgets substantially propped up by casino dollars intended for economic development — it still [...]

 
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May 8, 2018

Subdivision 650 feet from toxic landfill starts review process in Wheatfield

For years people have been complaining about the health of their families on the street that divides Wheatfield and North Tonawanda.

Nearby, along Niagara Falls Blvd. is a large, suspiciously vacant area of green space — the infamous Niagara Sanitation Landfill — where for decades following World War II area chemical companies trucked and dumped their toxic byproducts.

Homes were also built and and sold nearby without the new occupants knowing what lurked beneath the soil in that large, vacant area out back.

Deadly Love Canal toxic waste got shipped to the Wheatfield landfill just a few miles away [...]

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Top 10 This Year
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1
OUT for REVENGE: When’s the Maziarz bombshell press conference dropping?
 
2
What the Town of Wheatfield just did, the entire county should be doing, too
 
3
N.T. bans dogs at farmer’s market; animal-control officer explains challenges
 
4
NT council signs again with accounting firm linked to Lockport’s missing million
 
5
C.H.A.N.T. looking to change norms in N.T.; county land bank could fight blight
 
6
250 Miller St. pulled from auction for likely Land Bank test case
 
7
Subdivision 650 feet from toxic landfill starts review process in Wheatfield
 
8
Proposed Nash Road, Payne changes draws S.R.O. crowd; no definitive answers, no timeline to implement
 
9
N.T. council says: No truck traffic changes coming to Wheatfield, E. Robinson after packed public hearing
 
10
Austin Tylec wants seat on N.T. Land Bank committee