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November 13, 2019

Disc golf expansion brings attention to NT’s Pinewoods Park

Look at a map of Western New York and the 33 acres of Pinewoods Park is notable as being the first significant greenspace north of Buffalo’s Delaware Park.

But concerns are being aired about the newly re-burgeoning park — created in 1917 as “Sweeney Park” — after its disc-golf course recently received nine new holes, some of which go deep into the mostly untouched forested area. 

“You should have a master plan,” said former NT Environmental Committee member Mary Kate Fonzi at last week’s NT council meeting, a special session held ahead of Tuesday’s low-voter turnout election. “I already have one written,” she said. 

Parks & Recreation [...]

 
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November 9, 2019

Tackle-football advocates rally to preserve traditional sport for kids under 12

Coaches, local politicians, parents and players crammed into the NTAA room at Rescue Fire Hall in North Tonawanda today to protest encroachment on a sport that’s been at the heart of NT athletics for generations.

However, state lawmakers citing medical evidence say tackle-football for kids under 12 — whose bodies are still developing — is dangerous and can lead to serious and permanent conditions including Alzheimer’s.

Youth-tackle advocates, however, say all contact sports are potentially dangerous and involve concussions, and they wonder why football is being singled out.

Also, youth football coaches are better trained in keeping kids safe, and [...]

 
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October 31, 2019

NYS Fair Elections Hearing in Buffalo focuses on Fusion voting question, campaign finance reform

Fusion voting is a scourge on New York State and needs to be eliminated to help stop the party-invasion tactics that have corrupted the Conservative and Independence parties and makes a mockery of our electoral system.

Fusion voting is also an important vehicle for allowing choice among voters, gives third parties a stronger voice influencing the platforms of major parties and has been constitutionally protected by the courts since 1910.

Those were some of the arguments made at Tuesday’s NYS Fair Elections Hearing, the last of four taking place across the state ahead of a Dec. 1 deadline for creating a public finance program.

The aim is to limit the [...]

 
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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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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