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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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May 8, 2019

Niagara County Legislature doubles down on secrecy

With its move to keep hidden decades of financial disclosure forms as well as not pursuing an audit of Off Track Betting for its widely criticized VIP ticket giveaways, the Niagara County Legislature on Tuesday proved once again it’s not accountable to the public and afraid of what it may find.

Niagara County’s unelected kingpin and CEO of Western Off Track Betting — attorney Henry Wojtaszek (above) — made his first appearance in four years before the legislative body to present financial results of the public benefit corporation and address the on-going VIP ticket scandal first brought up by his mentor — former State Senator George Maziarz — and now being reported on [...]

 
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April 26, 2019

Your ‘Game of Thrones’ guide to Niagara County politics

The most-watched TV series on the planet — which is wrapping up a record-breaking eight-year run — isn’t really about dragons, knights or wights in George R.R. Martin’s fictional Westeros, which itself is loosely based on England’s “War of the Roses.”

Given that, not surprisingly, it’s really all about politics: family dynasties, secretive back-room bargaining and backstabbing as well as plenty of revenge served up with ice and fire.

As we dive into the last epic season of GOT, can local fans of the record-breaking series — which hasn’t aired new episodes in almost two years — find insights and parallels between Niagara County’s 2019 political scene and the one [...]

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