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February 13, 2017

Mumblers, whisperers need to turn up the volume at municipal meetings

It’s the most basic level of transparency.

If you’re an elected city councillor, department head, other city official or member of the community and have something to say at a governmental public meeting, it stands to reason we — the people — need to hear it.

I cover city council and town board meetings in Niagara Falls, Lockport, Wheatfield and North Tonawanda, and I can tell you this is something that afflicts all of them to one degree or another.

Of course, I hold the last group — members of the community — least accountable because they are generally not professionals when it comes to communication nor do we really [...]

 
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February 12, 2017

Niagara County is now being fed a diet of “junk news”

Lately, we’ve heard a lot about “fake news” and “alternative facts.”

But there’s another type of dubious journalism that’s not even in the vernacular yet.

I’m talking about “junk news,” and we get too much of it in Niagara County, served to us by the corporate media at the expense of issues that are being kept in the dark — stories that might actually advance the status quo in Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda, Lockport, Wheatfield and everywhere else in Niagara County.

So instead of news coverage the establishment media doesn’t want you to see, we get served up plate after plate of arrests, house fires, DWIs, [...]

 
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August 18, 2016

Grand Island Tolls-removal law missing the point

Don’t think of them as bridges. Think of it as just another part of the I-190. How else are you going to get from Buffalo to Niagara Falls relatively quickly without driving through residential areas?

If the effort to remove the Grand Island tolls stumbles yet again, it might be because the proposed law doesn’t accurately describe what the tolls inflict on the Buffalo-Niagara region.

Traveling from Buffalo to Niagara Falls using the I-190 there is simply no other reasonable way to get from there to here without crossing Grand Island.

The vast majority of motorists traversing either of the Grand Island [...]

 
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August 17, 2016

‘Not a Problem’ is kind of a problem

I’m a linguaphile who enjoys spotting new trends in language.

One that I’ve noticed on the local level going back about a year is “not a problem,” specifically in the context of the service industry.

Now before I go any further I want to state that I find worth and dignity in all work, and would go so far to say at least every worker in a full-time position should be paid a living wage relative to where they live.

That said, I’d like to think in the service industry, where choice is usually rampant — I would get mostly great service.

So it just befuddles me a bit when I make a reasonable request and [...]

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