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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 [...]

 
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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 9, 2016

Tinnitus reminds us the power’s inside us

Right now there’s ringing in my ears and it’s never, ever going away.

For the millions and millions who suffer from tinnitus — the perception of a constant sound when none is sonically present — that moment you realize what’s happened to your hearing and the irrevocability of something never to be removed, it can be alternately terrifying, maddening and debilitating, depressing.

Mine came on as a result of recording a song on headphones for almost a month. (I shake my head thinking about it.)

After I finished the track — which was my best sounding at the time — I noticed a constant ringing in my ears. I hoped it would [...]

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