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July 21, 2020

NT’s “Proclamation Against Hate” is actually sweeping an uncomfortable racial history under the rug

“I’ve got a proclamation that we are not a sundown town,” said NT councilman Robert Pecoraro during the closing comments of last week’s workshop meeting.

Lately, talk of NT’s history of racial exclusion and intimidation has been generating much discussion on social media.

“There is no empirical evidence that we were ever a sundown city,” said Pecoraro. “And I’m TIRED (raises voice) of people saying that North Tonawanda was once a sundown city. It is NOT TRUE (raises voice) and I want to make sure everybody understands that.”

However, since there’s never been an involved public discussion of NT’s former status as a sundown town [...]

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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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May 31, 2017

Is America and the EPA ready to remediate our toxic industrial legacy?

Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda and Lockport helped build America through industry whose byproducts today still harm us and haunt us in the form of buried toxic waste.

Although many industrial waste sites have been remediated in Niagara County since Love Canal focused national attention here in the late 1970s, many more remain, including for instance, 20 known sites in the City of Lockport. (One of those is reported to be Simmonds Steel (above), which was involved in WWII’s Manhattan Project, and the radioactive hot spots there require water to be pumped continuously into the site.)

So perhaps America — through the EPA, [...]

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February 21, 2017

Gov. re-considering lodge location; N.F. council votes to reject any island project

UPDATE: On Tuesday, Feb. 28, State Senator Rob Ortt released this statement:

” Senator Ortt said, “I fully support much-needed public-private investments in the City of Niagara Falls. In the past several years, we’ve taken concrete steps to enrich the Falls tourist experience by improving the landscape and protecting the environment. We’ve done this while also focusing on rebuilding the economy and enhancing the quality of life for Falls residents. The proposal for a lodge on Goat Island runs contrary to the steps we’ve taken and the overall master plan for Falls development. A state lodge within the park would create unnecessary [...]

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