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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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July 23, 2018

OUT for REVENGE: When’s the Maziarz bombshell press conference dropping?

Former State Senator George Maziarz says he’s sitting on a motherlode of damning information about his former friends and colleagues that threatens to burn down the Niagara County Republican Party he spent 30+ years building.

This bombshell information surfaced during his own trial for inappropriate use of the Maziarz political treasury and includes unsavory pushed-through deals at the county level — and much more — involving the political figures he helped create: attorney Henry Wojtaszek, recent Niagara County GOP chairman Scott Kiedrowski, Assemblyman Mike Norris as well as other widely-known political figures.

They [...]

 
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May 8, 2018

Subdivision 650 feet from toxic landfill starts review process in Wheatfield

For years people have been complaining about the health of their families on the street that divides Wheatfield and North Tonawanda.

Nearby, along Niagara Falls Blvd. is a large, suspiciously vacant area of green space — the infamous Niagara Sanitation Landfill — where for decades following World War II area chemical companies trucked and dumped their toxic byproducts.

Homes were also built and and sold nearby without the new occupants knowing what lurked beneath the soil in that large, vacant area out back.

Deadly Love Canal toxic waste got shipped to the Wheatfield landfill just a few miles away [...]

 
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February 28, 2018

What the Town of Wheatfield just did, the entire county should be doing, too

A casual observer might not have called it triumphal or even worthy of comment, but for governmental observers and watchdogs several important things took place Monday at Wheatfield’s town board meeting.

Department heads: Paul Siegmann of the Highway Department, Rich Donner of Water & Sewer, Mike Klock (above photo) from inspection, Assessor Bridget Grawe. Nearly all of them were present Monday.

But that’s not the new part. For some time now, Wheatfield has been leading the county’s major municipalities in having department heads speak regularly at council meetings.

This time, though, instead of remaining [...]

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