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Print Edition: July 28, 2016

July 28, 2016 Frank Parlato 0

July28Web.pdf

Steve Pigeon

Did Politics Have a Hand in the Pigeon Prosecution?

July 28, 2016 Frank Parlato 1

Everyone had at least one brush with Pigeon

By Frank Parlato

Steve Pigeon
Steve Pigeon

A POLITICAL QUESTION

The question of whether politics was a motive for New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman’s prosecution of political operative and attorney G. Steven Pigeon, 55, has been debated in a few circles.

Last month, Pigeon was charged by Schneiderman with bribing a New York State Supreme Court Justice and extorting a young attorney appointed by that judge to a receivership.

Following Pigeon’s arraignment, where he pleaded innocent to all nine counts alleged against him, a reporter asked Pigeon’s attorney, Paul Cambria, if he thought politics played a role in the prosecution.

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Are crowded train stations a thing of the past or of the future?

Dyster’s New Train Station Open House Event Will Feature Toy Trains But Not The Real Ones – Yet!

July 28, 2016 Mike Hudson 1
The modest size of the current train station - which costs taxpayers nothing - is more than ample to accommodate the 87 train passengers who on average come here daily.
The modest size of the current train station – which costs taxpayers nothing – is more than ample to accommodate the 87 train passengers who on average come here daily.

Despite the fact that no contract exists between Amtrak or any other entity to actually use the facility, city officials are ready to show off the new $44 million Niagara Falls International Railway and Intermodal Transportation Center to the public.

A “sneak preview” of the new train station will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at its Whirlpool Street location in the city’s North End.

Hosted by Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and acting City Planner Tom DeSantis – who led the charge to develop the new train station – the general public is invited for a “free self-guided tour” of the new, albeit empty, building.

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Governor Cuomo’s austere smile says it all as he reflects on the natural wonder of the campaign donations he receives from Maid of the Mist owner James Glynn and Delaware North billionaire Jeremy Jacobs, who run Niagara Falls State Park as if they own it.

Crime, Poverty, Fiscal Distress Here Direct Result Of Cuomo’s Policies, Broken Promises

July 28, 2016 Staff 0

By Jim Hufnagel

Governor Cuomo’s austere smile says it all as he reflects on the natural wonder of the campaign donations he receives from Maid of the Mist owner James Glynn and Delaware North billionaire Jeremy Jacobs, who run Niagara Falls State Park as if they own it.
Governor Cuomo’s austere smile says it all as he reflects on the natural wonder of the campaign donations he receives from Maid of the Mist owner James Glynn and Delaware North billionaire Jeremy Jacobs, who run Niagara Falls State Park as if they own it.

On January 6, 2015, halfway through an interview with actress Nicole Kidman, NBC late-night host Jimmy Fallon casually dropped a bomb on the city of Niagara Falls, NY.

The conversation turned on an appearance the week before by Kidman’s husband, country singer Keith Urban, at a New Years Eve concert on the other side of the border in Canada, attended by tens of thousands.

The playground of the region, its hotels, casinos, restaurants and night life framed by the most famous natural attraction in the world, Niagara Falls, Ontario is widely regarded as a tourism success story, effectively capitalizing on the millions of tourists who visit every year.

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Attorney Paul Cambria seeks to learn whether the government threatened attorney Edward Betz, former Judge John Michalek and possibly others with charges if they failed to cooperate in the prosecution of Pigeon.

Cambria Seeks Info on Plea Deals in Pigeon Case

July 28, 2016 Tony Farina 0
Attorney Paul Cambria seeks to learn whether the government threatened attorney Edward Betz, former Judge John Michalek and possibly others with charges if they failed to cooperate in the prosecution of Pigeon.
Attorney Paul Cambria seeks to learn whether the government threatened attorney Edward Betz, former Judge John Michalek and possibly others with charges if they failed to cooperate in the prosecution of Pigeon.

Political operative and former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon faces nine felony counts in a state prosecution involving former State Supreme Court Justice John Michalek who has already pleaded guilty to two felony counts, including taking bribe, and who is expected to be a key witness against Pigeon if the case goes to trial.

But Pigeon and his lawyer, prominent defense attorney Paul Cambria, seem prepared to vigorously fight the charges brought by the attorney general’s special grand jury, claiming Pigeon did nothing wrong in his dealings with Michalek.

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According to New York State’s Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments, Niagara Falls is the highest taxed municipality in New York which,  according to a recent study by WalletHub, is the highest state in the US. Therefore, the City of Niagara Falls is the highest taxed municipality in the highest taxed state.

Did Touma Lie By Omission when telling Time Warner about tax hikes?

July 28, 2016 Staff 1

By Members of Stop the Reassessment Committee

stopreassessment

Time Warner News was in the neighborhoods yesterday taking photos of stop the reassessment signs and interviewing residents.

The link to the Time Warner video is http://www.twcnews.com/nys/buffalo/ news/2016/07/26/niagara-falls-propertyreassessment-.html

A reporter interviewed Council Chairman Andrew Touma, and again, he deceived the people. He said that if an assessment increased by $10,000 that taxes would only increase $180.00 per year.

Not true, the taxes would increase $465.40 per year.

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Council Chairman Andrew Touma, who will face reelection next year if he chooses to run, has led the charge to reassess every property in Niagara Falls.

Dyster, Touma Continue To Deceive Taxpayers On Reassessments & Ignore The Will Of The People

July 28, 2016 Staff 1

By the Committee to Stop the Reassessments & Continuous Tax Increases

Some of the elected denizens who work inside this building continue to push for a tax reassessment. With any luck the voters will evict them.
Some of the elected denizens who work inside this building continue to push for a tax reassessment. With any luck the voters will evict them.

As mentioned in a previous article, Mayor Paul Dyster, with the support of Council Chairman Andrew Touma, deceived the taxpayers by waiting five days after the mayoral election to tell us he was planning to do a citywide reassessment.

We were told this will raise assessments from between 17 and 40 percent!

An attempt to deceive us by trying to convince us that this is not a tax increase is so great that even Chairman Touma cannot keep his own versions straight and keeps contradicting himself.

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Councilman Kenny Thompkins visits Black Squirrel Garden Walk.

Black Squirrel Home and Garden Walk, Park Place Porch Fest, and Neighborhoods Taking Charge

July 28, 2016 Staff 0

Councilman Kenny Tompkins

Councilman Kenny Thompkins visits Black Squirrel Garden Walk.
Councilman Kenny Thompkins visits Black Squirrel Garden Walk.

Last Saturday, July 23, my wife Terry and I had the pleasure of experiencing two of Niagara Falls’ newest events: The Black Squirrel Home and Garden Walk and the Park Place Porch Fest.

It was refreshing to participate in both.

On 12th Street and Memorial Parkway – the Black Squirrel and Garden Walk- we encountered spectacular lush gardens, none of which showed signs of this summer’s unending dry spell. Each one gained praise from Terry, who is has an amazing green thumb of her own.

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askthejudge2small

Ask The Judge

July 28, 2016 Staff 0
Judge Frank R. Bayger
Judge Frank R. Bayger

Ask the Judge – Question #9

Dear Judge Bayger:
I’m really miffed at my lawyer. Over a year ago, I fell off of a ladder after it slipped while I was repairing my neighbor’s roof. I was trying to do someone a favor, but the ladder he provided didn’t stay in place. Anyway, I got a lawyer, and at first he seemed happy to have me. He talked about suing my neighbor’s insurance company, the store he bought the ladder from, and the company that made the ladder. That was then. Now, I call to check on the progress of the case, and I rarely hear anything. He doesn’t return my calls, and when I get a call back, it’s usually his assistant. What can I do to get his attention? Sincerely,
John Q. Annoyed

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BioSolidsProcessdiagram

Biosolids Are a Normal Part of Agriculture

July 28, 2016 Staff 3

Ned Beecher, Executive Director NEBRA (www.nebiosolids.org)

BioSolidsProcessdiagram

Last week, the Town Board in Wheatfield decided to defend the town’s local ban on biosolids use on farms. Biosolids are treated and tested wastewater solids that are excellent soil amendments.

In June, Wheatfield was notified by the Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) that the Town Biosolids Law runs contrary to the state’s “right-to-farm” law, which is intended to protect farms from arbitrary restrictions. In their response (available at the Wheatfield website), the Town Board claims that NYSDAM “largely ignored the mounting scientific evidence concerning the inadequacy of the federal and state governments’ outdated biosolids regulations and completely failed to address the scientific evidence of the unfavorable local soil conditions within the town.” They claim that unregulated pollutants in biosolids (e.g. trace chemicals from products used in homes every day) create risk.

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No Picture

Corps of Engineers to use herbicide to kill hydrilla in Erie Canal

July 28, 2016 Staff 0

In an attempt to eradicate the invasive aquatic plant hydrilla in the Erie Canal, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, will be treating the canal from the Delaware Bridge in the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, to West Canal Marina in the Town of Pendleton, approximately 5-miles upstream – with an application of endothall (Aquathol K) an aquatic herbicid.

After application, swimming is prohibited for one day. The concentration of endothall in treated areas will not be toxic to dogs, cats, or livestock exposed to the herbicide. There are no restrictions on catching and eating fish.

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What lies under Portage Road?  A test would find out conclusively.

Portage Road Repaving Presents Danger of Radioactive Contamination: US Surveys Show high concentration of radioactive material likely under the road

July 28, 2016 Frank Parlato 4

By Lou Ricciuti and Frank Parlato

What lies under Portage Road?  A test would find out conclusively.
What lies under Portage Road? A test would find out conclusively.

Niagara Falls – A section of Portage Road – between Ferry and Niagara – is scheduled for road work this summer and is expected to start any day.

The Portage Road work – which is listed as part of Mayor Paul Dyster’s “in-house street paving & other roadway re-construction costs” in his proposed 2016 capital spending plan is budgeted for $650,000.

It may cost more than that depending on the type of work the city winds up doing on the road and what they unearth.

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