The tarp has been dangling off the DeVeaux Woods Carriage Barn for over three months. Hopefully State Parks will repair it so that future generations can enjoy this historic building (photo by Michael Federspiel).

DeVeaux Woods Carriage Barn previously doomed; now Centerpiece of state Outdoor Recreation proposal

July 20, 2017 James Hufnagel 0

“There may have been a time when preservation was about saving an old building here or there, but those days are gone. Preservation is in the business of saving communities and the values they embody.” – National Trust for Historic Preservation

An emailed response by Western Region director and Assistant Deputy State Parks Commissioner Mark Thomas obtained by the Reporter would seem to indicate that, just like six years ago, the demolition of the DeVeaux Woods Carriage Barn has been put on temporary hold. What action the state agency intends to take in the immediate future to secure the historic building, which had its temporary tarpaulin roof blown off by a March windstorm, exposing the interior to the elements, is unclear. read more

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State Parks neglects DeVeaux Carriage Barn

July 14, 2017 James Hufnagel 2

Historic building may soon be razed

Even though the local State Parks office reaps $20 million annually from its operations in Niagara Falls State Park and $3 million a year from Niagara Greenway, it seems they can’t spare a few dollars for a new roof on the historic DeVeaux Woods Carriage Barn, and insiders say the distinguished and celebrated structure is again, as it was a few years ago, under threat of being flattened by their wrecking ball.

Formerly the location of a private school attended and fondly remembered by hundreds of local residents, the grounds of DeVeaux Woods State Park feature several buildings, the oldest of which is the Carriage Barn, a brick structure built in 1863, the same year President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. read more

pavers three sisters

Millions may already be budgeted for Cuomo’s Goat Island “lodge”

April 7, 2017 James Hufnagel 0

By James Hufnagel

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The first $25 million for the “Landscape Improvements” plan, with its bulldozing and paving of Three Sisters Islands and construction of bigger parking lots and expanded food service in the park, insuring that the 8 million tourists don’t have any reason to enter or spend money in the city’s downtown, came from the Niagara River Greenway, which is funded by NYPA relicensing dollars. In other words, the state screwed us with our own money.

It started with $25 million in Greenway funding to implement the 2012 Niagara Falls State Park Landscape Improvements plan.

“(Six) areas will be restored under the $25 million revitalization initiative, including Luna Island, Three Sisters Islands, Stedman’s Bluff, Terrapin Point, Prospect Point, and the Cave of the Winds Pedestrian Plaza… In addition, (New York) State Parks is advancing other rehabilitation work at Niagara Falls under the $25 million initiative, including way-finding and signage improvements, rehabilitation of park roadways, walking paths, and infrastructure, and designing the replacement of the American Falls Bridge,” detailed the introduction to the plan. read more

Two years ago, the Calvert Vaux Carriage House on Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park was to be repurposed as a "small inn," according to a USA Niagara RFP document.

Goat Island lodge’s long journey from “Small Inn” to huge Tourist Resort

March 2, 2017 James Hufnagel 0

It started out small, then got bigger, much bigger, thanks to the efforts of USA Niagara.

First brought to light in a largely-overlooked 2014 USA Niagara Development Corp. Request for Proposals (RFP) that called for bids to retrofit a small building on Goat Island in the Niagara Falls State Park as “a signature dining facility, an outdoor recreation outfitting facility, and/or a small inn,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed “lodge” for the state-owned and operated park has been scaled up to, according to information recently obtained by the Reporter, a sprawling tourist attraction and resort destination in its own right on the former Olmsted preserve. read more

The Yellowstone Park Hotel. "By adding the 66-room Yellowstone Park Hotel and the 103 rooms at the Gray Wolf, Delaware North now owns 292 hotel rooms in West Yellowstone."

Delaware North assured of Niagara Lodge thanks to Campaign Contributions to Cuomo

March 2, 2017 James Hufnagel 0

Eight – by some accounts, nine – million tourists visit Niagara Falls State Park every year.

They access the world-famous attraction from two directions on a dedicated roadway, park on one of 1,500 parking spaces, tour Cave of the Winds and ride Maid of the Mist, dine at Top of the Falls restaurant, pavilion Snack Bar or one of four food booths scattered around the park, purchase souvenirs at one of two gift shops, perhaps thumb some quarters into the coin-operated binoculars perched next to the grand waterfalls, and then get back into their vehicles and leave without any need or reason to enter and spend money in the city of Niagara Falls next door. read more

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USA Niagara promotes Niagara Lodge with images linked to Delaware North

March 2, 2017 James Hufnagel 2

If there were any remaining doubts in anyone’s mind that the proposed Niagara Lodge on Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park is earmarked for Jeremy Jacobs’ Delaware North worldwide empire, what follows should dispel them.

Two images portraying the embattled hotel/resort have been posted by local economic development agency USA Niagara at its Niagara Experience Center website.

 These two images of the controversial Niagara Lodge, appearing on a USA Niagara website, were created by Delaware North partner BRC (note logo on bottom right).
These two images of the controversial Niagara Lodge, appearing on a USA Niagara website, were created by Delaware North partner BRC (note logo on bottom right).

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Several other images depict the Niagara Experience Center, but it’s the two hotel images that are most significant. read more

Winston Churchill was able to take a stand.

Dyster’s position on Cuomo’s lodge assures Placement in Pantheon of Great Leaders 

February 23, 2017 James Hufnagel 1
It must be fun to use taxpayers’ money to use the Niagara Falls State Park as piggy bank for campaign donors.

Gov. Cuomo’s proposed “lodge” on Goat Island in the Niagara Falls State Park has been met with swift, unequivocal and forceful public opposition since he announced his intentions during a January speech at the University of Buffalo. Earlier this week the Niagara Falls City Council passed a resolution opposing the project. On the same evening, twenty miles away at Lockport, Niagara County legislators tabled a similar resolution pending clarification by the governor’s staff, a resolution that would have passed with flying colors had it come to a vote. read more

Hot dogs, Delaware North hot dogs
What kind of kids eat Delaware North Hot Dogs?
Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks
Tough kids, sissy kids, billionaire kids, even kids with chicken pox
love hot dogs, Delaware North Dot Dogs
The dogs kids love to bite!

State DEC greenwashes Delaware North so-called “Improvements” to State Park

February 16, 2017 James Hufnagel 0

The very survival of the human race is being threatened by global warming, air and water pollution, overpopulation, natural resource depletion, loss of biodiversity, deforestation and ocean acidification, but don’t despair! Delaware North, which sells fast food, gifts and souvenirs in the former nature preserve we know as Niagara Falls State Park, was recently named a “New York Environmental Leader” by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

Why was Delaware North designated an “Environmental Leader” by New York State? read more

Delaware North co-CEO Lou Jacobs shakes with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown as Delaware North seals the deal. Kevin Kelly (right) is both president of Delaware North’s travel business and chairman of the Olmsted Park Conservancy’s board of directors.  The woman on the left is Stephanie Crockatt, the Conservancy’s executive director.

“Buffalo Olmsted” rolls over for Cuomo, Delaware North $$$

February 16, 2017 James Hufnagel 0

It’s no secret why the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, one of the largest, most prominent and influential local non-profit community organizations in Western New York, has adopted a strictly hands-off approach when it comes to advocacy on behalf of one of the most famous Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks in the entire world, Niagara Falls State Park.

It’s because Delaware North pays them off, pure and simple. And to be honest, they come pretty cheap.

Last week Lou Jacobs, co-CEO of Delaware North, pledged $300,000 to Buffalo Olmsted for the various purposes of fighting the invasive emerald ash borer, sponsoring a community lecture series, planting and maintenance of new trees and directing a small subsidy to the city’s Summer Youth Program. read more

The Mayor is fond of ballcaps.

Is Mayor Dyster one of the ‘immigrant’ faces on Cuomo Pamphlet ???

February 3, 2017 James Hufnagel 0

excel cuomo

On Jan. 20, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s representative, Empire State Development’s Sr. VP Sam Hoyt appeared in Council Chambers at Niagara Falls City Hall to deliver an encapsulated version of the “State of the State” speech performed by Cuomo on Jan. 9 at the University of Buffalo’s North Campus.

At the front entrance to the large chambers, where the business of the people is conducted every other Monday, on the bench next to the door, was a stack of single-page, fold-out glossy brochures headlining “NEW YORK STATE EXCELSIOR EVER UPWARD – Advancing the New York Promise” above images of the Greater Rochester International Airport and JFK International in New York City, as well as a newly-constructed Second Avenue Subway in Manhattan. At the bottom of the brochure, in bold letters, is “Andrew M. Cuomo” and “Governor”. read more

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Niagara Falls experiences social media firestorm over Cuomo’s “Lodge” proposal

February 3, 2017 James Hufnagel 0

A number of Niagara Falls residents lit up social media this week with protests against Gov. Cuomo’s “lodge” which he wants to build next to the Niagara River on Goat Island in the Niagara Falls State Park, damaging the beautiful natural scenery surrounding Niagara Falls. We culled the following critical comments from Facebook, which outnumbered those in favor by at least 10 to 1.

Robert Borgatti: “This is a terrible idea. Just another unnecessary intrusion on the natural environment at the falls and totally contrary to the Olmsted vision that created the natural reserve (now referred to as a “park”). No more commercial enterprises inside the park, which yields little economic benefit to the community.” read more

Eight million tourists a year park, eat, sightsee and shop in Niagara Falls State Park without entering the city. Now Gov. Cuomo wants them to sleep there, too.

Local Opposition Ramping up to Cuomo’s Lodge in Olmsted’s Niagara Reservation park

February 3, 2017 James Hufnagel 2

While the shock of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that he wants to build a state-owned “lodge” (read hotel) on Goat Island in the Niagara Falls State Park is still sinking in with many local residents, a preliminary sample of public opinion so far seems to reflect growing opposition to the governor’s proposal.

Floating the trial balloon during his January 9 University at Buffalo “State of the State” speech (“On Goat Island we will create a year-round destination for tourism and build a world-class lodge with sweeping views of the Niagara River”), Cuomo’s scheme to establish overnight lodging on Goat Island would be in direct competition with the new downtown hotels that he and Dyster tout as the city’s salvation. read more