Chris Voccio

FORMER GAZETTE PUBLISHER TO RUN FOR COUNCIL

May 19, 2017 Staff 0

Niagara Falls, NY – May 12, 2017 – Chris Voccio, who until this afternoon was the publisher of both the Niagara Gazette and the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, announced his candidacy for the Niagara Falls City Council.

Voccio, who took the helm of the Gazette in September of 2014, announced to his staff in January that he was retiring in May when he turned 50. He didn’t specify his plans at that time.

“I moved to Niagara Falls to turn around the Niagara Gazette, and I fell in love with the place,” Voccio said. “We have so much going for us, but city government seems to be in its own way. There’s a lack of leadership at city hall, and the council needs a change agent to help turn things around.”

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Sam Archie

Three Open City Council Seats May Attract As Many As 10 Candidates

May 18, 2017 Mike Hudson 0

At least six contenders will vie for three open seats on the Niagara Falls City Council this autumn, and insiders say as many as eleven others are likely to announce before the July filing deadline.

Charles Walker, a 20-year veteran of the Council, has decided not to seek re-election, while members Kristen Grandinetti and Andrew Touma have announced they are in the running.

Chris Voccio
Chris Voccio

The Council has been seen largely as a rubber stamp, approving the programs and policies of Mayor Paul Dyster, rarely questioning his decisions. This has led to fiascos such as the city’s new train station that has yet to see a train and the 72nd Street water main that left residents without water for two winters in a row.

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NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli

Turmoil At Empire State Development Revealed In State Comptroller’s Audit

May 18, 2017 Mike Hudson 0

By Mike Hudson;

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s scathing audit report of the Empire State Development Corp. reveals an agency in crisis, one all but unaccountable to the people of New York or anyone else.

Many here have long suspected that Empire State Development, headed up locally by former state assemblyman Sam Hoyt, and its’ subsidiary, USA Niagara Development Corp., run by former state assemblywoman Francine DelMonte, exist largely to benefit campaign contributors and provide jobs for political hacks.

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Michael_DiCienzo_Headshot

Moribund Wonderfalls back in news following DiCienzo’s harsh criticism

May 18, 2017 Mike Hudson 0

By Mike Hudson;

Nearly three years ago, in August 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to town to announce a “transformational” $150 million project known as Wonderfalls Resort.

Uniland Development and Delaware North would partner to build the project he said, which called for a 15-story tower, 300 hotel rooms, an indoor water park, upscale restaurants and boutiques and a daredevil attraction that officials have said would involve tightrope walker Nik Wallenda all appended to the largely unused portion of the Rainbow Centre Mall, now owned by the city.

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burglar

Violent Crime Sweeping The Falls Can Be Laid Directly At Dyster’s Door

May 18, 2017 Staff 0

By Mike Hudson;

The wave of violent crime currently sweeping over the city of Niagara Falls is something Mayor Paul Dyster doesn’t like to talk about.

Why would he? In 2010, when he bent over for then state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and entered into a consent decree that would cost city taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and make rank and file police officers here leery about pulling over a car filled with gang bangers unless it could be verified as stolen, he showed plainly what side he was on.

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516822015

Celebrating Niagara Falls Greatest Generation

May 18, 2017 Staff 0

By Councilman Kenny Tompkins & Terry Ortt Tompkins

Dick Lacey. Gordon Ortt. Chester and John Gawel. Patricia Knibbs.

They’re not household names and yet they are REAL heroes in our community. These are just a few of the men and women from Niagara Falls who proudly served our country in World War II.

In the Tompkins’ house, all veterans, especially those who served in conflicts like WWII, are revered for their valor. Terry’s dad, Gordon Ortt, served in the U.S. Army 345th Engineer Regiment from 1942 to 1946 and was an MP in Italy. Before he was honorably discharge from his honest and faithful service to this country, Dad was awarded the Victory Medal; America Service Medal; European, African, Middle Eastern Service Medals; Good Conduct Medal; and the Bronze Star. Dad died in 2014 at 92, but will forever live on in our hearts as the hero he was at home and abroad.

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candra thomason250

Thomason Announces Comeback Candidacy For Return To Council Here

May 18, 2017 Staff 0

As a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls, former city councilwoman, businesswoman and longtime community advocate, Candra Thomason announced her candidacy for Niagara Falls City Council this week.

“As a former member of the Council, I worked hard to cut unnecessary spending while fighting for quality of life services, and I now feel I need to roll up my sleeves and get back to public service,” she told the Niagara Falls Reporter. “I hope to use the knowledge I have of business management, accounting, public relations, marketing and organization building in the public and private sector to help fix the fiscal crises we are in, and the multitude of problems facing our city.”

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Sam Archie

Archie’s Candidacy Is About Saving You Money

May 18, 2017 Staff 0

By Sam Archie;

I have decided to run for City Council because of the lack of leadership and common sense. Too many times we have seen the council majority cave in to the wishes of the Mayor without asking questions. They have carelessly spent tax dollars and casino funds. I have witnessed council members silence residents who spoke to them with concerns that didn’t fit their narratives. I was infuriated when a council member told residents if they don’t like it, they can move. Enough is Enough.

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Blight4

Niagara Falls, Rest in Pieces

May 18, 2017 Staff 0

Jim Ostrowski;

I’ve been driving through the City of Niagara Falls on business recently and am just wondering if anyone else has noticed that it’s a dying city?  Maybe if you live there, you become used to it, but I don’t live there so I noticed some things that maybe the residents miss.  For example, your roads are horrible, nearly bordering on third world quality.  Your housing stock is horrendous; your business districts are sparsely populated and there is very little evidence of market-driven investment.  Most of the newer projects are one way or another subsidized by tax dollars, not a good sign.

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Blighted house

Blighted Buildings Vacant Houses Still Plague Niagara Falls

May 18, 2017 Staff 0

Robert Ventry

Within the city of Niagara Falls there are plenty of vacant and abandon houses, on various streets throughout the city, the majority of them are city owned. These properties hurt the appearance of the neighborhood and bring property values down in the areas they are in. These structures are also a public health threat to the community; they pose many risks to residents, such as high grass, being used to dump garbage, and rodents.

Most of these building are so dilapidated that they are beyond saving; some of these properties have been vacant for decades. Why are these issues allowed to continue, why are these problems not a major concern?  Don’t forget about our neighborhoods, take a look around and it seems like they have been forgotten.

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Rendering of proposed $50 million luxury hotel.

All Developers Deserve Favor: Unless You’re Michael Dicienzo

May 11, 2017 Staff 0

By Jamie Moses;

There’s a very old saying “when in Rome do as the Romans.” The saying originally appeared in 390 A.D. as advice in a letter from St. Augustine to the Bishop of Naples. St. Augustine, who had traveled extensively, was pointing out that it is wise to adopt the customs of wherever you are.

We bring this up because of a recent flare up over Canadian hotel developer Michael DiCienzo’s plan to build a $20 million “daredevil-themed” water park and a $50 million luxury hotel addition on top of his Sheraton at the Falls in Niagara Falls, NY.

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Michael DiCienzo

Dyster rejects $70 million development, cites pretend development as reason

May 11, 2017 Staff 0

By Mike Hudson;

If Michael DiCienzo was a woman, or a person of color, he’d have a heck of a discrimination case on his hands. He’s a white man though and the fact that his repeated attempts to bolster the moribund Niagara Falls economy with personal investments of tens of millions of dollars have been dismissed by Mayor Paul Dyster and other officials here without explanation have barely made the news.

Last week, he appeared before the city Council with a $70 million proposal to build an indoor waterpark and radically expand the Sheraton at the Falls hotel owned by his family on Third Street, across from the Seneca Niagara Casino.

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