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Letters to the Editor

Audrey Silk

Tobacco Industry Not Part of Parks Lawsuit

Thank you for reporting on my organization's successful lawsuit against NYS Office of Parks. But for one small point of contention, I found it to be a good read and especially enjoyed the closing paragraph.

To wit:

"State Parks is not a municipality and has no elected officials. The judge ruled Parks cannot make its own laws, nor can a bureaucracy regulate the behavior of people and punish them for made up crimes not found on the law books."

But I do write regarding that point of contention.

I note that the paper's motto is "The truth is always fair." And the reporting was indeed 99.99% fair. However, it was unfair to guess at the funding source for the lawsuit ("...whose source of funding may be the tobacco industry...") when, instead, an inquiry was in order if the reporter wanted to make that a part of the story.

This way, it suggests a "deal with the devil," as the tobacco industry has come to be characterized and accepted, and leaves an impression of "guilt by association" regarding my organization's reputation.

For the record, C.L.A.S.H. receives no funding or other support of any kind from any tobacco company or any entity or person that could be said to be associated with the tobacco industry. The funding for this lawsuit was made possible with the nickels and dimes donated by private individuals, with a hefty chunk donated by myself, its founder.

I would appreciate this clarification be printed in your paper.

Audrey Silk

Founder, NYC C.L.A.S.H. (Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment)


Visitor Finds U. S. Side of Falls Disappointing

My family and I recently vacationed in Niagara Falls, N.Y. While there, I continuously commented on the fact that "the town looks like the town that was."

Although there seems to be thousands of tourist and the attractions work as a well oiled machine, I'm very bewildered. I live in a tourist driven community myself, and had a hospitality business for 10 years. Niagara Falls seems like the perfect place to open a hospitality business but, as my research to your paper showed, it has extremely high taxes. Is that the reason why there are no businesses other than Indian Restaurants? My 20-year-old son is the only one who had a passport and he took a quick walk around the Canada side. He commented on the overall difference of the businesses there and that you wanted to walk through the town. It is obvious that the Canada side has much more to offer to tourist. But I'm old school and would like to see our American businesses prosper. Would you mind letting me know what happened? I generally would not care about some other place enough to write the town paper but I have to say this really bugs me and I just needed some answers.

Thanks for your time.

Joyce Franks

(Editor's note: Anybody have some answers for Ms. Franks?)


Writer Critical of Hamister Reporting by Mainstream Media

All right! I’ve had it with disingenuous press and news organizations continually getting the story wrong regarding the proposed Hamister hotel in Niagara Falls. Their loose and haphazard reporting is a liability to both news reporting and the city of Niagara Falls.

Mainstream media news articles alluded to an image of obstructionism by the Niagara Falls Council. It was a mockery of reporting and totally devoid of fact.

First and foremost; Hamister hasn’t even proven that he has the resources to build the hotel. His proposal is based on government handouts and tax breaks. Why should we allow a corporate welfare recipient to build a low budget hotel in the heart of the city? He is proposing to build a mere five story hotel: This, on a prime piece of land that is very close to the falls itself. For that location, it would be better to build a 30 floor+ high-rise that would offer spectacular views of the falls, instead of some pedestrian hotel, that is closer to a motel in size? Has anyone looked across the river lately?

This is one of the reasons that Councilmember hero Sam Fruscione steadfastly opposed this ‘deal’. Another very good reason is that the appraised value of the property on which the hotel is to be built on was appraised at over $1.5 million. Under another one of those special sweetheart deals to men with power and money that have plagued the city of Niagara Falls for decades, Hamister got the parcel of land for a mere $100K.

John Swigonski

North Tonawanda


Cool Your Jets, Mr. Hufnagel

Sometimes, all you have to do to win an argument is to shut up, sit back and let the other guy keep making stupid arguments. That being said, all of the “down with the Robert Moses” folks may want to tell Mr. James Hufnagel to cool his jets. Thanks to his 'shocking article' published in the Niagara Falls Reporter we are all now aware of the dire terrorist threat our region is faced with due to the mere presence of the “Bob” (as my high school friends and I used to enjoy calling the Robert Moses Parkway).

If I was hanging out with the Chicken Little crowd all the time I might fall for this trick and hop on the bandwagon for parkway removal because of the scary possibility someone might use it as access to blow something up. But alas, I am a rational person and can see through the smokescreen of threats of terrorism to discover the simple goal of badmouthing the Parkway at any cost. You would have us believe that the removal of the Parkway eliminates this potential for your hypothetical terrorist to do harm to our region in general and the power plant specifically? Come on man. I would tend to believe that you do realize that a mere ten feet to the right (if you’re headed north) and 10 feet up is Lewiston Road, which provides the exact same hypothetical opportunity for destruction in your scenario. Let’s forget that for a second. What are our other options for traveling between Niagara Falls and points north such as Lewiston and Youngstown? I’ve only lived here for 30 years or so but I’m pretty sure that unless you are a bird or a really huge fan of taking the long way, other than the two aforementioned roadways, the only other choices are 190 or Military Road. All four of these roadways provide equally exciting opportunities for a loony bent on destruction to cause major damage to the power plant. Not to mention access to the Plant from Niagara University or general public access all around the reservoir. Yeah, there aremeasures in place to stop unauthorized access at places like NU and the lot off Military but is one of those boom/arm barrier things really going to do much to stop a nut-job who’s presumably driving something larger than my Elantra?

While we’re at it why don’t we shut down the fishing platform too?

Shutter up NU?

Demolish the portion of 190 between Witmer Road and Canada too!

Erect a ten foot concrete wall around the entire reservoir. No more hiking the beautiful gorge trails from Artpark. No boats allowed upstream of Artpark either. I’d feel much safer.

Or how about you stop throwing any random pile of crap at the wall in hopes something will stick and at least spend a bit of time molding that little pile into something whimsical or cute? You can post a picture of it on your Facebook page. Or how about we do our part to stop perpetuating the rampant use of scare tactics in order to get a pet project done and instead focus on rational and intelligent conversation?

Jeremiah Smith, Lewiston


Hope Fruscione Has Something Up Sleeve.

I hope Sam Fruscione wins re-election. My question is, does he have something up his sleeve?

Since I love trains and remember hanging around the north and south end depots as a child, I am in favor of the station being built. Any way that makes it easier to get into our fair city sounds good to me.

Mark Breznay


Can’t Wait to Read Reporter

I read your newspaper every week, and get several other copies for my neighbors who, like me, look forward to this newspaper... Your newspaper has been so informative that I and my neighbors sometimes get together and just talk about what we learned from your paper... I cannot tell you how much we all look forward to your paper, we read the ----- for the obituaries, but for our news, your paper Canb keeps us informed by giving us the facts and I thank you for your hard work to keep us informed. Thank you again,


Niagara Falls



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

OCT 29, 2013