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Internet Comments Less Than Complimentary on Hamister Deal

The modest hotel Hamister designed represents a tremendous underutilization of the site.

Funny, now that the Hamster deal is approved, the reader comments that follow the internet reports in the media seem to be more negative than when the deal hung in the balance.

Before the deal was struck, the comments were rabidly against the three members of the council majority who questioned the Hamister deal.

Now the comments are mainly condemning it.

For example, after the Niagara Gazette published a story about how Hamister may put a banquet room on the roof of his hotel, all three of the comments that followed the online version of the story were negative:

Steely Dan wrote: "Overlooking Niagara Falls? Overlooking the gorge? A four or five story hotel is going to do all that?"

Lisa Achilli wrote: "Another hotel that we don't need. There are already several empty ones down by the falls. The Fallside Hotel has been boarded up for years and is an eyesore that I have to look at everyday as I live literally across the street from it. This guy (Hamister) is getting a 10 year tax break, so no property taxes from this development, he got a $1.5 million parcel for a hundred grand (a parcel of land that we taxpayers own), for a song, and the only reason that Cuomo stuck his nose in is because Mark Hamister helps to keep the Cuomo's political coffers funded. I'm really quite sick of all the political back scratching in this city at the expense of us taxpayers! This, among many other reasons, is why we've gone from 120,000 residents to barely 50,000."

Duane Hawkins wrote, "yeah, in their eyes it will, it’s all a joke just to get the building built and lie to the taxpayers and customers to come in and spend money on a lie."

When Aaron Besecker, in his "The Brink" column in the Buffalo News, wrote about Gov. Andrew Cuomo's visit to Niagara Falls to ceremonially ink the Hamister deal, there were three commentators against the deal versus two commentators who were in favor of it.

Buffalo Shark wrote, "This should be titled 'Cuomo comes to Falls for taxpayer funded campaigning,’" and JDalo wrote, "I will bet anyone $1 that this deal isn't what it is advertised as. Someone paid Cuomo (like always) to push this deal. Why else would you sell a guy a property valued at $1.5m for $100k? Remember the Maid of the Mist deal? The owner got a gift and the people lost $100m after the owner paid a lobbyist. That is how things are played in NYS. I can come up with $100k if anyone that has a property worth $1.5m and wants to discount it enough for me to buy. That is the only way I would invest in NF! Don't forget about the fact that the project will be non-taxable for many years. Great job fools."

Disqus DKnqalor9M wrote, "Its probably far worse than that. I see an Aquafalls in the future."

JDalo wrote back, "If you were to give me access to your money, you should reasonably expect that I would either return it with a profit or a value that is sufficient to your investment requirement. Here, they take the people's money by force (high taxes) and spend it with no accountability whatsoever. The list of failures that the city has invested in is enormous. Maid of the Mist, Winter Garden, Turtle, NF conference center, holiday market, public safety building, underground railroad... Even when they are tremendous failures like the Holiday Market, they have the nuts to proclaim it a success. Wow, it's no wonder the area is in such bad shape. My heart is in Niagara Falls and I would love to see it thrive, but everyday the lies and incompetence from the leaders seems to grow faster than the welfare rolls."

In another Buffalo News article published on Sept. 19 entitled 'Cuomo intervenes to unblock Hamister hotel project in Falls, Untangles political snarl as city, state, developer ensure deal goes through,’ five out of the six comments were negative.

Robert Wendt wrote, "Must be nice to have the governor do your bidding - exactly how thick was the brown envelope prince Andrew received?...We are interested in the governor's help with our stalled project and wonder who the contact person is to facilitate its progress......can we have the phone number?"

A commentator who used the name "Guest" wrote, "Niagara Falls can't get out of its own way. Try to help and the politicos stand in line to take payoffs and hold up progress. Still the same-old, same old in NF."

Peter A. Reese wrote, "Has Hamister found his wallet yet to complete this deal? Or is he going to expect the taxpayers to pay the freight like he did with the Sabres?"

And again Disqus DKngalor9M wrote, "Why is this so unusual? A cozy relationship in political throws? I love the growth help but gee, would someone like Carl Paladino go to the daddy and cry to get a contract fixed?"

As the fog continues to lie in the valleys, clinging to depressions and low places, it is seen here and there dispersing in peaks and higher elevations, and the Hamister deal is like that, being seen through the long political and public relations fog, by a growing few for what it truly is.



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

SEP 24, 2013