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OCT 28- NOV 05, 2014

Letters to the Editor

October 28, 2014

Reader Calls BS on Jayne Park


Let me get this straight: when the Jayne Park reconstruction -that's what it is folks, don't let the fancy names fool you- plans were originally drawn up, the city was to come up with $145,000 to match the grant.

The residents clearly stated they didn't want any work done, PERIOD. And the mayor said "The people have spoken, Jayne Park will stay the way it is."

So, two years later, the mayor and one of his minions come forth with a "scaled down" plan. If the plan has been "scaled down" as the city planner and mayor say, then I have two questions:

1). Why are we still going to contribute $145,000 to the reconstruction of the park if the plans have been scaled down?

2). How in the name of fiscal responsibility can the city council ok $269,000 to Scott Lawn to do what, if there is already a scaled down plan?

Now the big question: we're supposed to match a grant of $145,000. With the original design "scaled down" as the mayor and city planner claimed, why do we still have to match that grant, especially since a scaled project should cost less, and where is the money coming from for Scott Lawn?

Are we contributing $145,000 and an additional $269,000 for Scott Lawn or are we going to add an addition $124,000 to the $145,000 to make up the amount awarded to Scott Lawn?

And what about the matching $145,000 we're supposed to be getting?

Is this job going to cost $290,000 including Scott Lawn's fee, or is it going to cost $290,000 and $269,000 for Scott Lawn?

The mayor, the city planner and the mayor's three toadies on the city council should all be ashamed of themselves.

They're spending money like drunken sailors without any thought to what they're doing to the city's bottom line. Jayne Park is a peaceful, left-to-nature type of park. It is what the homeowners want.

It would be nice if the council took the time to visit the dead rose garden at Hyde Park, looked at the veterans' memorial, steps from the garden and realize that spending a few thousand to fix up the rose garden and structure would be a much better and cheaper investment that the entire city can enjoy.

Dyster, DeSantis, Grandinetti, Touma and Walker need a reality check.

These are the people who are driving the city over the precipice! Shame on all of you!!

Judy Harfield

Niagara Falls


Roberts is Wrong, Ceretto is Right! Says Independence Party Chairman

I must take exception to misstatements and disinformation in a letter to the editor in the October 18 Lewiston Porter Sentinel by Lewiston Democratic Chairwoman Diane Roberts.

As an attorney, Ms. Roberts should know better than anyone that, while she is entitled to her opinion, she is not entitled to her own facts.

In Ms. Roberts’ highly-partisan screed attacking Town Board candidate Beth Ceretto, she dishonestly stated that Mrs. Ceretto is the Niagara County Independence Party’s chairwoman. That is not the case, and never has been. Mrs. Ceretto is the party’s former secretary, and volunteers at many of our party-building events, but she has never held nor sought the party’s chairmanship.

The other content of Ms. Roberts’ attack piece are open to debate as well, but I will just offer my own observations about Beth Ceretto, having known her for years: she is the epitome of the political independent, committed to her community and her neighbors first, rather than partisan ideology. Beth does have some strong views on some subjects she’s no fan of tax increases and wasteful spending and as a successful small business owner, she certainly will work hard to keep Lewiston a business-friendly community. And, yes, it is true that she is a supportive wife, whose husband has a demanding job, and who believes in him and what he stands for. But she is also a truly independent woman, and those of us who know her know that she’ll always vote her conscience.

Beth Ceretto is the Independence Party’s nominee because she represents our party’s values. We’re pleased the Republicans and Conservatives respect those values, and Beth’s commitment to them, enough to make her their candidate as well.

Beth Ceretto once told me that to her, Lewiston is family. I hope that, on Nov. 4th, her big Lewiston family gives her the chance to help improve their community.

Susan Agnello Eberwein

Chair NC Independence Party


Give Ward the Award for Sal Maglie Stadium

We are writing regarding the most recent developments regarding Mr. Ray Ward and the future management of Sal Maglie Stadium.

We were surprised when the Niagara Falls Reporter called and started asking many questions about Mr. Ward’s past dealings in Alabama.

We choose not to judge Mr. Ward for what happened years ago. We have gotten to know him thru this past baseball season as he attended most of our home games with his son. We have found him to be genuinely excited about the future of Sal Maglie Stadium. His plans to include "little league" play show his vision and heart for young people in our community. Much of that enthusiasm includes his plan to "paint up, fix up" a stadium that really needs some "TLC."

We do not know the details of a pending management agreement with Mr. Ward but based on our understanding from discussions with him, we see no downside for the City of Niagara Falls. Mr. Ward will be investing his funds for much of the work and will pay the City rent.

As the biggest "stake holder" at the stadium we would be pleased to work with Mr. Ward if the City of Niagara Falls awards him the management contract for Sal Maglie stadium.

We have begun signing contracts with collegiate baseball players for next summer's season and look forward to a management award soon.

Cal Kern

Niagara Power President

Kenneth W. Knight

Niagara Power Board Chair


New Form of Governance In Village Of Lewiston

I have carefully considered the candidacies of the people running for office this November, and I thought so highly of the candidacy of Johnny Destino for State Senator that I decided to support him, which included placing his campaign sign on my front lawn in the Village of Lewiston.

Much to my surprise the sign was stolen from my lawn.

I use the word "stolen" advisedly, since no one came to my door and told me to remove the sign, nor did I received any notification that I should not be displaying the sign. But someone removed it without my permission.

I then placed another sign there, thinking maybe rowdy kids had stolen the other one. Again to my surprise and disgruntlement, the second sign was stolen from my lawn during daylight hours so I pretty much figured it wasn’t just kids’ pranks

I began to wonder why this happened and thought perhaps there was a village ordinance against political signs being displayed. I went down to the Village Hall and asked if there was an ordinance. I was told that there was no ordinance prohibiting signs, but there was a “gentleman’s agreement” that no political signs would be displayed in the Village of Lewiston.

In all my studies in college and universities, I never encountered mention of a form of government that was determined by a “gentleman’s agreement.” I have seen and heard of many strange things in government, but I thought our behavior in society was always governed by laws, acts, ordinances, and by the rule of law. All of these are part of a formal system where elected officials vote on and adopt these various forms of governing rules of law.

But what is a “gentleman’s agreement”? Does that have any valid basis of governance in a so-called democratic society? Why has the Village of Lewiston chosen this form of government to dictate to the residents of the Village how they must conduct themselves? Are they so forward thinking that they have stumbled on this new form of government that will benefit us all so much that we need to abandon the means we have depended on from the founding of our country?

Or is this yet another way that we find to be shrouding the will and voice of the people in our local governments? Apparently if something doesn’t please “the gentlemen” who made this “gentlemen’s agreement” then we cannot do it.

By the way, it was “both parties” that made “the agreement.” Think about that! Does that mean that there is no allowance for any other party except “both parties”?

Think about all that this says about how things are done when the political machines take over and people are not allowed to exercise free speech. Think about what can go on when “both parties” agree to something. Think about but the secrecy and loss of transparency that is apparently skirting the rules of law that have been legitimately established.

That is one of the reasons I chose to support Johnny Destino; I want transparency in government; I want to get rid of back room rules; I want to get rid of “gentlemen’s agreements" that skirt due process. I want an honest person representing me in the state legislature. I want Johnny Destino to be our state senator!

D. Germain D. Ludwig

Professor, (Ret)


Ortt Not What He Says He Is

I think it’s time to set the record straight about Rob Ortt.

Ortt says he will work to repeal the SAFE Act and never signed the Mayor’s Against Guns Pledge. What a clever bit of doublespeak that is. He may have never physically signed it, but he is listed as supporting it on the Mayors Against Guns List, and is listed in an article in the Lockport Sun and Journal as signing the letter, along with Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. He even has a web page up supporting it:

The not physically signing it is his way to cover up that he did sign the letter and was listed as a member. He only changed his stance after he saw it was going to hurt him in the election.

Looking at Ortt’s campaign financials. I see almost no local contributors. The few that are are mostly from Erie County and special interest groups in Niagara Falls. I see donations of $5000, $10,000, $16, 800 from NYC donors. Who is he going to owe if he gets elected?

Ortt lied about signing onto the Safe Act Pledge, he takes money from NYC interests and Land Hoarders/Development obstructionists like NFR, is backed by political hacks that led us to our present state and he has never reduced taxes in NT.

In fact he raised them 7.9% in his first year, and has raised water and sewer rates. His idea of economic development is Tattoo Parlors and E Cig Shops. Ask anyone in NT if they are paying less.

On the other hand there is Johnny Destino, who has taken no downstate money, has always been on the right side of the Second Amendment and is not a career politician.

To me this seems to be pretty clear. I am supporting Destino and if you don’t want NYC controlling our lives like they do now, I would suggest you think about it too.

Robert Krause

Niagara Falls





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