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AUGUST 18 - AUGUST 25, 2015

Did Dyster throw spitball at Cal Kern and the Niagara Power?

By Anna Howard

August 18, 2015

Niagara Power team owner, Cal Kern couldn’t get cooperation from the city of Niagara Falls.


The failure of the Administration of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster to reach an agreement for the 2016 New York Collegiate Baseball League season that would keep the Niagara Power minor league baseball team playing in Sal Maglie Stadium has baseball fans and political observers scratching their heads and asking one question: What’s the real reason for the city’s shabby treatment of the Niagara Power organization?

In a Niagara Gazette August 15 story “With no place to go, Power shut down,” Cal Kern, the General Manager of the Power said, “I felt backed into a corner…We just can’t play there anymore…The city didn’t meet our needs and expectations… It’s disappointing because we were building up a fan base.”

Exactly who backed Kern into a corner and why was he backed into that corner?

By all accounts the Power is a top-notch professional sports organization. The Reporter knows firsthand that Kern is considered to be a straightforward businessman.

The treatment of the Power by city hall smells of Dyster’s “political triangulation” at work.

The Gazette story implies that difficulties with city unions were the reason for work not being performed in the stadium. Union problems” doesn’t begin to explain why the team was locked out of the stadium more than once, the lights on the scoreboard were routinely left burned out and “misunderstandings” as to what constituted a rainout occurred.

After all, the team has been playing in the city facility since 2007 and now there’s suddenly “union problems”?

If there’s a hidden agenda behind the expulsion of the Power, what is it?

The Reporter asks: Does Mayor Dyster want to turn Sal Maglie Stadium into a regional cricket facility?

Does the mayor, a big supporter of cricket and an equally big supporter of wealthy individuals who play the sport, intend to take his newly found love of the sport to the next level by turning the stadium into a major cricket venue serving western New York and perhaps the northeast? 

And we ask, if that’s not the reason for the poor treatment of the Power then is it possible the team was ousted at the whim of yet a to be revealed Dyster-friendly business interest that wants the team off the field so they can assume management of Sal Maglie Stadium?

After all, why would Dyster want to make repairs and perform upkeep for the Niagara Power if the repairs and upkeep don’t mesh with the plans of a new stadium manager?

We raise these questions not because we have access to secret information, but we pose the questions based on the Dyster administration’s history of back door deals and non-transparency. The examples of Dyster’s transparency resistant dealings are numerous, such as: the building of the 61st Street cricket field; Jayne Park work; the curious and unending ice pavilion restoration; the Hamister contract; $50 million courthouse; $350,000 train station re-bid; YMCA building sale; SWEET program jobs; $150,000 penguins; Third Street loans and grants; $90 million of spent casino funds, and the rushed purchase of the $2.2 million trash tote contract are but a few examples of how the Dyster administration operates when taxpayer dollars are on the table.

It looks like the Dyster administration treated the Niagara Power organization - an organization that had faithfully lived up to the terms of its contract with the city since 2007 - in a fashion designed to drive them from the premises. If that was the goal of city hall’s hidden agenda it worked perfectly…the Power and professional baseball are now gone from the city.






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