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JULY 21 - JULY 29, 2015

TV Series Slams Falls; Dyster Takes to Twitter to Attack Ch. 2

By Tony Farina

JULY 21, 2015

Niagara Falls today: Photo WGRZ.
Niagara Falls today: Photo WGRZ.

Anyone who has been reading the Niagara Falls Reporter with any regularity would not have been surprised by the first installment of Ch. 2’s five-part series “Fix the Falls” which began Monday night.

As this newspaper has been reporting for many months, despite Mayor Paul Dyster’s claims that downtown development will restore the city, many residents believe boarded up homes, vacant land, and blighted neighborhoods tell the real story of a crumbling city.

As one resident said during the broadcast, “we’ve been promised everything, nothing happens.”  There were similar comments, like “neighborhoods have been ignored” and “we want meaningful development,” suggesting the attention to downtown has come at the expense of the rest of the city.

As reported in the first part of the series, Niagara Falls is facing severe financial challenges, as this newspaper has been reporting for some time.  To make matters worse, the state comptroller issued a report on Monday that property tax growth for local governments (like Niagara Falls) will be capped at less than one percent for the 2016 fiscal year, the lowest since the cap was installed in 2011.

For a city like Niagara Falls, with all the hype about downtown development and the life-saving Hamister Hotel which has yet to break ground, the tight tax cap is one more hurdle heading into the coming fiscal year when the city will have to close what is expected to be a budget shortfall of more than $7 million.

With depleted reserves, it is likely the city will have to take drastic measures to keep the city from insolvency, and that likely includes layoffs and service reductions to residents already reeling from things like frozen water pipes and foul odors.

Speaking of a bad stench, Mayor Dyster apparently smelled the Ch. 2 series was probably going to paint an unflattering portrait of the city he leads in this, an election year, and he took to social media attacking Ch. 2 prior to the start of the series.

His honor, who usually bends over backwards to keep the mainstream media well fed, was none too pleased about a series of reports that might not make his administration look very good, even playing the race card in two tweets on his Twitter account.  Judge for yourself:


 “Paul Dyster @PDyster

@WGRZ : is this your target audience for hit job on Niagara FallsNY?  If so, you’re doing great.  #RacisminAmerica.

Paul Dyster @PDyster

The new #RacisminAmerica:  can’t attack the people, so they attack place they live.  Let the bloggers take it from there.


We were unable to reach the general manager or the news director from the television station for comment.  As for Dyster, he never returns calls from this newspaper and he looked bewildered and overwrought in his brief appearance in the first part of the series, admitting the city’s funds are short.

Trying to make the case for Niagara Falls in Part I was Community Development Director Seth Piccirillo who played the broken record the administration has been trying to sell that downtown development will eventually save the day.  That record didn’t seem to be playing too well on Monday night to residents tired of poverty, crime, blighted neighborhoods, and frozen pipes.  The common theme:  we’re tired of being ignored by the politicians and we want change.

Stay tuned. 






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TV Series Slams Falls; Dyster Takes to Twitter to Attack Ch. 2
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Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina