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MAR 03 - MAR 10, 2015

Letters to the Editor

March 3, 2015

Change the Slogan Already

First I would like to request that the century old saying "MOVE THE CITY FOREWARD" be replaced with "IMPROVE THE CITY" or some other decent saying. Moving the city ... Forward is so old it has no meaning in NIAGARA FALLS.



A man with a plan

I have read your articles on the pit bull problem, the proposed pit bull shelter and the under utilized train station, and I think I have a brilliant idea. So let us consider this an open letter to Mayor Dyster.

Dear Mayor Dyster,

Since you have spent millions of dollars on a very large train station that is mostly empty and propose to spend millions more on a pit bull shelter, why not save the taxpayers money and convert say - three quarters of the train station into your pit bull shelter? Train station put to good use, pit bulls sheltered and millions of dollars saved!

Your welcome,

An over-taxed citizen


Mr. Hufnagel

I read your article Dr. Dyster, or How I Learned to Stop Complaining and Love the Moses Parkway in the Reporter. While I loved it overall I do not understand why you used the term "white Suburbs to the north" What does color have to do with the removal of the parkway? I hope you will respond.


Tom Collister

Lewiston, NY


Hufnagel's response:

Mr. Collister,

Thank you for your interest in my story and also the topic of the Parkway. I have been involved with the effort to remove the north Parkway for nearly 20 years. During that time I have had personal conversations, read comments on the internet and even seen in letters to the editor in the newspapers that one major reason Lewiston residents want to keep the Parkway is because they don't want to drive through what they consider "ghetto" neighborhoods such as they perceive Main Street, Niagara Falls is.

Lewiston is 99+% white. The major reason many live there is to avoid living with black people. I have overheard this from both friends and strangers enough times that I know it to be true. I am not saying that is why you live there. But it's a fact of American life - white flight.

The Parkway, by cutting a couple of minutes off the commute time into the city, helps to enable this racial status quo to perpetuate at the expense of the quality of life and economy of the city of Niagara Falls.

I hope this sheds some light on why I used that terminology in describing the Parkway. Thanks again for your question and also for reading the Reporter.

Jim Hufnagel

Lumber City Chairman Says

Ramsay Field Not Being Sold

Kindly inform Sweeney Payne to please fact check before writing her/his rants about North Tonawanda.

In a recent column Sweeney falsely claims that the City is selling the baseball field at Ramsey Field in the City- at 1344 Walck Road- to a business who wants to construct two buildings and employ 40-50 people at the site.

If Sweeney would be so kind as to read the City Council Meeting Minutes from February 17, 2015 it is plainly stated that the property being sold is at 758 Erie Avenue- at the opposite end of Walck Road- and some 1.2 miles from Ramsey Field.

The property being sold is an abandoned baseball field sited on DPW property- in the "triangle" formed by Nash Road, Walck, and Erie, near the old Durez Chemical Plant site. Perhaps when you did your "driving down Walck Road to verify that there is only one athletic field there" you were wearing dirty eyeglasses?

Sweeney- you don't even have to go to a Council meeting to find out the facts- you can simply read the City Council Meeting minutes on line at the web site before you go into your rant...... especially when it concerns a business and jobs coming to the our City. Please do a better job of actually checking the facts before you start typing.

Douglas P Taylor
Chairman, Lumber City
Development Corporation

NT History Museum ED

Enlightens Remington Nash

Remington Nash in your column that appeared in the Feb 24 edition of the Reporter, you wrote to columnist Sweeney Payne, "To hear you tell it, the Sweeneys, Paynes, Vandervoorts, & Goundrys pretty much ran the place for generations of cash driven nepotism – and that was OK? I don't know if that could happen amidst the conditions of transparency with which your group claims to associate yourselves. Those well to do families certainly didn't have to deal with nuisance, anonymous Sound Offs complaining about them buying up all the land."

James and John Sweeney and their in-law George Goundry purchased land from the Holland Land Office (for whom George Goundry worked), as did William Vandervoort. These men owned three-fourths of what is today's City of North Tonawanda.

What Remington Nash doesn't seem to realize is that only a very few people lived here when these gentlemen acquired their land. The Sweeneys and Goundry invested in land here before the Erie Canal was completed through here. They did, except for George Goundry, who never lived here, give of their time in public service and helped develop us into the Village of North Tonawanda in the Town of Wheatfield. James Sweeney served at various levels of the early governments. Sweeney family descendants remained in North Tonawanda into the first half of the 20th century.

Lieutenant Colonel Lewis S. Payne, who arrived after the Sweeneys and Vandervoort, was involved in the early development of our community as a lumber center and he and his family were active in the community well into the 20th century also. Payne also represented the developing community politically.

History doesn't portray them as "running the place" themselves. We suggest that you visit the North Tonawanda History Museum or purchase our full-length books to learn the accurate history of the Sweeneys and Vandervoorts and the Paynes.

You also wrote, "Mr. Remington was a swell guy that made a nice buck manufacturing awesome typewriters & office stuff in North Tonawanda. He had a great relationship with Messrs. Rand & Sperry at the plant until Mr. Sperry had his name thrown off the sign out front, in favor of Sperry-Rand. In the end, Remington still came out on top by having a lofty tavern and a NT street named after him."

We're sorry to have to tell you that there were no Remingtons in North Tonawanda. The Rands bought out the Remington operations as they did many other manufacturers of office supplies and equipment. No typewriters were ever made at our North Tonawanda plant. It was a printing plant for the office record keeping supplies invented in North Tonawanda by the father of the Rand who eventually merged the businesses his father and he had created and the acquired numerous other manufacturing operations.

We invite you to visit our Rand Family Exhibit Hall and our Remington-Rand exhibit in the Erie Canal Exhibit Hall to learn the accurate history.

Donna Zellner Neal,
Executive Director
NTHistory Museum

Some Queries on the Ice Pavilion

Hey I have a few questions about the Ice Pavilion.

Why didn't Mayor Dyster use casino money to cover the three million?

There are large consulting fees that seem all out of line here... why weren't they covered by casino money and why have the Ice Pavilion project consultant fees been so high?

Controller Maria Brown gave a rambling answer at the last meeting that eventually said in effect "we can handle this bond debt with no problem." Really? How can the city with a deficit as high as nine million easily handle this new debt?

Why were no debt program numbers shared?

Why is the city still unaware of exactly how large its debt is and its deficit are?

Why would the government borrow a penny for any reason after the past budget crisis?

Was this ice pavilion project ball parked as costing this eventual eleven million?

Were real numbers shared year to year with the council and public?

Wasn't the ice supposed to fail three years ago?

Isn't this last minute "government by crisis" the same route taken in the past with the train station rebid, Hamister, trash program and soon to be dog pound and parking plan? In other words no numbers are shared until the last moment when the contract or costs are shown at a council meeting.

Ron Warren

An Important Point About Heroin

I am writing because I saw your article on Heroin's comeback.

Recently, The Levittown based non-profit organization, Steps to Recovery were proud to help launch a Naloxone roll out for Police Officers in Bucks County, PA. The medicine will help save the lives of people who have overdosed on opioids across the county.

The rolling out of Naloxone to all first responders and not just medical professionals is an important step to improve accidental overdose survival rates.

Opioids can cause a depression of the central nervous system, respiratory system, and hypotension. This can lead to hypoventilation or a severe slowdown in breathing. Naxalone is an opioid antagonist, designed to help reverse signs of an opioid overdose.

Mark Wollacott





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Contact Info

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Phone: (716) 284-5595

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