I don't read the Greater Niagara Newspapers much, simply because their coverage stinks and the writing is so sub par. The GNN papers, which include the Niagara Gazette, the Union Sun & Journal, the Tonawanda News and the Medina Journal do little for me other than another option when the Buffalo News doesn't have a relevant issue covered, which is rare.
So this morning, being a slow news day, I figured I'd take a gander at the Gazette. Lo and behold, there it was, the impetus for today's post.
Our old friend Howard Milstein (not really, I don't have any billionaire friends), has agreed to meet with United States Senator Chuck "Never Get Between Me And A Camera" Schumer and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul "I Got the Hippy Hippy Shakes" Dyster about the hundreds of acres of undeveloped property in the city that Milstein owns.
Now, this is all well and good, and I'm sure all of the parties involved will get a nice little photo op out of the gig. They'll come out smiling, talking about the progress that is being made, Schumer will boast about how interested Milstein is in the revitalization of Niagara Falls and Dyster will stand there looking incompetent, which he does very well.
But Dyster needs a serious reality check before he walks into a room with someone like Milstein. Howard will chew Dyster up and spit him out if he senses one iota of bullshit from Dyster. Which brings me to the disconcerting quote from today's Gazette story, in which Dyster stated, “With development beginning to break loose (in the Falls), we thought it was important to bring Mr. Milstein back.” I'm sorry, what?
Development is beginning to break loose in Niagara Falls? You are talking about the U.S. side of the Falls, correct? Because I see a plethora of development going on across the border, and I want to make sure we're talking about the same city.
Sooooooooo, are we talking the snow park that will be abandoned within a year? Are we talking about Hope VI, the $80,000,000 low-income housing community that is costing $280,000 per unit to construct? Are we talking about the desolate Third Street "entertainment corridor" that I saw a few tumbleweeds blowing through last week? Or do you consider crack houses development? Personally, I don't. And that's probably the one thing Howard Milstein and I have in common. Though I am a better writer.....but he has a nicer plane (ok, I don't have a plane).
When Howard comes into town ( I was going to say comes "back" into town, but I'm not sure he's ever been to Niagara Falls), what's your plan, Paul? What are you going to tell him about this development boon that's beginning? Are you going to tout the culinary institute? That would be a mistake, cuz I got news fer ya - it ain't happening (we'll have more on this at a later date).
Do I want Niagara Falls to succeed? Frankly, I could care less. That old adage of "how Niagara Falls goes, so goes Niagara County" is dead. The city has a 60% poverty rate and a 70% illiteracy rate. Why the hell would we want to follow their lead? The housing is a disaster, the roads are undrivable and there is nowhere to shop. If you want some good Italian food, it's the bomb. Other than that, the city could use a bomb.
So good luck with that meeting, fellas. I'm sure Howard will be wowed at all of the great things happening in the city!