July 30, 2010

"We All Are Making Sacrifices"

Buffalo’s font of wisdom, Sen. Antoine Thompson, is at it again. This time, he tells a reporter with Channel 4 that he understands the frustrations of local taxpayers because “We all are making sacrifices.” The video below is, as with all things Thompson, priceless.
It seems the Good Senator is bothered by his hectic work schedule, which includes “fundraisers” and “knocking on doors.”
Um, actually, Antoine, that’s not work. That’s electioneering. There IS a difference. Work is when you put in long hours and pass a budget on time. Electioneering is when you go to swank places like the Buffalo Chop House and the Saturn Club and people pay $5,000 a plate to buy influence with you.
It’s a subtle difference.
Equally enjoyable in the video, though, is Sen. Bill Stachowski, pouting. Apparently he learned his strategy for dealing with uncomfortable questions from the press by watching the interaction among teenage girls.
What’s sad, though, is that one of these two clowns will still have a job after November.

July 29, 2010

Barry's Not From Around Here.

Since his ascension—er, election—we haven’t really been fans of Barack Hussein Obama a/k/a Barry Soetoro a/k/a The Messiah. The thing is, we just can’t help feeling he’s not really one of us. We mean, yes, we get that he’s the product of a big city political machine, an ivory tower elitist, and a part of the Eastern Establishment caste. But there’s something else; Jack Kennedy was guilty of those same sins, and yet we never viewed JFK as anything other than thoroughly American. Obama, though, is different. And that’s not a good thing.
We understand the frustration some had with George W. Bush, but when we remember the guy, we remember him getting choked up a lot, eyes wet and rimmed red. That’s how he looked with that girl who lost her mother on 9/11, and that’s how he looked on top of the debris at Ground Zero. Say what you will about the man, he was one of us, an American who loved his country and cared about people. With Reagan, well, it came through every day, didn’t it? (Actually, even though we never cared for his policy proposals, come to think of it, Walter Mondale even felt American. Wrong, but American.)
So, what is it about this guy that’s different? He seems downright alien. And it’s more than the “Mr. Spock” persona. It’s more than all the bowing to potentates, too, come to think of it.
On Memorial Day, the one day a year when presidents get to truly look presidential, Barack Obama wasn’t laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Instead, he went back to Chicago for a barbecue. Never mind that the country remains at war, its troops taking losses every week: The Commander in Chief was getting himself some much-needed R&R.
It didn’t make sense to us then. Even if he feels as little for this country as it really, sometimes, seems he does, one would expect him to appreciate the political value of such symbolism.
But this week, he did it again. Now, instead of giving a casual F.U. to our troops, it’s the Boy Scouts. Perhaps you’ve seen them: earnest young men in khaki shirts, doing good turns daily, living according to something called the Scout Law, helping little old ladies across the street, things like that.
It seems that the Boy Scouts of America turn 100 this year. It also seems that every four years the hold a jamboree, a big camping trip attended by tens of thousands of Scouts from around the country. And they hold it in Virginia, which, last time we checked, is pretty close to the White House.
It also seems that presidents frequently go to these jamborees and address the Scouts. George W. Bush did it. Bill Clinton did it. George H.W. Bush did it… You get the idea. Not our Barry, though. He’s got better things to do: taping an episode of “The View,” holding a fundraiser... (Incidentally, this isn’t like the fundraising the Scouts do to pay for service projects in their communities. It’s a different kind.)
Which returns us to our central thesis. The Boy Scouts are kinda all-American, ya know? Honoring the war dead on Memorial Day—again, kinda all-American. This guy did neither.
So, if those things are all-American, what’s that make Barry?

July 28, 2010

Short Your Stocks.

I briefly considered titling today’s post “Sign of the Apocalypse No. 387” but thought that might be a bit melodramatic. There are plenty of significant items worth commenting on in the news today, and yet this headline from The Daily News keeps calling me back:
'Jersey Shore' cast rings opening bell amid crowd of fist-pumping fans at New York Stock Exchange
Look, I don’t mean to sound like a stick in the mud here, but really??? I would be totally dishonest if I suggested I’ve never seen Jersey Shore. Actually, I once sat through the better part of an episode. It was everything I feared it would be, and more. Two annoying creatures named “Snooki” and “The Situation” basically spent an hour reminding me of why I’ve never been fond of the so-called Garden State.
As someone who owns some mutual funds and a 401(k), honestly, I don’t take any comfort in this paragraph:
Traders on the increasingly quiet floor said it was one of the most crowded days in years as the deeply tanned cast of the MTV hit rang the bell and stayed to sign autographs amid a crush of onlookers and a flood of media.
I somehow found this sentence even less comforting:
Plenty of hedge fund managers watch the show, including Seabreeze Partners' Doug Kass, who has mentioned the show in his commentary on markets.
Sorry, call me old-fashioned, but if you’re investing my money, I want you to be more like “PC” in the “Mac and PC” commercials. You know: frumpy, dull, wearing a blue or grey suit. And I don’t want you to know who Snooki is.
Meanwhile, the next time the geniuses at the New York Stock Exchange decide to invite someone from New Jersey to ring the opening bell, may I suggest Chris Christie?

July 27, 2010

Demler's Deception

There's been quite a bit of discussion in political circles, various news sites and in local blogs about the petitions for Republican committeemen in Wheatfield this past week.

Former Supervisor Tim Demler has been adamantly claiming that he did not have anything to do with the designating petitions for the Wheatfield GOP Committee, saying that they were filed by different people not all known to him. This is a good strategy for him considering that he has become virtual poison in Wheatfield - the more the people running for committee seats distance themselves from Demler, the better off they'll be. Unfortunately for Demler, the reality is that this is just another in his long list of lies that he has been telling since the people of Wheatfield rightly kicked him to the curb last November. He is very much in this attempt to take over the committee.

What we've found includes:

Ronald Hohle, who is named on the cover sheet of the nominating petitions as the contact person, is a close personal friend of Demler's. He is also named on the committee to fill vacancies. All of the petitions are the same color, size, and have the same three people named on their committees to fill vacancies. The petitions all have the same format and layout, all with room for 15 signatures. Dan Clark, who is named in the committee to fill vacancies, was shocked to learn that his name ended up on the petitions. Jeanette Schultz is also named on the committee to fill vacancies. Craig Schultz, her husband, had been Demler's right hand man for years while Demler was Supervisor.

On the Wheatfield Republican designating petitions, we have:

1. Robert Titus and Craig Schultz challenging Larry Helwig and Bruce Bowen. Schultz is a close friend of Demler's. Titus, when he agreed to be part of the coup, didn't know that he had been pitted against Helwig and Bowen.

2. Michelle Campbell, who Demler used to date, along with David Lee, who is also a close friend of Demler, are pitted against Bob O'Toole and Linda Ross. Lee didn't pass any of his own petitions, Demler did.

3. Jim Connell and Lisa Demler are challenging Ken Retzlaff and Art Kroening. Demler, Tim's daughter, passed all of these petitions with her father.

4. Matt and Julie Forcucci are running against Jim Heuer and Gilbert Doucet. Matt Forcucci is a good friend of Demler.

5. Marc Courtney and Tony Barone are challenging Mike Gurnett and Ken Berner. Courtney's petitions were passed by Craig Schultz, Brian Law and and Ronald Dworzanski, all friends of Demler. After the fact, Barone found out that Demler was unhappy to learn that Demler is behind this effort as he despises Demler.

6. Chuck and Donna Cederman are challenging Bob Cliffe and Walt Garrow. Cederman was the Town Historian under Demler and is now being sued by the town for not returning town camera equipment after his tenure with the town was terminated. Obviously he has an ax to grind. He is also a close friend of Demler.

7. John Petrozzi and Sharon Rosebrock are running against Art Gerbec and Patti Weiss. Petrozzi is a close friend of Demler, as is Rosebrock, wife of John Rosebrock and friend of Demler.

8. Jeffrey Rinaldo's petitions were passed by Ronald Dworzanski, a close friend of Demler's against Paul Greinert and Bill Besecker

9. Dworzanski and Marc Werth are running against Winston Moeller and Roger Lance.

10. Demler and Jay Topolski are challenging Bill Buerger and Karen McKernan. Demler did Topolski's petitions - Topolski did none.

11. Kevin Forcucci and John Rosebrock are running against Rich Crossley and Terry McIntyre. Forcucci is the son of Matt and Julie Forcucci, who we mentioned earlier are good friends of Demler's. John Rosebrock, whose wife is running in District Seven, is a close friend of Demler.

Add it up and it all comes back to one bitter person who can't stand the fact that he was legitimately beaten nearly a year ago: Tim Demler. Kudos to Supervisor Bob Cliffe for refusing to stoop to Demler's level. He has consistently stayed above the slime that Demler continues to spew, conducting the town's business in the gentlemanly way that epitomizes his personality. We can only hope that as more truth comes out about Demler, the people of Wheatfield will continue to see him for what he is, a manipulative loser with a Napoleon complex who can't stand the fact that he's no longer relevant.

July 26, 2010

Niagara Falls Picks the Taxpayers' Pockets

Here at Niagara Times, we’ve been pretty clear about where we stand with regard to the Cataract City: hitting it with a tactical nuke would be a minor improvement.
And so it was today, as we read in the Buffalo News that Niagara County taxpayers will be on the hook for a $150,000 contract for security at the infamous Trott Center, courtesy of our friend, departing County Manager Gregory D. Lewis.
It seems that Trott, which houses the county’s state-mandated methadone clinic (what reporter Tom Prohaska euphemistically calls a “Health Department clinic”) along with Probation Department offices, er, draws a less-than-desirable element:
Last year, a guard was stabbed in the hand, and there have been other physical attacks on employees and students in the building, said Robin DeVoe, deputy county public works commissioner for buildings and grounds.

DeVoe said other security measures include “16 cameras for the hallways [that rowdies] set on fire before.”

In 2007, a man with a gun got into the sexually transmitted disease clinic, although no one was hurt.

“It gets worse as time goes on,” DeVoe said.

County government, of course, doesn’t have a lot of choice here: they can pay for security now, or lawsuits from injured employees and citizens later. But it just warms the heart that a bunch of lowlifes who don’t pay taxes are, once again, increasing the costs to those of us who do.

Strangely, though, stories like this always seem to originate in Niagara Falls. I mean, you never hear about “rowdies” burning down government buildings in Lockport or Middleport. Heck, local drive-time DJs Shredd and Ragan devote considerable time to it every week over on 103.3 FM. Paul Dyster must be so proud…

You stay classy, Niagara Falls.

July 23, 2010

Al Qaeda Finally Gets a Spot on Obama’s Sh*t List

We realize at this stage in the political game that pointing out the Anointed One’s failings is kinda unfair. After all, he’s setting the stage for a historic collapse of the Democrat Party’s Congressional majorities that may even outdo Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Republican Revolution.

And yet, he still manages to vex us.

We recently read an article at the ABC News site that revealed Barack Hussein Obama was—at long last—concerned about Al Qaeda. (You may remember Al Qaeda: crazy sonsofbitches who fly planes into buildings, behead Jewish journalists, blow up embassies and ships, used to be the focus of the Global War on Terror before the Obama Administration eliminated that phrase from the government’s vocabulary, etc., etc.) Now, though, it seems AQ has committed a sin unforgivable in the Obama White House: their actions in Africa have convinced the president that they are racist.

Now, just a couple months ago, the Obama Administration announced it would no longer allow the use of the term “Islamic terrorists” to describe Al Qaeda and their cohorts. After all, we didn’t want to be too critical of the Religion of Peace.

Through it all, Barack Hussein Obama has been no friend of Israel. Right now, U.S.-Israel relations are strained because the Israelis actually enforced a naval blockade designed to keep weapons out of the hands of, er, well, Islamic terrorists. Anti-semitism was an Al Qaeda sin America could live with.

But now, well, now they’ve crossed the line! They bombed targets in Africa. Even Attorney General Eric Holder can see that such an act is racist.

This would all be comical if it wasn’t all so deadly serious.

July 22, 2010

Emma Sapong, Cheerleader for Domestic Terrorists

We often find it rather irksome that publications like the Buffalo News are treated as fair and balanced arbiters of what is and is not news. And so it was with yesterday’s edition of the News, where someone named Emma Sapong filed a story that was long on touching anecdote and short on investigative journalism.
It seems that buying a house is really tough! And expensive!! At least, that was the main thrust of Emma’s “news” story. But buried within her article was a tale about an officer with the Buffalo Police Department having to give up his subsidized low-income apartment and actually buy a house. (We really, really want to write a post asking just how a Buffalo PD officer qualifies for rent-subsidized housing, but that’s not our thrust today, gang…sorry!)
What really got our attention was that this fine example of serving and protecting, Roscoe Henderson III, had managed to score a 1% interest loan to buy a house. We did some checking, and it turns out that the current mortgage rate is around 4.59% on a 30-year fixed loan, so we wondered just what kind of voodoo spells Henderson was casting.
Well, Sapong’s article told us that Henderson “bought his house through the Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America, the grass-roots nonprofit mortgage broker that helps low-and moderate-income workers become homeowners. The assistance Henderson received resulted in some serious savings, such as no down payment, zero closing costs and a 1 percent interest rate.”

The Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America? Who are these wonderful people? Do they live at the North Pole and parade around in red suits?

Well, er, no. Although we do suspect they’re fond of the color red. It turns out that NACA is an ACORN clone. And they’re not really nice people. In fact, this Wall Street Journal article paints a very different picture of NACA than Emma Sapong and the Buffalo News:

Bruce Marks's nonprofit organization, Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America, has emerged as one of the loudest scourges of the banking industry in the post-bubble economy. It salts its Web site with photos of executives it accuses of standing in the way of helping homeowners -- emblazoning "Predator" across their photos, picturing their homes and sometimes including home phone numbers. In February, NACA, as it's called, protested at the home of a mortgage investor by scattering furniture on his lawn, to give him a taste of what it feels like to be evicted.

In the 1990s, Mr. Marks leaked details of a banker's divorce to the press and organized a protest at the school of another banker's child. He says he would use such tactics again. "We have to terrorize these bankers," Mr. Marks says.
Frankly, we don’t expect much from the Buffalo News these days. Editor Margaret Sullivan has proven herself, repeatedly, to be little more than a left-wing propagandist who has done much to destroy the credibility of a once-great newspaper, and a mediocre “reporter” like Sapong belongs at a mediocre paper like the News. But we don’t think it’s all that much to ask Sullivan to teach Sapong how to use Google. Maybe then her articles would have some pretense of objectivity, instead of reading like vapid cheerleading for domestic terrorists.
It’s called journalism, Emma. Give it a try sometime.

July 21, 2010

"Kill The Cracker Babies"

By now you've most certainly heard about the voter intimidation case stemming from members of the New Black Panther Party standing armed with weapons outside of Philadelphia polling places in 2008 (if you haven't click the link & read the piece - it's worth the few minutes).

The case was subsequently dropped, but not because it did not have merit. It was dropped because the Obama administration demanded it be dropped.

Now, one of the two men who was stationed outside of the Philly polling place has been caught on video calling for the murder of "crackers" and "cracker babies". Can you for one second imagine what would happen if a white man took to the street with a megaphone calling for the murder of blacks and black babies? There would be arrests for civil rights violations. There would be riots. There would be hell to pay.

By the way, maybe someone from the local media could ask Bill Bradberry what he thinks of the below video. Nah, that's just wishful thinking - they would never ask such a question.

The video is about seven minutes, but you'll only need the first three.

July 20, 2010

Racism Flourishes In Niagara Falls

Racism is racism, no matter how you slice it. There is no such thing as "reverse racism". If you dislike a group of people based upon the color of their skin, you're a racist. If you convene a group of people based solely on the color of their skin, you're a racist. If you defend someone solely based on the color of their skin, you're a racist, and that is exactly what we have in Niagara Falls with the case of Brian Borden, who was sentenced to 33 years in prison last week by Niagara County Court Judge Matt Murphy. A jury had found Borden guilty in January on seven of eight counts contained in an indictment stemming from the attack which involved a 31-year-old woman who was forced into an alley between 19th and 20th streets where she was sexually assaulted and robbed.

Bill Bradberry, President of the Niagara Falls chapter of the NAACP was present at the sentencing to lend support - for the defendant, who is black. The victim....let me say that again - the victim, who endured this horrific crime, is white.

Bradberry, who you may recall is the same person that Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte demanded by given a seat on the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, stated, "We want people to have faith in the integrity of the judicial system. We want them to believe in it and believe that it works for everybody." In other words, according to Bradberry, the system failed Borden; he was wrongly convicted; he should be free to walk the streets.

What Bradberry doesn't want to talk about is the evidence. He doesn't want to talk about the video surveillance of the crime. Or the multiple eyewitnesses. Or the two separate DNA samples pulled from the victim, the first one from the saliva from the bite marks he left on the victim, or the second, which was semen, both of which positively matched the accused.

Nope, he wants to talk about the poor black man who was wrongly convicted by a jury of his peers, a decision that was reinforced by Judge Murphy. It's wrong, it's racist and it's disgusting. DelMonte must be very proud of her decision to force this racist onto the IDA.

Nevertheless, the District Attorney, the judge, the jury and society as a whole will be put on trial when this scumbag's lawyer appeals the decision. And his defense team will do everything within their power to portray Borden as the victim, just as Bradberry is doing.

July 19, 2010

Castellani Compares Hobbes to Hitler, Christ

Those of you who've been with us for a year or more may remember a gentleman who would comment on our posts quite frequently by the name of Larry Castellani. Despite multiple warnings from me to keep his comments on point, he was never able to articulate his thoughts into a clear, concise manner. Instead, he directed his comments at some topic that had absolutely nothing to do with the day's post, and he would do it with as many words possible. So I deleted his comments - they were like white noise; they were there, but for all intents and purposes, they were just that - annoying bits of noise.

It seems Castellani has still not learned to present himself in a concise manner, and this time, his extensive loquaciousness is directed at none other than Niagara Times. Apparently Castellani, who is a teacher at Niagara County Community College, also has a blog, and his latest rant takes serious exception to our July 14th posted, titled NCCC Faculty Union Fiddles while the County Burns.

The truth is that we think NCCC is a fine two-year learning institution for the money. But the faculty, whose salaries average well into six figures, are living in a fantasy land. As we pointed out in the 7/14 post, they have a lavish benefit plan that includes elective cosmetic surgery, a luxury that has been given up by every other county union. This is in addition to their retirement packages, which also come on the back's of the taxpayers. But it's not enough - they want more, and they'll lie, cheat, misrepresent or utilize any other means possible to try to justify their misguided sense of entitlement. Castellani is the poster child for all of the above.

Included in his latest blog rant are the following gems:
  • The demagogic pseudo-political hitman over at the Niagara Times blogspot who calls himself “Hobbes,” is once again finding an excuse to assault the integrity of the NCCC Faculty Association.
  • The Association is not the problem in the negotiations with the college Administration.
  • While the Administration and its Board of Trustees supporters attack the faculty endlessly and mercilessly, they fail to see they are destroying the atmosphere of healthy learning at the college and the morale of all who work at the college.
  • The faculty has bent over backwards to accommodate the Administration but the Administration doesn’t really wish to settle.
  • The administration does not care about the quality of education let alone conditions for quality education.
  • It is the Administration and the Board of Trustees who waste the County’s money paying expensive lawyers to stonewall every attempt by the faculty association to reach reasonable agreement.
  • Hobbes continues his rabid, toxic and violent disinformation.
  • The Faculty Association agreed to a health package over a year ago that would have saved the County over a million dollars and the Administration refused.
  • They have an ulterior motive and they aim to carry it out even if the County goes bankrupt doing it. This is kind of like Hitler wanting to kill the Jews and extend his war to the entire world even though he would inevitably destroy Germany while trying to do it.
  • Hobbes belittles the faculty’s attempt to fight for what is just for itself.
  • Hobbes wants you to think we are taking food out of the mouths of the poor.
  • Hobbes is paid by the Republican Party in Niagara County not only to gain political and economic control for his big business friends but also to suppress every possibility of true democracy and meaningful quality education.
  • Hobbes has already written about what he thinks the community college is good for: job training to supply ready-made laborers for all his business buddies.
  • Hobbes and his ilk could care less about the people unless his big business friends can use them to make more money.
  • Such elitist administrative bureaucrats and their henchman such as Hobbes, who fears to show his face in public, are the death knell for Niagara County, the community college and the public sphere.
  • The only “greed” in Niagara County is the greed on the part of the likes of Hobbes and selfish business people who are greedy for power, the control of knowledge and information.
  • Yes, let’s make what’s really happening at NCCC public. Not Hobbes' vicious distortion of facts and truth, nor his selective dissemination of slanted “facts” that make him and his buddies look like Jesus Christ while making everyone else look like Judas.
The part comparing those who care about reigning in exorbitant taxpayer-subsidized salaries and benefit packages to Hitler is priceless. I mean, how fucked up does someone's mind have to work to compare contract negotiations at Niagara County Community College to someone who committed mass genocide on six million people? Of course, he does come back and compare me to Jesus Christ, so I've got that going for me, which is nice. It's a beautiful thing when the meds kick in.

The bottom line is that Castellani represents everything that is hated about public sector unions. He wants more, more, more and he doesn't care who he needs to degrade, insult, misrepresent, slur or offend to get it.

Castellani has become the Niagara County Community College Faculty Association's own little Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, disseminating massive amounts of lies in an attempt to justify his warped objective. The NCCC Faculty Association should be mortified at the things he is saying on their behalf. Unfortunately, they're not.

July 16, 2010

Virtuoso Aids Betrayal of Lenihan

Dan Ward, the perennial Erie County Democrat candidate for long-shot offices (the former Amherst town councilman and one-term town supervisor’s most recent actions have included running against Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer in the heavily-Republican 61st Senate District and a nasty intra-party fight with Erie County Legislator Michele Ianello) apparently has no regard for Erie County Democrat Boss Len Lenihan.

Neither, apparently, does Dennis Virtuoso.

Ward was among those individuals who applied for the post of Niagara County’s next county manager. Aside from the fact that an activist Democrat who attended the Democratic National Convention as a Hillary Clinton delegate would be a long-shot for this job anyway, more surprising is his personal insistence—and that of his long-time political ally Dennis Virtuoso—that he remain in consideration for the Niagara County post after Lenihan spent significant political capital getting him a plum state job at the same time he was applying.

Ward was named as the new assistant regional direct for Western New York at the Empire State Development Corp. just a few days after the application deadline for the county manager position passed. We are told that, when this was pointed out to Virtuoso by Legislature Chairman Bill Ross at a meeting of the county manager search committee, Virtuoso insisted Ward be considered for the Niagara County post. We are also told that Ross reached out to Ward to verify he intended to press on with his candidacy despite his new job, and was told in no uncertain words that he saw himself as a natural fit for the county manager job.

This is, in political terms, stunning. Assistant regional director jobs at the EDC don’t just fall out of the sky, and Lenihan, we are told, had to do a good deal of horse-trading to gain the job for a party hack like Ward after already securing the top Western New York EDC job for Erie County’s Christina Orsi. It’s uncommon for the governor’s office to give all the top jobs in any state agency to one county chairman. In fact, rumor has it that Lenihan was rewarded by state Dems after taking steps to ensure Byron Brown was unable to effectively mount a campaign for a spot on the Andrew Cuomo gubernatorial ticket this fall, and the job given to Ward was one of his 30 pieces of silver for preventing Buffalo and Erie County Dems from pressing the case for Brown.

In political terms, Ward’s new job cost Lenihan plenty. So, it’s shocking that Ward would so quickly go on the hunt for a new job, in another county.

What’s even more shocking is that Virtuoso would go along with Ward’s betrayal of the man who effectively runs much of the Western New York apparatus of the Democrat Party—including issuing marching orders to Niagara County Democrat Chair Dan Rivera.

No doubt, both Ward and Virtuoso will soon find out that Lenihan is keeping score.

July 15, 2010

County Manager Momentum Tilts to Pope

Sources inside the Niagara County Legislature’s Majority Caucus tell us that Niagara County Refuse District Director Richard “Rick” Pope has emerged as the surprise leader in the battle for the county manager post being vacated by our old pal Greg Lewis. (Incidentally, our condolences to Lewis, who we understand was passed over for yet another county administrator gig that he interviewed for; keep trying, though, Greg—there’s still dozens of counties out there where you haven’t applied yet!)

Anyway, back to what we have learned: Republican legislators and party leaders met this past Saturday to discuss a number of topics, including the ongoing county manager search, and the temperature in the room had shifted decidedly toward Pope. Apparently Administration Committee Chairman Keith McNall, whose committee will ultimately decide the final candidate submitted to the Legislature for the county manager post, and who also serves on the county manager search committee, has long been impressed by the eager and energetic Pope—a view that is shared by Legislature Chairman Bill Ross.

Pope, who has managed the county’s landfills and refuse disposal services since the early 1990s, is an old hand at Niagara County government. He’s also apparently well-liked by many of the county’s employees, who, we are told, respect him both for his recent efforts to see one of his long-time subordinates receive a deserved promotion, despite county government’s soft hiring/reclassification freeze, as well as for his willingness to let landfill employees innovate to save money and improve services.

We also know that Pope is a favorite of State Sen. George Maziarz, whose office has worked closely with him to introduce a number of popular services, including pharmaceutical turn-ins and sensitive document and hard-drive destruction events, as well as Assembly candidate John D. Ceretto, whose duties in the Legislature have included oversight of the county’s refuse district.

We are also told that North Tonawanda lawmaker Paul Wojtaszek devoted considerable energy to the candidacy of a long-time friend from that city, and has been reluctant to publicly support Pope because the two are distant cousins, and he had wanted to avoid the appearance of impropriety. However, in light of the shift of support to Pope, Wojtaszek will likely back him if McNall, Ross, and search committee chairman Gerry Farnham all back Pope as well.

We also hear that one member of the Minority Caucus has been quietly talking with the Republican Majority to work out a deal to support Pope in exchange for a department head appointment for a long-time Niagara Falls figure whose past activities as a Democratic appointee and officeholder would have likely ruled him out. Such a move would preclude the Republicans from having to rely on Ross’ tie-breaking vote on the search committee to advance Pope—a course of action we hear Farnham is somewhat eager to follow if possible.

All of this, of course, is speculative at this time, but regardless of the outcome, expect Pope’s stock in both county government and within the Republican Party to be on the rise in the months ahead.

Also rumored is that the Republican Majority will likely instruct the next county manager to appoint Sam Ferraro, the highly-regarded Economic Development commissioner, as the designated acting county manager—a duty now held by Social Services Commissioner Anthony Restaino. Majority lawmakers apparently view the energetic-but-low-key Ferraro as the right man to lead government in the event of turbulence.

July 14, 2010

NCCC Faculty Union Fiddles while the County Burns

It was little surprise to anyone who follows county government that the County Legislature rejected Niagara County Community College's request for a $250,000 increase in county funds. Surely, the college needs the cash given state budget cuts, but the Legislature is also feeling the same pinch.

But the story behind the story is that while many legislators are sympathetic to the college needs, they are simply not going to hand over 10 cents more to the President Klyczek until the faculty union issues are settled and costs are reigned in. County Legislators will not support, for example, elective cosmetic plastic surgery with your tax dollars. It's wrong and everyone but the faculty union seems to know it.

While unemployment in the county hovers around 10 percent, the faculty union continues to act as if they are immune to the world around us and deserve huge raises while most of the taxpaying public is just thankful to have a job. Their benefit package cannot even be called the cadillac of plans....it's so far beyond that. It's a BMW on top of a Lexus on top of a Bentley compared to what most people have.

Someone forwarded me the faculty union newsletter a few months back and I was shocked by how much their heads are in the sand. There was a poem by one faculty member decrying their "mistreatment" that was insulting to every group in history who has actually had to fight injustice. When you're the highest paid faculty in the state and a contract settlement will only give you more while food banks are running empty because many ARE REALLY HURTING, you have clearly lost touch.

Greedy. Greedy. Greedy. And as more of this becomes public...and it will...the faculty union will learn just how angry the public is these days.

July 13, 2010

Fraud Sentencing Unconscionable

Olga Casiano could have received 28 years in jail. Instead, she received probation. As described in this piece, which never actually says what she was convicted off, but it's surely Medicaid fraud, Casiano was convicted of falsely billing taxpayers to the tune of $33,000 for daycare services that she didn't actually provide.

This state has far and away the most expensive Medicaid program in the country, a tally that goes well into the billions to subsidize those who've found a life of entitlement at the public teet. In Niagara County, we spend $40 million on Medicaid. That is the single largest line item in the county's budget. Counties across the state have implemented programs to combat Medicaid fraud, including Niagara because much of the Medicaid cost is driven by fraud.

So how the hell does someone who's been convicted of committing fraud walk? More importantly, what kind of example is being set? I mean, if someone is engaged in illegal medicaid billings, what message was sent by this weak-kneed judge? If you bilk the taxpayers, you'll just have to pay the money back and you'll go free? Hell, why not let Bernie Madoff walk, he'd be more than happy to take that deal in exchange for restitution.

The bottom line is that once again we have a judge who is making a decision that is a million miles over his head, with no comprehension of the magnitude of his failure. Medicaid fraud costs the taxpayers of New York billions each year. Considering the fact that the cowards in the Democratic=controlled Assembly and Senate have no will to change the program, we could have least held out hope that costs might have been reduced with an aggressive anti-fraud effort. Unfortunately, State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller killed that notion with one moronic sentence. And once again, you and I will get screwed. Nice work, judge.

July 12, 2010

The Ostrich Lives

If it wasn't so sad, it'd be funny. Unfortunately, it's neither - it is the epitome of keeping your head buried in the sand. I'm talking about this editorial in Saturday's Niagara Gazette titled Falls starting to take shape. It's a painful diatribe about all of the good things happening in the city, including the 4th of July crowds, a free concert series, a mini-carnival and the coup de grĂ¢ce, a rib festival. Wonderful.

What really had me clutching my sides was the line, "It was enough activity to make you think you were on the Canadian side of the border". All I can say to that is BWAHAHAHAHA!!! See, I was visiting our neighbors to the north just last week. At about 1:30AM, we headed back to the U.S. I was astounded at the level of activity on the Canadian side of the Falls at 1:30 in the morning - on a weeknight. Outdoor restaurants were packed. Music was playing from all angles. Loads of people were frolicking about the streets. It was a festive, entertaining and most importantly, safe atmosphere. I can assure you, at no time was there even a vague resemblance to the American side.

So you boys at the Gazette keep doing what you do: praising a do-nothing mayor and his inept administration, sucking up to a worthless Assemblywoman, refusing to acknowledge the dire straits the city is in and showing your overall ignorance. The rest of us, well, we'll just continue to do what we do -use your bridge as the gateway to true entertainment on the other side of the border.

July 9, 2010

Cutting Our Noses

With the news that Niagara County Manager Greg Lewis is on yet another job interview, we started thinking - in our desire to dump Lewis, including a countdown clock devoted solely to always remembering that it's only a matter of time before he's out of here, have we possibly impeded his job search and thus causing, in some part, his tenure in Niagara to be longer that it may have been of we didn't tee off on him on a regular basis?

After all, there have been a significant amount of posts devoted to the inept Lewis, very few of them picturing him a positive light. In this day and age, what employer wouldn't do a Google search of an employee for a hire of such magnitude? In fact, in doing the search "Greg Lewis Niagara County", Niagara Times blog posts begin as soon as the second page of search results. It doesn't get any better for Lewis after that.

So have we derailed our own efforts? Possibly, but it's still been damn fun. Good luck in Wisconsin, Greg! You can count on us for a great reference!

July 8, 2010

News Regurgitates USA Niagara Talking Points

I love the first line of this piece in yesterday's Buffalo News: USA Niagara, a development corporation dedicated to growth and renewal of the tourism industry in Niagara Falls, authorized two major funding agreements Tuesday to stimulate economic development here.

And so the death of good journalism continues. I mean, seriously, "a development corporation dedicated to growth and renewal of the tourism industry in Niagara Falls"? Says who, the press person for USA Niagara? It certainly wasn't written by anyone who's had any knowledge, experience or understanding of the role of USA Niagara in this community.

In fact, the only thing USA Niagara has been "dedicated" to is making godawful numbers of empty promises to develop property and ultimately failing miserably.

And Niagara USA Chairman and Chief Propaganda Minister Dennis Mullen has the audacity to stroll into town, offer up $55k, and proclaim Niagara Falls a "worldwide stage". No shit, genius - have you just come to the reality that the city draws 11 million visitors every year? Do us all a favor: save your rhetoric for someone who gives a shit or come to Niagara Falls with something substantive to help the city's economic development efforts.

As for Richard Baldwin, the writer of this puff piece straight out of USA Niagara's press office, try asking some hard questions of USA Niagara's Mullen next time he comes into town. Otherwise, don't waste our time.

July 7, 2010

The Crotch Salute

At the Ft. Hood Memorial Service, The Barack Obama Crotch Salute Returns...

I'm sorry folks, but this is the man who was elected President of our country - the Commander-in-Chief. And he refuses to honor our servicemen, past and present, by saluting the U.S. flag at a memorial ceremony. Simply disgusting. He may talk a good game, but his actions, actions such as this, speak volumes.

July 6, 2010

Overwhelming the System

Barack Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he's doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos -- thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.

Barack Obama is my college classmate (Columbia University , class of '83). As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University . They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually they're alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival...and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it.

-- Universal health care. The health care bill had very little to do with health care. It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions). Obama doesn't care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt. What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?

-- Cap and trade. Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama's biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants. They will kick-back hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama "spread the wealth around."

-- Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who's asking for a 51st state? Who's asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Certainly not American taxpayers. But this has been Obama's plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.

-- Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America . But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government. Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.

-- Stimulus and bailouts. Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions -- including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country. It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions). A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America . The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful. The ends justify the means.

-- Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama). Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government. Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.

With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.

Add it up and you've got the perfect Marxist scheme -- all devised by my Columbia University college classmate Barack Obama using the Cloward and Piven Plan.

- From Wayne Allyn Root, 2008 Libertarian Vice-Presidential nominee

July 5, 2010

Mexican Invasion

As the celebration of our country's independence comes to a close this weekend and we reflect upon the thousands of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedom that we enjoy, one is left to wonder how long it will be before we are once again forced to fight for our independence. Make no mistake about it, we are at war, and our freedoms are at stake. Not with Iraq or Afghanistan, but with a Mexican government that supports the illegal dumping of their citizenry into our country. Until Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al enact substantive immigration policy, this battle will only escalate.

July 1, 2010

Chemical Castration

There's been much talk lately about violent sex offenders living among us, and the failure of the New York State Assembly to properly address the issue, despite the fact that the State Senate has passed much more stringent legislation on the issue. In fact, the Senate passed legislation that would keep violent sex offenders where they belong, behind bars.

Would these horrific cases change the minds of Francine DelMonte and her Assembly colleagues?
  • A 58-year-old man raped and assaulted an 8-year-old girl. The attack caused widespread revulsion and left the victim with lasting physical injuries.
  • A 33-year-old man raped and murdered a 13-year-old girl in February.
  • A 45-year-old man kidnapped a student from her elementary school and raped her in the basement of a church.
Unfortunately, probably not. But that doesn't mean that other jurisdictions are going to sit by while the most vulnerable members of our society are put in harms way by weak lawmakers who refuse to enact substantive legislation to address the issue.

The aforementioned cases did occur - in South Korea. But their government doesn't kowtow to special interests and liberal groups that are more concerned with the rights of the criminals than the rights of victims, as occurs in this state. In fact, the parliament of South Korea voted Tuesday to legalize chemical castration as punishment for convicted child sex offenders after a series of violent assaults sparked outrage nationwide, the cases above among them.

But this is a third-world country a million miles away, you say. They're animals. The great United States would never enact such barbaric measures. Well, how about progressive European countries such as Britain, Denmark and Sweden? They offer chemical castration drugs to sex offenders to control sexual urges on a voluntary basis. Last year, Poland legalized the procedure for offenders who rape minors under age 15 or close relatives.

Still, you'd never see such a thing in the U.S., right? Wrong. Several states including Louisiana, California, Oregon and Arizona have laws allowing chemical castration. Why? Because they don't tolerate the raping of children. Democrats in the State Assembly, including Francine DelMonte, cannot say the same thing. They want to "rehabilitate" them, even though the state's own classification of Level 3 sex offenders states that Level 3's are most likely to offend again. It is sickening and it is inexcusable and another indication of what is wrong with this state.