Inside sources tell us that Boy George Maziarz has been in secret meetings with Nik Wallenda for an annual walk across the Falls. Maziarz boasted recently that he has an exclusive audience with Wallenda and isn’t sharing any of the info with other elected officials. He made a point to note that this included the Mayor’s office because he wants to make sure he has his “ducks in a row” first.
In other words, he wants all the credit. But at what risk?!
The problem is, he also reported that Wallenda is in talks with Canada and we are at risk of losing the contract. Apparently the new contract wouldn’t involve him crossing borders. Best course of action for his constituents, would be to share this information with other elected officials, so they can properly court Wallenda and work together for the betterment of Niagara. Instead, he appears to be using this for his own political gain.
The Post was designed to promote good government and encourage open thinking in a region that has been plagued by traditionally closed minded naysayers. For that reason, I previously decided against writing an article about the woeful public servants called New York State Park’s Police. Yet, as you can see, I have changed my mind. Although most of our previous posts are political in nature, we want Niagara to be a better place. We at the Post are hoping to help achieve that goal by exposing our scandalous political leaders and our region’s shortcomings.
For that reason, we are delving into the State Park’s Police in the Niagara Falls area parks. Most understand the plight of our Park’s Police officers. First and foremost, Park’s Police obtain their employment because they do not have what it takes to become real police officers. Likely, they cannot pass the psychological examination that is required of local municipal police agencies.
Second, and equally sad, at local middle and high school job fairs, it is the Park’s Police Officer’s table that goes unnoticed by the volumes of children bouncing around. Even the Sanitation Department exhibit receives more attention than the Park’s Police’s exhibit.
Third, most people don’t know, but the Park’s Police are not armed with actual firearms. Rather, they are poised with sophisticated squirt guns, flashlights and an official patch sewn on their shirt.
So clearly, nobody wants to be a Park’s Police Officer when they grow up. But that is okay. There are many jobs that people do not want. They should be respected for the service that they provide our residents and our visitors. It is the parks police that provide us with our last line of defense from unruly squirrels, impending poison ivy, and those pestering jaywalkers. But day in and day out, our Park’s Police Officers show up to work, not knowing the dangers that await them. For that reason, they should be applauded and respected.
I understand the plight that these Park’s Officers suffer. They are the brunt of the constant joke of society. But that is no excuse for their overall poor attitude and miserable disposition. Like it or not, this group of officers are like hosts and hostesses for our amazing wonder of the world. Millions of people travel from around the world to see Niagara Falls. Yet, often they are greeted by these wretched New York State Park’s Police Officers. It is hard enough for Niagara Falls to leave a positive impression on our visitors, given our lack of businesses and entertainment. So our ambassadors, wearing their tough guy Stetsons and their badges, should be a little more cordial and welcoming. When people visit Niagara Falls, whether residents or tourists, they should not leave feeling bullied by their Napoleonic syndrome bearing squirrel chasers.
I will not apologize for both my tone and anger in this article. We here at the post believe in being hopeful and having faith in Niagara. We also believe that we can do better. We all have a responsibility in that. For Niagara Falls to achieve better, we need to demand better. If Park’s Police Officers need to bully our guests to feel as though they have a real job or have real power, then we don’t need them. Until then, the Niagara Post demands that the Department of Parks and the New York State Park’s Police engage in sensitivity training and anger management classes until this problem is under control. Maybe, just maybe, I will see you at those classes.
(editors note: this article is not intended in any derogatory way against the Park’s Rangers at Niagara Falls. The Niagara Post has received nothing but glowing reviews and compliments regarding the Park Rangers. In short – we love the Rangers. And just as not every Yankee’s fan is a dick, not every Parks Police Officer is La Fours)
Stay safe and beware of those evil squirrels
After many years of dismal leadership under Niagara County Democratic chairman Dan Rivera, there appears to be a change on the horizon. Under Rivera’s leadership only two things have remained constant: 1. He continued to lose elections in Democratic districts; and 2. The few Democrats that were actually elected, all called for his resignation.
In February, under impending pressure of a real challenger whom we will discuss shortly, Rivera secretly stepped down as Chair and personally anointed his successor, Jeremy Schnurr (pronounced “Shhh-nearrrr”like an old drunks scowl). The anointment of Schnurr was actually compared to the Maziarz-Pigeon-Parenti coup of 2009 in Albany. In fact, Schnurr was not and is not an elected member of the County Democratic Committee. Further, the County by-laws, though vague, provide that the first vice-chair would fulfill the duties of the Chair if he became incapacitated. Clearly, Schnurr, who is rumored to be an attorney, found a loophole in the by-laws. Since Rivera was not legally incapacitated, (Despide what his leadership qualities suggested) the first vice-chair should have taken over. However, this did not happen. Rivera stepped down and Schnurr was hand selected from nowhere and under the approval of few.
So why did Rivera resign all of a sudden? Rivera never resigned when Democratic Legislators Renee Kimble, Jason Cafarella, Jason Zona and Dennis Virtuoso all called for his resignation publicly. He never resigned after the Democrats lost primaries and elections each campaign season. Our best intellectual guess is that Rivera resigned for two reasons:
First, he faced a real challenger, former chairman Nick Forster. Second, reports regarding Rivera’s improper use of Party moneys began to become substantiated. Now, with Rivera finally gone, with the exception of his woeful puppet Schnurr, a wide open race has ensued for Chairman.
The second challanger, besides the forerunner Nick Forster, is self-proclaimed “political expert” Gary Parenti.
Parenti, who after an arrest in March 2008 declared: “My career is over” apparently has had a change of heart. Parenti was arrested on charges of driving while ability impaired by alcohol, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and running a red light. Even more upsetting, is that at the time of his arrest, Parenti had with him, as a passenger in the vehicle, a known gang member and drug addict, David Allen Glenn. A simple Google search of Glenn reveals multiple arrests for drug activity. The police report for Parenti’s arrest includes a statement by Glenn claiming that Parenti paid him $2.00 to help him find prostitutes. Seriously, where do we find these people!
The Niagara Gazette reported that Parenti was permitted to call his attorney Steve Pigeon, before deciding whether or not to take the breathalyzer. Here at the Post we can not help but believe that these are NOT our best and our brightest.
Despite Parenti’s serious past indiscretions, the barely legal coup in Albany in 2009, and criminal record, it is shocking that he will even show his face in public let alone run for one of the highest political positions in Niagara County.
It is our prediction, though, that former Democratic Chair Nick Forster will easily win this race. Schnurr, despite all claims that he is staying in the race, will bow out. Given Parenti’s criminal record and overall lack of loyalty to the Democratic Party (see previous post), he will also not see much success come this fall.
With Forster, the Niagara County Democrats will have a proven leader who will unite the party and mobilize the labor unions with the Party. This definitely will not be the stagnant party that it was under boobs Rivera and Schnurr or the disastrous corruption laden party that would exist under Parenti.
This is a story of friendship, betrayal, backstabbing and corruption. Newest box office hit? Nope. Just Niagara County politics.
In 2010, “Boy” George Maziarz teamed up with Billionaire Tom Golisano, Erie County political boss Steve Pigeon and self proclaimed political expert Gary Parenti, to take over the New York State Senate. They succeeded.
Fast forward to 2012: Boy George Maziarz oversteps his bounds and tries to butt into Erie County politics. After Senator Mark Grisanti, a loyal friend and colleague of George Maziarz, did not receive the Conservative Party endorsement, Maziarz tried to do an end around to gain Grisanti the endorsement. However, Boy George Maziarz was playing with the big boys (no, not the Buffalo Bears) and he was outmatched in the bigger pond.
By sticking his nose where it didn’t belong, Boy George also agitated former gubernatorial candidate and billionaire Carl Palladino. It was Carl Palladino who led the charge in the Conservative party against Senator Grisanti. And Palladino would not be undermined. After a series of semi-public verbal spats between Palladino and Boy George, it became apparent that it would be all out war between the two. In fact, it was Maziarz’s personal henchmen who unleashed the first attack on his blog, NiagaraTimes.com. The blog depicted a photograph of Palladino with an index finger and thumb shaped as an “L” across his forehead. Not only did the henchmen call Palladino a “loser”, but also claimed multiple times that he was simply “crazy.”
That may have been a fatal mistake by Boy George. While his campaign war chest may have almost one million dollars and although this is impressive, is nothing compared to the billions of dollars at Palladino’s disposal. So Palladino has since engaged the help of two people who know how to mobilize and fight a battle as dirty as Georgie Boy; Parenti and Pigeon.
With the passion of a scorned lover, Parenti and Pigeon have undertaken the task of defeating Boy George in the primary. Their candidate? The young Niagara Falls attorney and school board member, Johnny Destino.
The saga continues: Pigeon and Parenti, both Democrats, are frontline supporters of Johnny Destino, a Republican. Now we are not, and never have been, party line voters here at the Post and agree with reaching across the aisle. But it is quite ironic that it is Parenti, with the help of Pigeon, who is running to be the chairman of the Niagara County Democratic Committee. So why would a person, who is seeking to be the leader of all Democrats within the entire County, be openly supporting a Republican? No matter your views, it must seem odd that someone vying for a spot to lead Democrats is very openly supporting an extremely conservative Republican. A republican who has stated that there should be no taxes (there go our firemen, policemen and teachers) and dare ask him how he feels about same sex couples. Not exactly democratic ideas. Even the most conservative of democrats support the public service of teachers. SO, with this knowledge, shouldn’t he be supporting the Democratic Senatorial candidate Amy Hope Witryol? Unless of course he was just a plant.
There’s more: Arguably, Assemblyman John Ceretto has been one of Boy George Maziarz’s most loyal political allies over the past five or so years. But it appears as though Boy George has abandoned his loyal friend Ceretto and is secretly supporting his opponent, attorney and school board member Robert Restaino. Local political experts believe that Boy George is going to provide Ceretto with “token support” only. It is believed that with the 2012 redistricting, Ceretto’s district has become too democratic and Restaino is a safer bet for Boy George. Apparently there is no loyalty in politics.
And, as this is Niagara County, there is more, as Parenti cannot become Niagara County Democratic Chairman without winning a vast majority of the committee seats throughout the County. Parenti and Pigeon have teamed up with Laborer’s Local 91 to try and take over the Democratic Committee. Local 91’s members are passing petitions throughout the County in an attempt to place Parenti at the head of the party. It is even rumored that there is a “War Room” at Local 91 headquarters whereby the leaders of this coup strategize their next moves. Ironically, as if none of this is ironic, Local 91 has financially supported Maziarz more than any other candidate in the last two years.
Enter the Niagara Falls Reporter: Everyone knows that the Reporter is funded, for the most part, by Niagara Falls Redevelopment and its Director, Roger Trevino. Ever try to reconcile their advertising dollars vs. their overall budget? Impossible. As it is written for personal gain, insiders have told us that the Reporter does not release an article without the approval of Trevino. It is even rumored that Trevino ghost writes articles for the paper. Here is the problem, Trevino is a huge supporter of Pigeon and Parenti. He is also supporting Johnny Destino for Senate. But the Reporter’s Editor in Chief Mike Hudson is a loyal supporter of Boy George Maziarz. You can see the Reporter’s philosophical divide when it comes to the coverage of the Boy George/Johnny race.
Quite the drama huh? None of this should come to a surprise to any of us hardened Niagara County residents. Nor should it come as a surprise that these relationships will all probably change by the time this article goes to press.
Frank Parlato, Jr., publisher and contributor to the Niagara Falls Reporter, published what he may want to call an article in the Reporter on July 3, 2012. In the article entitled: “Waste $$$ revealed in plan to pay grads to live here”, Parlato couldn’t have been more wrong. Crazed Parlato, in the article, attacks the proposal by newly hired Niagara Falls Community Development Director Seth Piccirillo.
Piccirillo’s plan, which is still in the development stage, will provide a subsidy for 20 college graduates to move into lower income neighborhoods in downtown Niagara Falls. Though it is too soon to tell the actual benefits and detriments of the plan, it is laudable that the City, through Piccirillo, is actually trying new methods to improve economic development.
Clearly, it is not optimal to pay people to live in the City of Niagara Falls. Just like it’s not optimal that we have to have residency policies for our public employees, police officers and school teachers. But given the economic plight of Niagara Falls, desperate measures are necessary until the City rebounds.
But it may not be such a horrible idea for our City to encourage new college graduates to relocate to our downtown. Let’s consider the fact that there is currently a “brain-drain” in Niagara Falls. Our best and brightest high school and college graduates must relocate in order to find careers. There are simply no jobs remaining in this area to keep our youth here. And with the loss of our best and brightest, we have less community leaders, activists and future prospective politicians. With this plan, possibly, more young professionals will call Niagara Falls home. With more people living downtown, it will, on a small scale, make the crumbling downtown rental property market a little more competitive. With competition comes improvement. With improvement come other prospective tenants. With a demand for downtown properties, there may better tenants which will create better neighborhoods downtown.
This doesn’t even delve into the possible economic implications of having more people living and shopping in the Falls.
Regardless, Piccirillo’s idea is, at a minimum, viable. It should be explored, tweaked, and after due deliberation, enacted or scrapped. We applaud him for his forward thinking and hope he continues to be proactive
as he endeavors to make our community better.
Of course, Piccirillo is receiving a crash course into the negativity of the Niagara Falls Reporter. Crazed Parlato, who is not known for his ethical standards, is quick to bash the new plan. It is Parlato, though,
that earned between 10-12 million dollars in the 1990’s and 2000’s by conducting HUD-FHA based housing scams in the City of Buffalo. It was Parlato who set up a “house flipping” ring in low income neighborhoods in
Buffalo. Specifically, Parlato would buy deteriorating houses from elderly homeowners, usually for as cheap as $2,000.00 each. He would “renovate” these properties with unlicensed contractors and then flip them. His
housing ring included real estate agents to sell the properties to low income people, private lenders who would give high risk loans, and an attorney who would complete the transaction. Often, after the sale of the properties, the new home owner would learn of the myriad of problems and hazards at the property. When faced with the choice of either paying their high interest mortgage or repairing the serious hazards at their home, the new homeowners would be forced to make the home habitable. Then, after missing their mortgage payments, Parlato and gang would foreclose. The new homeowner would be tossed to the streets and the Parlato ring would simply resell the property to the next victim.
Ironically, it was the millions that Parlato “earned” in this housing scam that provided him with the capital to purchase the business graveyard One Niagara. Ever since he has owned One Niagara, he has swindled investors, skirted City ordinances, and has not paid his property taxes. In fact, at any given time, One Niagara owes the local municipalities one million dollars in property taxes.
Yet Parlato feels that he can attack Piccirillo’s idea. Specifically, in Parlato’s article, he insinuates that Piccirillo is attempting to “’improve’ minority neighborhoods through gentrification [by planning] to attract educated whites.” How dare Parlato even hint that Piccirillo’s idea has any relationship with race or ethnicity. Only bigots like crazed Parlato can see this as a black and white issue. In fact, didn’t Parlato make his millions from scamming low income African-Americans?
Further, Parlato tries to calculate an actual cost that this program would have for our taxpayers. His calculations and rationale, at best, are flawed. But his hypocrisy is boundless. Regardless, maybe, and just maybe, our communities’ economic development will be enhanced if One Niagara paid its million dollar tax arrears. And maybe, if One Niagara actually developed its graveyard of a business, it could create a tourist
attraction to benefit our downtown area. Instead, Parlato will sit on the sidelines and write scathing articles knocking down progress in his newspaper instead of actually doing something positive himself.
If anything, we wish the best of luck to Community Development Director Seth Piccirillo. He is one of the few young professionals that have decided to stay and help make Niagara Falls better. We will welcome and
support him, and others like him, unlike the crazed narrow-minded Parlato.