Niagara Gazette — If you're think that local elections always bring out the worst in people — with the mud and muck that campaign workers often hurl — you'll be convinced even more by what's unfolded in the nation within a nation in downtown Niagara Falls.
The gutter-sniping tactics have reached a new low as Barry E. Snyder Sr. steps down as president of the Seneca Nation of Indians, the tribe that operates the Seneca Niagara Casino and two other casinos in Western New York. An anonymous writer misusing official letterhead from the Seneca Nation's offices has invented a fake four-page copy of Snyder's "State of the Nation Address."
The truth of the matter is, Snyder, who was not immediately available for comment, has made it a habit of reaching out to the members through regular columns in the Seneca's monthly newsletters, covering all vital issues affecting the nation including the numerous improvements at the Falls casino and the ongoing efforts to generate new sources of revenue.
Still, the mudslinging continues: the unidentified critic blasts Snyder's administration for earmarking $18 million for a new fire hall in Cattaraugus (when most communities pay $6 million to $8 million for such a facility); increasing the staff of the president's office and hiking the president's salary $69,000 to $190,000; and for the failure of the Seneca Construction Management Co. to develop any new businesses.
The entire personal attack on Snyder though is riddled with cheap shots, unwarranted name-calling, and the kind of sleazy comments scum bag tabloid writers thrive on.
OUT OF THE PAST: A friend with a deep interest in local history recently asked if this newspaper had any record of the legendary Wild Bill Hickok ever visiting Niagara Falls. A search of the archives turned up nothing which isn't all that unusual after 144 years. I did find, however, a reference in a magazine which the Lockport-based Niagara Publishing Co. carried in the mid-1950s. It seems that Hickok did perform in this area in the summer of 1870.