Niagara Gazette

September 22, 2013

GLYNN: Cuomo sets record for upstate visits

By DON GLYNN don.glynn@niagara-gazette.com
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — If the average visitor made as many return trips to the Niagara area as Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Cataract City’s tourist industry would flourish the year round.

His most recent appearance was anticipated after the city lawmakers approved —with Councilman Robert Anderson Jr. providing the vital third vote — the plan to move forward on the $25 million project proposed by Buffalo developer Mark Hamister. 

But what about all those other trips upstate, perhaps a dozen or more in the past four months. In contrast, one scorecard shows that he hasn’t had a single public event in New York City since July 1. A spokesperson for the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership said that starting in June the governor made six trips to the Queen City where he held eight events.

It seems like only yesterday that Cuomo was in Lockport, offering state assistance to homeowners whose properties were damaged by the heavy rains and flooding. And he might have set a modern-day record in late July when he made three stops in a single day in Western New York to receive the money owed to local governments, including the City of Niagara Falls, by the Seneca Nation of Indians. The governor was obviously irked when an abrasive television reporter asked him if it was necessary to host the same event three times, with taxpayers footing the expense. Cuomo shot back: “It’s my job to represent the people of Niagara Falls and to represent the people of Buffalo and Salamanca. And it’s nice of you to say the people of Salamanca don’t need to see the governor, or the people of Buffalo don’t need to see the governor, but that’s not really up to you.”

Insiders also say he intentionally stayed away from New York City to avoid any questions or comments on the scandal-ridden atmosphere in the Big Apple, especially in the mayoral and controller races there. 

And then, of course, there is the harsh reality that in his 2010 landslide re-election victory he lost all the counties in Western New York. No doubt  he was hurt by his Republican opponent Carl Paladino, a Buffalo developer whose impressive holdings include Giacamo, the former United Office Building in Niagara Falls that he converted to an upscale hotel. Cuomo’s push for strict new gun control laws angered a lot of upstate residents too, taking a toll on his favorability ratings.

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SPEAK UP! : John Prozeralik, a longtime area business owner and restaurateur, will host a town meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Polish Nook, 2242 Cudaback Ave.

In his dynamic career as an entrepreneur, Prozeralik owned the former John’s Flaming Hearth in the Town of Niagara, two hotels downtown, and the former Air Niagara, an airlines that once operated between Niagara Falls and Newark.

Prozeralik said the event Monday, similar to the popular town hall format, is open to the public and he encourages a strong turnout.

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FITTING TRIBUTE: Local historian Paul Gromosiak’s splendid display in the lobby of the Niagara Falls Public Library is in memory of the late Delores Marino whom he describes as a dedicated educator and outstanding citizen. Ms. Marino also was a longtime volunteer at the library and devoted countless hours to arranging book sales and other functions.  In addition to the story of the landmark Stone Chimney, the display includes an informative timeline of the War of 1812 and background on the infamous Devil’s Hole Massacre. Check it out.

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TRIVIA QUIZ: “Canadian Bacon,” one of the last films actor John Candy completed before his death, was shot in what city? (Answer Thursday).

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FULL COVERAGE: Welcome to the nearly 50 family travel writers, bloggers, broadcasters and social media luminaries here for the third annual Travel Media Showcase & Family Travel Conference at the Conference & Events Center, Third Street. Before they leave Monday, they will undoubtedly discover the Cataract City and its surroundings has lots to offer.

Contact Reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.