Protesting Milstein

13 Jun

From my inbox this morning, a Niagara Falls-based group (NOAH – Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope) will be protesting the appointment of New York developer and Niagara Falls land speculator Howard Milstein as chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority:

A mock ribbon-cutting ceremony, in recognition of the Niagara Falls Redevelopment (NFR) 12-Year Development Plan and its accomplishments in Niagara Falls, will be held Wednesday, June 15th, at 4 p.m. on Old Falls Street across from Holy Trinity Church (between 13 and 14 St.) in Niagara Falls.

The public is encouraged to attend in question of Howard Milstein’s nomination as head of the NYS Thruway Authority which comes before the State Transportation Committee, chaired by Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo (R-8th District), that day.

NOAH (Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope)  is appalled at this decision, according to Pastor David Crapnell, rector of the First Presbyterian Church in Niagara Falls and president of NOAH.

“After 12 years of waiting, Mr. Milstein has developed nothing,” Crapnell explained. “He currently owns and manages 441 parcels of land in the center of Niagara Falls and despite his promises to invest $130 million dollars in development, the NFR , the private firm controlled by Milstein, has yet to develop a single parcel of land.”

NOAH has sent a letter to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and all members of the Senate Transportation Committee inviting them to attend the ceremony to speak with community members and witness what Milstein’s amassing of land has done to the city.

“We are asking you to send a signal that such behavior will not be tolerated, let alone rewarded by your administration,” Crapnell wrote. “We have endured years of broken promises by Mr. Milstein, which has resulted in a modern day Hiroshima next to one of the most treasured natural wonders of North America.”

NOAH is well acquainted with holding Milstein and his company accountable. In 2009, a government grant for $400,000 was suspiciously redirected through the New York State Dormitory Authority away from the city of Niagara to NFR for the renovation of a former funeral home into office space. Due to the outrage of NOAH and several other community groups that a private company receive public money to develop an existing property, the state had the grant withdrawn.

Milstein’s history in Niagara Falls will be documented at the press conference and NOAH will call for a hold on the appointment until he has met with community leaders and begun to develop the empty land.


6 Responses to “Protesting Milstein”

  1. Charles June 13, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Bravo NOAH!

  2. RaChaCha June 13, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    What genius recommended Milstein’s appointment?! The two most important pieces of State economic infrastructure in WNY are SUNY and the Thruway. Well, we all know how much Albany and downstate have fallen all over themselves to help with UB2020 (NOT!), and how they milked WNY for toll revenue long past both the statutory expiration date and teat-drying-up date. And now they propose someone to head the Thruway Authority who’s already clearly shown how much disdain he has for WNY by his ongoing MF’ing of Niagara Falls–?! I say ongoing as in the last year Chuck Schumer had to call in some chits just to get this guy to simply sit his pompous ass down and meet with Niagara Falls Mayor Dyster. Just read this sorry, sordid history posted a year ago on the Buffalo News blog, Niagara Views:

    WNYers and their State-level electeds should be personally offended by this nomination — great credit to NOAH and their allies for stepping up to the plate to get this rolling. I’d love to know what Niagara County electeds such as Maziarz, Grisanti, new Assemblyman John Ceretto, and Mayor Dyster think of this. They should give the Guv a loud N.F.W.

    I’m glad to know that others are seeing this for what it is: another example of WNY getting royally screwed by Albany & downstate — thinking we’re either too dumb or too distracted with petty political squabbling to realize what’s being foisted on us–?

    Carl, where are you?? Here’s something to be Mad As Hell about!

  3. Hank June 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    Niagara Falls, USA is an embarrassment to the entire Country. Brought to the USA by the NYS Legislature, as well as members of Congress and local political operatives of just about any stripe, and probably some help from the Gambino Family arm in NF.
    NF is truly a sick joke, replete with political chicanery that even makes Buffalo and all of its bullshit stand a little taller. “At least we’re not NF!” ya know. It IS the least…….

  4. jhorn June 14, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    rachacha- Believe that genius was named $100,000, the amount mr. milstein donated to andrew cuomo’s gubernatorial campaign. See today’s (6/13) ny times article: Cuomo Pick Played Role in Calamity. The article also details another facet of this diamond-in-the-slime.

  5. RaChaCha June 14, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    @jhorn Thanks — here it is:

    Cuomo Pick Played Role in Calamity
    Published: June 13, 2011

    But Emigrant, as it happens, handed out a striking number of these problematic deals, leading to a spate of foreclosures in black and Latino neighborhoods. Emigrant is owned by Howard P. Milstein, a real estate developer, philanthropist and political donor. He showered $100,000 on Andrew M. Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaign.

    Late last month, Mr. Cuomo nominated him as chairman of the State Thruway Authority. The State Senate will consider the nomination on Wednesday.

  6. Charles June 15, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    The Gov also name Howie’s wife as Chair of the 1st Dept. Judicial Screening Commission

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