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War and Peace Bridge

You Can’t Do that

In validation of what those pesky obstructionists have said all along, this week a federal whistle-blowers group condemned the U.S. General Services Administration’s handling of its role in the government’s illegal segmentation of Peace Bridge plaza expansion. 8fdac45d-a394-4b71-9ef6-9ebef6c5698f

Speaking of segmentation, the New York State Department of Transportation, another agent in this covert operation, 
continues its segment of the project from a barge at the base of the bridge.

Add to that an upcoming update from Public Bridge Authority co-chair and State operative Sam Hoyt, and we’ve got the makings of some real fun this summer as it all plays out.


Whistleblowers Group Says Approval of Peace Bridge Project Was Illegal

“Just put your lips together and blow.”

According to this Buffalo News article, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is accused of failing its due diligence on its Peace Bridge construction project. This from the executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a government whistle-blowers group that filed the complaint:7efff24e-f2e8-42c7-842f-3a256273c841

The Peace Bridge is a classic case of political pressure leading an agency to fictionalize an official record – and that is against the law.
In fact, the PEER complaint argues, the low-level of environmental review for the project failed all the tests, including: substantially increasing the number of motor vehicles at the facility.

PEER also charged that the GSA violated its own environmental law mandate that a cursory review is acceptable only if there is “no evidence of community controversy or other environmental issues.” Obviously, the group said in its complaint, the Peace Bridge expansion is a controversial project – and the GSA ignored the environmental issues there, including a childhood asthma rate that past studies have shown to be four times the national average.

In addition:
…political pressure from those who support the Peace Bridge expansion (and that’s virtually every politician this side of the Mississippi) played a role in the quick environmental approval.

Under the Data Quality Act, PEER asked GSA to review and reverse its decision, which would force the agency to conduct a more thorough environmental review, which could delay the project.756a5f15-83c8-44eb-afd9-6892a0f358b6

Most important:
“This will force the GSA to go on the record to say why they ignored all this information” about environmental concerns at the bridge.”

More to come on this, no doubt.


Complex Peace Bridge project continues

Wade in the Waterffffda4d-1a95-4c30-adb6-e8efd82df9e7

Another accomplice, the NYS DOT, is blithely playing their own part in the criminal expansion of the Peace Bridge.  See this WBFO 88.7 report to learn how a barge with a giant crane on it is helping prepare for the network of ramps that will be the DOT contribution.


Sam and Eggs

Right on cue comes an important appearance by all-purpose expansion impresario, Sam Hoyt. 19b1b841-3dec-480b-99b0-cb07219bdb47

On Monday, June 9, 2014, you can attend a breakfast talk with the Bridge and State spokesman, where he will present an “update” on all things Peace Bridge, entitled, Eggs and Issues with Sam Hoyt.
The event runs from 8AM to 9AM at D’Youville’s College Center (320 Porter Ave., Buffalo, NY).
Interested in attending this timely event?  Register here.

You may want to bring some eggs of your own.


St Mary’s On-The-Hill Memorial Parking Lot

Parting Shot f5ece167-e8e7-4a82-81c9-0a1fa6e47e31

St. Mary’s On-The-Hill, formerly a nineteenth century Medina sandstone house of worship in the Peace Bridge neighborhood, is now a pad for parking; but not without a surviving vestige: the original church bell, rescued from the wreckage by residents has been appropriated by D’Youville College for this memorial. 

View these photos of the bell today, as well the last surviving photo of the church while it still stood. 7eaf17f5-a79a-4425-86ba-9280875fe45d

And weep.


Plans For Church Property Worry Residents

In our haste to publish our most recent edition, we neglected to include an important item, wherein a longtime Prospect Hill 6a00d8342a0a7b53ef017744512f18970d-800wiresident gives a brief interview expressing his (and most residents’) concern for the former Episcopal Church Home property: a neighborhood anchor for over a century, now acquired by the state; reportedly, to gift to the Public Bridge Authority, so it can encroach even further into our endangered  neighborhood to erect another tax-evading Duty Free store.

This expected land transfer is clearly more evidence of the state-sponsored illegal segmentation of Peace Bridge plaza expansion and incremental destruction of a vibrant historic neighborhood.

“Excelsior” indeed.e044cde3-6cb0-4094-bdbd-7ff923853dcb

Link to video here.