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Weekly Reader – August 27th, 2014

War and the Peace Bridge

Fire Away

Fallout from the recorded boasts of state-appointed officials during a Peace Bridge Authority board meeting continued this week in the form of a formal complaint against one of the officials.  Even the bridge-hugging Buffalo News editorial board contributed with criticism–albeit so soft it could be considered faint praise.

Will this current controversy cause a change in the Peace Bridge expansion process?

Yes.  In the future, we expect, they’ll be more careful.

Watch Your Tongue

Official’s take on Peace Bridge prompts ethics complaints – Lehman’s remarks infuriate residents
While project manager Maria C. Lehman has been in silent seclusion since her remarks were made public,  Peace Bridge residents have been most vocal on the issue.  This Buffalo News article details Lehman’s offenses and the neighborhood’s reaction–which included filingethics complaints against Lehman with professional engineering organizations.  While the remarks of Lehman and others demonstrated a desire to hide dirty details from expansion opponents, those opponents now have ammunition to demand sanctions.

According to this media advisory (which includes links to recordings of the incendiary comments), the ‘not brainwashed’ Niagara Gateway Columbus Park Association filed three complaints of professional misconduct against Cuomo Administration official Lehman, project manager for DOT construction at the Peace Bridge.

The complaints report that Lehman:

-Knowingly violated the National Environmental Policy Act by beginning design and construction work for the New York Gateway Connections Improvement Project before finalizing the mandatory environmental review process.
-Deliberately hid pertinent federal and state environmental review activities from the public to prevent the public from providing input or protest before the expiration of public comment periods.
-Spearheaded a methodical effort to deceive the public and members of the City of Buffalo Common Council with regard to land transactions between the city and the State of New York.

“Lehman’s professional misconduct is not only unethical, but it poses a danger to the health and welfare of the children who live in our community,” said Kathleen R. Mecca, President of the Niagara Gateway Columbus Park Association. “Lehman is aware of the harmful air quality conditions in our neighborhood resulting from Peace Bridge truck traffic and knows that the Gateway Connections Improvement Project will only exacerbate an already deadly situation. If for no other reason, this is why Lehman actively deceived the public–to deny the community the right to object this project.”

You can’t do that.

Fudging the Rules

Officials on Peace Bridge project should be informing, not deceiving, the public

In typically tepid fashion, thisBuffalo News editorial lightly chastises sneakyduplicitous (and expendable) state official Maria C. Lehman, totally ignoring homegrown opportunist turncoat (and Bridge Authority Board chairman) Sam Hoyt’s shocking claim to have “brainwashed” expansion opponents and fellow board member co-conspirator Tony Masiello’s dunderheaded cheer-leading for this illegal project, while demonizing the project’s oppressed opposition and praising a backward and harmful concept of ‘progress’ at the Peace Bridge.

Truly want progress?


Parting Shot


The well-documented history of abuse of power presented in this post from the blogWith All Due Respect clearly indicts Governor Andrew M. Cuomo as the person pulling the strings and also ‘pulling the plug’ when suits him; a corrupt crony in reformer’s clothing.

Read and learn.