TV cameras in the room
I've heard from several people, including Councilman Dave Franczyk, that Norstar Development tried to evict some media from Norstar's Shoreline Apartments meeting in City Hall earlier this week.
"At one point Norstar tried to kick the press out," Franczyk said. The councilman, who attended the meeting, said he told the journalists they didn't have to leave. "You have every right to be in a public building," Franczyk said he told them.
I sat through the meeting, taking notes with a pen and pictures with my phone, as tenant after tenant spoke of being worried they won't have a place to live once forced to leave Shoreline, which is being demolished and rebuilt. No one asked me to leave.
It was the television journalists, I was told, with their TV cameras, that Norstar tried to kick out. Norstar told them it wasn't a public meeting, I was told. But in the end, the TV cameras stayed.
I put a call into Norstar to talk about this and other issues, but didn't hear back yet.
Money Matters - Norstar
Writing about Norstar reminded me that, when I've checked political contributions to political candidates in the past, Norstar's name often came up. So I just checked to see how much Norstar companies - with offices listed in Buffalo and Texas, and known for building low-income housing -- gave to New York politicians.
I looked back to 2005.
I found $230,787 in contributions, with the biggest chunk of that - $103,000 - going to Gov. Cuomo from 2010 to 2015.
Others benefiting from Norstar largess included:
- Mayor Byron Brown: $17,675
- State Sen. Tim Kennedy: $10,350
- Council President Darius Pridgen: $9,600
- Former state Sen. George Maziarz: $6,099
- Former Assemblyman Antoine Thompson: $5,945
The Mascia Files
Still no word on whether Joe Mascia will be kicked off the BMHA board of commissioners, but I did hear Mascia was recently nominated by another tenant leader to head up one of the authority-wide tenant organizations.
The vote is in June, when tenants will also vote on new Housing Authority tenant commissioners. Mascia, as of now, is on that ballot too.
Today's calendar Items
To commemorate the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, Mayor Brown this afternoon will be rededicating the Katyn Forest Massacre memorial plaque at City Hall. Members of the Polish Legacy Project and surviving Polish American World War II veterans also will be attending.
The Preservation Board meets later in the afternoon.
Also, it's Food Truck Thursday. The mayor's office is now letting us know which trucks will be in Niagara Square every week. Here's today's listing:
- Flaming Fish
- OG Woodfire Grill
- Street Café
- Louisiana Cookery
- Gourm- Asian Bistro
- Big Suzies Little Bakery