Articles for Phil Gambini

Oct 20

2021

Violent crime in Buffalo is declining, but still high

Statistically speaking, Buffalo is safer today than it was when Mayor Byron Brown took office in 2006. But it doesn’t feel that way to Gayla Ross.  Ross lost her only son, Amir Jemes, in 2018. Jemes, 19, an aspiring musician, was shot and killed while being robbed on Littlefield Avenue on the city’s East Side. “Everyday somebody’s shooting, or somebody is getting shot, or somebody is dying, or somebody is getting robbed or mugged,” Ross told Investigative Post. “It’s not getting safer.” Citywide, however, violent crime is down substantially, as it is across the nation. An Investigative Post analysis shows[...]

Posted 2 years ago

Sep 1

2021

More danger lurking in the water

A concrete pier juts hundreds of feet into the Niagara River from the northern tip of Unity Island. It’s isolated, quiet and where Antawyn Parker likes to fish. He makes dinner with his catch about once a month, Parker told Investigative Post. But unbeknownst to him the fish are contaminated with a toxin recently linked to a slate of disorders and illnesses, including cancer and immune system concerns. According to a study by the state Department of Health, Western New Yorkers who eat local fish have “substantially elevated” levels of the toxin PFOS in their bodies. Some of the readings[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Aug 31

2021

No changes in West Valley demo plan

Activist concerns notwithstanding, federal officials are sticking with their plan to demolish a highly radioactive building at the West Valley Demonstration Project.  Despite the calls from residents, activists and experts, “no major amendments” have been made to the plan, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Energy, Joseph Pillitere.  Officials maintain sufficient safety procedures are in place. Extensive work has been completed to remove seven miles of piping and 50 tons of equipment from inside the five-story, 350,000-square-foot building, Pilitere said. The work reduced the building’s radioactivity by 98 percent. “This allows us to safely and compliantly deconstruct[...]

Posted 3 years ago

May 18

2021

West Valley contamination concerns

Contractors are in the homestretch of clearing the West Valley Demonstration Project of buildings.  Fifty-one of 55 structures have been taken down, and the most contaminated of them all — the Main Plant Processing Building — is scheduled for demolition this fall. How hot are its five stories of reinforced concrete? A trio of activists said it “could be one of the most radioactive buildings in the country.” The demolition might be welcome news, but the manner in which contractors plan to bring the building down is causing concern, even alarm, in some quarters. Plans call for an open-air demolition[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Mar 4

2021

Gambini discusses West Valley on WBFO

Phil Gambini reported earlier this week about $20.3 million in settlements paid by the federal government to 59 former employees at the West Valley Demonstration Project. The workers had documented cases of cancer or other serious illnesses related to their work at the facility. Other claims are pending and many former employees apparently are unaware of the compensation program. Phil discussed his story Wednesday with Jay Moran on WBFO.  

Posted 3 years ago

Mar 1

2021

Cancer plagues West Valley nuke workers

David Pyles says he lives on painkillers and moves with the help of a cane and walker. He worked for five years at the West Valley Demonstration Project, a failed experiment to process spent nuclear fuel. “What we were doing was insane. We were dealing with so much radiation,” he told Investigative Post from his home in New Hampshire.  “I’ve got absolutely no joints left in my knees — my knees are gone, my ankles are gone and my hips are gone,” he said.  “I wonder if it’s from working in that bathtub full of radiation.” Pyles was one of[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Feb 17

2021

COVID-19 outbreak at ICE detention center

A COVID-19 outbreak has infected 22 immigrants held at the ICE detention facility in Batavia and prompted the testing of all others being held there. The first positive test result was reported Feb. 11. Half of the 26 people held in that section of the facility subsequently tested positive. Testing confirmed nine more cases in a separate unit.  The disclosures were made as part of a status report submitted Tuesday to U.S. Western District Court Judge Lawrence Vilardo, who previously ordered a strengthening of health and safety measures. Adam Khalil, the assistant U.S. attorney representing the government, said all 180[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Jan 17

2021

Niagara County keeps hiring disgraced GOPers

For the fourth time in 14 months, Niagara County has hired a politically connected Republican who had previously been accused of misconduct. The latest GOP loyalist to be added to the payroll is Robert W. Welch, who resigned last summer as director of constituent relations for Republican state Sen. Rob Ortt after he was accused of using a racial slur during an encounter with a group of teenagers near his home.  Welch, a North Tonawanda resident, has been hired as a contract administrator at an annual salary of $62,991. The job has been vacant for three years and was not[...]

Posted 3 years ago
Investigative Post

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