Niagara Gazette

March 20, 2014

GLYNN: Historical Tours set for this spring in state park

By Don Glynn
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Before longtime local resident Tom Yots moved to Buffalo, he often walked daily around Prospect Park and Goat Island. With the dog at his side, visitors assumed correctly that he lived in the area and undoubtedly could answer a question or two.

“During those 10 years of making the rounds, the visitors from all over the world often tell me that one thing they’d really enjoy would be a simple walking tour,” said Yots, a former teacher who is now executive director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. On a number of occasions, tourists also expressed an interest in learning more about the history of the Niagara Falls State Park, the falls themselves and the local community.

A general informational meeting — open to the public — is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 25 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 639 Main St. “We hope at that time to offer more specifics about the tours and to encourage interested persons to sign up for the docent training that starts April 5,” he added.

Yots and his committee have been working with the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp., the agency that operates an information center at Rainbow Boulevard and First Street, close to the American Rapids Bridge. That facility is being considered as a departure site for the tours that probably will start in late May. 

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STILL PUZZLING: Life Books has published a special issue of “The Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of All Time: 50 Baffling Cases from the Files.” Among the articles: “Who Killed Sir Harry Oakes?”, the Maine native who lived in Niagara Falls, Ont., for a few years before moving his family to the Bahamas to escape stiff taxes imposed on the rich gold mine he had discovered in northern Ontario. Oakes was brutally slain at his Nassau home in July 1943 but the case remains unsolved.

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HEALTH NOTE: A recent study at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania showed that drinking three cups of cranberry juice daily can raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels by 10 percent and reduce heart disease by 40 percent. After digesting that news for a second, one reader shot back on his blog: “Cranberry juice isn’t bad with vodka.”

* On a related note, an Ohio State University study found that an apple a day can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol by as much as 40 percent.

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WALKING DEAD? Headline in a Virginia newspaper: “Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter.” An irate reader called the newspaper to ask if they fired all the proofreaders.

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SIGN OF TIMES: In front of St. John Lutheran Church, Lockport Street in Youngstown: “You Can’t Plow a Field Just By Turning It Over in Your Mind.”

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EASY COME ... : A lottery winner should have a financial adviser. Take, as a classic example, Sharon Tirabassi, 35, a Hamilton, Ont., resident who won $10.5 million in 2005 but never planned for any long-term savings. Today she’s living paycheck to paycheck and riding a bus to her part-time job to support her children and cover the rent. Where did it all go? She ticked off a list: a big house, four fancy cars, designer clothes, loans to friends, and trips to exotic destinations. 

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HELPING HANDS DEPT.: The Veterans of Foreign Wars-Lake Ontario Post 313, Youngstown, has launched a fund drive to support its many community endeavors. In a letter to area businesses and residents, Post Commander Ralph C. Borelli noted the VFW has assisted veterans confined to VA hospitals and donating toys at Christmas for vets unable to buy gifts for their children. 

At present, there are some 19,000 veterans in Niagara County with nearly 2,000 of them disabled or homeless. 

Checks made be mailed to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 313, Att.: John H. MacArthur, quartermaster, 434 Third St. Youngstown, N.Y. 14174.

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TRIVIA QUIZ: (Answer to Sunday question): The Buffalo History Museum (formerly the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society) is the only building left from the Pan-American Exposition held in Buffalo (1901). At the Expo, the building was the New York State Pavilion.

Contact Reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.

Contact Reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.