Niagara Gazette

Columns

March 31, 2013

GLYNN: Bad beetle invades Niagara County

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — If you think that you may have an emerald ash borer in your ash trees, you can call 1-866-640-0652 for assistance.  

•••

OFF & RUNNING: Thoroughbred racing fans shouldn’t get too excited over that one-year deal that will allow the Fort Erie Race Track to open in late May. In fact, informed sources contend that the 11th-hour reprieve to secure racing dates for this season is simply a political ploy orchestrated by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynee whose Liberal Party is anticipating a difficult race for re-election. Details of the agreement between the government and the Fort Erie Race Track have not been made public as yet.

The track, perhaps the largest employer in the community, is one of two thoroughbred race tracks in the province. The other is Woodbine, north of Toronto. The Fort Erie oval has been home to the Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel in Canada’s Triple  Crown of horse racing.

As for the long-term plans for the track, it’s anyone’s guess — once the election is over.

•••

TOO LATE: The current issue of Preservation, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, features a splendid photo of the stately Bethlehem Steel Administration Building in Lackawanna (circ. 1920). It notes the Beaux Arts structure designed by Lansing Holden had been scheduled for demolition in January but preservationists had brought a lawsuit in state Supreme Court to block the action. It wasn’t in time, however, to save the building that opened in 1901. At its peak, Bethlehem Steel employed more than 25,000 workers at its area facilities, a short drive from downtown Buffalo.

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FAST LANES: The storied Golden Gate Bridge in California is finally catching up to the times, even matching the technology at the international bridges over the Niagara River. Drivers can now move freely through the toll plaza without stopping. “Tolling once meant stop, but today hi-tech tolling means go, go, go,” said Patrick Jones, executive director of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. For the record, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission has had an electronic toll system in place for several years.

•••

THE LIGHTER SIDE: Overheard at a book signing: “From the moment I picked up that first book you wrote until the second I put it down, I couldn’t stop laughing. In fact, one of these days I intend to read it” — a customer with a knack for putting people down.

Happy Easter!

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

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