By DON GLYNN
Niagara Gazette — Nick Wallenda, who made headlines around the globe for his high-wire walk across the Horseshoe Falls last June, is returning to the Cataract City this weekend.
Earlier, the Niagara USA Chamber named him as the recipient of its Visionary Award, among several people to be honored Friday night during the agency’s annual dinner at the Seneca Niagara Events Center.
Earlier in the day, Wallenda will be a guest on “Viewpoint,” a popular talk show on radio station WJJL (1440) hosted by Tom Darro. Wallenda is expected to update listeners on his plan to walk over the Grand Canyon this summer. He also is looking forward to his book set for publication in June.
Known as ‘King of the High Wire,’ Wallenda, 34, will be entering into Evel Knievel land with his performance 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River. Wallenda make several references to his Grand Canyon walk while he was in Niagara Falls preparing for the Niagara Gorge crossing. Earlier this week, on NBC’s “Today” show, he told co-anchor Matt Lauer that it (Grand Canyon) was just “another one on the bucket list” of places he’s wanted to traverse via tightrope.
He wore a safety harness for his walk at Niagara. He doesn’t intend to use either a harness or a net when crossing the canyon.
Wallenda said he is dedicating the walk this summer to his great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, who died after falling from a tightrope in Puerto Rico in 1978.
Knievel once wanted to make a jump across the Grand Canyon but the U.S. Department of Interior denied him airspace. Later, he tried a jump on a rocket-powered cycle across the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in 1974. That effort failed but he suffered only minor injuries, according to the report.
OFF & RUNNNG: New York City Comptroller John C. Liu has a sense of humor, something a lot of our own politicians seem to lack these days. Launching is mayoral campaign in the Big Apple, Liu was asked at a school in Harlem whether he should be called “comptroller” or “controller.” He told the students: “I prefer comptroller. I’d rather comp people than con people.”
THE HEAD COUNT: Area athletes and coaches like their counterparts across the U.S., need to be more mindful of the tougher rules that the American Academy of Neurology released Monday concerning the long-term brain damage from concussions. The new guidelines call for athletes to be removed immediately from the action if a concussion is suspected. It’s vital that they first be checked out by a medical expert before they’re are allowed to play again.
A spokesman for the Academy of Neurology said upwards of 3.8 million sports related brain injuries — most from concussions — occur each year. Sadly many are not reported.
FAMILY FUN: The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, at Pine Avenue and Portage Road (the former Niagara Falls High School), is planning its fifth annual Easter Egg Hunt on March 30, from noon to 3 p.m. This year it will be held inside the NACC and not on the front lawn. In addition to the egg hunt starting at 1 p.m., other activities will include face painting, craft stations, a basket raffle and prizes for children of all ages
A spokesman said those attending the event should enter at the red door on the Portage Road side. Plenty of free parking is available in the South Junior High School lot, Portage and Walnut Avenue. Last year more than 300 children participated.
Basket donations and volunteers are still needed. If you would like to help, contact Laurie Martelli at the NACC (282-7530) or email@example.com.Contact reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246