Niagara Gazette

March 24, 2013

GLYNN: Wallenda walk might link two continents

By DON GLYNN
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — There’s no end to Nik Wallenda’s bucket list, if you listen to the high-wire artist.

Instead of resting on his laurels after walking across Niagara Falls last year, he will soon begin training for his next trip — minus a harness — over the Grand Canyon on June 23. For the record, he won’t be setting foot in or above the property owned and operated by the National Park Service. Instead he’ll be performing what some people describe as a death-defying stunt on a part of the sprawling Navajo Indian Reservation, 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River. The reserve is just east of the park.

Wallenda, who was here Friday night to accept the Niagara USA Niagara Chamber of Commerce “Visionary Award,” is bound to return in June when his book, “Balance,” will be released. No word yet where he will autograph copies but the regional state parks visitors center would be an appropriate site.

As for that bucket list, somewhere along the line he’s thinking of walking from one continent to another — from Europe to Asia — via a high wire in Istanbul.

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HELPING HANDS DEPT.: Sister Beth Brosmer, OSF, executive director of Heart, Love & Soul Inc., reminds us that space is limited for the agency’s annual recognition dinner April 25. She urged that people reserve their seats by April 12.

Tickets are $50 per person (Table of eight — $400) Reservations can be made via mail (Heart & Soul, 939 Ontario Ave., Niagara Falls, NY, 14305 or e-mail: elizabethb1946@gmail.com Secure parking will be available for all attendees.

The dinner will be prepared by students from the Niagara University College of Hospitality and Tourism Management under the direction of Scott Beahen, who heads the NU food operations.

Heart & Soul provides breakfast for an average of 45 persons a day and lunch for 160. In 2012, the dining room served 49,599 meals and the pantry supplied 100,451 meals to 7,727 people. 

In case you’re not convinced of the need that exists in this community, consider that the rate of poverty for Niagara Falls — based on the 2010 Census — is 17.3 percent, compared with 14.9 percent for the state and 9.9 percent for the nation.

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OFF THE PRESS: “Love Canal,” by Penelope D. Ploughman (Arcadia Publishing, 128 pages, paperback, $21.99)  features numerous photos of the community’s early development and the former Hooker Electrochemical Co.’s use of the canal to dump industrial waste from 1942 to 1953. Ploughman’s interest in the Love Canal story is traced to her graduate studies in the Sociology Department at the State University at Buffalo.

The paperback is packed with a wide array of photos, maps and charts that offer an excellent overview of the environmental disaster that forced hundreds of families out of their homes in August 1978. The cover spotlights William T. Love turning the sod for his dream in that LaSalle neighborhood: a power canal and the model city project that never came to fruition.

A graduate of the State University at Buffalo Law School, Ploughman wrote the dissertation for her Ph.D. on the role of the news media at Love Canal. Subsequently she pursued her interest in environmental law. 

Ploughman will be at the Erie Canal Discovery Center, 24 Church St., Lockport at 1 p.m. April 20 to sign copies of the book and to offer observations from her research. Additional information is available by calling 439-0431.

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ACROSS THE BORDER: Pat Simon and his wife Rose, who had operated “Simon’s Restaurant” on Bridge Street in Niagara Falls, Ont., began closing down their landmark business last December. Some records indicate it was established at another site in 1884 before moving to the current location.

Business owners retiring after a prolonged period sometimes have to weed through countless items collected over the years. Among those helping with the task: three of Pat’s nieces from the U.S. side the river. They’re daughters of the late John V. Simon of Lewiston, a longtime local attorney and Pat’s older brother.

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SENIOR MOMENT: Norah Ephron, 69, author of “I Remember Nothing,” told a writer that she has a number of symptoms of old age. As an example, she says, “I have no idea who anyone in People magazine is.”

Contact reporter Don Glynnat 282-2311, ext. 2246.