Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 1, 2013

BRADBERRY: Immersed in chaos, surrounded by peace

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — We were by no means alone; hundreds of other local boys and girls, explored every available nook and cranny, searching mysterious caves and caverns and secret hiding places where we decided Native Americans, European explorers and fugitive slaves must have been long ago.

We climbed over the remains of the old power generation station and old bridge structures. A little farther down the river, we confronted the construction of the new Power Project; we saw no gorge route around it. Like the gigantic upstream water intakes pumps, the impact of the project downstream, we discovered, was HUGE! Unaware of the implications, we bore witness to the constant parade of giant Euclid trucks as they hauled tons of earth along the roadway between the river and the Power Project site in Lewiston.

Plodding right next to Bishop Duffy High School, rumbling the ground, vibrating the windows, they streamed by in clouds of fine dust that found its way onto our desks and into our imaginations through open windows drowning out English Literature and World History.

Our world was changing as the source of our Power and Beauty was being stolen right before our eyes. We watched as the Power Project changed everything from Niagara University’s campus, locking them into a small box bordered by the Power Authority’s infrastructure, to communities as far away as Lewiston and Sanborn, even Lockport and Tonawanda and Grand Island were forever changed.

The fish, the wildlife, our hiking trails, the plant life, everything between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario along the Niagara River and beyond ... it all changed as enormous power lines sprung up like gargantuan metal trees across the landscape, stealing hundreds of acres forever from those tiny communities, and Niagara’s tax rolls, channeling our energy and the billions of dollars we should have earned from it somewhere else, leaving us in the dust.

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