Niagara Gazette

Opinion

October 29, 2012

HIGGS: Cheering on the city block clubs

Niagara Gazette — A few more comments that cannot be left unsaid came to mind after I submitted last week’s story on the NACC. I mentioned the reuse of this former Niagara Falls High School that was saved from the wrecking ball and replacement by a shopping plaza and did not have enough space to tell you about the 8,000 square foot former gym that is now designated as a sound stage by the New York State Governor’s Office for motion picture and television development. This makes the NACC a desired destination in the movie industry. Rah! Rah!

And, I did not have space to talk about the NACC kids. The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center takes pride in the fact that kids are safe there. It is a building where their talents can be developed and their confidence nurtured. Opportunities abound for them to take part in the fine and performing arts that are not available elsewhere. One of the NACC brochures described the fact that a prime commitment is to building on events and programs for young people in the community. The NACC knows that the arts can be a powerful tool for social change and that creative children can become innovative citizens. That is something to really cheer about.

Moving on to the next “N”, I find it hard not to cheer about the many citizens that are members of neighborhood watch block clubs in the City of Niagara Falls. As treasurer of the Niagara Falls Block Club Council (NFBCC), I am familiar with all of the active clubs by attending their meetings, helping with their use of our funding and generally providing any assistance I can offer.

These hard-working, interested residents of our city have seen change take place in their neighborhoods sometimes on a daily basis. It seems like most streets have one or two vacant or deteriorating structures causing great concerns. These citizens do not let that stop them from reporting suspicious persons or activities within their boundaries to the proper channels. How do you think the police department knows about all the “goings-on” all over the city? Sometimes they are members of block clubs and sometimes they are just citizens who care and they are all “the eyes and ears” of the police department.”

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