Niagara Gazette

Opinion

March 10, 2014

HIGGS: Beautify Niagara plans and the next landmark church

Niagara Gazette — I have had a lot on my plate recently during a time when I usually spend more time cleaning plates.

I have a collection of early Fiestaware and 1930s dishes that get their annual bath during January and this is March and I am still doing it. During January I had a long drawn out cold/cough brought home from a West Coast visit in December, and my energy level was low. What happened to February? It just flew by as I had a lot of catching up to do what with the block club group retreat and it is “only 28 days” after all so it just went faster. Anyway, things are happening now as I am in the midst of organizing the Niagara Beautification Commission’s Beautify Niagara citywide cleanup campaign among lots of other things.

The event has been moved to May 3 since we have been plagued by rain and chill the past two years and my $1 almanac predicts this weekend in May will be much better. It has not failed me all winter. Bags and gloves will be assembled sometime soon in March by a loyal crew of NBC regulars and Fire Safety Educator Al Hornung entertains us during the morning with his jokes and personality as he does the heavy lifting and organizes the completed work and the empty boxes. And even Sparky the NFFD mascot has joined the revelry. I am all for a lot of levity during a work party.

We are fortunate to have the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel host our kickoff again this year as it sets the pace for the morning cleanup work. Great coffee and something sweet for a kick-start is on the menu. Workers convene under the arch on Fourth Street in front of the casino to mingle with others who share the same desire for a cleaner Niagara. After a welcome and thank you from Mayor Paul Dyster, Fire Chief Tom Colangelo, our honorary chairman, starts off with a few safety tips and his sidekick and my loyal helper Hornung unloads his truck with the supplies for the volunteers. This year we will have Girl Scout Troop 70010 at a table to collect items eligible for recycling and I will be reminding our volunteers to bring something along. They have also signed on to a cleanup project around Love Canal Park in LaSalle.

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