Niagara Gazette

Opinion

June 26, 2014

GLYNN: New paddleboat to debut on lower river in July

Niagara Gazette — Competition for passengers on sightseeing boats along the lower Niagara River will ramp up next month when the Niagara Belle, a new paddleboat, will begin offering dinner cruises.

The Belle is part of the fleet owned by the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours, with docks at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and the Lewiston Landing. Company president John Kinney said earlier the picturesque paddleboat will accommodate parties up to 150 persons and dinner cruises for 50.

In a press release, Kinney stated that the cruises will begin July 18 on the Canadian side (at the site of the historic Navy Hall just below Fort George), with similar trips starting on the U.S. side in September. The boat will be available for weddings, corporate parties, dinners and sightseeing, a spokesman said.

A date has yet to be announced but sometime in the fall an open house is planned when residents from both sides of the river will have a chance to enjoy a free get-acquainted cruise.

Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of jet boat rides in the lower river. 

Kinney’s Whirlpool Jet fleet continues to operate from its Canadian and U.S. docks while the new Niagara Adventure Jet, co-owned by Mike Fox and Chris Bohnenkamp, is running trips out of the Fox Boyz Marina, Youngstown. Both companies offer basically the same ride upriver as far as the Whirlpool.

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STRONG SHOWING: State Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, the prime sponsor of the medical marijuana bill solidly supported by the lawmakers, said she hopes the overwhelming approval will prove to be a tipping point for the federal government to change its policies opposing the drug.

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IT NEVER ENDS: A reader swears that this happened near his small hometown in Pennsylvania. A guy broke away from a minimum security prison and vanished into the woods. He traveled through swamps and along muddy roads which left him bruised, grubby and thoroughly disheveled. When he finally showed up at his ex-wife’s house, she screamed at him: “They said on the radio you escaped 15 hours ago ... where have you been?”

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