Niagara Gazette


July 5, 2014

GUEST VIEW: Recent park police site 'rant' left a lot to be desired

Niagara Gazette — Rick Pfeiffer’s recent front page Gazette commentary, which he called a “rant,” endorsed the gorge rim location for a new park police station, while being critical of those who opposed it. It was highly irrational, but therefore an excellent rant, right? Why be thoughtful or informed or pay attention to facts, when it’s so much fun to ignore all of that?

Central to his rant was that the gorge rim property is “small, oddly shaped, with limited ... public access,” providing a “nothing special” view of the gorge, is of no interest to “developers,” and if it were not used for the police station would “become” a “grassy plain or, more likely, a weed patch.”

Further, he said a police station there would put officers close to their potential rescue work (right next to a gorge trail, after all), and that the voices in opposition to the location coming from the Tourism Advisory Board were “shrill,” and that they should have plenty else to be concerned about, like shabby motels.

Following that line of reasoning, Pfeiffer should also have plenty else to be ranting about. One example is another “oddly shaped” piece of gorge rim, that chunk of Devil’s Hole State Park isolated by the NYPA access road — with no public access at all. Shouldn’t this be remediated? Another gorge rim absurdity at our world-famous Niagara is the State Park’s maintenance garage — acres of the gorge rim sealed off behind a fence as the rest of Niagara’s park was in the early 1800s, before it was rescued by Olmsted and Vaux. We’ve been living with these travesties for over a half century. A brand new “oddly-shaped” offense is the boulder now embedded in the ground at the Terrapin Point overlook, on a new “artistically-shaped” walkway — probably the site of a future Wallenda plaque, another insult to the Olmsted philosophy. (Whose idea was this and at what cost?) Often this is the way we lose our natural heritage, little odd-shaped pieces at a time.

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