Niagara Gazette

Opinion

October 8, 2012

HIGGS: Norma the cheerleader mixes the ingredients

Niagara Gazette — Roger Spurback and I were invited to take part in the recent Urban Land Institute Advisory Panel Sessions centered on the “Reuse of the Balance of the Former Rainbow Centre Mall.” USA Niagara took the lead in organizing this week-long analysis with the additional sponsorship of National Grid and the cooperation of the City of Niagara Falls and Niagara County Community College.

The first event was an informal reception to meet the volunteer members of the Urban Land Institute who made up the panel. Their role was to visit the city, its landmarks, learn its pitfalls and meet some of the stakeholders to “pick their brains” if you will about what they feel might be a successful reuse of the former mall and come up with a plan and some recommendations. I was a bit disappointed to notice there were not enough people from the neighborhoods who make up the ordinary citizens but was impressed with the overall plans and certainly with the panel members themselves who welcomed Roger and me and were anxious to hear our ideas.

So, in lieu of the lack of ideas from the ordinary citizen, I included them in my conversations during the time I had to prepare for my interview. Taking into account the seasonal aspect of our tourism even though I feel great progress has been made to extend it, there are still 12 months in a year and a certain amount of participation is needed from the local resident to fill this void. Certainly the culinary institute has concentrated on this aspect by offering food and beverage outlets open to the public (first class, I might add) which not only provide another choice for us but offer a training ground for the students as well.

With that in mind I presented my own offerings and some that I gleaned from friends during my interview with two members of the panel and another stakeholder. My impression is they really listened to us and drew us out to “say it like it is” which is important to have the freedom as too many times ideas are only what others may want to hear. The panel was made up of professionals in the real estate market, the construction industry, the architect profession and some were former government leaders, and they took their responsibility seriously as they asked pertinent questions and made careful notes during our time with them both informally and at the interview. The other stakeholders I asked had the same opinion of their experience.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: A closer look at Spirit Airline's DOT numbers This last week, there were articles published highlighting that Spirit Airlines has the highest DOT customer complaint rate among US airlines.

    April 18, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page