Niagara Gazette

Opinion

December 31, 2012

HIGGS: Looking back on a busy 2012

Niagara Gazette — Another year comes to a close at midnight tonight and I will be finishing up my seventh year bringing my weekly column to you. It seems like just yesterday when Roger Spurback and I met with Dave Arkin at the Niagara Gazette and I complained about no advance notice to the public of coming events in the city. I noted that there was plenty of follow-up coverage with many photos of the presentation of the “big check”, but most of us did not how it all came about. Dave suggested I write a weekly column to spread the word. So that was my initial mission and I admit I have slipped off the track many times as I apparently have been given (or I just take) free reign to write about anything of interest.

Several years ago I began writing about sections of the city and the history of specific areas such as Main Street, Falls Street, and Niagara Street and during 2012 I covered Pine Avenue which took up the better part of the year. I did sneak in some issues relating to city ordinances, housing problems, some history on our Armenian population and of course, I tried to mention all of the business owners who were chosen to receive the Niagara Beautification Commission Spotlight Award. These included Inn Niagara on the Niagara Falls Boulevard, Family and Children’s Services of Niagara and its new location on Main Street, Access Physical Therapy on Pine Avenue, National Vacuum Corporation on 47th Street which I discovered quite by accident, the beautiful and restful Peace Garden at the Main Street Library, DiCamillo’s Bakery which are located just about everywhere and Foley’s Tavern on Buffalo Avenue.

Hopefully you remember my six-week attendance on Friday evenings during the summer with the U.S. Border Patrol and its “long green line.” I did admit it was certainly very interesting to find out the early history of the agency and its deep commitment to protect our international borders, both north and south. I was pleased to find out they also assist our local police department during the “busy” season. It wasn’t all classroom as we took a spin on their patrol boat, examined some of their weapons and some of us even tried a bit of target practice. Not me, by the way. We also visited their headquarters on Grand Island and watched the border activity on several large monitors. Even though I missed some Friday night fish with friends, I found it worthwhile and fun. Great group and we should be glad they are in our community.

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