Erie Canal – UNESCO World Heritage Site designation needs to be pursued.

On July 4, 1817 construction of the 363 mile long Erie Canal and its 83 locks began at the city of Rome, New York.

The 200th anniversary of that historic construction start arrives on July 4, 2017.

New York State Gov. DeWitt Clinton’s project was constructed without the help, financial or otherwise, of the national government in Washington, DC. The $7,100,000 construction cost was paid off in 7 years, proof of it’ssuccess. The maximum anticipated capacity of the canal was 1.5 million tons. Traffic on the canal was at that level almost immediately. In 1834 expansion plans were being made.

The Erie Canal transformed the United States. The wedding of the fresh waters of the Great Lakes with the salt waters of the world’s oceans saw hundreds of thousands of people, timber, agricultural products, manufactured products, flour, chemicals, ores, etc move not only across United States but also to and from the world at-large.

Sadly, this early 19th century engineering marvel goes unrecognized. There is no move underway to have the Erie Canal declared a UNESCO “World Heritage Site” in recognition of its role in making the world smaller and more interconnected. It does not appear among the U.S. sites being recommended by the United States to UNESCO. It is time for Washington to step up to the plate by asking for consideration as a World Heritage Site.

The clock is ticking.

Thomas Cook Airlines seeks route proposals between Europe and North America

Thomas Cook AirlinesRoutesonline announced that Thomas Cook Airlines seeks route proposals for new service  between Europe and North America.   According to Routesonline:

The first RFP covers existing network points seeks proposals for additional frequencies to current long-haul destinations in their network out of new European departure airports that can be served by their B767-300 or A330-200 through a W-pattern.  The second will look at the opportunity for new routes between Great Britain, Central or Northern Europe and airports in the Americas, Africa and Asia Pacific that can be served by B767-300 or A330-200 equipment, preferably from the hubs in Frankfurt and Manchester

This could be an opportunity for international service from Niagara Falls International Airport as Pearson International Airport in nearby Toronto, Canada is not served by Thomas Cook.

 

Some great people are participating in “Cycling the Erie Canal.”

Fifteen years ago the 400 mile 8 day “Cycling the Erie Canal” event got off the ground.  It was the brain child of Parks and Trails New York.  I had the opportunity to come across slightly more than 300 of the 400 riders participating in this tour.  They were at the Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises on Market St. in Lockport.  The riders had a box lunch and took the one hour forty-five minute narrated cruise upon the Erie Canal and through Locks 34 and 35.

This was not a group  composed of only hardcore, technically equipped cyclists.  They came in all sizes, men and women, regional residents, from across the nation, several Europeans and a good number of our Canadian friends and neighbors.  I surprised  to see old dudes like me and children who seemed to be in the are area of 8 years of age.

What a pleasant experience it was getting to speak with a number of this adventurous travelers.

But like all things, this is just not a get on your bike and ride event.  Parks and Trails New York has a guidebook telling everyone how to get ready and what to expect.  I’ve read it and now I am wondering is this something I need to put on my bucket list of things to do.  This group has 5 days left on their journey, I hope they continue to have a great time.

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15th annual Cycling the Erie Canal bike tour from Buffalo to Albany

Cycling the Erie Canal Kicks Off July 7th

500 Miles, 400 Miles, 8 Days!

The 15th annual Cycling the Erie Canal bike tour from Buffalo to Albany begins this Sunday, July 7th in Buffalo. More than 500 cyclists of all ages will set off on the Canalway Trail for the 400-mile, eight-day journey. Along the way, they will be treated to fine scenery, fascinating history, and the extraordinary hospitality of canal communities.

Watch for riders as they pass through your area, welcome them to your community, or join them for a mile or two!

2013 TOUR SCHEDULE

Sunday, July 7: Buffalo to Medina

Monday, July 8: Medina to Pittsford

Tuesday, July 9: Pittsford to Seneca Falls

Wednesday, July 10: Seneca Falls to Syracuse

Thursday, July 11: Syracuse to Rome

Friday, July 12: Rome to Canajoharie

Saturday, July 13: Canajoharie to Scotia

Sunday, July 14: Scotia to Albany

Cycling the Erie is organized by Parks & Trails New York. The NYS Canal Corporation is the Premier State Sponsor, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is the event’s Heritage Sponsor.

I’m looking forward to this.  I will watch the bikers as they pass the Lockport Locks.

Immigration legislation will lead to elimination of Poland visa requirements

Western New York’s large Polish-American community needs to get behind the Senate immigration legislation.  Contact New York Rep. Chris Collins to ask for his support:

Lancaster, NY Office

2813 Wehrle Drive
Suite 13
Williamsville, NY 14221

Phone: 716-634-2324 Fax:     716-631-7610

Or, Email him via his congressional web page.  http://chriscollins.house.gov/contact

 

POLONIA MUST ACT TO DROP VISAS FOR POLAND and

Editor—Debbie Greenlee posted this note, from Alex Storozynski, President of the Kosciuszko Foundation, to various mailing lists because she felt it was a subject of importance for all Polish Americans. I agree, and am repeating it here for those who haven’t seen it before. Considering what a good ally Poland has been to the United States, at a time when we don’t have many reliable allies, it’s about time we quit jerking around Poles who want to visit our country. I’ll let Mr. Storozynski say the rest, as he says it better than I can, and he gives a link to a longer version on the Kosciuszko Federation website that includes specifics.

Now that the United States Senate voted 68 to 32 to pass Sen. Schumer’s immigration bill, it must pass the House of Representatives before Poland will be included in the Visa Waiver Program. We are pleased that New York’s Polish community persuaded Schumer to help drop visas for Poland. It proves what Polonia can do when it sticks together.

The Polish Community across the United States now must get their members of Congress and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to pass the immigration bill. Rep. Boehner must allow the bill to go to the floor of the House for a vote. It aims to secure America’s borders, penalize employers who hire illegal immigrants, and provide a road map for immigrants to legally become American citizens. It would also drop the visa requirement for Poles who want to visit the United States as tourists.

So call and write to your Congressmen! If you don’t know what to write, what to say, or who your Congressman is, you can find this information by clicking this link to The Kosciuszko Foundation web site: <http://www.thekf.org/fundacja_ko_ciuszkowska_polska/PolandVisas/>

If all Polish-Americans speak up, Congress will not be able to ignore us.

Alex Storozynski

President and Executive Director

The Kosciuszko Foundation

 Editor—Incidentally, Senator Barbara Mikulski deserves a fair amount of credit for getting this through the Senate. Since this story is current and things could change rapidly, I wanted to check and see what the current status of the bill is. According to the story at <http://www.thenews.pl/1/10/Artykul/139768,US-visa-waiver-for-Poland-one-step-nearer>, the bill is still waiting to pass in the House of Representatives, where it faces some tough going. So unless things change over this weekend (which seems unlikely), there is still need to speak up.

Are ropeway systems the future of people moving within the city of Buffalo?

Are ropeway systems the future of people moving within the city of Buffalo?  There is seems to be growing interest in aerial ropeway transportation to the Buffalo waterfront and beyond.  To this point conversation has  centered around  pictures showing existing short distance systems in operation around the world and in the United States.  They are touted as being efficient,  attractive, inexpensive, quiet, energy-saving  and scenic.

What gets neglected has been totally ignored in the conversation is the 800 pound gorilla in the room – WIND.

According to City-Data.com Cheektowaga (#35), Amherst (#36), Buffalo (#37) and Niagara Falls (#38) make its Top 101 windiest city list.  All 3 have an average speed of 11.8 mph.   Where monthly stats exists, i.e. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,  the months of November, December, January, February and March would have a major impact of local cost single ropeway transportation as the average wind speed rises to 12.6, 13.1, 14.0, 13.3, 13.1 miles per hour .  Additionally NOAA identifies something we know already, particularly those living along the Lake Erie shoreline.  This area’s prevailing winds arrive from the Southwest, South-Southwest, or Westerly direction, blowing laterally across the shoreline and major roadways.

This means that anyone inside an aerial gondola along the waterfront would not be moving into the wind or with the wind at their gondola’s back.  You would be buffeted by the wind.

There is a very busy tram system in operation serving Roosevelt Island in the middle of the New York City’s East River.  A blog titled Roosevelt Island Online recorded post from people who were on the tram during a windy day:

Very windy day on Saturday. gcris tweeted:  Roosevelt Island Tram. Nothing scarier than being suspended on 3 wires on windy day above the East River.

Roosevelt Island 360 reports on a message he received from a passenger on Saturday’s Tram:  Today’s ride (02-19-2011) was HORRIBLE. People were screaming inside. Due to high wind the cabin was swinging terribly. I’ll never take the tram during windy days. I was scared to death!  I spoke with a Tram Operator on Sunday who was on duty Saturday. The Operator told me that the Tram handled the high winds fine on Saturday.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), the Tram:  Operates in all weather conditions except for lightning and winds over 50 miles per hour.

I hope your Tram ride was uneventful and that there was no screaming during the journey over the East River.

The Roosevelt Tram was constructed in 1976 and refurbished in 2010 at a cost of $25 million for its 3,100 foot length.  That is $8,064.52 per foot.

Another problem with the ropeway was discovered in a study prepared for Portland State University in Portland, OR.  This city has a Ropeway in use.  The study found that with current technology, the longer the Ropeway the less the passenger load and the less frequent number of cars in use.  Length causes diminishing returns and increased cost.  You can read that study here:

http://web.pdx.edu/~bertini/courses/558/Aerialropeways.pdf

Finally, the fastest cable ropeway in operation is the 2.1 mile long Genting Skyway at Gohtong Jaya, Malaysia.  Wikipedia has this to say:  “At the maximum speed of 6 metres per second (21.6 km/h – 12.96 mph), the 3.38-kilometre (2.10 mi) journey up the mountain peak takes approximately 15 minutes, depending on the weather.”

At the moment, supporters are in love because they see this as a novel waterfront experience and are selling that notion without looking at the whole picture beforehand.    I hope that the instead of promoting an attractive notion, some serious research be done that provides the most reliable method of mass people moving based on cost, speed, reliability, and weather related shut down before going any further.

Ropeway systems may be the way to go.  And then again, it may not.

Help keep the Polar Bears in Buffalo.

Luna (picture WKBW-TV)

Luna (picture WKBW-TV)

Kali (picture WKBW-TV)

Kali (picture WKBW-TV)

Help Keep the Polar Bears in Buffalo.

“We’ve made great progress, but still have a ways to go. If you would like to help, you can donate to “Our Bears Belong in Buffalo” at https://www.buffalozoo.org/_donate_capital_campaign.php or text the word “Zoobear” to 56512. Thank you”  The Buffalo Zoo.

I’m a member.  As a member and a local, I know for sure any donation you can afford will be greatly appreciated.

Buffalo – Niagara Falls may or may not be in the running for the new PeoplExpress.

PeoplExpressPeoplExpress, headed by CEO Mike Morrisi, has just announced the purchase of Boise, ID based Xtra Airlines.  Xtra’s “Air Operators Certificate” (AOC) will let PeoplExpress to get in the air sooner than would happen if it sought its own certification.

The issue of PeoplExpress was raised here in March and once again in April that  Buffalo and Niagara Falls  interests should aggressively pursue its service.  Then, hopefully sooner rather than later,  one of the two local airports might be added to its first five city route system of Newport News, VA – Pittsburgh, PA – Providence, RI – Newark, NJ –  West Palm Beach, FL.   Routesonline announced the new carrier could be in the air by late summer.

Routesonline post stated that XTRA’s AOC gives PeoplExpress authority to operate in the United States, Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and that the XTRA brand would continue to be used for charter operations .  For those who once flew to Florida from NFIA you might recognize the name XTRA Airlines.  It was one of the carriers used by the now defunct DirectAir on its Myrtle Beach, SC – Florida routes.

At this time my betting is that should PeoplExpress come to the area it would service Buffalo-Niagara International Airlines as Niagara International seems to be destined to stay little more than a low-cost outbound traffic only airport used by Canadians to fly to Florida.

 

The dual Peace Bridge connecting Buffalo USA to Fort Erie Canada will never be built.

The dual Peace Bridge Connecting Buffalo USA to Fort Erie Canal will never be built was the theme of my 2004 Masters Degree  in Education project at SUNY College at Buffalo in 2004.  I received my Masters.  I assume my findings were worth the paper they were printed on.  By 2004 the debate over the bridge was about ten years old.  Here we are nine years after my project and nineteen years after the idea was announced and the bridge still not has been resolved.

The problem then, as it is now, there are too many conflicting interests in involved in the decision-making process.  Fort Erie has 74 acres of land available for bridge services,  Buffalo has 18 acres.  Fort Erie has 30,000 residents – Buffalo 260,000.  The bridge in Fort Erie will no expand into a residential neighborhood in Buffalo it will.  Bridge traffic in Fort Erie bypasses its small central business district in Buffalo it passes right through it.  The U.S. under-staffs the bridge crossing the Canadians don’t.  The bridge is vital to Fort Erie economy (jobs) in Buffalo it is not.  The list goes on and now the Governor of New York and  Canada’s Counsel General have gotten involved and demands that people be replaced are invoked.

It is a mess.

It is time for everyone to grow up get serious and do what should have been done 20 years ago.  Settle the issue.  And here is how it must be done and done ASAP.

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and keep doing it

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until it is resolved.

Peace Out!