No change to USA UNESCO World Heritage Site nominations.

"Flight of Five" (1825) Lockport, NY - Source: Wikimedia

“Flight of Five” (1825) Lockport, NY – Source: Wikimedia

It has been 5 years since the USA released its list.   No change to USA UNESCO World Heritage Site nominations.  As far as is known, Western New York elected official on the local, state, national level and the public seem uninterested in supporting a nomination for the Erie Canal or Buffalo’s Frank Lloyd Wright “Darwin Martin House.”

About one year ago I even posted the idea on to the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise groups under the heading “An effort to have the Erie Canal designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site might lead to business development.”  Received only one like from its 1000 group members.

Here is the list of USA nominated locations.

 Last Revision:  1/30/2008


I don’t have any political connections.  No one has responded to me these past 2 years.  If you do, send the official you know this form.  It will download to you as an MS Word document.:

This is the link to the official UNESCO World Heritage Site Operational Guidelines

Canadian median wealth is 2.1 times greater than that of Americans.

A friend of mine posted a very interesting statistic on wealth that originated with the Coffee Party Movement.  The CPM is the non-media visible counter part to the Tea Party.  I want to share with you information that probably 80%+ of Americans will deny its accuracy.  The denial is a normal reaction for people living in a country that is propagandized every day on being patriotic – America #1 every one else in the world is envious of us.

Below you will find a chart showing a median wealth table that was formulated using the Global Wealth Data Book.  American’s believe they are Number One when it comes to personal wealth.  They are off by a long shot.

The median represents that point where the wealth of half of the American people are above the median and  half of the American people are found below  the median.

Global Median Wealth Index
Country Median Wealth
Australia $193,052
Luxembourg $153,981
Japan $143,413
Italy $123,731
Belgium $119,933
United Kingdom $115,242
Iceland $95,685
Singapore $95,542
Switzerland $87,132
Austria $81,649
Canada $81,620
France $81,274
Norway $79,373
Finland $73,481
New Zealand $63,800
Netherland $61,880
Ireland $60,951
Qatar $57,027
Spain $53,292
United Arab Emirates $47,999
Taiwan $45,451
Germany $42,222
Sweden $41,363
Cyprus $40,535
Kuwait $40,348
United States $38,786

So the next time you complain about money, just remember to think of these numbers and know that you are falling behind because you are too busy thinking America is #1 when it is not.  Many have chased us and passed us over the past 33 years.

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 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:

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.

Summer is nearly upon us!

Dear Mike,

Summer is nearly upon us! With numerous events scheduled throughout the Canalway Corridor each week, it’s a great time of year to enjoy the tremendous heritage and recreational appeal of our waterway and trails. We especially want to call your attention to the BIG FOUR corridor-wide events happening this year.
Please also refer to full 2013 schedule of events at:


Best Regards,


Beth Sciumeca, Director
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

Planning to take Dad to Niagara Falls, Ontario for Father’s Day – feed him at Ribfest.

If you are planning on taking Dad to Niagara Falls, Ontario for Father’s Day, why not feed him at Ribfest?

Niagara Falls, Can - Rotary Club

Niagara Falls Ribfest, Ontario’s #1 Rib Festival is a fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Niagara Falls Sunrise.  June 14,15,16  Optimist Park.

Fun for the whole family.  No pets or coolers allowed in the park.  Free Parking.  Bring your own lawn chairs.  It’s a picnic.

Money raised during this event goes back into the community. We contribute to Rotary House, Pathstone Mental Health, School Breakfast Program, GNGH Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Niagara, Habitat for Humanity and Literacy Niagara to name but a few.

For Ribfest details click here:

For information on Rotary Club of Niagara Falls Sunrise


Some interesting facts about the Erie Canal.

Some interesting facts about the Erie Canal include the fact it impacted America and America did not construct it.

1.  President Thomas Jefferson ( of Virginia) would not aid in the construction of the canal and called it nothing short of madness.

2.  President James Monroe (of Virginia)  vetoed legislation that would help in the construction of the canal saying it was unconstitutional.

3.  When the Erie Canal opened in 1825 it  cost $7,000,000 to construct (about $4,000,000,000 today) and was paid off in less than 10 years.

4.  The United States paid $7,200,000 for the  586,000 sq. miles that is Alaska in 1867.

5.  Dirt and Rubble removed during the construction of the canal was used as land fill around New York City.

6.  At the end of its first full year of operation, 13000 canal boats transported 40,000 settlers westward from Albany.

7.  At the end of its first full year of operation – 562,000 bushels of wheat – 221,000 bushels of flour – 435,000 gallons of  whiskey – 32 million board feet of lumber – totally about 185,000 tons of cargo moved eastward towards Albany on the Canal.

8.  The terminus of the Erie Canal in Buffalo was called the Erie Basin.  The terminus of the Erie Canal in Red Hook Brooklyn was a man-made harbor for canal boats called the Erie Basin.

9. By the time tolls were removed from the canal in 1882,  $121 million dollars in revenue went to the New York State  treasury.

10.  Dewitt Clinton, father of the Erie Canal, died in 1828.  He left his family in financial trouble.  He managed Erie Canal finances extremely well and he was unable to match that astuteness in his personal life.

Incidentally, the Erie Canal, renamed the New York State Barge Canal, is the only major inland waterway in the United States that has never been  maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the taxpayers of the United States.

Finally, according to the  2007 Internal Revenue Services spending statistics, the Commonwealth of Virginia is the beneficiary of more U.S. government spending than 46 U.S. states.  But, why hold a 200 year old grudge?

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 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!


Erie Canalway is holding a 2013 Photo Contest

Who doesn’t have a camera?  Get yours and take a Shot at Erie Canalway 2013 Photo Contest.

2013 Calendar CoverCapture the unique character of the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain Canals and their surrounding communities for the 2013 Erie Canalways Photo Contest. We’ll feature winning entries in the 2014 Erie Canalways calendar. Judges will select winning images in the following contest categories:

  • Bridges, Buildings, and Locks
  • For the Fun of It
  • On the Water
  • The Nature of the Canal

Deadline  for  submissions: September 6, 2013. Download official contest rules and an entry form:

2013 Map & Guide Available

The 2013 Erie Canalway Map & Guide is now available at visitor centers, locks, libraries, and cultural heritage sites all along the New York State Canal System. Whether you like boating, cycling, history, nature, or simply spending time with friends and relatives, you’ll find things to do and places to discover all summer long. The eight-page guide includes a map of the National Heritage Corridor, as well as a list of boat rental and tour companies, places to cycle on the Canalway Trail, Corridor-wide events and more.

Submitted by Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises.