Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 1, 2013

OUR VIEW: Cheers and Jeers

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Cheers: It’s not easy to find new occupancy for large industrial buildings. Often, they sit unused for years, becoming a blight in their neighborhoods as vandals and the weather take their toll. Sometimes, they’re done in by fire. The former Harrison Radiator site has found a new purpose in recent years, providing fledgling businesses an opportunity to develop. Buildings 1 and 2 are close to full. Now, Building 4 is receiving a makeover as Trek Inc. plans to occupy it. And what a makeover! While what’s happening inside is remarkable, the fresh look that’s happening outside is fantastic. New and larger windows give it a welcoming, modern appearance. Bravo.

Jeers: When do we stop giving tax breaks? Senator George Maziarz wants Gov. Andrew Cuomo to consider giving the former Rainbow Mall in Niagara Falls tax incentives under the Tax-Free NY plan. Does anyone pay full price for anything these days? We mean, besides everyday citizens, of course. These plans are not “tax-free,” because residents end up footing the bill. Why not cut all of the incentives and spread out the “breaks” to everyone instead? We may never have a “tax-free New York,” but at least give New York a chance to retain enough residents to pay the taxes Albany creates in new and devious ways every day.

Cheers: Lockport’s annual Memorial Day parade is getting better and better every year. The number of groups marching seems to be on the rise, and attendance has certainly taken a noticeable upswing. Pride in community or pride in country? We’re guessing it’s both. And that’s a very cheer-worthy thing.

Jeers: And then there was this unfortunate banner: “If you won’t stand behind our troops please stand in front of them.” It’s obviously a free country and one can say what he feels,but there’s also a time and a place. The Memorial Day parade wasn’t the place to send that message. Parades are about decorum, of which the banner — and whoever designed it — lack.

Cheers: It’s been patched up — again — for the time being, but a stretch of Beattie Street sometimes feels like a cobblestone road when driving over it. That will come to an end this summer; the street is on the city’s list of streets to be repaved. It’s about time. We’re sure Mayor Michael Tucker, a Beattie Street resident, has been hesitant to authorize repaving the street for fear of criticism that the work’s only being done because it’s HIS street. Still, when a street needs repairs, that work simply must be done.