Caution needed at the falls

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    From the Buffalo News:

    This newspaper is not in favor of stunts that put both the daredevil and rescuers in danger. So we hope that the governor and State Legislature thought it through thoroughly before giving the green light to Nik Wallenda’s plan to walk a wire across Niagara Falls.

    The legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. George D. Maziarz of Newfane directs the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to allow Wallenda to anchor one end of his wire on Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park. He still needs Canadian approval for the other end of the wire.

    While Wallenda may have the “unconditional support” of Niagara Falls, Ont., Mayor Jim Diodati and Ontario Parliament member Kim Craitor, he still needs the approval of the Niagara Parks Commission.

    The argument for allowing this stunt is simple: It would boost tourism to the falls. The stunt itself would draw thou-sands to the falls, and news coverage of the event would provide free publicity around the world.

    Wallenda proposes to be a a modern-day version of the “Great Blondin” a century and a half after that daredevil’s tightrope walks across the gorge. In this age of 24-hour news channels and viral YouTube videos, the images would be projected worldwide.

    In addition, Wallenda’s inevitable tour of the morning and late-night talk shows would add to the hype.

    The arguments against Wallenda are many, starting with the question of whether such a publicity stunt diminishes the grandeur of one of the wonders of the world.

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