Natural wonder or carnival sideshow?

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    From the Buffalo News:

    Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk over Niagara Falls this summer has been pitched as a once-in-a-generation event, a tribute to stunting history that legally can take place only every two decades.

    Now three more daredevils want to join the party — promising they will seek to conquer the falls in a barrel. All have achieved the feat in the past.

    This attention to stunting revives a centuries-old debate: Should the waterfalls exist as a natural wonder or as the centerpiece of a man-made circus?

    “A little carnival is good,” said Mark DiFrancesco, owner of the Niagara Daredevil Museum on the American side of the falls. “A little bright lights and attention for the area is good. It’ll bring people into the area, and hopefully they’ll come back.”

    But others think that government officials, by approving Wallenda’s stunt, have opened the door to these other attempts by renewing interest in stunting.

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