Editorial: Seneca Nation is a lousy neighbor

"Let's face it, the Seneca Nation of Indians has made for one really lousy neighbor.

It's been seven years since the state gave the tribe 50 acres of prime downtown Niagara Falls real estate in return for them dropping their claim on Grand Island. In other words, the fat cats who live on Grand Island can rest easy at night knowing that the city of Niagara Falls, as usual, took the hit for their benefit.

The thinking was that there would be a spinoff, that the surrounding neighborhood would benefit from the new traffic generated, that casino employees would be glad for the luxury of having low-cost housing within walking distance of their jobs and that new businesses would spring up and thrive as a golden age dawned.

What actually happened has been far different. Like the state parks, the casino is a black hole where tourist dollars go to die. Former city landmarks like the Press Box and George's Restaurant are gone, and the business people who remain are hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

Last week the Senecas became successful in throwing the Niagara Aerospace Museum out onto the street by evicting it from its home in the former Carborundum Building, which they acquired from the late Frank Amendola under threat of eminent domain.

According to the Buffalo News, the museum will be moving to Buffalo. Niagara Falls will lose yet another popular tourist attraction, and its residents will have to pay the increased Grand Island Bridge tolls to go and get a look at their own cultural heritage.

And the Senecas? They don't give a damn."

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Editorial: SENECAS SCREW CITY (The Niagara Falls Reporter 1/21)