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RE-CREATING THE CANAL WOULD BOOST TOURISM

As a member of the Canal Society of New York State, we and other concerned groups have spent the last three years trying to awaken the designers of Buffalo's Inner Harbor to the historical significance of the area in which they work. So I was gratified to hear that some movement is being made to actually reopen the Commercial Slip at its original site. Then I read The News editorial stating that we should keep the slip buried. I am very disappointed that the editors have taken this position.

The major point that must be clarified is that no one wants to encase the stones in a "watertight bathtub." We need to do what they did back in 1825. The only difference is that we will be rebuilding the slip. Freezing and thawing happened for 100 years and the slip was maintained.

Today there is technology available to make the waterway long-lasting with minimum maintenance. Specialized consultants have advised us that a hidden steel bulkhead could be used behind the stones. Additional similar stones could be gathered and installed as necessary and pressure-treated wood could be used to complete the slip to re-create the original.

If we use the original spot, adhering to as much authenticity as possible, this waterway with such historical significance would attract tourists like nothing else. It's time we did something right for Buffalo.

DAVID F. BAKER Buffalo

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