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Working for the community ; Harbor board must continue its diligence in planning waterfront

Bass Pro is a dead deal for the waterfront as is, apparently, any other big-box store.

In its wake, there has been a big rebound toward what is probably the other extreme from a big box -- and that is fine. But rebounds can be risky things and when one occurs, a warning flag needs to go up. Everybody take a deep breath.

Nine years ago, we endorsed the idea of Bass Pro on the waterfront. Bass Pro, at that time, was a huge draw. With Western New York's fishing known internationally and with the store to be built steps from Lake Erie, the pairing was ideal.

Had it been built nine years ago, we believe it would have been a huge success. Most people who complain about paying large sums of money to get retailers or manufacturers to locate in Western New York just don't understand what is being done nationally to attract big employers.

But now we are heading in another direction. While that work proceeds, we salute the board of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and hope its members will take all the necessary time to research new proposals.

The board is more than its best-known members, Chairman Jordan Levy and Vice Chairman Larry Quinn. It also includes David J. Colligan, Maureen O. Hurley, Michael Di Virgilio, Empire State Development President and CEO Dennis Mullen, Julie M. Barrett O'Neill, non-voting member Mindy Rich and two ex officio members, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Chris Collins. The corporation's cultural subcommittee, led by Hurley, just released a useful study on how to tell Buffalo's Erie Canal history.

Groups like this that give endless years of their time to civic projects are to be encouraged and thanked.

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