Share this article

print logo

A GREAT LAKE AND A FEW GREAT IDEAS

In the continuing press frenzy over the Washington Triangle (Monica-Bill-Kathleen), I hope you didn't miss the story on Page One of The Buffalo News on Tuesday, March 17, reporting that the dedicated statesman, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, managed to insert a clause in a congressional bill making Lake Champlain one of the Great Lakes.

My New York State map places Champlain a couple of hundred miles east of Lake Ontario, its nearest Great Lake neighbor. Leahy's purpose was to get Vermont a piece of a federal financial pie in the National Sea Grant Act.

The only positive about this travesty is the obvious need for thousands of men to portage 1000-foot lake freighters between the lakes, thus solving any unemployment problems in Northern New York.

But the act opens all kinds of intriguing possibilities for our area. Some examples:

Feeling that Niagara Falls is not enough of an attraction, Senator D'Amato could sponsor a bill moving Mount Rushmore to Niagara County.

By act of Congress, Erie County could become part of Delaware, which has no sales tax.

Members of New York State's congressional delegation could pass legislation making the abandoned Bethlehem Steel plant and its slag heaps a part of the shoreline of Lake Champlain, in Vermont. The omnipotent Leahy, of course, would lobby to have it moved to New Hampshire.

Rep. Jack Quinn, R-Hamburg, might introduce a bill to declare the Town of Hamburg part of Southern Arizona. This would solve any snow-removal problems and free thousands of salt and plow dollars for the First Annual Hamburg Rodeo.

What could keep the Attica & Arcade Railroad from becoming a designated part of the main line of Amtrak?

Switch the West Valley nuclear site to New Jersey, and any disposal problems would be negated overnight.

More astounding legislation could bring major league baseball here, as the Minnesota Twins ungeographically become the Depew-Lancaster Twins.

The so-called Big Four college basketball teams in Western New York might be replaced by the signing of a bill to make Duke, Kentucky, UCLA and Georgetown the Big Four. That oughtta draw fans.

New Year's Day is relatively dull around here, except for the torrid excitement of swearing in a new Buffalo mayor. No problem here. Simply legislate that Pasadena is part of Buffalo, and we get both the Rose Bowl parade and a football game.

But to return to the idea that inspired all this, Lake Tahoe in California could be designated the seventh Great Lake. This would create the memorable, albeit misspelled, acronym for all seven lakes: STOMECH.

The possibilities are endless. Send your ideas to your congressman.

A salute to Leahy, that visionary who is so creatively rebuilding Vermont, one lake at time.

E. ALFRED OSBORNE is a humorist who lives in Derby.