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Skunks Get Benefit As Legacy of Holiday Market Continues

All that remains of $481,000 of public money spent on the Holiday Market are these shacks, now home to skunks. Note that one of the shacks has been moved to the back of the DPW offices for a smoking shack/lounge. One day in the not-too-distant future these shacks will be used as what will be the world's most expensive firewood to warm a happy hearth and continue the holiday tradition for which they were originally intended.

Holiday Market developer Mark Rivers walked away with nearly one half million and left us more than a dozen shacks. He gives skunks not only a good name but a good home too.

Good news:

The shacks that were once part of the Niagara Holiday Market have finally been put to good use.

As readers know, Mayor Paul Dyster and Kristen Grandinetti spearheaded the $481,000, no-show winter market, which was promised to be the largest holiday market in the country and was held during the winter of 2011.

It was a flop and going into 2013, all we had left were two dozen barn red shacks that cost $100,000 to build. After the market was concluded, they were removed to the DPW yard on New Road where they began to rot.

But glad tidings came to us last week when we learned that several families of skunks have volunteered to take shelter in the shacks and were spared the necessity of building their own nests in less appropriate environs.

Skunks are a beautiful member of the Mephitidae family, which also include that wonderful creature known as the stink badger, and are cousins to the weasel.

Skunks mate in the early spring and the finest males mate with several females who in turn generally excavate nests. Thanks to the Holiday Market, these happy skunkettes did not have to exert themselves and can raise their kits in what was once the festive ambience of the Holiday Market. Like the original Holiday Market, there are few people to bother them.

Of course, this revelation of skunks led some to wonder if the finest Mephitidae of them all, Holiday Market developer, Mark Rivers was also residing there.

The answer is no. Like all male skunks, Rivers left immediately after doing his deed. In his case he simply sprayed on the people of Niagara Falls and pocketed $481,000 for his services.

In addition, to making a home for skunks, one of the shacks has been utilized for a smoking room (cigarettes) for workers at the DPW offices.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

JUN 25, 2013