HAMILTON: We Get More of What We Celebrate – Even Disasters

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By: Ken Hamilton

Sometimes I just have to shake my head and just laugh at the antics of those in so-called leadership roles in our city. NAACP Niagara Falls Chapter President Shirley Hamilton is one of those, and I have long said that she and another woman with whom she hangs have larger testicles than most men in the city – and the city shows it!

Shirley (no known relation) is the woman who fought tooth and nail not to turn the keys of the Niagara Community Center and Girls Club over to a group of citizens who would have been able to get the funding to rejuvenate the building and reenergize the community. She hung on, even in court, — as Southerners say, like a tick on a dog. Now the institution that our forebearers sacrificed so much, worked so hard and gave so much to build for us is lock, stock and barrel disposed of in a land field someplace; and there stood Shirley at the podium during a Martin Luther King event last Saturday, just a-cheesing away as if she had just built a new, more modern building.

King has to be rolling in his grave! I can’t understand why anyone would have allowed her to so desecrate the memory of the man.

But we get that which we celebrate, don’t we? And if no one said anything about her antics, who am I to complain?


Shirley Hamilton speaks at the NAACP.


Who knows? The next place you might see her is on your local water board with her partner in crime (so to speak), former Legislator Renae Kimble. I can’t help but remembering when they worked together on the Niagara Falls International Airport project while on the IDA board, pushing it towards bankruptcy.

I have often said that the elected predecessor names their successor by what they do and by what they didn’t do; and Kimble was replaced by Legislator Owen Steed, who claims to be, “… the hardest working legislator in the Legislature.” Despite our differences, I’d wish Kimble back – but without Shirley.

But given the bulk of the last stock of politicians that came out of the heart of the city, I’d have to agree with former City Councilman Andrew Walker when he was asked upon leaving the city, even while he was yet a city councilman, why he wouldn’t name someone to take his place. He said that he couldn’t find a qualified Democrat to do so.

While I doubted even his own qualifications, it is hard to debunk his opinion of those whom he left behind. But we do get more of what we celebrate, and that is why we are where we are; and with others accepting it, here we are doomed to stay!


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