Submitted by Francis S. Lucca:
I am surprised that Buffalo Rising could be taken in by a few disgruntled obstructionists in their quest to continue to delay the Plaza Expansion of the proposed new peace bridge construction (article in question). Please allow me to set the record straight. My name is Francis S. Lucca, owner of our family homestead at 790 Columbus Parkway. It was once occupied by my late parents, Mariano and Clara Lucca. Mariano was instrumental in legislation proclaiming Columbus Day a federal holiday. Following his death, the Buffalo Common Council renamed a portion of 7th Street as Columbus Parkway, in his honor. My wife and I lived with my parents as caregivers, and resided at 790 Columbus Pky for an additional ten years. Four years ago, due to declining health, we put our house up for sale, found a buyer and purchased a smaller home in the Town of Tonawanda. The day the new owner was to sign for our Columbus Pky home ,Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff came to town and stated that the shared border plan with Canada was scrapped and they needed our block for the proposed plaza expansion. As a result the buyer backed out of the agreement and for the past four years we have been strapped with double taxes, insurance, the star program, combat veteran ‘s exemption, utilities etc.
The new plaza and construction of the new bridge could have been started years ago at a much lower cost, creating hundreds of jobs, and stimulus money such as 25 million dollars from the Peace Bridge Authority to enhance the entire neighborhood far beyond the bridge proper. Suddenly everything comes to a halt thanks to the concentrated efforts of the OBSTRUCTIONISTS who have not been truthful in their arguments. The most glaring lie that found print in your publication is that none of the homes affected by the peace bridge plaza plans is in the Prospect Hill historical district. The border line for that district is Niagara Street, and does not include any of the homes on Columbus Pky or Busti Ave. These people arbitrarily included them to satisfy their stand. A gross misstatement. The three women quoted in your article are not even affected by the proposed plaza/bridge. One of them bought her home during the public outcry over the proposed new plaza/bridge. The second woman who was outraged that we would sell our home to the PBA neglected say that she sold her home three years previous to the same PBA at more than two times the assessed valuation, and bought a much grander home some two blocks away. The third woman mentioned in your article has nothing better to do than look out of her front window and watch progress being made. That’s just what my parents and I did back in 1927 when the Peace Bridge was completed when we lived two blocks away. However I was too young to remember.
Another blatant lie put forth in print by the OBSTRUCTIONISTS is that my parents and I sought to have our home registered as Historic because of its Columbus association. Simply, no truth at all. The most blatant demonstration by these same OBSTRUCTIONISTS was the gathering of a bus load of so called preservationists on our front lawn while my wife and I were burying our son in Florida. Needless to say we were outraged. There is no limit to the disgusting tactics these desperate OBSTRUCTIONISTS will take in their final gasp. But we shall overcome.
Respectfully, Francis S. Lucca