Stir it up
at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel
IN ROOM COPY
GET YOUR FREE DIGITAL COPY AT READTODAYMAG.COM 2012 SUMMER 2014
VOL 1 | ISSUE 3
One-Year anniversary at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino
Native american Part of ‘Summer Rush’ Executives Entertainment at Seneca Casinos Seneca Today 1
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Contents 8................................... Expect the Unexpected at STIR 10 ����������������������������������������������Stir It Up with STIR-tinis! 14 ������������������������������������������������������ In Their Own Words: Seneca Natives as Executives 20 ����������������������������������������������������������Make Memories at Niagara Falls State Park 26 �����������������������������������������������������������������������News Briefs 28 ��������������������������������������������� One-Year Anniversary at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino 30 ������������������������������������������������������������� Larger than Life: The Work of Sculptor Susan Geissler 33................................ Get Social with Seneca Casinos 34 ��������������������������������������������Native America Interview Series with President Snyder 37 ��������������������������������������������� Entertainment Sizzles at Seneca Casinos with Summer Rush 52....................................... Q&A with Melissa Etheridge 55 �����������������������������������������������������������Summer Reading: Hot Days and Great Books 58 �������������������������������������������������������� New Slot Machines at Seneca Casinos 61 ����������������������������������������������������������� Step Back in Time at Old Fort Niagara 65 ���������������������������������������������������������� Pow Wow Season 69 �������������������������������������������������� News from the Nation 73 �������������������������������������������������Cruising the River with Niagara Jet Adventures
Publisher Rev Publising Inc. To advertise please call 905.356.7283 or 1.877.888.2825 website today-magazine.com facebook.com/RevPublishingInc @revpublishing www.revpublishing.com
Seneca Today Magazine is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in Seneca Today Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Seneca Today Magazine, it’s employees or owners. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is as up-to-date and accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Seneca Today Magazine for any errors, omissions or comments made by writers or interviewees that are contained herein. Furthermore, responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this magazine is not the responsibility of Seneca Today Magazine. All unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs submitted are assumed to be intended for publication or republication in whole or in part. The right to alter, edit or refuse photos and/or manuscripts intended for publication is assumed. All unsolicited material submitted to Seneca Today Magazine are submitted at the author’s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Seneca Today Magazine does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.
President & CEO Dan Pasco Sales Representatives Gail Cerrone Madeline Dimperio Alex Mills David Mace Michael Koval Danielle Morton Dave Gibson
Welcome Nya:wëh sgënö. Thank you for reading this issue of Seneca Today magazine, the publication dedicated to spreading the word about all that is exciting, new, and interesting about the three Seneca Casino locations, as well as news on the Seneca Nation of Indians and tourism locations throughout the area. Summer is a time of great joy and activity, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities for just that during these coming months at our properties. Inside this issue, you’ll read about the 2014 Summer Rush Concert Series, which undoubtedly is our most dynamic entertainment lineup ever. We’re proud to offer the world’s finest performers right here in Western New York. You’ll also read about other exciting aspects of our properties, such as the high-energy feature bar and lounge, STIR, in Niagara Falls. We’re also gearing up to celebrate a year of great success at the new Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, located in the heart of downtown Buffalo. There is so much to enjoy in the region this summer, and we invite you into our home as part of your fun. Whether it’s the great indoors on our gaming floors or gathering with thousands for outdoor events like our Independence Day fireworks celebrations, you can expect to find the highest quality with everything we have to offer. On behalf of the entire Seneca Gaming Corporation Board of Directors, I welcome you to our properties and wish you great joy with every visit.
Editor Megan Pasche ContributinG Writers Tony Astran
Senior Graphic Designer Tina Lanzillotta Lacey McBane
Board of Directors Chairman
Graphic Designer Tabitha MacDonald Rachel Bertrand Veronika Simmons IT/Web Developer Justin Soungie
Bradley G. John Seneca Gaming Corporation
Seneca Today 5
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Seneca Today 7
ExpEct thE UnExpEctEd at: fter taking one look at STIR – the highenergy feature bar and lounge inside the recently renovated Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel – one can expect to find a whole new level of excitement. Between the massive 20- by 40-foot highdefinition video wall, the ice-blue glow of the circular bar, and the posh seating that seems separate and yet connected with the surrounding gaming floor, there’s an instant sense of electricity and luxuriousness. But what really sets the experience apart at STIR is the unexpected. Imagine this: You order the popular Seneca Sweet Heart martini at the bar, and the bartender suddenly performs a “flair” move by juggling flaming bottles. Meanwhile, a member of the live entertainment on stage comes down to the dance floor and begins an impromptu conga line with guests. Nearby, one of the beautiful beverage entertainment servers – or “bevertainers,” as they are known – serves a drink while simultaneously performing a gymnastics move. Certainly, if you want to escape and merely relax in a booth while ordering your favorite drink or from Pantone C service menu, you can Pantone 7469 C the306 bottle do that. But when it comes to the unexpected thrills and vibe that radiates from STIR on busy weekend nights, this is the only “constant” in the minds of the STIR team members.
“You’ll never quite know what to expect from one weekend to the next at STIR, and that’s the allure,” said Ashley Lelievre, one of the bevertainers. “This is a place to get away from stress and be entertained.” Since its opening in February 2014, guests at STIR have particularly enjoyed the live entertainment and the hardwood dance floor – a feature that previously was never a part of Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel. Carla Calabro - left Ashley Lelievre - right
STIR is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m., and is located in the 8 southwest corner of the main gaming floor.
According to Carla Calabro, another one of the bevertainers, this is an aspect of STIR that provides guests another form of entertainment besides gaming. “I think this place is a hit, and I know our guests staying at the hotel for conferences have particularly enjoyed this addition,” Calabro said. “People let loose here. There’s really nothing quite like STIR in this whole region.” “The notion of STIR providing unexpected excitement at every turn is by design,” said Audrey Oswell, chief operating officer for Seneca Gaming Corporation. “Even as guests enter the property for the first time, the large screen is unexpected. It’s that element of surprise that we think makes a strong impression on guests, and ideally gets them talking to their friends about it afterwards.” STIR doesn’t necessarily have to be full of surprises for everyone, though. Between the bar seats with 21 tabletop video gaming units, to the 12 low-back booths around the perimeter near the gaming floor, and the eight highback booths for a cozier setting with friends, STIR can provide a comfortable place to escape.
“It can be whatever you want it to be,” added Oswell. “It’s a great place for Pantone 534 C people-watching, too.” One of the main draws of STIR is the 20- by 40-foot video wall, which provides an instant entertainment hub for guests. With crystal clarity and a slight curve that allows viewing from the entire main gaming floor, the high-definition screen is the largest of its kind inside a North American casino. During the day, guests can enjoy their favorite music videos being played.
At night with live entertainment, mesmerizing animated graphics add energy to the musical experience. And, on special occasions, the screen will showcase major live television events. Crowds at STIR recently gathered to watch Olympic hockey and the Kentucky Derby. The ever-changing live entertainment at STIR also is designed to keep the experiences fresh and unexpected. Some groups are local favorites, while others have come from places like Detroit, Toronto, and Montreal. And, on particular nights where it seems like STIR resembles Las Vegas, that’s because dancers with Blair Farrington Productions – direct from the casino capital of North America – come to the venue to spice up the nightlife.
All of these factors combined create a unique atmosphere that brings out the joy-of-life in guests. Lelievre recalled one recent memorable Saturday night: “There was a sweet lady, maybe in her 70s or even 80s, who told me she hadn’t danced in 20 years. She was having so much fun out on the dance floor, I think she ended up getting nearly all the guests – the young and the young-at-heart – out of their seats to join her.” Lelievre is part of a team that thrives on providing what they call “good surprises.” She said that the bevertainers use their many talents – whether joke-telling, opera singing, dancing, or more – to keep guests engaged.
“The energy here is contagious,” Lelievre said. “We bring out the youth in our clientele. For an entertaining night out, we’re here to get them out of their comfort zones – in a good way.”
To learn more and to view a schedule of upcoming live entertainment on the STIR stage,
Seneca Today 9
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At STIR, part of the excitement is choosing which drink to sample. From local beers on tap to mixed drinks, STIR has it all. And you’ll also find unique drinks like our variety of STIR-tinis, with alluring names like Raspberry Ice and Seneca Sweet Heart.
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We present to you a recipe for one of our most popular – and certainly most colorful – STIR-tinis: Man Overboard. The drink gets its name from the slow and careful over-the-rim pouring of ingredients to create three layers of colors for a drink that’s three times as tasty as an ordinary martini. Try it at home, but enjoy it at STIR for an even more satisfying experience in a truly electric atmosphere!
1 oz. Malibu Rum 1 oz. Midori Melon Liqueur 1 oz. Pineapple Juice Grenadine Blue Curacao Mix the three 1 oz. drinks together in a cold martini glass. Then, “float” the Blue Curacao by slowly pouring a small amount from a shot glass over the edge of the martini glass. Use the back of a spoon as a backstop if needed, in order to slowly intersperse the color. You will see a bottom layer form about a third of the glass. Next, float the Grenadine to create a second (middle) layer. The yellow color of the Pineapple Juice will slowly rise on its own to create the top layer. Garnish with a cherry and slice of pineapple, and enjoy!
FRUIT-INFUSED SANGRIAS This summer, enjoy a whole new twist on seasonal drinks with STIR’s summer drink menu. Among the specials is a flight of fruit-infused sangrias, pictured above. Don’t forget to ask the beautiful bevertainers about bottle service for the ultimate night-out experience. Reserve a booth for you and up to seven of your friends, and choose from the finest selections – everything from a bottle of Grey Goose vodka to a high-roller bottle of Rémy Martin XO cognac. We’ll provide all the mixers and garnishes to create the feel of your own private party.
The night begins at STIR. Where it ends is up to you! To view the drink menu and learn more about how you and your friends can #createastir at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, visit
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The besT way To spend a day, a nighT, or a weekend jusT goT beTTer. At Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, you can start your evening with your choice of the best dining and then try your luck at the hottest table games and the newest slots on our fully renovated gaming floor. And just minutes away in Lewiston, NY, you can try your hand at Seneca Hickory Stick, one of the best public courses in New York, according to Golf Magazine. Either way, Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel has fun and games in spadesâ€”inside and out.
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Seneca Today 13
In TheIr Own wOrds:
seneca naTIves as execuTIves This is a two-part series, featuring six members of the Seneca Nation of Indians who hold senior management positions within Seneca Gaming Corporation. The second part of this installment will be in the Fall 2014 issue of Seneca Today magazine. As stated as part of the vision of Seneca Gaming Corporation’s Career Development Department, “The realized placement of Senecas in all areas of leadership will be an honor and achievement for the Seneca People, Seneca Nation Leadership, and Seneca Gaming Corporation’s Board of Directors and Executives. A leadership team of Senecas at Seneca Gaming Corporation will serve to generate inspiration and motivation for our Seventh Generation and sustain the sovereignty of our people.” The individuals profiled as part of this series all have common attributes: they are dedicated, hardworking, and have invested in lifelong learning through education, training, and certifications. Each of them agrees that it takes personal commitment, time, determination, ambition, and a willingness to learn in order to become an executive. 14
y name is Kirstin Lowry Sommers. I am a member of the Deer clan and grew up all around the area, moving often and transferring between 10 schools by 9th grade, including Salamanca, Gowanda, Cattaraugus, and many others. I graduated from SUNY Fredonia with double majors in history and English literature, earning a Bachelor of Arts. I then attended SUNY Buffalo Law School, where I concentrated in Indian Law and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree. I have to say, I didn’t have a specific career path mapped out. I didn’t have specific aspirations for positions or titles. Three things have always motivated me and – looking back – have directed my path. I love Seneca history – for its culture, values, and people. I want to protect treaty rights, preserve sovereignty, and strengthen the right of self-determination. I want to serve others. Being an attorney at Seneca Gaming Corporation gives me this opportunity to live out my values – to serve the Nation, its People, and our future. As a bonus, I am able to continue learning here, while also advocating for and encouraging others.
Kirstin Lowry sommers Senior Vice President and General Counsel Seneca Gaming Corporation
My best advice is to go and conquer what you know you can do, and don’t let the naysayers get into your heart or mind. Be committed, patient, and a tireless worker. Then, you’ll inevitably get to where you’re going. I speak from experience. I was 20 and pregnant when my college dean told me that I would have to drop out, and probably wouldn’t return. But I refused to accept someone else’s limitations for me. It was a very long haul as a single mother through college, law school, and then into the workforce. And today, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s challenges and hardships like these that teach us, strengthen us, and keep us supporting one another.
Seneca Today 15
The following year, we traveled abroad and lived for a year in her home country of Japan until an opportunity for me with W Hotels brought us back to the U.S. I worked for the Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2005, continuing my management career in Hotel Operations. We welcomed our first daughter in January of 2005 and later that year returned to the East Coast for another career opportunity, this time leading the Front Office Management team at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington D.C. It was during this time that we welcomed our second daughter, and I spent my time crafting world-class service at the AAA Five Diamond-rated property. In 2008, I pursued another goal on my career to-do list when I accepted the role with Kimpton Hotels as the opening Hotel Operations Manager for the Lorien Hotel & Spa, which became ranked No. 1 among 50 hotels in Old Town Alexandria within four months on the travel site, TripAdvisor.com. During my time with Kimpton Hotels, I was promoted to the Executive leadership team as Director of Housekeeping at Hotel Palomar.
marc PaPaj Vice President of Resort Operations Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel
ya:wëh sgënö. My name is Marc Papaj. I am of the Heron clan and was born off-territory, having lived in Steamburg during my elementary years while attending Seneca School. I moved to the Washington, D.C.-metro area before high school and split my time living between both of my parents. After high school, I attended the University of Nevada–Las Vegas, where I studied Hotel Administration and received my Bachelor’s degree with Eta Sigma Delta honors from the International Hospitality Honor Society. My first steps into hospitality and gaming were with the Las Vegas Hilton as a Front Desk Agent and later with MGM Mirage, where I was promoted from supervisor to Assistant Hotel Manager. It was at Mirage where I met my wife, and we were married in 2000. 16
My experience to this point spanned many roles in many different business environments. I studied my craft in casino properties, a Hollywood A-list celebrity hotel, Washington’s elite luxury hotel serving international Embassy delegations, and lastly, the business/style/luxury of Kimpton. Each of these disciplines was necessary in preparing me for my current role with Seneca Gaming Corporation as Vice President of Resort Operations at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel. I draw upon each of these lessons every day to guide me and I bring 19 years of industry experience in managing my division. My areas of responsibility include Hotel Operations, Front Desk, Housekeeping, Bell Services, Transportation, Valet, Retail Operations, and The Spa & Salon. Since joining Seneca Gaming Corporation in 2011, I have been fortunate to oversee the successful expansion of Seneca Allegany’s hotel tower in 2012 from 212 to 413 rooms, as well as the continuation of six consecutive years of achieving the AAA Four Diamond Award. I also participated in the University of Nevada–Reno 2012 Executive Development Program and the Leadership Buffalo Class Experience 2013. I take great pride in representing Seneca Gaming Corporation and I enjoy every opportunity to develop rising Seneca leaders who show the drive to lead our business for years to come – for the future of my family and for the future of yours.
enita ni’gya:soh. Ageswë’gai:yo’. My name is Renita. I am a member of the Hawk clan, and grew up in Irving on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation. My husband Mike and I have been married for 10 years, and together we have three children, two stepchildren, and six grandchildren. I have an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and Real Estate from Erie Community College. I recently continued my education while in the working world, graduating summa cum laude from Medaille College with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and Information Systems in May of 2013. The program combines business and information technology, which is critical for the C-level Executive. I am now enrolled in Medaille’s MBA Program and expect to graduate in August of 2015. I also recently participated in a summer internship with the Woodrow Wilson Public Policy graduate program through the University of Maryland. It was an intense, four-week, graduate-level study involving statistics, calculus, economics, and public policy writing. My “official” career in Information Technology began in January of 1999 when I was hired by Personal Computers, Inc. My primary role was to re-engineer our support and service delivery model as the quality assurance specialist. As an account manager, I managed our Help Desk, desktop services, application support, asset management, user administration, and overall service delivery and client engagement for many major clients. I also performed service-level agreement (SLA) metric reporting and also provided Level 2 Application Support. While on the job, I self-studied and successfully passed the A+ certification exam and the Expert level certifications for Microsoft Excel, Word, and Access. The knowledge gained from these certifications is critical to any role in Information Technology. I have been an active member of Toastmasters International, a world-leading organization in communication and leadership development. I am also trained in the disciplines of project management, portfolio and program management, and Information Technology governance. Additionally, I am currently studying to become a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and will take an exam this summer. When I joined Seneca Gaming Corporation in January of 2006, I was the Customer Care Manager and focused primarily on service desk operations.
renita distefano Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer Seneca Gaming Corporation
In 2008, I was promoted to the role of Director of Information Technology Security; and during my tenure in that role, we were able to achieve compliance with the tenants of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. I later held the role of Vice President of Information Technology for two years, and am most proud of introducing the Information Technology Governance framework during my term. I was most recently promoted to Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, where my emphasis has been on PCI (payment card industry) Compliance and overall improvement in the information security discipline. Over the years, I have spent a considerable amount of time developing myself as a leader, expanding my technical knowledge and business acumen as well as project management and communications skills. Each step along the way has been an investment of time, commitment, a lot of brain power, and sometimes sheer willpower to become successful in my profession.
Seneca Today 17
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Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the nation, and it’s where fun is measured in gallons per second! Find out why more than eight million visitors a year are drawn to this magnificent natural wonder, enjoying access to the heritage, geology and beauty of this special place. At Niagara Falls State Park, you can feel the intensity of the falls while standing under the thundering waters as they crash onto the Cave of the Winds, ride the iconic Maid of the Mist boat ride into the powerful churning waters at the base of the Horseshoe Falls, learn more about the region’s natural history at the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, meet the legends and marvel at the myths at the Niagara Adventure Theater, greet the sea life at the Aquarium of Niagara and get around all day on the Niagara Scenic Trolley. The best part is, you can do it all at a savings of up to 35% when you use a Niagara USA Discovery Pass! When you are at Niagara Falls State Park, you are up close and personal with the mighty cataracts and it’s only here where you can actually feel the Falls! Explore the secluded Three Sisters Islands where you walk out into the river on a series of islands just yards above the Falls, or visit Luna Island and stand in between the American and Bridal Veil Falls while the water rushes under your feet! And don’t forget about the miles of trails that start at the Niagara Falls State Park Trailhead building located by the Discovery Center. Take an easy stroll along the Gorge Rim or plan to hike along the rivers edge on a more advanced hike. Or course, after a day of exploration, you will need to eat. Grab a hamburger or hot dog from one of the great grills at Prospect Point or by the Cave of the Winds. Or enjoy a more leisurely meal at the scenic Top of the Falls Restaurant on Goat Island. As the name implies, the restaurant overlooks the Falls and provides a one in a million view while you dine on great food! The memories are endless at Niagara Falls State Park—a true American adventure! Check out www.niagarafallsstatepark.com for more information or to buy your Niagara USA Discovery Pass.
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Seneca Today 21
Welcome to the GREAT INDOORS.
Over the past 10 years, like the beauty that surrounds us, Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel has transformed. What began as a temporary green steel structure has gone through a metamorphosis to become the region’s premier gaming and resort destination. Our AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel features more than 400 luxurious rooms with spectacular views of the surrounding foothills, a first-class Spa & Salon that offers guests a complete menu of services, and multiple premium dining options that will please every taste. The expansive casino floor is host to a world-class gaming environment with nearly 2,000 of the newest slot machines and more than 30 action-packed table games. And the excitement goes beyond the casino with our 2,400-seat Events Center, where you’ll discover top-tier performers on a weekly basis. We invite you to come and celebrate our 10th Anniversary with our 1,000-plus team members, and discover a gem in New York’s Southern Tier Region.
777 Seneca Allegany Boulevard Salamanca, NY 14779
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experience a living legacy
NEWS BRIEFS 18+ Gaming Opens at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel recently unveiled a new area of the gaming floor for younger guests to experience the excitement of slots. Forty slot machines, located in a secure area near the main escalator and The Logo Shop, are now available to those who are 18 years of age and older. The area is nonalcoholic and sectioned off, so that those entering and leaving will be required to show identification. New guests in the 18 to 20 age-range will be allowed to sign up for a Seneca Player’s Club card and will be eligible to receive limited rewards. For more information, visit www.senecaalleganycasino.com/slots.
Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular Seneca Casinos will host some of the most extravagant fireworks displays in Western New York to celebrate the upcoming Independence Day holiday. Each of the two Seneca Casino resort hotels in Niagara Falls and Salamanca will host these free, exciting, and memorable events. The public is welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets. The first display takes place Friday, July 4, outside Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, and begins at approximately 9:30 p.m. near the outdoor parking lot. A rain date is slated for Saturday, July 5. A second fabulous fireworks display takes place Saturday, July 5, outside Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls, and begins at approximately 9:40 p.m. near the 6th St. outdoor parking lot. A rain date is slated for Sunday, July 6. Both displays will last approximately 20 minutes. For more information, visit www.senecacasinos.com.
Learn-to-Play Table Games Sessions at Seneca Niagara Casino Come to the free “Learn-to-Play” sessions at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel on select Wednesdays this summer! All participants will be able to learn the rules, ask questions, and try table games with “play money.” And now, we’ve upped the ante to $25 in match play as an incentive for attending. So after you learn the games, give them a try for real out on the gaming floor! Learn-to-Play Sessions take place from noon to 1 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. Sign up at the table games pit closest to the main cashier cage, beginning one hour before the start times. Upcoming learn-to-play games include: • Three-Card Poker: June 4 and 18 • Craps: July 2, 16, and 30 • Mississippi Stud Poker: August 13 and 27 For more information, please visit www.senecaniagaracasino.com/table-games. 26
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eek r c o l a f uf B a eS c r r e a a n P e e Y Se r e P n o o n i e caS leBrat e to c erSarY v anni Downtown Buffalo’s hotspot for gaming is about to turn the big “1.” The new Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino will celebrate one year since its new luxurious facility debuted last August. And for those who came to the grand opening in 2013, they’ll notice many more exciting changes this summer. At the time of press, construction and landscaping crews were wrapping up work on the main outdoor entranceway, which creates a virtual “welcome path” between the casino and Buffalo’s Cobblestone District. The area at Michigan Avenue and Perry Street is highlighted by the vibrant Seneca Walkway that cuts through a hill – symbolic by design, as the Senecas are known as the People of the Great Hill. Eight tall curving lanterns, made of metal and glass, are each inscribed with the animal emblem of a Seneca clan and brightly illuminate the path at night. The surrounding greenery also is adorned with colorful flowers and manicured shrubs. Inside the casino, the activity continues to bustle and expand. Ten video poker units have been installed in Buffalo Savors Grill, offering another nonsmoking gaming option and spectacular views of the surrounding 47,000 square-foot gaming floor. Nearby, premium slot machines such as Sex and the City, Jurassic Park, The Hangover, Wheel of Fortune, and other jumbo-sized games are now part of the more than 800 selections for guests. Table games also have increased past the 20-mark due to popular demand. Best of all, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino will be ready to party this August. An anniversary celebration is planned for the rooftop of the four-level parking garage, with a planned “white theme” to create the look of a chic club. Also coming back is a repeat of the mesmerizing fireworks display, which had the region abuzz last year. Guests can expect other memorable activities during the August, such as a car giveaway and themed events at Stixx Sports Bar in the heart of the gaming floor. For the team at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, evolution and celebration go hand-in-hand as part of the property’s continued success. “Everything we do that’s great is a result of listening carefully to what our guests want,” said Jennifer Caruso, general manager of Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino. “We’ll continue to add retail, adjust our menus, and add games based on what offers them the most excitement.” Great community connections also are an essential part of creating memorable experiences for guests. Caruso said more partnerships are in the works for guests to enjoy fine dining, shopping, and hotel stays nearby. It’s all part of a total “Buffalo experience” for locals and visitors alike. “When you’re downtown – especially before or after a concert, play, or sporting event – stop in and see us,” Caruso said. “Grab a drink; try a machine. Everything’s right here inside our doors, and you don’t have to travel far for a fantastic gaming experience.”
Visit www.senecabuffalocreekcasino.com to learn more about Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino. And, when you’re downtown for events, bring your ticket stub to the casino on the same day and receive up to $10 in Free Slot Play! 28
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Seneca Today 29
Larger than life
The Work of Sculptor Susan Geissler By Megan Pasche Photography By: Andre Gorzynski 30
estled on a quaint little street in Youngstown, New York, sits the studio of Susan Geissler. It’s immediately obvious that an artist inhabits the space: colorful sculptures sit in the window, staring out and inviting you to walk in. When you do enter, it’s like walking down a runway filled with somebody’s memories: life-size sculptures fill the hall; each one with their own unique story. But let’s back up a bit. Susan had her first foray into the art of sculpture in high school, while working on a paper maché project. She says, “I wanted to make all the animals in the world; I just loved paper maché so much, and after high school, I continued on with it.” She persisted with the paper maché and it eventually evolved into a more sophisticated medium. She went from paper maché, to pulpy sculpture materials, to chicken wire, then hydrocal and forton, and then eventually bronze. She attended college in a fine arts program, where she studied illustration, drawing and design, and began her career as an artist in 1984. For the next five years, Susan’s sculptures were displayed at many outdoor art events, bringing her creations to millions of people. These days, her art is primarily displayed in galleries. She also produces numerous commissioned pieces. Just some of the places her pieces appear are the Disney World Gallery in Orlando, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in Miami, The George Bush Presidential Library and to get a little bit closer to home, the Tuscarora Heroes Monument and the Freedom Crossing Monument, both located in Lewiston, New York.
When asked why she likes to work in this particular medium, Susan relates, “I like the fact that you can walk around it. It’s three dimensional work, so you can experience every side of it to make it alive.” When you go to see Susan’s installations in Lewiston (and seriously, you should go see them, and while you are there, stop by her studio which is just down the street in Youngstown), you will be amazed at the amount of emotion she is able to convey in a bronze sculpture. For a piece like the Freedom Crossing, which depicts runaway slaves making an escape from a slave catcher, there was a whole process Susan went through to help her get into the right mindset to work on the piece. She shares,
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas “it had to tell a story emotionally. With the Freedom Crossing, I wanted to be able to convey what it must have been like to run for your life from people who were chasing you because of your color. So, what I had to do was scare the daylights out of myself one night. It was getting dark and I went down a path that was kind of overgrown, so I started going down the side of this hill; and I recalled this memory of being a little kid and being chased by these little boys through the woods. I remembered that fear, and was able to stir up that emotion.” She continues with the story saying, “I just got this feeling, especially for the slave mother; she’s out of breath, she’s afraid, she has her baby, and
she’s trying to get the baby into the boat.” One can only imagine the terror of that situation, but you look at the slave mother’s face in this sculpture, and you can see Susan was able to capture this fear perfectly. Susan’s other larger than life sculpture in Lewiston, the Tuscarora Heroes Monument, depicts a moment in the War of 1812, when members of the Tuscarora Nation created a diversion and helped rescue trapped residents during a surprise British attack. Many of the other sculptures Susan produces tell stories from her own past; they are snapshots in time. She has one sculpture called “The Potato Man” that she says was made in the spirit of her grandfather. She has another that depicts the memory of her brother catching his first big fish. She notes, “there is a lot of childhood reflection in my personal work; they tell stories that make me happy. There is no bad news in my sculptures really.” We talk briefly about the role art plays in society, and Susan notes, “I’m very upset about the fact that schools are taking art away…art is the most important thing because everything we sit on, write with, eat with, look at, drive in, wear…they are all art related concepts; they are things that an artist was able to visualize. Taking away art is like taking away the core of the world.” If you are interested in learning more about Susan and her work, check out her studio, located at 433 Main Street, Youngstown, Freedom Crossing (located on the bank of the Niagara River) and Tuscarora Heroes Monument (located at Center Street and Portage Road) in Lewiston, New York. Her website is susangeissler.com.
What Exactly Is Involved in the Sculpture Process? It’s amazing to learn just how many steps are involved in getting a sculpture to its finished stage. Susan starts with a concept piece in order to get an overall feel for the sculpture, then after that, moves on to a model, which is normally about 20 inches, and is able to have all necessary details. From there, that piece gets shipped to an enlarging firm, where the sculpture is scanned via laser. Then a robot cuts into these large blocks of dense Styrofoam, cutting it away a bit at a time, until a figure emerges. Then it goes back to Susan, where she can cut away at it, making it perfect. From there, it goes to a mold maker where it is coated in a rubber like material, which is then coated
in a fiberglass or plaster shell to help hold its shape. Once this is done, it gets pulled off the clay, essentially leaving a negative image of the sculpture. The mold is then filled with wax, which, once cooled and hardened, is removed from the mold. After it is cleaned up, it should then be an exact replica of the original piece. Wax channels are added to the model, as well as a plug, so that a liquid shell material can be added which will fill the hollow wax figure. So, the next step involves taking this mold, and dipping it into a slurry solution, and then coating it with grains of silica material. This step is repeated around three more times (over the course of several days). The whole
thing is then placed into a large “burnout” oven, which allows the shell to become hardened, while also melting out the wax. Now comes the time to pour molten bronze into these newly formed shells. Once the bronze is poured and cooled, the time comes to chip away the shell. It is then sandblasted to remove any remnants of the shell. The very last step involves applying wax or lacquer to the surface of the sculpture, which protects the finish. This is a simplified version of the incredibly lengthy process that it takes to make a bronze sculpture.
Seneca Today 31
GET SOCIAL WITH SENECA CASINOS Even when you can’t physically be at one of the three Seneca Casinos, you can stay connected online through social networks. Be sure to join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and now Instagram! Each site gives you firsthand news about just-announced entertainment, promotions, and new additions at our casinos. Join a discussion with fellow fans, or simply let us know what you like about the Seneca experience. On Instagram, post your photos and use your favorite #hashtag words to show your love for Seneca Casinos. Best of all, the Seneca Casinos Facebook page has exciting sweepstakes for prizes like tickets to see some of the world’s greatest entertainers, Free Slot Play, resort credit, and hotel stays. Just fill out the entry form under the “VIP Seneca Experience” tab on our Facebook page, and you’ll be entered to win.
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Meet Native America An Interview Series with President Snyder
Editors Note: On November 7, 2013, Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder, Sr. was featured in an interview series “Meet Native America.” The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native peoples today. Part One of this interview ran in the Winter Edition of Seneca Today, and Part Two ran in the Spring Edition of Seneca Today. Here we continue the series with the third and final part. What annual events does your tribe/ band/Native community sponsor? The vibrancy of the rich Seneca heritage is evident in the ongoing ceremonies, 34
practices, and cultural events that are infused with dance, music and song, arts, crafts and traditional foods that honor and celebrate Seneca culture. Major events include: • Annual Joe Curry Memorial Veteran’s Pow Wow held in July. • “Remember the Removal” Day to honor those who were removed from their ancestral homeland on the Allegany Territory to make way for building the Kinzua Dam held annually in October. • Signing of the Buffalo Creek Treaty of 1842 - This yearly celebration in May recognizes the ‘Sovereignty’ of the Seneca Nation and the lands that we occupy today and recognizes the territorial jurisdiction of the Nation. Further, the terms of the Buffalo Creek Treaty established the environment for our people to conduct business commerce without any taxing interference from New York State. Despite repeated attempts by the State
to undermine this federally-protected treaty, our Nation remains committed to upholding every detail of the Buffalo Creek Treaty, including no state sales tax on Indian-owned businesses.
This is the beginning of a new day. The Creator has given us this day to use as we will. We can waste it – or use it for good, but what we do today is important because we are exchanging a day of our lives for it. • Veteran’s Day Ceremony held each year to honor all Seneca Nation and Native American veterans who fought alongside our non-Indian brothers and sisters dating back to the Civil War. The event is held at the Seneca Nation Veteran’s Memorial in Niagara Falls, NY.
Photography By: Michael Medina-Latorre
• We are proud sponsors of yearly United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) conferences to our casino/resort properties. What attractions are available for visitors on your land? Seneca Iroquois National Museum is located on the Allegany Territory in Salamanca, NY and displays the rich and vibrant history of the Seneca Nation. • Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, Niagara Falls, NY – Class III Gaming & Resort • Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, Salamanca, NY – Class III Gaming & Resort • Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, Buffalo, NY – Class III Gaming & Resort • Seneca Gaming & Entertainment, Irving and Salamanca, NY – Class II Gaming Hunting and fishing licenses are available through the Nation offices for licensed outdoor activities. The annual Falls Festival held in September attracts both Senecas and nonSenecas to the Cattaraugus Territory to celebrate our culture, traditions and food.
How does your tribe/band/Native community deal with the U.S./Canada as a sovereign nation? Our treaty of 1794 with the United States of America is the foundation document recognizing the sovereign status of the Seneca. The treaty was entered into pursuant to the terms contained in the US Constitution. The Seneca deal with the US government on a political basis, as one government to another government. The Jay Treaty of 1794 between the US and England contains provisions which provide for Indians to have unfettered passage across the border between the two countries. What message would you like to share with the youth of your tribe/band/native community? Our youth are the future of our Nation. They are our next leaders. They are our next business entrepreneurs. They are the next heads of our families – the next generation of mothers and fathers. The Nation can’t afford to lose our youth. Now more than ever it is important for us to focus our energy
on empowering and supporting parents helping with coping and parenting skills development, guiding our youth on paths of educational excellence, and supporting their dreams to pursue sports and cultural aspirations. As leaders of this great Nation, we will have failed if we have not provided every Seneca both young and those going through a life transition, the opportunity to pursue the highest level of education, develop career opportunities and have the means to care for their families. Is there anything else you would like to add? This prayer has been my guiding principle for the 50 years that I have served in public office on behalf of the Seneca people: This is the beginning of a new day. The Creator has given us this day to use as we will. We can waste it – or use it for good, but what we do today is important because we are exchanging a day of our lives for it.
Seneca Today 35
Summer Rush is back and better than ever at Seneca Casinos in Western New York. This larger-than-life entertainment lineup has something for everyone – from rock-and-roll to country, comedy to R&B, and much more. Enjoy a premier performance with up to 2,400 of your fellow casino-goers at a Seneca Events Center in Niagara Falls or Salamanca. No view is further than 100 feet from the stage, and it gets even closer – 40 feet – inside the intimate 440-seat Bear’s Den Showroom at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.
NiAgARA FAllS, NY
(all shows at 8 p.m. inside Seneca Niagara Events Center, unless noted)
(all shows at 7 p.m. inside Seneca Allegany Events Center, unless noted)
Friday, June 6 – Il Divo Friday, June 13 – Trace Adkins Friday, June 27 – Scott Stapp: The Voice of Creed (at the Bear’s Den Showroom) Saturday, June 28 – Jeff Dunham Thursday, July 3 – John Mellencamp Friday, July 11 – “The Voice” Live Tour Friday, July 25 – Smokey Robinson Saturday, August 2 – The Moody Blues Friday, August 8 – Steely Dan Friday, August 22 – Los Lobos (at the Bear’s Den Showroom) Friday, August 22 – Air Supply Saturday, August 30 – George Lopez
Friday, June 13 – John Legend (start time 8 p.m.) Sunday, June 22 – Melissa Etheridge (start time 5 p.m.) Friday, June 27 – Jeff Dunham Saturday, July 5 – Survivor Saturday, July 12 – KC and the Sunshine Band Friday, July 18 – An Evening with YES Saturday, July 26 – Jim Gaffigan Saturday, August 16 – Larry the Cable Guy (two shows: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.) Friday, August 22 – Martina McBride Friday, August 29 – ZZ Top and Jeff Beck (outdoor concert)
More great acts to be announced! Tickets for all shows are available at Seneca Casino box offices, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 800-745-3000. To learn more about the Summer Rush entertainment lineup, visit www.SenecaCasinos.com. Seneca Today 37
John Legend Seneca Allegany Events Center Friday, June 13, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $51
John Legend has gained worldwide popularity since his debut in 2005 with his smooth lyrics and prowess on the piano. He has earned critical acclaim with nine Grammy Awards and chart-topping R&B hits like “Ordinary People,” “Shine,” and “All of Me.” Legend’s stop in Salamanca is part of his intimate “All of Me” summer tour, which will feature acoustic and stripped-down sets.
specIaL guest Lea saLonga Seneca Niagara Events Center
Friday, June 6, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $65
Il Divo is celebrating its 10th year as a group and is primed for many more years to come. The four singers, each of different nationalities, will be joined by the Tony Award–winning Lea Salonga to provide “A Musical Affair” – an evening of Broadway musical numbers from legendary plays such as “Les Miserables,” “Cats,” and “The Lion King.”
trace adkIns Seneca Niagara Events Center Friday, June 13, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $45
Trace Adkins’ unmistakable baritone voice was made for country music. He has scored numerous hits throughout his nearly 20-year career, such as “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” “This Ain’t No Love Song,” and “You’re Gonna Miss This.” Adkins also is a film and television star, and recently won the 2013 season of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Seneca Allegany Events Center
Sunday, June 22, 5 p.m. Tickets start at $50
Rock icon Melissa Etheridge will perform a subdued and acoustic “This Is ME Solo” summer tour, with a stop at Seneca Allegany Events Center. Her heartfelt lyrics and soulful, raspy voice are the hallmarks of emotional singles such as “Come to My Window,” “I’m the Only One,” “Like the Way I Do,” and “I Want to Come Over.” Seneca Today 39
Jeff dunhaM Two shows!
Seneca Allegany Events Center Friday, June 27, 7 p.m.
Seneca Niagara Events Center Saturday, June 28, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $55
Jeff Dunham’s comedy ventriloquism routine during last year’s Summer Rush series was so memorable, we brought him back for two nights in 2014. Catch Jeff and all of his lovable characters – Walter, Peanut, José Jalapeño on a Stick, Bubba J, and more – in Salamanca and Niagara Falls as part of the “Disorderly Conduct Tour.”
scott stapp the voIce of creed
Bear’s Den Showroom Friday, June 27, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $45
As lead singer of the band Creed, Scott Stapp delivered some of the most popular hard rock songs of the 1990s and 2000s, including “With Arms Wide Open,” “Higher,” “My Sacrifice,” and “What’s This Life For” – scoring three multi-platinum albums and a Grammy Award. Now, Stapp returns to the music scene with a new album, “Proof of Life,” and renewed energy.
John MeLLencaMp Seneca Niagara Events Center
Thursday, July 3, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $95
Just before celebrating U.S. Independence Day, get ready to “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” with one of rock music’s most prolific singer-songwriters, John Mellencamp! It will be a “Wild Night” in Niagara Falls with Mellencamp’s chart-topping hits, including “Jack & Diane,” “Lonely Ol’ Night,” “Small Town,” “Hurts So Good,” and many more. Seneca Today 41
Seneca Allegany Events Center Saturday, July 5, 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15
Survivor is ready to rock Independence Day weekend at Seneca Allegany Events Center with the hits of the 80s, including “Burning Heart,” “I Can’t Hold Back,” and the No. 1 smash “Eye of the Tiger” from the classic film Rocky III. With the recent reunion of both of Survivor’s lead singers throughout the years, fans can now hear all of the band’s songs in true form during live shows.
“The voice” live Tour
Seneca Niagara Events Center Friday, July 11, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $50
The hit reality-TV singing competition will be live on stage this July, as “The Voice” Live Tour comes to Niagara Falls. The evening includes performances by contestants from the current sixth season as well as top finalists from previous years, such as Tessanne Chin, Jacquie Lee, and Will Champlin from Season Five, as well as inaugural winner Dia Frampton.
an evenIng wIth
Seneca Allegany Events Center
Friday, July 18, 7 p.m. Tickets start at $40
YES reached the height of success in the 1980s with hits like “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Roundabout,” “Love Will Find a Way,” and “Lift Me Up” – but they continue to tour and draw large crowds wherever they go. Experience an interstellar journey with symphonic sounds and otherworldly arrangements that have mesmerized fans for decades.
kc and the
sunshIne band Seneca Allegany Events Center
Saturday, July 12, 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25
Disco legends KC and the Sunshine Band have been making booties “shake, shake, shake” for more than 40 years. Their unique fusion of R&B and funk can be heard in hits that have stood the test of time, like “Get Down Tonight,” “Shake Your Booty,” “Please Don’t Go,” “Boogie Shoes,” and “That’s the Way (I Like It).” Seneca Today 43
Seneca Niagara Events Center Friday, July 25, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $45
Grammy Living Legend Award winner Smokey Robinson continues to dazzle audiences worldwide after nearly six decades in the music business. Relive some of the best classics from the Motown era, including “Get Ready,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Tears of a Clown,” and “I Second That Emotion.”
JIM gaffIgan Seneca Allegany Events Center Saturday, July 26, 7 p.m. Tickets start at $45
A disdain for the microwaveable food Hot Pockets and the challenges of raising five children are just some of the everyday topics in Jim Gaffigan’s hilarious stand-up routine. From one second to the next, this wildly popular comedian will tell a tale with dry humor, and then suddenly branch into a high pitched “inner voice” with ridiculous self-questioning – providing an evening of non-stop laughs. 44
Moody bLues Seneca Niagara Events Center
Saturday, August 2, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $75 This sensational English progressive rock band continues to perform worldwide to sold-out crowds after nearly 50 years. They have sold more than 55 million albums worldwide, with 18 platinum records. Some of The Moody Blues’ biggest hits include “Nights in White Satin,” “The Voice,” “Your Wildest Dreams,” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.”
Seneca Today 45
Seneca Niagara Events Center
Friday, August 8, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $85
Steely Dan delivers a unique fusion of jazz, funk, and rock, with hits like “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” “Peg,” “Do It Again,” “Deacon Blues,” “Hey Nineteen,” and “Reelin’ in the Years.” Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, as always, will have a host of the finest musicians to play all of the unforgettable tunes this August in Niagara Falls.
the cabLe guy
Seneca Allegany Events Center
Saturday, August 16, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets start at $30 “Git-R-Done” this summer with Larry the Cable Guy, one of the world’s top comedians! This Blue Collar Comedy Tour member plays the voice of “Mater” in the animated movie series Cars, and hosts the show “Only in America” on the History Channel. He’s also a best-selling author and holder of multiple No. 1 records on the Billboard Comedy Chart.
Seneca Allegany Events Center
Friday, August 22, 7 p.m. Tickets start at $60
Talent, grace, beauty, powerful songwriting… Martina McBride is the whole package. She is the voice behind 24 Top 10 country singles, such as “A Broken Wing,” “Wild Angels,” “Blessed,” and “This One’s for the Girls.” Her latest album, “Everlasting,” includes her covers of some of the best soul and R&B songs in history – further expanding her impressive musical repertoire.
Seneca Today 47
Bear’s Den Showroom
Friday, August 22, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $55
American Chicano band Los Lobos takes the Bear’s Den Showroom stage this August for a high-energy, Mexican-infused performance. The band achieved its greatest success in 1987 with the soundtrack to the film La Bamba. The title track reached No. 1 on music charts worldwide, and additional commercial success followed with covers of the Ritchie Valens classics “Donna” and “Come On, Let’s Go.”
aIr suppLy Seneca Niagara Events Center
Friday, August 22, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $30
The Australian soft rock duo Air Supply penned hit after hit in the early 1980s, cementing themselves as masters of heartfelt, romantic ballads. Gold-certified singles include “All Out of Love,” “The One That You Love,” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” – and additional success followed with songs like “Here I Am,” “Lost in Love,” and “Even the Nights Are Better.” 48
zz top and Jeff beck
Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel
Friday, August 29, 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25
The famous bearded trio ZZ Top has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, behind classic rock anthems such as “Legs,” “Cheap Sunglasses,” “La Grange,” and “Sharp Dressed Man.” Jeff Beck, ranked No. 5 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of all-time greatest guitarists, certainly knows how to rock as well. Together, these Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members will perform an electrifying outdoor show this summer in Salamanca.
george Lopez Seneca Niagara Events Center Saturday, August 30, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $45
George Lopez is the actor and producer of the new show “Saint George” on the FX Channel, but you probably know him best from his six years of comedy on ABC’s “The George Lopez Show.” He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Time magazine named him one of the 25 “Most Influential Hispanics in America.”
Seneca Today 49
Kellie picKler Seneca Allegany Events Center Sunday, September 7, 5 p.m. Tickets start at $25
The world-class entertainment at Seneca Casinos won’t stop when Summer Rush ends! Get ready for the young county sensation, Kellie Pickler, to kick off September in a big way. The singer-songwriter’s first two albums soared to No. 1 on the Billboard charts behind the hits “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder,” and “Best Days of Your Life.” Pickler also is a terrific dancer – proving that by winning the hit reality-competition TV show, “Dancing with the Stars,” in 2013.
Seneca Niagara Events Center
Friday, September 26, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $25
More great entertainment is lined up beyond summer with one of today’s most successful comedians, Brian Regan, coming to Niagara Falls. He first broke into stardom with an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and has since performed more than two dozen times on the show. Regan is known for side-splitting material on everyday topics, while maintaining a clean routine without profanity.
Grab an intimate table for two, four or more and find eye-catching dishes adorned with the finest cuts of meat and decadent, fresh seafood on the tables of The Western Door Steakhouse. Sit back and take it all in as our classically trained staff members satisfy your every need and our expert chefs prepare dishes that will dazzle both your eyes and taste buds. For a special occasion or an everyday occasion made special, The Western Door Steakhouse is a winner every time.
CALL 1-877-8-SENECA FOR RESERVATIONS.
Seneca Today 51
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Melissa Etheridge By Melanie Ann Hulick Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge has been rocking the music industry for 25 years, and she has no plans of slowing down. As she prepares to embark on another tour this summer, she will be doing it differently this time around. The “This Is ME Solo Tour” will be a more intimate experience, with just the singer on stage playing her hits, some previous album cuts, and a couple of new songs from her soon-to-be released album, titled “This Is Me.” The tour will make a stop at Seneca Allegany Events Center on Sunday, June 22 at 5 p.m. as part of the Summer Rush Concert Series. The singer played the same venue almost three years ago to a standing-room only crowd. For more information about Melissa Etheridge, visit www.melissaetheridge.com. 52
Throughout her career, Etheridge has earned two Grammys, an Oscar, ASCAP Songwriter of the Year (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and many other accolades. She also is an activist for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, as recently shown through her recent single, “Uprising of Love.” During a phone interview in mid-May 2014, we spoke about the tour, the new album, and her health. Etheridge is a survivor of breast cancer and endured chemotherapy – which, in her words, is a “barbaric treatment.” We also lightened the conversation by talking about the time she got to sing with her idol and the hilarious story of why a retake was needed.
Hulick You’re returning to Seneca Allegany Casino!
You were here almost three years ago, and the show was incredible. This time around, the format of the show is going to be a little different.
Etheridge Yes, it’s a solo show. It’s just me on stage, but there’s a lot happening because I play a lot of different things and I use some technology to create loops and more layers of music. It’s one of my favorite shows I’ve done and it has been quite successful.
Hulick I think this type of format helps the audience
slow down and really listen to the words. They can get a whole different take on what a song means to them.
Etheridge That’s exactly it. They connect more with the lyrics.
Hulick You’ve been cancer free for 10 years now. Are you still feeling well?
Etheridge I’m healthier than ever. I have figured this
out… health equals what I eat and the amount of stress I have in my life. If I can keep those things in the healthy boundaries, we’re good. I have to monitor those things… make sure I’m drinking enough water, getting enough sleep. The food I’ve been eating is 70 percent alkaline and the stress I’m taking on is reasonable.
Hulick You have a new album coming out soon, titled “This Is ME.”
Etheridge Yes! I’m very excited about this. It’s my
Hulick You and your family got to meet the Dalai Lama this year as well.
Etheridge That was really something. To meet someone who practices love and peace every moment… that’s a pretty amazing vibration to be around.
Hulick When we spoke three years ago you told
me about your idol, Bruce Springsteen, and how you got a chance to perform with him and what happened. I did watch the video on YouTube and it is funny. Could you tell our Seneca Today readers the story?
Etheridge (laughs) Well I was doing MTV
Unplugged and they asked me if I wanted to sing with anyone, and I said I really wanted to sing with Bruce Springsteen. I’ll be damned – he said yes! It was like a dream coming true. I was going to sing “Thunder Road” anyway as a tribute to him – my inspiration. So we worked on the song and I said, “Let me sing ‘so Mary climb in’… the last line of the last verse. I just want to sing that last line.” So we got through the whole song and we got to that line and I’m just staring at him thinking, “This is the coolest thing ever”… and I blow my line! I didn’t come in! Now he’s just looking at me and I’m just thinking, “Great! I just did that in front of the entire audience.” So we had to do the song again. So we do it one more time and if you watch the video on YouTube you’ll see that I just barely come in because I’m staring at him again! He looks at me and backs up and the camera catches him, and when I finally sing the line he bends down and smiles and laughs. You can see him laughing because I almost blew it again! (laughs)
first album that I have not been with a major record label. I’ve been with Island Records for 25 years and I decided to go independently this year and own my own record. It’s a big jump, but it’s really possible nowadays.
Hulick What I’ve read about the album so far is that
Etheridge Wow… that’s a tough one. I would say the
the critics are giving it a thumbs-up.
Etheridge I really hope I don’t let them down. It’s like I took the momentum of the past 25 years of albums that I’ve made and taken everything I’ve learned, as well as everything I’ve learned on the stage, and packed it into this one album. I’m really excited about it.
Hulick You’ve had quite a year so far Melissa.
Honestly! You were a special guest at Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House.
Etheridge Isn’t that cool? Hulick It’s awesome! You shared the stage with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and Jill Scott, to name just a few.
Etheridge I was so honored to be on stage with
those women and to be considered a Woman of Soul. It just brings me such happiness… and to be that close to the Obamas… it was just a wonderful evening.
(laughs) I love that story! To close out: What’s the best thing about being Melissa Etheridge?
best thing about being Melissa Etheridge is that I don’t have anything to hide.
About the Writer Melanie Ann Hulick has interviewed more than 200 artists from the entertainment world starting with her first, Enrique Iglesias, in February of 2004. Her articles are featured in Springville Journal and on www.communitypapersofwny.com under the Arts & Entertainment news section. She also is a contributing writer to Snowed-In and The Summer Local, two monthly publications for Ellicottville, NY and the surrounding region.
To contact Melanie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seneca Today 53
e r o M ss! Le
better Savings. better Selection.
Visit Fashion Outlets of Niagara and shop at over 150 designer outlets like Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, Coach, Michael Kors, BCBG Maxazria, Guess, Nike and more to discover. Find what youâ€™re looking for at the best prices!
Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA 1900 Military Road, Niagara Falls, NY, USA, 14304 | Tel: 716-297-2022 or 1-800-414-0475 (US & CAN) Take I-190, Exit 22, go South, then first left.
Summer Reading Hot Days and Great Books By: Megan Pasche
ome books seem like they are written just for summertime. For reading while lying on a beach towel in the sand, lounging on a dock while the water laps at your feet or all curled up in a cozy chair while a summer rainstorm pelts the outside world. Books that are easy to get lost in, and are such page-turners that hours seem to turn into minutes. The books you race to finish, but make you a little bit sad when they come to an end.
Reading really is the perfect summer activity. With all these options (and so many more) to choose from, your summer reading list should be a full one. So sit back in a comfy chair or hammock, grab a drink, enjoy the sun and have fun being transported to all the different worlds these novels bring to life.
These are some of my favourite page-turners to date:
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
by Rebecca Wells This book sat on the bestsellers list for 68 weeks, and inspired a movie of the same name. It’s a great summer read that tells the story of a life long friendship between four Southern women.
The Joy Luck Club
The Night Circus
This book tells the story of four Chinese American immigrant families, who start having regular meetings that they call ‘The Joy Luck Club’. The story focuses on the four mothers of these families and their American born daughters.
This fantasy novel tells the tale of a magical travelling circus that comes and goes with no warning. The Cirque des Reves is open only at night and it revolves around two young magicians-Celia and Marco, as they duel with magic.
This fascinating epic tells the story of the effect of a mutated gene on three generations of a Greek-American family. The protagonist is Calliope (Cal) Stephanides, who was born with alpha-reductase deficiency, causing him to be born with female characteristics. The latter part of the novel shows Cal’s journey from his hometown of Detroit out to San Francisco.
This book tells the story of English backpacker Richard, who is given a map to a hidden beach located in the Gulf of Thailand. The book traces his journey to the island and what happens once he arrives there.
by Amy Tan
by Erin Morgenstern
by Jeffrey Eugenides
by Alex Garland
Seneca Today 55
Niagara Authors Red Means Run, Crow’s Landing, Shoot the Dog By Brad Smith
This trilogy follows Virgil Cain, a farmer in upstate New York, who constantly seems to find himself in precarious situations. The author, Brad Smith, lives in Dunnville, Ontario, and has written several more books in addition to the trilogy including: All Hat, Busted Flush, Big Man Coming Down the Road and One Eyed Jacks.
Benny Cooperman Novels By Howard Engel
This detective series, which contains 13 novels so far, takes place in Grantham, Ontario, a fictional city that closely resembles St. Catharines, Ontario, the city Engel grew up in.
Other notable page turners that make for great summer reading: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg, To Kill
By Richard B. Wright
a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The
This book, written in epistolary form, tells the story of Clara, a spinster school teacher living in small town Ontario during the Great Depression, and her sister Nora, who recently left Ontario to go live the big city life in New York City. The author, Richard B. Wright, lives in St. Catharines, Ontario and won numerous prizes for this novel including The Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay and Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.
A Walk in the Woods
by Bill Bryson Bryson uses his usual humour as he regales the reader with the tale of his attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows This book tells the story of Juliet, a newspaper columnist who receives a letter from a man on the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. The correspondence continues, as Juliet is drawn more and more into the eclectic lives of the people on the island.
The Lost Girls
If you have ever dreamt of throwing caution into the wind and going to travel the world, this book might be just what you need to convince yourself to take that leap.
This book focuses on the friendship between two girls: Victoria Leonard and Caitlin Somers. The novel traces their friendship as they spend every summer together as they grow up, and focuses on how their relationship becomes more complicated the older they get.
by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner
by Judy Blume
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
by Anton DiSclafani
Set in the 1930’s Southern United States in the middle of the Great Depression, this book follows Thea Atwell as she is sent to an equestrian boarding school for debutantes after her involvement in a family tragedy.
This summer, before a night out on the town, or after a game, show or concert, enjoy the favorites that made Buffalo famous at Buffalo Savors Grill.
PROUDLY FEATURING: » Franco’s Pizza
» Sahlen’s Hot Dogs
» Duff’s Famous Wings
» Stuffed Chocolate Ltd.
» Charlie the Butcher
» Sweet Melody’s Artisan-Crafted Gelato
» Ilio DiPaolo’s
» Rich Products
» Chrusciki Bakery
Teaming up with the best of Buffalo to bring you your hometown brands.
1 FULTON STREET BUFFALO, NY 14204 Seneca Today 57
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Seneca Today 59
NIAGARA FALLS CULINARY INSTITUTE 28 Old Falls Street â€˘ Niagara Falls, New York Your Recipe for Success For many people, food is a passion. It involves creativity. Balance. Beauty. At the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, we bring those elements to life for our students and our visitors in a real-world setting. With available academic programs in Baking &
Pastry Arts, Culinary Arts, Gaming & Casino Management, Hospitality, Restaurant Management, Tourism Management & Event Planning and Winery Operations, we provide our students with an outlet for their creativity. Our classroom learning coupled with real-life working experience in our retail outlets, gives our students a top-notch hands-on education. At NFCI, our students provide the food experience of a lifetime at Savor, a studentoperated fine dining restaurant; the Old Falls Street Deli, featuring traditional NY-style deli fare; La Patisserie, a French inspired pastry cafe; The Wine Boutique with some of New York State and the Niagara Wine Trailâ€™s best offerings; and the Barnes & Noble culinarythemed bookstore, with its own in-store cooking demonstration station.
Develop a Taste for the Extraordinary at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute!
To learn more about NFCI, visit us online at www.nfculinary.org or call 210-2525 60
step back in time at old fort niagara For almost 300 years, Old Fort Niagara has guarded the scenic junction of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The Fort features impressive original stone buildings, 22 acres of massive 18th and 19th century fortifications and an active living history program that engages all ages in the excitement of early North America. Visitors begin their trip back in time at the site's Visitor Center where colorful orientation exhibits tell the Fort’s story from the 17th century through the Civil War. An orientation film, Fort Niagara: The Struggle for a Continent recounts the stories of Native American warriors, and French, British and American soldiers who struggled to control the Great Lakes. Once inside the Fort, visitors are surrounded by original 18th century buildings furnished as they appeared during the colonial period. The oldest of these, the 1726 French Castle, is the earliest surviving building in the entire Great Lakes Basin. As guests
tour the building, they experience how people lived on the Niagara frontier more than 250 years ago.
as guests tour the building, they experience how people lived on the niagara frontier more than 250 years ago. During the summer months, historical interpreters in period attire fire muskets and cannons throughout the day, play traditional fife and drum tunes and engage guests
in many hands-on activities of the period. Visitors can “enlist” in the army and learn a musket drill or play a period game. They can interact with early explorers, fur traders, the post blacksmith or learn what life was like for women at the Fort. The Fort also hosts special events all year long. In the summer months the site hosts a military “time line” event on Memorial Day weekend, a French and Indian War Encampment on July 4 weekend, Soldiers of the Revolution in early August and a War of 1812 Encampment on Labor Day weekend. During these events, hundreds of reenactors establish period camps and recreate important battles that shaped the history of the Niagara Region. Old Fort Niagara is open daily year round and is located just 20 minutes from Niagara Falls, New York via the Robert Moses Parkway North. More information is available at www.oldfortniagara.org.
Seneca Today 61
Fun Is Back
on the Island!
Book your party now! Birthday Parties | Corporate Events Stop in for daily specials!
Stop in for our all NEW Batting Cages!
Go Karts Indoor Arcade Water Wars Mini Golf Restaurant Bedell Rd
2660 Grand Island Blvd, Grand Island NY 14072 716.775.0180 | IslandFunCenter.com
COME CHECK US OUT
Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week
Large Selection of
Wine , Spirits, Beer Tapas Fine Dining
Daily Happy Hour 4-6pm
501 Third Street at 9 Ferry Street 4 6 3
Casual dining atmosphere.
Downtown Niagara Falls USA ONE BLOCK FROM SENACA CASINO
Brick oven pizza, pastas, salads, soups, paninis and much more. A great selection of wines & beers, and everyone’s favorite: Johnnie Ryan sodas.
See over 100 years of Aviation History
Honoring our Legacy - Preserving our Past - Inspiring the Future See displays and examples of early to mid-twentieth century aircraft engines and propellers, as well as several aircraft on display including early Bell helicopters, an example of a 1917 WWI Curtiss JN-4D Jenny, a rare WWII Bell P-39Q Airacobra, the Bell Rocket Belt, and space artifacts. Explore the history made by Larry Bell’s company
See Glenn Curtiss’ work as the father of Naval Aviation
Hours: Wednesday thru Sunday 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM Closed: Monday & Tuesday and Holidays
Telephone: 716-297-1323 - Display Site 716-297-1324 - Library & Offices Email: email@example.com Website: www.wnyaerospace.org
9900 Porter Road Niagara Falls International Airport Niagara Falls, New York 14304
507 Third Street | Niagara Falls, NY | 716 283 0275
aPPly your game. Use the power of technology and yoUr fingertips to make the most of yoUr seneca experience. Download our mobile apps from Google Play or the App Store and gain 24-hour access to: » Events Calendar
» Dining Menus
» Local Attractions Info
» Player’s Club Info
» Gaming Guides
» GPS Directions, Maps & Travel Tips
» New Slot Updates
» Specials & Packages
» Facebook, Twitter & Tell-a-Friend
Conveniently plan your trips, safely access your Seneca Player’s Club account and stay in touch with Seneca mobile apps.
1-877-8-SENECA (873-6322) | SENECACASiNoS.Com
Pow Wow season This July 18, 19 and 20, visitors to Seneca Nation of Indians Allegany Territory will have the chance to experience The Marvin Joe Curry Veteran’s Pow Wow. The popularity of Pow Wows has grown significantly throughout the past 50 years as opportunities to celebrate Native American identity and expression. All are welcome to attend these events and experience the sights, sounds and tastes that have made Pow Wows a modern-day cultural phenomenon. On Saturday the 19th at 11 a.m., there will be a special ceremony honoring Senior Chief Aviation Machinist’s Mate Annette Manning.
other Nations from across the country. It is a borrowed custom, but with an effort to infuse the Pow Wow with the unique Seneca culture by showcasing the Iroquois dance styles, such as the smoke dance competition and various social dances that highlight local Seneca singers and instruments.
The Marvin Joe Curry Veteran’s Pow Wow 2014 takes place at Veteran’s Park on Broad Street in Salamanca, NY, and will feature drum and dance competitions as well as food and craft vendors. It is estimated that Pow Wows began on Seneca Nation territories in the late 1980s.
There are several different stories about how Pow Wows started. Some believe that the Ponca and other Southern Plains Tribes originated the Pow Wow. Another belief is that the government forced Native American tribes on reservations and made the tribes have dances for the public to come and see. Before each dance they were led through the town in a parade, which is the beginning of the Grand Entry. In any case, it is certain that Pow Wows did not originate in this part of the country, and that over the course of the 20th Century they evolved into intertribal gatherings representing a variety of Native American cultures.
Although Pow Wows are not a part of the Seneca culture historically, it is understood that early organizers began holding them on Seneca territories as a way to extend their hand in friendship to their neighbors and
Today, Pow Wows are held all across the North American continent and are famous for their pageantry of colors and dance, which have been adapted and changed over time. Thousands of singers, dancers, and
vendors follow the Pow Wow trail across the entire continent to celebrate their respective cultures and compete in drum and dance competitions. Pow Wow Etiquette is an imperative part of the experience. Appropriate dress and behavior are required and attendees should be respectful of the Master of Ceremonies’ speaking, the Head male and female dancers position, and the Flag Song or Indian National Anthem (standing and removing of one’s hat is a typical sign of respect to the flag, and special songs). This respect also extends to acknowledging and celebrating the diversities within different cultures. If you are interested in taking pictures, please ask the dancers first. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, drug or alcohol use is prohibited. If at any time you are uncertain about proper etiquette, please consult the Master of Ceremonies, Arena Director or Head Singer. More information can be found at www.senecapowwow.org.
Join us on Saturday the 19th at 11 a.m. for a special ceremony honoring Senior Chief Avaiation Machinist’s Mate Annette Manning
Seneca Today 65
The Niagara Falls Police Department WELCOMES YOU TO OUR FINE CITY!
“We wish you a safe and exciting visit.”
TIPS TO PREVENT THEFTS FROM YOUR VEHICLES: • Be sure to lock your car doors. • Activate the alarm. • Never leave anything of value in your vehicle. If you must, use the trunk or glove box. • When possible, park in a well lit area close to your destination. • Call 911 if you see someone breaking into a car. • If your vehicle is entered, do not touch it and call the police.
HELP US HELP YOU! Knowledge is power. Please feel free to contact our Community Relations Division for personalized attention and specific answers on crime prevention. Community Relations 716-286-4569 For immediate assistance call: 716-286-4711 Emergency call: 911
Thai Restaurant & Bar
Open daily for Lunch & Dinner Full Bar & Full Thai Menu Pad Thai | Pho | Curry | Frog Legs | Tom Yum
free gift with a minimum $5 purchase
716-284-THAI or order online at mythainiagara.com 6621 Niagara Falls Blvd | Niagara Falls | New York | 14304
Holiday Inn Express 779 Broad St. Salamanca, NY (716)945-7600 NAFCO
Crossroads Smoke Shop
Iroquois Gas & Go
Iroquois Smoke Shop & Iroquois Promotions
881 Broad St. Salamanca, NY (716)945-0056
730 Broad St. Salamanca, NY (716)945-2040
12940 Rte. 438 Gowanda, NY (716)532-4986
14411 Rte. 438 Gowanda, NY (716)532-4449
Ross John Enterprises (“RJE”) is a proud 100% owned and operated Seneca Native business. Stop by any of our locations.
News From the Nation
Partnering In the Fight Against Addiction
Photography By: Stephanie Crowley
No community is exempt from the effects of drug addiction, and Western New York is no exception. The President of the Seneca Nation, Barry E. Snyder, Sr., recently held a forum with Tribal Councilors and New York State Senators to discuss the impact of heroin and opioid addiction on the community. The forum also featured testimonials from recovering addicts as well as their families, and they spoke about the effects and struggles of being addicted to these drugs. Senator Catharine Young noted that the forum brought together concerned and affected citizens from across the region to discuss this epidemic. “It marks the first time that state and tribal governments have joined forces and held an official collaborative effort,” she said. “We recognized the need to work together on finding effective solutions.” President Snyder remarked, “This is a historic event. The New York State Senate and Seneca Nation leadership understand that the drug issue knows no boundaries, and we welcome the state’s task force to our territory to work together towards a common goal.”
Topics that were discussed at the forum included addiction treatment and prevention, drug related criminal activity, and the negative social impacts of drug abuse.
“This is a historic event” Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder Sr. The information that was gathered in this panel will be used as part of a series of bills designed to create policy solutions in several key areas, such as prevention, treatment, and law enforcement. The senate is aiming to have the bills passed this summer.
Seneca Today 69
Your history headquarters!
Discover the drama of Niagaraâ€™s early history. Tour an original 18th century fort. Take part in colorful living history programs. Enjoy spectacular views.
4 Scott Avenue Youngstown, NY 14174 (716) 745-7611
National Shrine Basilica Of
Our Lady Of Fatima Directed By The Barnabite Fathers
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES AND GIFT STORE Religious articles, books, CDs & DVDs, and gifts for all occasions.
Leisurely snack, lunch or dinner. Banquet & Party facilities also available.
15 minutes before each Mass. Other times upon request.
Sundays: 9am, 12N, & 5pm Monday- Saturday: 11:30am & 4pm
Since 1954, Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, located in the historic town of Lewiston, NY, has become a place of natural beauty, art, communal prayer, and renewal to thousands who visit the unique buildings and grounds each year. The magnificence and natural beauty of the Shrine is highlighted by an awe-inspiring Dome Basilica covered with two layers of glass and Plexiglas, with a contour of the Northern Hemisphere of the globe. The impressive approach to the Basilica down the Avenue of Saints and around the serenity of the Rosary Pool, features over 130 life-size marble and bronze statues representing Saints from every race and walk of life. Two flights of stairs, with 63 steps, lead to the top of the Dome, where, in graceful majesty, stands a 13-feet high, 10-ton Vermont granite statue of Our Lady of Fatima. From the top of the Dome, visitors can view the entire Shrine grounds and surrounding countryside. 1023 Swann Road, off Rt.18, Lewiston, New York (716) 754-7489 www.fatimashrine.com
GRAB SOME LOCAL DEALS? You get, we give. We give back to local charities.
Pontoon Boat Rentals Enjoy boating on the beautiful Niagara River and the Historic Erie Barge Canal
4444 River Road Tonawanda, NY 14150 Take Interstate 190 to Exit 17 at the South Grand Island Bridge
Call (716) 875.6000 for Reservations
SENECA POKER IN
NIAGARA FALLS! Visit our world-class Poker Room and try your hand at Texas Hold'em, Omaha and 7 Card Stud! Seneca Gaming and Entertainment's Poker Room at the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel has 24 tables and all levels of play, so it's easy to get in the game. The Poker Room is located on the 1st floor next to the Bus Lobby. Open 24 Hours a Day/ 7 Days a week!
NIAGARA FALLS POKER ROOM:
310 4th Street • Niagara Falls, NY • 877-8-SENECA • 716-278-6300
VISIT US ON THE WEB WWW.SENECAPOKER.COM 72
CruIsing the River with Niagara Jet Adventures Jet boat: a boat propelled by a jet of water ejected from the back of the craft. Unlike a powerboat or a motorboat that uses a propeller in the water below or behind the boat, a jet boat draws the water from under the boat into a pump inside the boat, then expels it through a nozzle at the stern.
istoric Youngstown, New York (15 minutes north of Niagara Falls, NY) is a charming, award-winning village located right at the mouth of the Niagara River and directly across from Niagara-on-the-Lake. On the north end of the village sits Old Fort Niagara, an amazing piece of the past that allows visitors the opportunity to tour and learn about the original 18th century buildings (their French Castle is the oldest stone building on the Great Lakes) and the many empires that struggled for control of the North American continent going west and south through the gateway of the Niagara River. Just down from the Fort, is the main street of Youngstown, which offers quaint shopping and dining experiences. Come this summer though, the operators of Niagara Jet Adventures are making Youngstown even more of an awesome tourist destination, by bringing many fresh faces in to discover this underappreciated historical and naturally beautiful gem. Starting in May of 2014, Youngstown will be the launching port of Niagara Jet Adventures, a company offering a whole new and different way to experience the wilds of the Niagara River. The boats (three of them, named Gonago:Go:h, I, II, and III which is Seneca
for “in the rapids”) are Niagara Class jet boats that were built specifically for the rough waters of the Niagara River, by one of the best jet boat makers in the world, Chris Bohnenkamp, of Bohnenkamp’s Whitewater Customs in Idaho. According to outdoorsman and businessman Michael Fox, who co-owns the company with Bohnenkamp, “These boats not only have low exhaust emissions, but low sound emissions as well. They were made to have the least amount of impact on the environment as possible, and were developed to make sure that the amazing asset that allows the tours to take place, the Niagara River, is being respected at all times.” The 1,700-horsepower boats take guests through the Class 5 whitewater rapids leading to and in Niagara River’s famed Whirlpool Rapids; they can get up under the waves, allowing passengers the full experience of the river, but without getting soaking wet. “It’s perfect, because guests can go on a jet boat ride, and then check out the rest of Youngstown, without needing to factor in a change of clothing, and a reapplying of makeup, redoing hair, etc.,” said Fox. And while the rides are fast and fun, they are also informative, with tour guides (or navigators) providing background on geological and historical landmarks on both the U.S. and Canadian sides that you can only see from the river. The boats have enclosed cabins for guests that are climate-controlled allowing them to run during all seasons unless there is ice in the river. The interior seats all have a good view of the elements and are also springassisted for added guest comfort. If guests
do want to get wet, Niagara Jet Adventures can accommodate that as well as each whitewater tour boat has a ‘wet deck’ on back of the boats for those more adventurous souls. Seats are limited on the ‘wet deck’ so it is first come-first served. And, if you really want to get wet and have some excitement Niagara Jet Adventures can accommodate you with their new New Zealand style ‘Spin Boats’ which have been equated to a 20-passenger Jet Ski on steroids. The core group of captains navigating the boats cumulatively have decades of white water jet boating experience, and know the Niagara River inside and out. It is a river that changes daily, depending on weather and the control of water flow. Paul Grainger, the head captain for Niagara Jet Adventures, notes that when he is piloting a boat, he treats it exactly as if he is an airline pilot, the safety of passengers being his main concern at all times. Niagara Jet Adventures will be offering wild rides through the Niagara River, as well as the chance to rent out their boat for parties, weddings, even sunset tours (Youngstown is known as the Key West of the North due to the spectacular sunsets that can be seen there). The combination of a thrilling ride, spectacular setting and an intriguing narration makes Niagara Jet Adventures a journey worth taking. To find out more info on booking yourself a spot on a Niagara Jet Adventure, check out niagarajet.com and, or follow them on facebook.com/ niagarajetadventures. Seneca Today 73
Seneca Today 75