ADVERTISEMENT

Not that there’s anything wrong with adoption, and Buffalonians are certainly thrilled with their new public art installation, but few knew early on that they were getting a pre-loved Shark Girl.

The new hit at Canalside – and on the Twitterverse – is a statue of a demure young lady who happens to have a shark’s head. It’s a conversation starter, for sure, but right now, the conversation is about how she was spirited from Cincinnati to downtown Buffalo without her former admirers’ knowledge.

Nothing nefarious occurred, at least not beyond local officials’ decision not to disclose S.G.’s parentage. She was a temporary installation in Cincinnati and when her stint ended, owner and creator Casey Riordan Millard sold her to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. So, now she’s ours. Apologies to Cincinnati, but she’ll be happier here.

A year ago, the Farmers Almanac forecast a bitterly cold winter for Western New York – a prediction that many were happy to brush off after years of winters characterized by light snowfall and only moderately cold temperatures.

Mistake.

It was a nasty winter, with two blizzards, lots of snow and what seemed like endless cold.

Now the almanac is at it again. It’s predicting a “shivery and shovelry” winter for this part of the country and it seems unwise to disagree. But we will. Our forecast is for sunshine, warmth and palm trees – for the doubtlessly increasing number of Western New Yorkers who will spend at least part of their winter in Florida.

Perhaps – that is to say, maybe – almost 150 years after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, the Civil War is coming to an end.

It took a special act of Congress to confer the Medal of Honor on First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing of Fredonia, who was killed holding his ground during Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.

The honor is well-deserved, but it was no sure thing that Congress would act, given lingering sensitivities about the war. Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., who co-sponsored legislation that allowed Cushing to receive the medal, said, “There was some resistance to awarding a Union soldier the congressional medal at Gettysburg even 150 years after the fact.”

Thankfully, Congress did finally act, a quarter-century after the award was proposed.

So maybe we have finally managed, as the 16th president counseled hardly a month before his assassination, to bind up the nation’s wounds.