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City got it right in cracking down on rusted ship

   The city's crackdown on the Lansdowne, the rusting hulk moored on the Outer Harbor south of downtown, needs to be the rule in how City Hall deals with negligent property owners … whether on water or on land.

   After some prompting, the mayor threatened the eyesore's owner with a $1,000-per-day fine. The old hulk, not coincidentally, was towed away Thursday. We do not have to guess what would have happened had City Hall turned its back. A similar eyesore floated in the same spot for 12 l-o-n-g years under ex-mayor Tony "Too Soft" Masiello.

   One of Buffalo's best assets is its fine stock of older buildings … not just the historic landmarks, but the kind of character-laden structures seen throughout downtown. Their worth was underlined in recent years as developers converted the vacant structures into upscale apartments.

   Sadly, too many of those buildings rotted in plain sight -- and some still are rotting -- because of City Hall's reluctance to crack down on negligent owners. Let the Lansdowne be a lesson: Getting tough is good business.

   -- Donn Esmonde

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