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Editorial: The new state quarters

We goofed in an editorial today, incorrectly describing the New York State park at Niagara Falls as the first state park in the nation. It wasn't. It's the oldest, but the first state park was Yosemite -- which, unlike Niagara, later became a national park.

But the point of the editorial was that Niagara's state rather than national status renders it ineligible, under the U.S. Mint's rules, for selection as New York's design in an entirely new series of state quarters -- one that will let governors and territorial executives pick a national site within their boundaries for their coin's design.

We think Gov. Paterson should demand an exception. Niagara Falls is a world wonder even if it's not under federal management, and this end of the state can use the recognition -- especially if it boosts the tourism economy hereabouts.

Our fallback position is the Erie Canal, which is at least a designated national corridor. Our local national historical site is the Wilcox Mansion, where Teddy roosevelt was inaugurated, but we're guessing that could be trumped by federal sites in the NYC area.

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