Tonawanda News

March 22, 2013

No joke: Kudos to Sound Off

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — More good news on the horizon this week.

East Hill Foundation (thank Ami Greatbach for this great idea) presented $50,000 in grants to two needy North Tonawanda organizations.

First, the $36,000 to the Twin Cities Community Outreach, better know to as TCCO, to be used for a new roof. TCCO, which houses the food pantry, Clothes Closet and Meals on Wheels, needs more than this to complete the job — but what a great start!

The YWCA, which offers programs for children through adults and opens for use by community groups, will have new kitchen equipment thanks to the $12,000 grant. Right now, the YWCA is hosting a series of cooking classes with Chef Kevin. Not everyone knows about its wonderful social services department and outreach to abused women and children. This is an organization worthy of your donation.

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It’s not often you’ll hear a kudos from this corner on Soundoff. However, the one on Friday needs a recall, so to speak. The caller suggested that in order to get Congress to understand what it’s like  to live in this economy, freeze all their assets. They’ll have no access to bank accounts, credit cards or money. Result? They’ll have to live check to check like most people. I’d go further and take away all their perks and insist that they attend all congressional meetings. How about cutting their staff in half so perhaps they’d have to work for the good of the country rather than the good of special interest groups.

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Stan Nicholson disagrees regarding the fracking article in last weeke’s column and the argument going on in the state about fracking.

Stan emailed: “The tree hugging anti-frackers in New York state really upset me. Instead of extracting cheap low polluting natural gas in our state they would rather borrow money from China (think 16 trillion dollars) and give it to Middle Eastern countries, who really hate us, for their oil. Makes no sense. I wonder how many trees are sacrificed to print all of our newspapers? Not that I do not look forward to getting my two papers each day that are available. It is no wonder that New York state is in such bad financial shape. Will we ever wake up? I doubt it.”

Stan’s argument against fracking has just one point that needs clarifying: “The low polluting natural gas” as he calls it, delivers high polluting consequences with non-biodegradable pollutants left in the ground and “goodies” like methane gas and toxic chemicals that leach out from the system ready to contaminate nearby ground water as well as the polluted water with chemicals that is returned to the surface from digging the well.

Is there money to be had? Of course. Is it needed particularly by farmers who are having a difficult time staying in business? Certainly. But the other side is somewhat challenging — how much do we care about the condition of the environment for our children and grandchildren? 

It’s interesting to note that land owners in the Southern Tier are trying to stop windmills from being built. Same cause as those opposing fracking: the dangers to our soil, air, water and of course, us.

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For those of you who like to recall days gone by, Here are some statistics from 1910:

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years, fuel for a car was sold in drug stores only, only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub

and eight percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and 144 miles of paved roads (no mention of signals) as the maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph. The average U.S. wage was 22 cents per hour and the average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at home and 90 percent of doctors had no college education, instead attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and the government as ‘substandard.’

Sugar cost four cents a pound, eggs were 14 cents a dozen, coffee was 15 cents a pound.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason. Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet nor was there a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school. Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help. There were about 230 reported murders in the entire county.

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

Contact community editor Barbara Tucker at 693-1000, ext. 4110 or email barbara.tucker@tonawanda-news.com