Tonawanda News

November 10, 2012

Protect the children

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Rod Rowland emailed that when he subbed at a Town of Tonawanda school recently he was partly in charge of dismissal for the walkers.

“Now the parents have to come in ahead of time sign next to their name, show picture ID before they can walk their son or daughter home,” he wrote. “Perhaps two of the parents did not have ID as the regular teacher knew who they are ... Only the fifth-graders are allowed to walk home on their own. I think this is going too far. That same night I talked to my sister, who has to raise her grandchildren. She believes this is necessary, as she claims of three rape cases in NT within the past 10 years. Then I visited friends from West Seneca also playing a big part of their two grandsons lives, they also have to sign and show ID to pick up their grandson. Apparently this is universal. No wonder young kids get no fresh air.”

Sorry, Rod, I disagree. With all the terrible things happening to children who walk alone to and from school, I think this is a good idea. Occasionally I pick up my grandsons and have to sign in as well. At first it seemed odd, but after considering the reason and the horrific consequences that sometimes occur, it’s a good idea. I also like the idea that school bus drivers wait until the kids they leave off are either in the house or have someone greet them. Granted, it’s a sad commentary on life today as most of us walked to the from school with no worries. But we also walked in groups and that doesn’t happen too much today, either.


Congratulations to Larry Denef on being selected as the Chamber’s Citizen of the Year. As head of Canal Fest, he has no easy job keeping things going and making sure people are happy. A pat on the back as well to Painters Plus Home Decorating for being Business of the Year. Well deserved for its continual work for the community. And finally, at long last, my favorite musician and all around good guy, Matt Piorkowski will receive a lifetime achievement award. Matt, the ultimate accordionist, has had Matt’s Music Store for the past 49 years and has given his time, not just to his students but to charity as well. Whenever I see him play is accordion, it makes me want to take my own out of the closet — luckily for my family, the urges passes quickly.


Bill Wittkowsky called the other day — a voice from the past. Many of us still miss his Flashback column with it’s feel for the olden days. He was a superb photographer and a wonderful historian. His question was how the World War II veterans were chosen for the recent one-day trip to Washington to see the wonderful, yet sad, monuments. Couldn’t answer his question, but if someone knows, give a call.


Does anyone know a group, organization or perhaps senior living facility that could use yarn? My closet has skeins of yarn, many in holiday colors, left over from Christmas stockings. Perhaps some of you have bags or boxes of yarn that you no longer use. Let me know if you do and perhaps we can help out somewhere.


If you like model railroads, you might enjoy the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society which meets once a month. In the last newsletter, there was an interesting article on a time when Anthracite coal was the fuel of choice for homes and for locomotives.

“Lackawanna anthracite coal, from the great fields of northeastern Pennsylvania was carried by many railroads to Western New York markets,” the article states.

Advertising touted the anthracite as “The Cone-Cleaned Coal,” meaning it was cleaned to separate the coal from its impurities such as rocks, dirt and debris. E.E. Godfrey & Co. in East Aurora ran an ad for cone-cleaned coal — as simple to have as picking up your telephone and asking the operator for number “268.” Or how about the old “Let’s Pretend” radio show which has anthracite coal as a sponsor.

If you’d like more information on this fun group, email


A final wish, taken from the Geico commercial: May you be “as happy as a witch in a broom factory!”

Contact community editor Barbara Tucker at 693-1000, ext. 4110 or email