Tonawanda News


March 30, 2014

DUVALL: Rewriting a fundamental WNY narrative of decline

Tonawanda News — Want to hear something cool? We grew.

The Census Bureau reported last week Erie County’s population increased by 944 people since 2012. Sure, it’s not a lot and the fact a minuscule population growth anywhere makes news is still a sign you’ve got a long way to go.

But it’s a fundamental rewriting of the narrative — Western New York isn’t shrinking. 

For a while now I’ve felt like this place is actually turning the corner on generations of sad decline. Now there’s some real evidence of it. And it’s exciting.

I had occasion recently to find myself on a barstool next to a recent Buffalo transplant. And when I say transplant, I don’t mean a person who grew up here and moved away. I mean the opposite. He grew up in Louisiana, had friends who lived here, came up to visit and decided to move here. In January. 

People, this happened. Someone — a young person! — from a warm Southern state (albeit a kind of lame one) moved to Buffalo. In January. And he wasn’t insane. And he did it voluntarily. And he was pretty happy about it.

Granted, he was getting tired of trying to convince people here he wasn’t insane for deciding to move to Buffalo in January — this January, as if it wasn’t crazy enough already.

But I believe he was telling the truth, mostly because admitting you moved to Buffalo in January isn’t the kind of thing you say because you’re trying to sound cool.  

Nine-hundred and forty four people. Probably explains why I felt like the line at the Tim Hortons drive-thru has felt longer than normal lately. 

It makes sense, though. Jobs are a little easier to come by here than they were before. Companies, particularly high-tech medical ones, are expanding here. The housing market is insanely affordable. Loft condos and apartments in cool old buildings that would go for $500,000 in other cities are $150,000 here. Suburban homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms and nice yards in good school districts cost a small fortune in other places. Here’s it’s the norm. 

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo