Tonawanda News


June 14, 2013

ADAMCZYK: Spurring the project along


Tonawanda News — So we look at some intractable problem and wonder why the people who made all that nation-building and nation-saving steel in Lackawanna, built the Erie Canal and later Pierce-Arrows without computers or OSHA regulations regarding eye safety and figured out how to turn a waterfall into electricity, cannot construct a bridge over the Niagara River to supplement the 86-year-old one it has. (The Peace Bridge, incidentally, opened in the midst of Prohibition in the United States but not Canada, in the same year Crystal Beach opened its amusement park. Think those things may have spurred the project?)

Observing failure is relatively easy, but it blinds us to noticing the successes.

Try getting $60 million or so Social Security payments out, monthly and on time, without a little bureaucracy. In at least three communities in Western New York this summer, performances by rounds of geezer bands are scheduled, weekly concerts inexpensive enough so they do not compete much with each other, plentiful enough to sate the expectations of those who gravitate to that sort of thing.

Want to be in charge of planning any of that?

The past offers cautionary tales galore. The present provides few opportunities to examine how the successes occurred. Kenmore’s magnificent little Municipal Building, for example, was a union of need (the old, wooden one, a former school house, was on the verge of being outgrown), financing (it was a Depression-era W.P.A. project) and design (by noted local architect E.B. Green). Most of us, reading this, will live to see the building’s centennial as a beautiful, dramatic and eminently useful building.

A joke, not long ago, was that what we needed here was a “Museum of Plans,” a place to see exhibited all those projects that never went anywhere after they were announced. (Whatever became of the “Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the International Shrine of the Holy Innocents,” a proposed 700-foot arch in Buffalo harbor, which has a website on the Internet but no shovels in the ground?) A little research has convinced me a thriving city (and its suburbs) tosses ideas, half- and fully-baked, by the bushel-full, then awaits to see what sticks and what doesn’t. 

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  • 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

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014