Tonawanda News

November 3, 2012

Be gone, weather forecasters, politicians

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — A call on Wednesday morning from a woman in Kenmore fit right into today’s theme: Local TV weather forecasters.

“Have you written your column for this week yet,” she asked.

“No, do you have an idea?”

“Yes, how do we do something about the TV weather forecasters? When did they get such power and who gave it to them, that they can pronounce the horrific storm would hit our area with torrential rains and 60 to 70 mph winds? Neither of these scenarios happened — but they were able to scare the Erie County schools into closing on Tuesday. Did Wilson, which had the Lake Ontario waves crashing over the breakwall, close? No. did Niagara-Wheatfield, Lockport and other Niagara County schools close? No. They used their brains and knew that this was one more ‘Cry Wolf’ that the forecasters are perfectionists at.”

Wow! That’s telling it like it is. I don’t know how these TV personalities got their power nor how to stop it. Every time I see the “Doppler radar” showing green, yellow, pink, white, etc., I turn off the TV. The weather forecast should be about two minutes long and include no radar, no jumping back and forth across the display, just the temperature, wind, perhaps the record high and low, amount of precipitation and the five day forecast (which is normally wrong anyway.)

Do we need all the hype and the scare? And when their dire predictions don’t come true, did you ever hear one of them apologize or say they were wrong? No, it’s usually just “Well, we just missed that one.”

When I got up on Tuesday morning and turned on the TV, the local TV weather person was just proclaiming that the hardest downpours at that moment were in Kenmore, Town of Tonawanda and north. I looked out the window, and the sun was shining. My side yard, which fills up like a little lake whenever there’s a heavy downpour, had not a drop of water laying over the grass.

And now they want to name winter storms — no doubt to make them sound serious and life threatening. What a joke, except no one’s laughing.

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With election day just a few days off, thank goodness, it’s time to put into use what was said in this column months ago: Out with the old, in with the new. That said, my vote Tuesday will be for anyone not presently in office. Of course, I know that most of the life-long politicians will not get booted out of office, but at least I have the peace of mind knowing that I did what I thought was best. For all of you who are thinking that my stand is a mistake, because after all, look at what our local senators and assemblymen have done for our area, I simple ask, what have they done? They cannot get along, have spent money faster than it can be printed (money, by the way which comes from us as the government has no money except through taxes, fees, etc.), make laws that are beyond ridiculous, enjoy the best insurance coverage, get paid to sit and do nothing because their aides do all the work and are beyond booting out of office because there are no term limits. So you vote as you like and I will do the same. My day Wednesday will be glum because it’s be four more years of the same old, same old, as our wonderful country goes down the tubes.

•••

Two sad obituaries were in Friday’s paper, Roy Russell and Clarence Hurtubise.

Roy, as noted in the obituary, was born in Gastown, a section of Tonawanda that at that time had a reputation for tough guys and unsavory characters — but if you were born there, you were proud of its heritage. So when Barbara Trinkwalder, a neighbor, who as a kid was a best friend along with Mary Norris, grew up and was going to marry Roy, it was a surprise. Roy, a really terrific guy, was in the Navy with my husband who recalled that whenever they left the ship for shore leave, a full size cut out of Roy, dressed in his Navy best, stood at the gangplank, reminding the sailors of how they should look when leaving the ship. Roy was also a phenomenal photographer, working as the head photographer at the Tonawanda News and Buffalo News for 42 years. At the last THS reunion we went to, Roy was there and said he had lost much of his sight, a sad day for someone whose life was wrapped around pictures.

Right next to Roy’s obituary was the one for Clarence, who lived next door to us on Bennett Street. Even though he was a bit older than my brothers and me, he was “the leader of the pack.” In those years, there were so many boys in the neighborhood, that the girls never won a Monopoly game or had a chance at a pick-up baseball game. Although I haven’t seen Clarence in years, the memories of those growing up years are vivid and it does not surprise me for a moment that he was so involved in his church and many organizations.

Condolences to both families.

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