Tonawanda News

December 29, 2012

Winter tales of joy and woe

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The residents on Grove Street in Tonawanda are an amazing group of folks. Coming to work yesterday, it was clear they think of others. We all know to clear the fire hydrants of snow, and this was done. However, yesterday was garbage pick up day and the plows had dumped snow over the curb and onto the space between the sidewalk and curb. But the pile of snow did not daunt the residents. Nearly every household had shoveled a place to put its black tote, making it easier for the DPW workers. Very thoughtful.


Driving home from my daughter’s home in Sanborn in the snowstorm Wednesday evening could have been a bad experience. However, en route, I saw only one car until I reached Oliver Street and Ward Road, which allowed me to drive more to the center of the street. On Oliver, there was one car ahead of me until we reached Sweeney Street. An SUV was at the signal at the Delaware Street bridge, turning left to go to Tonawanda. At the bottom of the bridge, he had his left turn signal on to turn onto Young Street. When the signal turned green he headed toward Young Street, must have realized he’d made an error, and did a “wheelie” swinging completely around, heading back to North Tonawanda. Luckily, there were no other cars on the road as he obviously didn’t realize I was behind him. I swerved out of the way, missing him by about a foot. I watched in the rear view mirror as he headed back over the bridge. Isn’t winter driving fun?


Now for something a bit controversial.

Bob Starr sent in his feelings on the City of Tonawanda’s considering privatizing its trash service. This has been in Sound Off several times, however, Bob thought it could go in this column. The email was long, so it’s been trimmed a bit.

“I do NOT want to see the City of Tonawanda privatize their trash service,” Bob wrote. “Think of the ramifications to the city in the long run and to the lives it will affect.

“While the council says there will be no layoffs, there will be layoffs. ... Why will they keep the excess staff around and spend the money to do so, while offering less or no work for them to do? ... These workers will have to look for work in other areas of the WNY and maybe outside of WNY in an effort to provide for their families. This means more people possibly leaving the city, less students in our schools and district, less tax base and possible foreclosures, a cause and effect for more loss of small business and the list of the downward spiral goes on.

“I would rather pay a few extra dollars for the good service we get from our DPW than to give our hard earned money to out-source a service ...  to a company which will have no face or conscience within our community.

“We need to keep these jobs in our city and to keep our city residents working. This will promote our very existence as a city.”


Seeing an email from Peter Gfroerer makes me smile, even before it’s read. This time, Peter was critical of last week’s column asking how high would a pile of $100 bills be to reach $1 trillion if each stack of $100 bills is one-half inch high.

“You almost got it right,” Peter said, “but perhaps one of the highly educated readers of your column will get it. A “stack” is a pack of $100 bills equaling $10,000, which is 100 $100 bills and is approximately half an inch, i.e. a one inch high pile of $100 bills is $20,000 and so on.”

Thanks for the correction, Peter, the answer ends up 784 miles — got that right, anyway.


A reader of this column called to say she has hundreds of hard cover books that she would like to give to an organization or facility that could use them. Some of the authors she noted are James Patterson, Nora Roberts and “a lot of Danielle Steele.” If you know of a place that would use the books, call me at the News, 693-1000, ext. 4110, or email me at


Louis Pane died this past week. He was a person who enjoyed life and shared his humor and hard work ethic with everyone. As owner of Pane Heating and Cooling, he ran a company dedicated to doing excellent work and giving tremendous service at an honest price. His wife, Caroline, ran the cafeteria at St. Francis School for many years and taught my kids how to eat good food. (I can honestly say I never packed a lunch for them.) Whenever they come over for a spaghetti dinner, the comment is, “No offense, mom. But the best spaghetti sauce was the one Mrs. Pane made.” But back to Louie. He gave his all to the community through a 50-year membership in the K of C, 65 years at Live Hose Fire Company and as a member of the Renaissance Club. He served for five years in the Coast Guard during WWII and members of the American Legion Post 264 gave a wonderful memorial service at his wake. But above all this, he was a person of integrity, full of fun and love for his community and family. Condolences to all.

Contact community editor

Barbara Tucker at 693-1000,

ext. 4110, or email

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