Tonawanda News

Columns

March 23, 2013

Hitting against a federal wall

Tonawanda News — Let’s start off with Freedom of Speech.

Each spring, the New York Forest Owners Association hosts a brunch for members, the topics of which are varied. This year, it was decided to once again have the event at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center in Depew. (If you’ve never been there, take the family and visit this remarkable nature preserve.) The site chosen, the committee asked Kim Sherwood, a foremost authority on shale gas drilling (called fracking) to come and talk about the major differences between traditional vertical drilling that has occurred in WNY for a long time, and high volume hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

Because Kim is a hydrologist and watershed planner whose career included work for the federal Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service and a person with degrees in forest hydrology, it seemed a great way to hear both sides of the question from a foremost authority.

So my sister, chairman of the local NYFOA group, asked Reinstein if we could again use its facilities. The answer initially was, “of course.” But when the director heard the word “fracking,” she apologized and said NYFOA could not use the site as it is run now by the DEC, which will not allow fracking discussions at its sites. This talk, my sister tried to explained, is not to instigate anyone to form protests — it’s simply informational. To no avail.

So another place for our event has been chosen. However, if anyone has any idea that the government is in control, reread this again — Freedom of Speech, my foot.

•••

Last week, Ken Diegelman from Tonawanda, a very knowledgeable arborist and horticulturist, called to say the daffodils in the median on Clinton Street were up about six or so inches. Each year, Ken, who watches out for the thousands of daffodils planted in the median, requests a photographer to come and take a photo when they bloom. I explained that it is difficult to arrange a photo of the flowers on a certain day due to weather, etc., however, it he’d like to take a photo, the News would be glad to print it. We chatted awhile about plants, trees and flowers (a most enjoyable conversation) and then he asked if I had any “salix discolor,” to which I pled dumb. He laughed “It’s the Latin name for pussy willows,” he said. No, sad to say I no longer have a pussy willow shrub and had no branches here. He assured me he would drop off some branches for me (which he did) and also would take some daffodil photos and bring over the negatives. When I told him we don’t use negatives only the photo, he quipped: “Well some people say I have a phone, but I really just have two cans and a string.”

Text Only
Columns
  • CONFER:

    April 23, 2014

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core

    They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leffler Mug 041114 [Duplicate] LEFFLER: 'Need to know' a double-edged sword Inquisitive doesn't begin to describe me. I must know everything. About everything. I hate being in the dark. I guess that's what makes my career choice so very obvious. I think "must know everything" is at the top of most journalists' trait lists.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo