Tonawanda News


August 20, 2009

ADAMCZYK: Something incredible just happened

I’m wondering what Pete Rizzo will do for his next act.

This is the guy who, over several years, co-chaired a committee with Supervisor Dan Crangle that got the Town of Tonawanda Veterans Memorial built, and successfully navigated a thicket of politics and bureaucracy and a recession and budget issues, and added follow-through to an abundance of good intentions. The Memorial was designed and the Kenney Field jet was rehabilitated by professionals who volunteered their expertise and labor. Grants and donations paid for much of the material and construction. Government agencies, particularly the Town’s Youth Parks and Recreation Department, were persuaded to help make this project extraordinary. They succeeded.

Then there was the matter of the dedication ceremony, which occurred earlier this week under blue skies and with enough wind to lift every flag on the grounds. Speeches, an orchestra, ceremonial color guards and unveiling of a sculpture, and the presence of General Colin Powell and the Patriot Guard Riders (the national organization of motorcyclists who present themselves as an honor guard, on this day surrounding the Memorial and silently holding flags). Ideas are a dime a dozen in this world, even good ones, but they require an organizer like Pete Rizzo to keep the ball rolling, to make certain every detail is attended.

Did I mention he began his involvement in this endeavor when he was 19 years old?

He and his Steering Committee pulled off something incredible, permanent and a credit to the Town of Tonawanda, and the dedication ceremony was equally remarkable (for point of full disclosure, he graciously quoted a column of mine in his welcoming speech, but I had only met him for the first time about thirty minutes prior). 600 souvenir programs were printed for the occasion; he was later informed to expect a crowd of about 1,500. Perhaps twice that number was in attendance on Tuesday afternoon.

Text Only
  • 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

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Employers don't need 24/7 access to workers

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Taste of Buffalo sneaks up again This time next week you can find me tromping somewhere up and down Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. I'll be there with tens of thousands of my closest friends.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo