Tonawanda News


March 21, 2013

What happens in Vegas

Tonawanda News — I’ve been spending a lot of time lately in local schools. As fun as the experience can be, it leads to a strange bit of mixed feelings on my part — at the same time, a profound relief that I’m years out of the whole high school scene and an odd bit of nostalgia for those days. School musicals, club activities, concerts and trips — they’re the type of experience that’s irreplaceable after you’ve moved on to college and the working world.

This weekend, Kenmore East High School is giving folks the chance to live one of those experiences vicariously, at least a little.

The Kenmore East High School jazz bands (honors jazz band, jazz band and jazz combo) are leaving today for the Las Vegas Invitational Jazz Festival at the Las Vegas School for the Arts. The school is the only one on the East Coast to receive an invitation to the event, teacher Phil Aguglia said. While in Las Vegas, the bands will perform a program of music from all Buffalo-connected musicians such as Don Menza, Harold Arlen, Phil Sims, Jeff Jarvis, Mark Filsinger and Bill Todd.

During the trip, a blog chronicling the experience can be found at The first post — complete with a photo of wintry Buffalo weather on the first day of spring — was made Wednesday, and the students and teachers will return Monday.

Here’s hoping they bring some warmer weather back with them.


About a week ago, I was able to take a tour of the Twin Cities Community Outreach building on Ridge Road, getting an up-close look at what’s at stake in the group’s campaign to raise money for a new roof. 

The scale of what takes place inside that building, an former hockey rink, is impressive. After walking through it with Greg Lureman, vice president of TCCO, a series of mental snapshots still stick in my head:

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  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • 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