Tonawanda News

October 27, 2012

Christmas taking over Halloween

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Is there no end to and political ads on TV, radio and in my mailbox? How about starting the ads after Halloween? Don’t we all know who we are voting for? Some have no idea why, many don’t care and are just annoyed by the constant misrepresentations and outright lies. Yuck!

Speaking of Halloween, can you believe how much Christmas stuff is in the stores already? Used to be Christmas ads, decorations, etc. started after Thanksgiving. The other night a TV station was hawking its Christmas lineup of shows.

On a happier note, if you are into the environment, trees, greenspace and the like, the New York State Forest Owners Association (better known as NYFOA) is having a meeting at 10 a.m. next Saturday at the Holland Community Center. Why do I care since the only trees I own are the six on my property? One of my “side volunteer jobs” is writing the group’s newsletter and this event sounded like fun. It’s surprising how many people from around here own forest land in the Southern Tier or even in northern Niagara and Orleans counties. It’s a great group, they come in jeans, sweatshirts and work boots — and they really care about issues like fracking (the consequences of which are frightening,) timber theft, logging their woods, learning more about trees through woodswalks and events like next Saturday. Want more information? Call Rita Hammond at 937-0744.


Here’s something you won’t see on the ballot this year, although it would be wonderful to be able to make it happen. Thanks to the readers who sent this along.

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

1. No Tenure/No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present and future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase its own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3 percent.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/31/12. The American people did not make these contract, congressmen/women made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

This is how to fix Congress.


Bob Confer sent in an article from the Sunday Spectator by Neal Simon who discusses his dad, Lou Simon, long time Tonawanda News sports editor. Bob’s note said he thought some of the long-term folks at the News might like to read the column.

Well, Bob, I guess I’m the only “long-term” person at the News. I remember Lou but even more, the legendary stories about his writing skills from News editors like Kevin Noonan, Lynn Hemmings, and of course, long time reporter Lou Jekovich.

Thanks, Bob, for sharing the article, great memories.


Saying that Don Holdaway was active at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Tonawanda, doesn’t even begin to touch all that he did there. Don, who died this past week, was always ready to help. His quiet manner, ready smile, gentle personality made him a favorite of all. Years ago, it was Don who talked my husband into helping with the Catholic Charities appeal at the church — a feat that alone should get Don into heaven. He served with the Holy Name Society, was an usher, a person who quickly saw where he could help and then volunteered. And let’s not forget the Niagara Hose and his work on the antique fire truck. At the wake, fire chief Chuck Stuart, along with a cadre of firefighters and a fire truck, gave homage to Don’s work. At the same time, he provided for his family of 10 children with, of course, the help of his extraordinary wife, who was always in the background making sure everything was right. Sometimes people like Don who do so much, so quietly and well, are overlooked. Not so in this case. He’s no doubt checking around heaven to see what needs to be done and smiling down on all of us. Condolences to the family.

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