Tonawanda News

September 15, 2012

TUCKER: A vote for photo identification

By Barbara Tucker
The Tonawanda News

— Like chocolate? Then take yourself and the family to the third annual Chocolate and Wine Festival going on all day today at Gateway Harbor on Sweeney Street.

Taste lots of sweet treats and desserts and watch the chocolate pudding eating contest. This year, several local farms will offer pumpkins, apples, potatoes and fall vegetables. Don’t forget to bring the kids to the Candy Man Game Show.

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The public is invited to a free health fair between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 29 at First Presbyterian Church, 149 Broad Street, City of Tonawanda. The fair, which is co-sponsored by St. Francis of Assisi Church, will be attended by 48 agencies and health care providers, who will provide information about their services.

There’ll be screening tests, flu shots, and massage therapists. This is a great opportunity to have your health checked — free. Mark you calendar.

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Primary Day is over. Hopefully, the terrible ads on TV and the slick, negative mailings will go away at lease for a month. But on Thursday morning (Primary Day) a reader called in on her cell phone having just driven by Tonawanda City Hall on Niagara Street on her way to work in Buffalo.

“I noticed two political Grisanti signs in front of City Hall,” she said. “Isn’t this a conflict of interest? Does that mean all candidates for whatever race can put their signs up in front of City Hall? Great location, for sure. But I’m stunned that the city allows this.”

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An interesting press release came in about the new online AAA ““Roadwise Rx” to help show how medications may affect the ability of seniors to drive safely. The idea is a great one. By going online you can check to see how medications can affect your driving. The only glitch with the program might be the number of those who should take the test but don’t have access to a computer. Perhaps it could be put be in print form as well as online so more elderly can access the program.

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“Racetrack Casinos for Schools.” Have you seen the slick ad on TV? Wow if we just gambled at racetrack casinos, billions of dollars could be used for thousands of teachers’ salaries, better schools, etc., etc.

What is wrong with this concept put forth by the New York Gaming Association? Doesn’t seem like long ago that folks were up in arms over a gambling casino that the Native Americans wanted to build in downtown Buffalo.

Now here comes New York state, greedy little place that it is, saying it’s OK for more racetrack casinos because the money will be used for schools. What a joke! For schools? Who do they think believes that? More likely to be siphoned off for some private project just as the money from the bridge to Grand Island was supposed to be used to pay for the bridge and of course after that was paid off, the tolls went up. I can’t believe how stupid our politicians think we are.

Come November, out with old and in with the new.

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And speaking politically, two issues have my most emphatic vote: term limits and voter ID. The first is a no-brainer that will never happen as long as we continue to vote in politicians for lifetime service. The second was brought clearly to the front when I bought a six-pack of beer and was asked for ID. Now I’m a long way from age 21, which didn’t matter to the clerk whose job was to ID everyone. Then at the bank, my ID was needed to cash a check. On Primary Day, when I voted, the nice women simply asked my name and had me sign the book. My daughter is still listed at our address, although we’ve notified the board of elections year after year — she hasn’t lived at home for 20 years. So, not having to show ID, I could have given her name, signed the book, come back hours later given my name and voted again. Actually if the legislators wanted to actually work, they could set up several easy to access centers and encourage anyone who needs photo ID to come and get their free ID.

We all know when that will happen: never.

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You know it’s fall when the Carrousel Museum announces its fall carving class taught by Doug Bathke, who has been carving for 48 years and teaching for 37. This class has always held a fascination, although I’d probably cut off my hand carving left-handed.

Contact community editor Barbara Tucker at 693-1000, ext. 4110 or email barbara.tucker@tonawanda-news.com