Tonawanda News

June 14, 2014

TUCKER: Give a cheer for yogurt

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Yogurt, something I’d never eat, is now the official snack of New York ... and the naming of the wood frog as the official amphibian of the state ... is not off the table yet, a unique way to keep New York as a laughing stock to other states.

Do our legislators have nothing better to do than come up with this frivolous stuff? Does the state not have any pressing issues to take care of? What a joke.

How about helping small businesses by cutting taxes and supporting them with technical support? No, Governor Cuomo and the legislators are cheering the new companies coming in and starting up with no taxes for 10 years. There are rules about competing with others in the field, but with Internet and global access, those lines of demarcation are easy to erase. Why not look at businesses here that could use those kinds of tax breaks to keep their doors open?

Oh, by the way, the legislators approved 144 bills in a rush before this weekend’s three days off, followed by four days before they are off for the summer to “work” in the district.

The legislature is itself a laughing stock — at our expense.


Robert Adner of the Town of Tonawanda emailed a wonderful human interest story told particularly at this time when we recall D-Day and the fighting in WWII. The story is about Mr. Adner and his Army buddy of 65 years, Norman Batchelder. 

“My original outfit was the 39th Infantry Regiment, Company “M,” reassigned to USARPAC which is the headquarters for the entire Pacific command,” he wrote. “We served together in Hawaii in 1948 and 1949. He married a Japanese girl whose father owned a pineapple plantation on Kaui which was left to Norm and Alice. I was best man at his wedding in Honolulu in 1949 and we have kept in contact ever since. ... Although we were both combat engineers we got sidetracked when our ship broke down in Hawaii on the way to Japan. Sadly Norm, who is flying in from Newport Beach, Ca. with his son and daughter-in-law, is in the first stages of dementia so it is likely to be out last reunion.”


A special thanks to Gwen and Bill Benzino who donated 125 skeins of yarn for our “yarners,” who by the way, knit and crochet all summer “on our front porches,” Karen Armenia, chuckled. The yarn Bill dropped off was distributed within an hour among three groups who were so excited to receive the yarn.


Driving by the Tonawanda, Salem Church and St. Francis of Assisi Church cemeteries, all on Main Street in Tonawanda with all the grass nicely cut and trimmed, even around the headstones, this thought occurred: Who cut and trimmed all the grass before there were ride-on mowers and gas operated trimmers? What a job that must have been.


Kudos to the Town of Tonawanda Highway Department and the wonderful job they did repaving Delaware Road. The crews took time to readjust the drains and sewer connections so the blacktop rolled on perfectly. As the road was finished, another crew striped the road — all done within a day. When I told one of the workers what great work was done, he replied, “It’s just a job.” As far as I’m concerned, a job well done.


Have you noted the rankings published by Business First for area elementary public and private schools? Has Sister Carol Cimino, superintendent of school in the Diocese of Buffalo, or her cohort, Carol Kostyniak, secretary of education, or even the bishop looked at the rankings?

I found it mind-boggling that St. Leo’s School in Amherst ranked 31 out of 276 and it’s being forced to close this year. St. Christopher ranked 61st and St. Francis of Assisi and St. Amelia are virtually tied at 105 and 106. Farther down the list are St. Andrew’s and even farther, 156th, is St. John the Baptist.

For middle schools, St. John’s came in 55th out of 205, St. Francis, 58th and St. Andrew’s 103. 

Does anyone even for a moment think closing St. Francis School is a good idea? The trio at the top and their advisors dropped the ball and can’t bend over to pick it up.

Speak of picking up the ball, congratulations to the soccer team at St. Francis, coached by Sheila Neumeister, which won the diocesan soccer tournament last weekend in a two-day, three-match event at Park School. St. Francis was unbeaten for the last two seasons, having triumphed over the above mentioned Catholic schools (two with two teams each) as well as schools in Williamsville and Amherst. What a great bunch of players. Although I’m not very knowledgeable about soccer, it didn’t take a genius to see how the team played together as friends and comrades. Nice going, team and Mrs. Neumeister, whose daughter, Emily, by the way, is valedictorian of this year’s senior class at Cardinal O’Hara High School.

Contact Community News Editor Barbara Tucker at or 693-1000 ext. 4110.

Contact Community News Editor Barbara Tucker at or 693-1000 ext. 4110.