Tonawanda News

July 5, 2014

TUCKER: A stroll through Garden Walk

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — If you were a Cub Scout or maybe a den leader, you may remember “bug juice.” If you’d like to go back to those great times, be sure to be at Gratwick-Riverside Park on River Road in North Tonawanda next Sunday afternoon.

It’s the fourth annual North Tonawanda Scouting Air Show — so take the kids to see a helicopter landing, remote control airplanes, kites, games, lots of food and of course, “bug juice.”

So much fun in the Tonawandas especially as that day opens Canal Fest.

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“This area’s obsessed with signals,” eldest son commented last weekend on a visit from Baltimore. 

“We have six and eight lanes of traffic, two and four lane streets that go in, out and around towns, only a few, if any, signals, except at major intersections. Even in Annapolis which has visitors crowding streets every day, you are hard put to find a signal.”

Every morning Bill was visiting, he’d take my car to Tim Horton’s less than 1/4 mile away to get us each a coffee.

“I was stopped at a total of four signals going and coming. It’s ludicrous! Doesn’t anyone care about emissions, time wasted, and a bunch of other issues? Are the cities stuck in the 50s and ‘we’ve always done it that way’ mentality?”

Our niece’s husband, who is an overland driver, brought his load to Buffalo last weekend and came to our grandson’s graduation. He started laughing when hearing the discussion on the signals.

“You have no idea the conversations that go on with us (drivers) when we have to try to get around this area. If you think signals here are over the top, you’re right. Even where we live (near Philadelphia) you don’t see this many. We wondered if they’re made here,” he laughed.

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On this Fourth of July weekend, an email came through that you may have read, but is worth repeating.

The email read: “Charlie Sheen is 45 and his story has been all over the news because he is a substance abuser, an adulterer, sexually promiscuous and obnoxious.

“Lindsay Lohan is 24 and her story is all over the news because she is a celebrity drug addict and a thief.

“The same can be said about drug addict Philip Seymour Hoffman who died with a needle stuck in his arm.

“Something as frivolous as Kim Kardashian’s stupid wedding (and short-lived marriage) was shoved down our throats, while ... Justin Allen, 23; Brett Linley, 29; Matthew Weikert, 29; Justus Bartett, 27; Dave Santos, 21; Jesse Reed, 26; Matthew Johnson, 21; Zachary Fisher, 24; Brandon King, 23; Christopher Goeke, 23; and Sheldon Tate, 27 — are all Marines who gave their lives last month for you.

“There is no media for them; not even a mention of their names. They were young men who most likely came from rural America seeking a chance to better themselves and to serve this country.

“We should honor them. Rest In Peace, and thank you, troops.”

And thanks to all who have given their lives — and limbs — for our freedom, no matter what war or conflict in which they served. 

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Glad to see the Tonawanda City Council reversed its decision to allow parking on the street in the summer. I’m a bit surprised at Carlton Zeisz’s comment that he was against it, saying that “(the city) has survived these past 60 years like this.”

It seems thinking “it’s always been done that way” is a major stumbling block to changes in the city. North Tonawanda seems to have gotten over that thinking and is moving ahead. C’mon Tonawanda, you’re just as great a city and have to show people how good it is to live here.

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Mark next weekend on your calendar as a reminder to enjoy the Garden Walk in the City of Tonawanda. This self-guided tour of 28 private gardens, which will show off the love of gardening and creative genius of residents will take place on Saturday. This year, Friday Night Lights has been added, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. when your tour will give you a chance to see night-blooming plants, nocturnal animals and night pollinators.

Kudos to the City of Tonawanda Board of Visual & Performing Arts and the Garden Club of the Tonawandas, who started this event in 2010.

Contact Community News Editor Barbara Tucker at 693-1000, ext. 4110, or barbara.tucker@tonawanda-news.com.