Tonawanda News

October 6, 2012

TUCKER: Good news in Tonawanda

By Barbara Tucker
The Tonawanda News

— Recently, some Soundoff callers have gone after Tonawanda Mayor Ron Pilozzi.

Yesterday, the newsletter from the Exchange Club of the Tonawandas came in and lo and behold, the speaker for this week was Ron Pilozzi. Wish you naysayers had been there. Here’s a capsule view of what the mayor had to say about projects in Tonawanda.

He discussed what projects are going on in the city, including Eastern Park, the park that is used the least now, but has a kayak launch which should increase usage on the creek.

The mayor discussed shoreline stabilization at Niawanda Park which is utilizing two grants the city received, these projects funded by the Greenway Commission.

The Spaulding Fibre 47-acre project that garners a lot of discussion is close to completion and should go to the marketing stage very soon, the mayor explained.

In addition, sewer

rehab is in progress. The city was looking at a 20 year plan,

however the DEC insists it be completed in 10 years. The city’s working out this change.

These are the kind of reports that seldom are listed anywhere, which is too bad. The bottom line is, good things are happening in the city.


Bob Starr emailed that he wanted to say something about the “Women of Distinction.”

“One of (the Women of Distinction,) Debbie Jaeger, I had the pleasure of going through high school with as well as her husband, Bill and am very pleased to still call them friends. These are two of the most wonderful people one could ever know. What Debbie’s been through in her life and how she came through it shows unbelievable courage and strength. It shows the morals and scruples that were taught to both Debbie and Bill through their parents and School District. I sit back and applaud Debbie’s efforts and support everything she is doing and stands for,” Bob said.

Bob also noted some other ladies on the list.

“Susan Gregg (former board of education member in Tonawanda and current colleague,) Rebecca Hooper Yeoh (who, I believe is the same person that went to Riverview School at one time), Kelly Stich who is active within the Tonawanda School District with athletics and Monica Salterelli, who grew up across the street from me. Her dad was an acclaimed educator and her mother, a leader at St. Francis Church in Tonawanda.

“Ladies, I applaud you, your efforts in society and am happy and proud to say that I know you. The common denominator, City of Tonawanda!”


E.M. wrote in to say she agreed that cats should be licensed.

“I even went to the mayor’s office and asked how to go about getting a law passed that all cat owners have to get a cat license,” she wrote. “I have a cat that only goes out on her leash. We have neighbors that let their cat roam, and of course it goes in our yard. We did take a roaming cat to the SPCA back in July and was told they wouldn’t accept it. We were to find a shelter that had room. Something has to be done.”


We’ve all heard about the problems experienced by honey bee owners. At a talk last Wednesday, Geri Hens from Lockport, owner of Hens Honey Bee Farm which is the only state producer of USDA raw organic New York native wildflower and tree varietal honey, spoke about honey bees and other pollen collecting insects and how endangered they are becoming.

Among the suggestions she had to help out the bees in our own yards, were first, eliminate lawn care products with chemicals that may kill weeds, but do the same for insects. She suggested using compost and manure rather than products, again filled will chemicals, that not only kill weeds and feed the flowers, but when washed into the ground, kill worms and other good things in the earth. Her talk was so interesting, yet scary to know what we ourselves are doing to our environment.

It was an eye-opener, for sure.


Father Roman, OFM Conv., principal of Cardinal O’Hara High School from 1976 to ‘79, died this past week in Massachusetts. His years at O’Hara were not easy for it was at that time that the diocese decided to close some of its high schools. O’Hara was never in danger because of its wonderful auditorium, large double gym, sports facility and an extraordinary arts and music program. The problem faced by Father Roman was going to the high schools that were going to be closed and talk to the students and parents who were understandable upset and angry and who now had to choose a new school. He was described by his Franciscan provincial in the obituary as “a priest’s priest” — and so he was.

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