Tonawanda News


July 5, 2013

ADAMCZYK: That was then, this is now

Tonawanda News — Timing is everything, so I am told. You obtain what you need and when you realize it has overstayed its welcome, you remove it or repurpose it. Mostly remove it.

Kenmore has an old water tower, on Elmwood Avenue behind its Department of Public Works, built in 1927 to stabilize the municipal water pressure. That it did, as well as offer a convenient place on its lid to paint a big red arrow to direct flyboys to Cheektowaga’s Buffalo airport instead of the tiny existent airfields of Kenmore and Tonawanda. Now hovering over the wading pool at Mang Park like a giant praying mantis from outer space, and with no one’s attention turned to water pressure these days, it stands empty, rusting and awaiting its downfall, although the “Village of Kenmore” painted on its flaking side accomplishes its purpose.

It’s the same a little north, east of the I-290 near Niagara Falls Boulevard, where a turquoise pillbox of a water tank, its side extolling what a great place Tonawanda is for one thing or another, remains empty and ready to drop. Built in 1960 and now hollow, the Town’s exploding population found other ways to draw water. We needed it then, but that was then and this is now.

Repurpose things if you cannot afford to erase them, the way a public library on Brighton Road, again, built to fulfill that need of a growing populace, became a clubhouse and private library. An elementary school becomes an office park, another elementary school becomes a warehouse and theater, another becomes a senior center catering to those who remember the place as a school, and Kenmore Middle School, once a high school, sits with its future in doubt.

I grew up in North Buffalo, just over the line marking the border with Kenmore, and the elementary school I attended now has a flashy new addition (Buffalo apparently needs elementary school space) obliterating the parking lot where I played a game I thought my friends and I invented called “Strikeout.” (It involved two players, a baseball bat, a tennis ball, a brick wall with a strike zone delineated on it, and no, I repeat, no involvement of adults, and when the ball went over the fence onto the street, drivers would stop, leave their cars to retrieve the ball, and toss it back into play. Imagine that.)

Text Only
  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014