Tonawanda News


July 3, 2013

DUVALL: This Independence Day, take the long view of history

Tonawanda News — As we approach the annual summer celebration of our nation’s founding with a round of hot dogs, beer, fireworks and a day off from work I thought it might be beneficial to take a look back in history as a guide for how to interpret some of today’s thornier political issues.

Something of a cottage industry has popped up in trying to diagnose and fix what seems to be a polarizing political environment that produces little by way of tangible results and even fewer things everyone doesn’t dislike.

The U.S. House of Representatives can’t seem to agree on much besides renaming the nation’s post offices. Seriously, if you look at the congressional record renaming post offices dominates legislation that passes the House these days. Pretty soon we’re going to run out of post offices — or the entire postal service, for that matter — and then congressmen are going to have to move onto naming new official U.S. things. Do we have an official tree? A particularly patriotic insect or agricultural commodity? 

I have a feeling we’ll find out soon enough.

Let’s take a trip back to our nation’s infancy. Everyone more or less seemed to like George Washington. He was a respected, nonpolarizing figure and just the sort of guy we needed to ensure our nation’s first president wasn’t removed at musket-point a few weeks after taking office by the second president.

After Washington it went downhill rather quickly in the camaraderie department. 

John Adams, our second president was rather famously at odds with his successor, Thomas Jefferson. They said things about each other — and to each other — that would make Sean Hannity blush (assuming he’s still warm-blooded). 

And so we fast-forward to July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day after Jefferson, Adams a bunch of other white guys we’ve all but forgotten and John Hancock with his crazy John Hancock, signed the Declaration of Independence.

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • 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