Monday, May 11, 2009

Buffalo in the 1930's

The public works projects of the 1930's built much of what we take for granted today in the City of Buffalo and elsewhere. WGRZ did a nice piece on the results a few weeks ago:
Notable WPA Projects:
  • Alden Sewage System installed
  • New Amherst Schoolhouse
  • Best Street Stadium
  • Broadway Auditorium Renovation
  • Buffalo's New Airport
  • Centennial Park created
  • Clearwater Reservoir
  • County Park Improvements (Como, Chestnut Ridge, Sheridan, Emery)
  • Delaware Avenue Improvements
  • Elk Street Wading Pool
  • Erie County Sewing Project
  • Household Training Class
  • Lovejoy Branch Library
  • Manhattan Quarry
  • 174th Regiment Armory overhaul
  • Wales Center Burying Ground converted to modern cemetery
  • "DeWitt Clinton's Ditch" - filled in a 5 mile ditch that was once the Erie Canal between Buffalo and Tonawanda
  • Holland Town Hall
  • Zoo Improvement
  • Buffalo Public Library Renovation
  • Demolition of Elmwood Music Hall
  • Major Renovation of Buffalo Parks
  • Riverside Park Renovation
  • Topographical Survey of Niagara River and Lake Erie along Waterfront
The original focus of this newscast seems to be current federal stimulus money, however I found the photographs and history presented here fascinating on their own:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ronald Sardina - RIP

Clarence alumnus ('95) Ronald Sardina has passed away. He also was a substitute physical education teacher in the Clarence Schools. From the Buffalo News:

Dec. 18, 1976—May 4, 2009

Ronald Christopher Sardina, who taught physical education at Clarence Central Schools and other schools, including Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, died Monday in his Clarence home after a battle with colon cancer. He was 32.

Mr. Sardina was born in Kenmore and graduated from Clarence High School in 1995. At Clarence, he was a white letter winner in the school’s bowling league.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Brockport State College in 1999 and founded the university’s roller hockey club.

Mr. Sardina was certified to teach in both Western New York and Florida. He taught physical education at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Orchard Park from 2000 to 2003, then moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where he taught first grade in the Duval County Public Schools until 2008. At Pineville Elementary in Jacksonville, he was grade-level chairman. He returned to Clarence to be a substitute teacher this school year.

Mr. Sardina is survived by his parents, Ronald and Ellen, and a sister, Lauren Stover.

His funeral will be at 10:30 a. m. Friday in The Chapel at CrossPoint, 500 CrossPoint Parkway, Getzville.

SARDINA - Ronald C. May 4, 2009, age 32; beloved son of Ronald W. and Ellen V. (nee Barker) Sardina; caring brother of Lauren E. (Andrew) Stover; adored uncle of Alexander J. Stover; dear nephew of Anne (Pat) Bono, John (Joann), Joseph (Susan), Frank (Connie) and Jerry (Beverly) Sardina; also survived by many cousins. The family will be present on Wednesday and Thursday from 2-4 & 7-9 PM at the (Harris Hill Chapel) AMIGONE FUNERAL HOME INC., 8440 Main St., Clarence. Funeral Services will be held on Friday from The Chapel at Crosspoint, 500 Crosspoint Parkway, Getzville at 10:30 AM. Friends invited. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Rons name to Share your condolences at

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Erie County's Scanner Accuracy Law Revisited

When former County legislator Ray Dusza died recently few thought to mention that he was a champion for the Erie County Scanner Accuracy Law. Maybe the newspeople thought it was no longer in effect or deemed it irrelevant. They would be wrong.

From an old site of the Bureau of Weights and Measures (new site under construction):
"In Erie County, we enforce provisions of Local Law 7 (1997). At all establishments, which were granted a waiver from item pricing, the store is required to pay out a 'super refund' when a pricing error occurs. This is 10 times the amount of the error, not less than $1 or more than $10, plus the amount of the error. They are required to properly fill out the County's Price Discrepancy Report and give a copy to the consumer."
On February 18, 2008 I wrote about one of my frustrating experiences in questioning a store's scanner accuracy. It devolved into a show of dishonestly, in my opinion, even though I was legitimately mistaken. It could have been handled much much better.

Others have faced rudeness and hostility on occasion (the store faces penalties for errors). One woman emailed me about an experience at a supermarket in which she ended up leaving the entire cart of groceries because of the way her complaint was handled. I've been there. One recent commenter was told by the manager that he had never heard of the law. He must be new in retail management.

Any store that has applied for a waiver from item pricing must have a sign posted (click photo to enlarge). I also saw a permit at a downtown store that was kind enough to allow me to photograph the signs (poorly and with my image reflected). Hard to do with constant traffic in the doorway and also a friend passing through who stopped to talk and comment "What are you DOING?", but I managed :)

I called the Bureau of Weights and Measures myself yesterday and they reaffirmed that the law is still in effect. However not every item falls under this law and there are exemptions. They also said that anyone with any questions and/or complaints should call their office at 716-825-1310.

The Bureau exists to ensure that scales, gas pumps, scanners, and other things that we tend to take for granted are accurate. They're the best!

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's All About People

The month of May has been declared "Love Knows No Boundaries" month in WNY. The best explanation for the emotion connected with the title of the song comes from one of the widows:
“My husband isn’t here to tell me he loves me, but love knows no boundaries.”
There have been various fundraisers already connected with the Crash of Flight 3407. Some have been for the benefit of the families of the victims and those from Long Street. Still others are for a memorial to serve as a focus for grief and to honor the departed.

It's understandable that many realize that the ideal time to raise money for a memorial is close to the event when many just want to Do Something. The fundraisers also serve as a community healing of sorts. However, much like the laudable idea of an Extreme Makeover replacement house, things get murky when it comes to actually implementing things on other people's property.

The site of the crash is privately owned, and Karen Wielinski has already stated that she never wants a house to rebuilt there. Even if she is in favor of a permanent memorial there, there are maintenance and liability issues. It's the same even if the Town or a larger government were able to obtain the land. The lot next door is also vacant now. No word on their plans either.

Even if something were to be erected on the grounds of the Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Company at the gateway to Long Street or on the Four Corners a block away, many are going to want to go to The Spot. That's a fact, whether people are comfortable with that or not. There are still barricades on the entrances to Long Street and No Parking signs where none existed three months ago. They need to come down.

Many of the people of Clarence Center, especially those who have lived there their entire long lives, sincerely and understandably just want things to go back to the way they used to be. Not going to happen. The best thing is to move forward, and that includes a memorial. The location to be determined at a later date needs to balance between the needs and rights of those of the area and those coming to pay tribute, or (to be perfectly honest) to sightsee. Tough job.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Carl Schlager - RIP

Clarence alumnus Carl Schlager passed away suddenly April 30, 2009. Rest in peace. Condolences to the family, members of which I count as friends. From the Buffalo News:

SCHLAGER - Carl J. Sr. Age 64, of Akron, NY, suddenly April 30, 2009. Beloved husband of Lynda A. (nee Czarniak) of Akron; loving father of Donna (Joseph) Sawyer of Clarence, Carl (Tammy) Schlager Jr. of Akron, Dawn Sawyer (Greg) of Getzville, John Schlager at home and Denise (Adam) Reeb of Lockport; son of Frances Schalger of Clarence and the late Robert Schlager; brother of Robert J. Schlager of Clarence, Mary (Scott) Hemperly of Lockport and Randy A. (Suzanne) Schlager of Clarence; grandfather of Leonard Jr., Joseph Jr., Amanda, Amber, John Jr., Katelyn, Jenna and Julia; also survived by several nieces, nephews and many dear friends.

The family will be present Sunday, May 3rd from 2-4 and 7-9 PM to receive friends in the BERNHARDT FUNERAL HOME, 130 Main St., Akron. Friends are invited to join the family for funeral services on Monday, May 4th at 11 AM in the First Baptist Church of Clarence, 10790 County Rd., Clarence. Burial in Clarence Center Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to the church of which Carl was a member. He also was a member of the International Harvester Club Chapter #35 and the WNY Gas and Steam Engine Association.