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Off Main Street: You’ve got to know when to hold it

Hold it and fight pollution

Spring is coming and the pitter-patter of the rain might hasten the urge to potty.

But, hold it right there.

Ever think when you flush the toilet or take a shower during stormy weather, you’re adding to the pollution of area creeks and streams?

It’s true.

Take the storm two weeks ago. With the inch of rain came the expected overflows of 30 or more area wastewater treatment plants.

The sewer plants – inundated by excess storm water that infiltrates the system from illegally attached downspouts, sump pumps and storm drains, not to mention cracks in old underground sewer lines – aren’t able to treat all that water, which is mixed with the suds from the tub and the poo in the loo.

In many cases, all of it bypasses treatment.

It’s one more thing to contemplate as we cope with living in an area rife with rickety sewer infrastructure.

Path of least resistance

Earlier this week, an intrepid colleague paid a visit to the Cheektowaga police station on Union Road, where he came upon a massive floor mat emblazoned with a huge seal that also serves as the insignia of the department.

Nothing out of the ordinary there. But, upon a more careful inspection of the giant rug, he also noticed a sign preceding the seal that read: Department Seal. Please keep off.

As the width of the floor mat was nearly the same as the doorway to which it led, and the seal upon the rug was just a tad narrower, the reporter was forced, momentarily, to stop in his tracks. Should he trudge forward, trampling the seal with abandon as he reached for the double doorway ahead? Or would it be wiser to just tiptoe around the edges of the mat?

He was in a police station, after all, so he kept on the right side of the law.

Dark matter returned to light

A concert in the dark is one thing, but a lecture in the dark?

That didn’t appear to faze the packed house Thursday at Kleinhans Music Hall when a blown transformer plunged the venue into darkness. It happened right before author Louise Erdrich was ready to speak at the 9th annual Babel series sponsored by Just Buffalo Literary Center.

Without the benefit of a working microphone, Babel Director Laurie Dean Torrell appealed to the assembled gathering for its patience as an emergency generator was set up to provide partial power.

In the meantime, patrons used their cellphones as impromptu flashlights as security escorted others to the restrooms. Twenty minutes later the show was back on, in a little dimmer environment than initially planned, which took none of the glow off the guest lecturer’s presentation. Erdrich is the author of 14 novels, including the Pulitzer Prize nominated “The Plague of Doves.”

You oughta be in pictures

Extra! Extra! A local movie shoot needs extras to come down to East Aurora this weekend.

Prolific film director Fred Olen Ray filmed his last movie, “Small Town Prince,” in the village a year ago February. Olen is back for his third production to be filmed in the region, another movie with a Christmas theme. The working title of this one is “The Apprentice,” and stars Howard Hesseman, best known for playing disc jockey Johnny Fever on the 1970s era sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati.

Extras for the film must be at least 18 years old, dressed in cold weather clothing: coats, gloves, hats and boots. Lunch will be provided. Interested parties should show up by 8:15 a.m. Saturday at the East Aurora Chamber of Commerce office, 652 Main St. The shoot will last until 5 p.m., and resume at 8:15 a.m. Sunday in the Appian Way & Roycroft Antiques Building on the Roycroft Campus and last until 2 p.m.

Break a leg.

Off Main Street is written by Harold McNeil, with contributions by T.J. Pignataro, Aaron Besecker and Michelle Kearns.