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My View


By Paul Steffan Sometime in the summer of 1976 our family TV experience changed forever. International Cable was finally available on our street and we eagerly signed up, hungry for ESPN and Buffalo Sabres games. I’ll never forget the “semi” remote controller, a white box about the size of an iPad Mini that had about 20 feet of cord that connected to the box at th…

By Deborah A. Dickinson-Deacon Life is full of boxes from birth to death. It is hard to imagine life without them. There is a new health-related initiative to use baby boxes, instead of cribs, to avoid SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Playpens are box-shaped and meant to prevent the child from wandering into unsafe areas of the home. My playpen from the 1950s had…

By Burt Siemens Way long ago, we neighborhood kids argued over whether we had to stand if we hear “The Star Spangled Banner” on the radio, even when alone in our room. I think we resolved the issue with what teachers in those days called fisticuffs. Time and again it seems we must re-examine the protocols for respecting our symbols of patriotism. We must decide a…

By Lynn Magdol To save the planet, we have choices in how we live our daily lives. We pride ourselves on being a free country, and in fact we do have choices. However, they are not entirely free. Whoever once said there is no free lunch was right – every choice comes with a price. When I think about my own choices, this is crystal clear. Take transportation, for in…

By Lori Duvall-Jackson One of our department’s graduate students showed up at my office door, dressed up and smiling from ear to ear. He handed me a paper, the document that attested he had met all departmental requirements to earn his Ph.D. degree. He had come right from his dissertation defense, the last step in a long march to academic success. “Well, I gues…

By Doug Routt Former fighter pilots and weapons systems operators (WSOs) from the 136th Fighter Squadron at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station held a get-together to celebrate Oktoberfest 2017. The assemblage was a far cry from the once-virile stud muffin group of hard-bodied aces that had slipped the surly bonds of Earth, but you could tell the spirit and camaraderie we…

By Vickie Rubin His nickname was Mr. Handsome, and although I loved him, I also knew he wasn’t that handsome. But he was beautiful to me from his skinny legs to his unique crimped tail. He was sometimes called Stick-dog, a more accurate portrayal; however, his given name was Cicero. Cicero was our first Italian greyhound. The breed is also referred to as “I.G.…

By Ed Dunlop Pain entered my life in a big way 12 years ago after a failed foot operation. I soon learned that help to combat the resulting chronic pain was elusive at best. Through years of beating the bushes in search of a competent pain doctor, I miraculously discovered a resourceful specialist from China. She immediately set about releasing me from the agony of m…

By Al Bruno Coaching our city’s high school students in sports is more than just a part-time job. Importantly, it is a privilege that requires unwavering dedication and commitment because the kids deserve our professional best. This calling to coach should summon something special from inside of the coaches’ thinking processes, emotionally and even spiritually, I…

By Angela Jonathan November is Native American Heritage Month – a time to celebrate native history, culture and traditions. I started at a new school in Niagara Falls in 1969. We were well removed from the old days, but I suppose kids were still watching John Wayne and Western movies. I got all dressed up for my first day of third grade with Mrs. DiCamillo at 24…

By Howard R. Wolf I first came to Cascais in Portugal many years ago as an American college student with literary aspirations. I had read Ernest Hemingway’s novel, “The Sun Also Rises,” set in Spain, and John Dos Passos’ “The Best Times: An Informal Memoir.” Dos Passos’ grandfather, Manoel dos Passos, emigrated to America from the town of Ponto do Sol o…

By Liam O’Mahony Conventional wisdom dictates middle children often feel excluded. When you are between two sisters, some might view that as a dual quandary; yet mine are the quintessential sisters of unyielding support, congeniality and non sequitur humor. My older sister, aka “Mom #2,” is four years my senior and my other sister is one year younger. They no l…

By Janice Schlau Gospodyni, I recently learned, is my name in Polish. Loosely, it translates to kitchen chieftain or guide and director of kitchen events. From my post as chef at St. John Gualbert rectory for the past three years, this work, I admit, is at once challenging, surprising and rewarding. Michelina, a business associate of mine and a law student from Wrocl…

By Mitchell B. Steinhorn In my line of work, I have the pleasure of meeting all types of people from across America. The conversations are wide-ranging and I learn a lot of things by just listening. One of the most unique things I’ve learned from many of these meetings is how seemingly different professions share a lot of the same qualities. Over time, I realized t…

By Steve Banko My wife and I have been fortunate enough to travel a bit in our retirement. We’ve seen the great cathedrals in Rome, Florence and Assisi, Italy. We’ve seen St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna and in Budapest, and Notre Dame in Paris. Each of these magnificent structures is an exquisite attempt by man to show honor and…