T.J. Pignataro - The Buffalo News

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T.J. Pignataro - Buffalo, NY

Environment Reporter for The Buffalo News since 2013. News Staff Reporter since 1998. Previous beat assignments included suburban coverage in WNY and the News' bureau at Buffalo Police HQ. Former staff reporter at the Altoona Mirror (1997-98) and Dunkirk Observer (1995-97), and assistant news director at WBTA-1490, Batavia (1994-95).


George Ord has never met John Glenn, but John Glenn owes his most famous breaths to George Ord.Ord, an East Aurora resident, developed the oxygen pressure regulator, the key component in allowing Glenn to breathe during the first U.S. manned space mission 36 years ago.Now, nearly four decades later, their similarities in achievement are remarkable. Glenn, a 77-year-old U.S…

The decision to proceed with a $1.4 million water improvement project in the town of Aurora now rests in the hands of residents.A referendum by paper ballot began Wednesday as the town called on affected homeowners to vote for or against a project that provides for water system improvements and the installation of transmission lines on East Main Street and Glenridge Avenue…

For the fourth consecutive year Town of Aurora residents will see no increase in town taxes under a 1999 budget unanimously adopted Monday by the Town Board.The $5.1 million total budget holds town taxes steady at $3.88 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Residents in the Village of East Aurora also will pay the same rate as this year, $2.05.The tax rate for both has been id…

She puts up signs, but they are torn down.She erects barricades, but they are pushed over.For JoAnn Schaaf, the parking problem in a vibrant East Aurora business district has the Elm Street antique shop owner at wit's end.And soon, if the usual surge of traffic into one of Western New York's most popular holiday communities is any indication, it's not going to get any easi…

The East Aurora properties comprising the Historic Roycroft Campus will never meet the fate of a wrecking ball unless the Village Board says so, under a resolution passed by the board Monday.Village Board members unanimously approved the measure designating all of the properties on the campus individual local historic landmarks and, collectively, a local historic district.…

Area residents have packed up their prized relics from walls, coffee tables and attics for a decade now, carting them down for the annual Heirloom Appraisal Day in the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Museum.Saturday was no exception.Paintings, antique china, jewelry and furniture were among many of the items that were studied by the 11 volunteer appraisers on ha…

A proposal from some Republican Assembly candidates has prompted a sharp rebuke from at least one Democratic incumbent.The issue involves a GOP-championed proposal to accelerate a 1997 measure calling for dramatic cuts in the state's Gross Receipts Tax, known as GRT, on electric utilities, telecommunications and phone companies.Saturday, outside the Mahoney State Office Bu…

After an emotional candlelight vigil at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Friday evening, about 150 patients, survivors and friends boarded buses bound for the nation's Capitol bearing messages of hope and a plea for help.Margi and Melanie Stachowiak of Lancaster are part of that message being delivered in a march on the National Mall today. They will join thousands of oth…

Tee time reservations on a new $4 million upscale golf course in the Town of Cheektowaga were as good as made Tuesday as the Town Board approved a lease agreement with a private developer on the long-awaited facility.The 18-hole course, to be developed on 165 acres of land bounded by Genesee Street, Rehm Road and Sonwil Drive, has a projected opening date of June 2000. It …

School bells are still quiet, classroom chalkboards clean and desks empty -- at least for 10 more days. But that doesn't mean there wasn't plenty of learning going on for city schoolchildren Saturday morning.Several hundred preschool and kindergarten pupils arrived in droves with their parents at the Buffalo Public Schools' first school bus open house in the parking lot of…

It's a trophy vessel, and Buffalo's waterfront is its mantle this weekend.Saturday, visitors lined sidewalks at Erie Basin Marina waiting for a chance to board the schooner America and have a look at the digs on "the most famous racing yacht in history."In it's maiden voyage to Buffalo as part of the third-annual Fleet Waterfest, the America did not disappoint."We drove 65…

A Washington, D.C., man who had been on the run from a federal prison in Ohio for more than a month was arrested by authorities Thursday afternoon while bicycling on the East Side.Ronald Holmes, 40, was taken into custody by Erie County sheriff's deputies and U.S. marshals at 3:45 p.m. on Alexandria Street. Authorities said they were tipped off to Holmes' whereabouts by a …

It reads far more like a requisition form for a combat-bound military outfit than a list of stolen property.Machine guns, bayonets and bombs are included on the three-page list of items stolen Aug. 3 during a burglary at American Legion Troop I, 432 Franklin St.The ordnance taken represents the Legion's entire collection of nearly three dozen military relics dating from th…

For years, he's been singing about friends in low places.He underestimated.At least 106,000 friends of country music phenomenon Garth Brooks turned out Saturday at area ticket counters to sell out a string of six shows that will span Sept. 23-28. Brooks was originally supposed to perform just one concert -- with the option for a couple more. But he and his promoters kept a…

The Republic of China on Taiwan has 21.7 million inhabitants and the 19th-largest economy on Earth.But it has no representation in the United Nations, and that needs to change soon, according to a Taiwanese delegation that visited Buffalo Tuesday."Our strategy is to let our voice be heard," said Ben Shao, the executive information officer for the New York City-based Taipei…