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Politics aside, there was something refreshing about Satish Mohan in 2005. He ran for Amherst town supervisor promising the one thing that we all seem to want but are afraid of at the same time: change. It was enough to get him elected, but that mandate for change did him no good once he was sworn in and had to get to work. As I write in my column today, the facts suggest …

   Every town used to have a theater like The Palace in Hamburg. The memories of those movie experiences come flooding back when you walk in, which is a big part of its allure, and a big reason I wanted to write a column about it.    But Jay Ruof isn't content to bring in nostalgia-seekers only; he also is trying to thrive in a highly competitive e…

   It was a moment Amherst property owners were warned was coming. They were told to be calm, to exhibit understanding - to believe that their taxes weren't going to go through the roof.    But the reaction was anything but once the notices starting arriving last week telling plenty of residents that the value of their property had skyrocketed…

I drove to Clarence Center Sunday for the first time since the plane crash. I'm not sure why. There was no way I would have gone when the investigation into the crash was still going on or when parts of the plane were still there, but a part of me just felt the need to see the site. After I read "A Time to Die," Tom Wicker's incredible insider account&#…

    I'll admit that my approach to snow removal is different from most, having learned long ago that no matter how much we get, it will all be gone by May, June at the absolute latest. So I shovel only as much as I absolutely have to.    Apparently some of you are a little more unhappy and stressed about it, and take out your fr…

   Shortly after I left the luncheon at Charlotte Avenue Elementary School that I described in my column today,  I got an email from board member Matt Dills. Dills said he walked away from the event a "better person."    Quoting from him: "I hope through your column that other boards will borrow on our small idea and start a &qu…

   The way Joyce Gramza related what happened to her dog appears to paint a picture of a heartless cop in a nasty suburban department imposing an arbitrary rule on behalf of an uncaring neighborhood. And it's easy to understand her grief, having lost her canine companion of 13 years.    The reality is a little more complicated. It always is. But th…

   It's possible to look at the Town of Tonawanda's plan to spend $1.3 million on a new building for its recreation department as an example of how government should operate. Rather than continuing to throw rent money down a black hole, town officials want to do something that in the long run should save taxpayers money.    But Councilman Dan Crangle u…

   In my column today, I took a few light-hearted stabs at what 2009 has in store for us. (As grim as some of the more reality-based predictions are, I thought light-hearted would be a good change of pace.)    How about you? Care to take a guess at what awaits us in the coming 12 months?    --- Bruce Andriatch

  Ice is a hot topic in Hamburg.    Nearly 100 residents turned out for a meeting about a proposed new rink on Wednesday, the first official look at an idea that has been discussed for more than a year.    A partnership consisting of ex-Sabre star Dave Andreychuk and Hamburg resident Jeff Walker is the sole bidder. They propose to build a compani…

   Every year, school boards fall over themselves applauding their efforts to keep tax rate increases down to 3 or 4 percent. A budget proposal that will keep the programs in place and increase you tax bill by "only" $20 or $30 is cause for celebration.    Those will indeed seem like the good old days in May.    Barring an economi…

   There are 17 public schools in Western New York that offer boys varsity ice hockey.    Yet despite the hundreds of girls who strap on helmets and skates for community recreation leagues throughout the region, not a single school-sponsored varsity ice hockey program is available to public school girls.    Not fair, say female hockey player…

   You only appreciate a good night's sleep when you stop getting it.    The people complaining about the noise coming from restaurants that operate drive-through windows that are open 24 hours a day understand this all too well.    Williamsville is considering banning them, but that is a proposed law that seems unlikely to withstand the exp…

   Amherst is starting up a pilot program to see how much it would cost the town to assume responsibility for clearing residents' sidewalks along the busiest major roadways in Amherst.    The program might ultimately lead to the creation of sidewalk districts in Amherst, which would essentially result in homeowners being charged a fee or tax in exchang…

In compliance with a resolution passed earlier this year, the Amherst town Web site has posted all employee's salaries.  The workers' names aren't included, which is OK. What Amherst taxpayers are getting is transparency — solid information about how their money is being spent. Because, let's face it, it is hard to gauge whether you are getting your money's worth i…