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   A study commissioned by Erie County found no justification - based on state criteria, anyway - for keeping traffic signals at three Town of Tonawanda intersections: two on Elmwood Avenue and one on Colvin Boulevard.    Even the town police chief said he didn't foresee a safety problem if they were replaced with stop signs on the side streets. To the…

   Because of the way electrical power is organized by grids, National Grid spokesman Steve Brady said last week that it would be impossible to say whose power was out the longest during the October storm. He was pretty sure, however, that it had to be somewhere in Snyder.    I asked around informally and heard many people say they were without power o…

   With immigration a hot topic, the use - and some say, abuse -of migrant labor by Western New York farmers is equally controversial.    Agriculture industry representatives say migrants are essential to bringing in the crops, since locals have no interest in the temporary, minimum wage jobs. But enforcement of immigration laws often means even a migr…

   My big brother used to go up to the wings on the back tail of the airplane. So did other kids. Every time we went, I swore that I would join them. I never did. It was too high.    That plane represents a powerful childhood memory for me and - apparently - for a lot of people. Where else could you go to actually climb on top of an airplane or slid…

   A 117-patio home community in Amherst is gaining attention because of one distinct amenity it has that no other development in town shares - gates.    As noted in Wednesday's story, the new Greythorne development, off of Main Street between Youngs Road and Hampton Hill Drive, will have unmanned gates at the entry points to the private development, a…

   Tell parents their children might be going to a different school next year, and you hear about it.     About 100 attended an Orchard Park School Board meeting last week when a plan to redistrict the four elementary schools was presented, and 125 showed up Tuesday night to talk more about it.     The talk was the SIMS equivalent of NIMBY— …

   If you walked everywhere when you were a kid, and you now live in a place where being a pedestrian could be a life-and-death decision, you might find yourself getting nostalgic over sidewalks.    You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.    It's true that our lives and our lifestyles are more about cars and driving than they were 30 …

    OK, pop quiz time.    How many of you have ever done a write-in vote at a polling station?    And how many of you live in Orchard Park?    That's where the "opportunity to ballot" - known as the write-in to those who don't work for the Board of Elections - has been used most in the past couple of years, particularly…

   I love my garbage tote. So do a lot of people. My father loves his so much, he jokingly says he wants to live in it.    There is much to love about them. No more lugging cans to the curb. No more wondering whether they're blowing down the street on a windy day. No more lids disappearing. No more raccoon parties out by the street.    But h…

   If you have happy childhood memories of campfires or bonfires, the idea of an outdoor fire pit likely appeals to you.    If you live next door to someone who has one going all the time, maybe appeal is not the right word. "Bothered" might be better. "Sickened," perhaps. "Driven out of my mind by the constant smoke," m…

   If you've ever decided against going on a trip because you don't want to leave your cat behind or you've thought, "How could I have fun in some exotic land knowing that Rover is in a kennel?" you're not alone.    And now the market has caught up with you.    A pet hotel could be the way to go. In fact, from the sounds of these p…

   In the Republican primary for Amherst, six-term incumbent Council Member Bill Kindel finished last among five candidates. The veteran lawmaker has apparently worn out his welcome among those who feel that new blood is needed to get results on the Town Board.   The primary was a victory for the Amherst Republican Party, whose slate of endorsed candida…

   Imagine you build a house in a beautiful neighborhood. One of the things you love about it is that your kids will be able to walk to school, which is so close you can see them outside your kitchen window.   Now imagine that you get the word from the district that your kids won't be going to that school, but to a less crowded one a few miles away. Ins…

   Tim Hortons is just a little bit like Wal-Mart: Nobody wants one in their neighborhood, but it seems like everybody goes there.    Members of the Lancaster Town Board on Monday did what we all seem to have a hard time doing - they said no to Tim Hortons. In this case, it was a proposal to build one on Transit Road and Michael Anthony Lane. Residents…

Even with a program, it's hard to tell the players in Amherst's tricky Town Board races  this year. On the surface, party labels might suggest Democrats support Democrats and Republicans are working for their own.But since the the arrival of Supervisor Satish Mohan two years ago, the political cross currents are running strong.   Examples:  * Council Me…