County Legislator Gregory B. Olma and his wife, Annette Juncewicz, welcomed their first child into the world Sept. 11 -- the day of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
So Olma and Juncewicz, who had been debating for weeks what to name the baby, decided on one nobody could argue with.
Mira is a name with Slovak roots, derived from the word for peace.
"We decided to name her peace because of the tragic day on which she was born," Olma said of his new daughter. "It's the only appropriate name."
We can only hope Mira grows up in a world more peaceful than the one we've lived through the past couple of weeks.
Keeping his ID under his hat
Cattaraugus County Legislator James J. Snyder, R-Olean, a seasoned world traveler, was in his room at the Hilton hotel in Brussels, Belgium, at the time of the World Trade Center attack.
Snyder, owner of AAA Travel Service in Olean, was attending a convention of the Automobile Association of America.
After word of the attack, hotel security told him, if he intended to wander outside, "to be careful and not to look like an American."
For Snyder, who is 6 feet, 5 inches tall and a former basketball player at Syracuse University, it's hard not to stand out in a crowd.
"But I wasn't going to sit in a hotel room for five days," he said.
So he tried his best to tone down his American look. "I didn't wear my Buffalo Bills hat," he said.
Old Glory days rediscovered
Since when did patriotism become a hazard?
That's what Elissa Morganti Banas wants to know.
A few of her neighbors last week hung a large American flag between two trees over Cary Street, the bottom of it hanging 25 feet above the ground.
Throughout the week the neighbors heard much praise, especially from those walking to the vigil in Niagara Square last Sunday, said Banas, who's running for the 1st District seat in the Erie County Legislature.
Then city crews showed up Thursday and took the flag down. Apparently someone complained to the mayor's response team at City Hall that the flag hanging 25 feet off the ground was a hazard.
When Mayor Anthony M. Masiello learned what had happened, he instructed city employees to hang the flag back up.
Before the response team could return, firefighters at Ladder Company 9 had already put the flag up on Friday.
Cary Street resident Laird Robertson ran into the mayor at a function Thursday night, and he was impressed with the mayor's humor and approach to the whole episode.
"In a way only Tony could explain, he said, 'I wish those guys (on the response team) would respond as fast to more important things.' "
Hey, get your act together
Sometimes even the best of intentions go awry. How else can you explain the marquee at the North Park Theater on Hertel Avenue?
Eager to offer their support for the country, the folks at the North Park put "God Bless America" on the marquee.
One problem. Just below it is the name of the movie:
"Apocalypse Now Redux."
By Patrick Lakamp, with a contribution from Charity Vogel.