Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
• DOWNS AND UPS: Before the new Walmart Supercenter goes up, the old Lockport Mall must come down. So the ceremonial start of demolition earlier this week in the Town of Lockport took on a hopeful note, with a tinge of nostalgia.
“This is definitely a bittersweet moment for us,” Supervisor Marc Smith said at the official gathering. “A lot of us enjoyed a lot of happy hours here at this facility, but we’re also very excited to see change coming to this community.
Town Councilman Mark C. Crocker had what might be considered the quote of the day, though. Paraphrasing President Ronald Reagan, Crocker said: “Mr. Supervisor, tear down this mall!”
We applaud the fact that at long last, progress is being made, and agree with Town of Lockport officials that this is a significant step forward in establishing the South Transit business corridor as a regional shopping destination.
• SERVICE TO COUNTRY: A tip of the hat to U.S. Air Force Vietnam veteran Howard Bonkoske, whose story of serving our nation was told by reporter Bill Wolcott in Monday’s US&J as part of our ongoing series, “A Generation of Heroes.” Bonkoske’s tour in the Far East included assignments at Clark Air Base in the Philippines and Da Nang Air Base in Vietnam. After the war escalated in 1965, Bonkoske was in a crew that flew on daily missions and saw heavy fighting. “You’re an American, you should be proud of your country and serve,” Bonkoske said. We’re proud of Bonkoske, too.
• LET’S GO SABRES: For the second straight year, the Buffalo Sabres have made it into the Stanley Cup playoffs and raised the spirits of an entire community. They enter their first-round showdown against the Philadelphia Flyers with momentum on their side and the opportunity and ability to shock a lot of people. Add that to renewed hope under owner Terry Pegula and you have a team and community that’s already scored a victory.
• ENEMIES OF REFORM: State Senate Republicans, including George Maziarz of Newfane, got called out this week as “enemies of reform” by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch. Good for Koch, and shame on the GOP lawmakers for weaseling out of a promise to enact nonpartisan redistricting. Last year, while campaigning, Maziarz taunted his opponent for not signing Koch’s NY Uprising redistricting pledge. But oh, how things have changed. Now Maziarz says the GOP didn’t break the promise, they are pursuing reform their own way, as a permanent, constitutional amendment; he says the obstructionists are Democrats in the Assembly, who won’t go along with the GOP. Meanwhile, as usual, Democrats and Republicans are quibbling over the political makeup of a redistricting commission. Somehow, all that doesn’t sound like the makings of reform.