Lafayette’s Farewell Tour: The Great Central Trail Becomes The State Road

Bookmark and Share

Previous: Canandaigua Anxiously Waits Before Jubilation And An Elegant Supper

The Cayuga Bridge helped improve travel times on the Great Genesee Road, which eventually became Routes 5 & 20. Source: Barber, John W., and Howe, Henry, Historical collections of the state of New York, S. Tuttle, New York 1842, p. 79

As General Dwight D. Eisenhower led the Allied effort into the heart of the Nazi regime, he couldn’t help but notice the transportation infrastructure that strengthened the defense of his opponent. Hitler began construction of his Reichautobahn in the 1930s. Although designed primarily for civilian use, war reports during the Eisenhower’s push into Germany in 1944 and 1945 repeatedly referenced the autobahn, “Hitler’s Superhighway.”1

Impressed by these autobahns, Eisenhower proposed an interstate highway system once Continue Reading “Lafayette’s Farewell Tour: The Great Central Trail Becomes The State Road”

The Back Roads Of Morocco Greater Western New York

Bookmark and Share

Imagine The Awe That Filled Sullivan’s Soldiers As They First Set Eyes Upon The Fertile Flats Of The Genesee River Valley

Genesee River ValleyI had forgotten the beauty that is Greater Western New York. But for a tragic Thruway accident, I would not have been reminded.

I left early for Jamestown last week. But not too early. I couldn’t leave until I finished my weekly State of Greater Western New York Show. If you like trains, check it out at https://stateof.greaterwesternnewyork.com/ under Travel and Leisure. It’s an interview with Otto Vondrak, President of the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum in Rush.

After quickly packing up the car, I left shortly before 1pm. Before departing, I plugged my destination into my route finder. Since I was going to Jamestown to pick her up, Betsy wasn’t in the car to complain about my insistence on doing this, even though I know exactly how to get to her father’s house. If she was there, I would have told her what I have told her many times before, “Google Maps tells us if we need to reroute because of an accident.”

This was one of those times.

Continue Reading “The Back Roads Of Morocco Greater Western New York”

The Real News About Kathy Hochul Being New York State Governor

Bookmark and Share

You’ve probably read the headlines about Kathy Hochul “making history” by becoming the first woman to hold the position of New York State Governor.

If you’re like me, you cringe every time you see the appellation “first” applied to anyone. With the clear exception of sporting events, landing on the moon, and a few others, the term “first” seems more like a back-handed compliment. In today’s world of woke, it makes people wonder if “token” wouldn’t be a better description.

And that’s not fair.

I know. I’ve lived with this designation. The “first” Italian-American to do this… The “first” Catholic to do that… The “first” graduate of Gates-Chili high school to…

Each time, despite the apparent good intentions of various speakers of those words, it always felt condescending.

While I’m proud of my heritage, I didn’t want to be remembered merely as an Italian-Continue Reading “The Real News About Kathy Hochul Being New York State Governor”

What Do You Think An Independent Greater Western New York Should Look Like?

Bookmark and Share

Last week’s Commentary received an inordinate amount of positive feedback (see “It’s Time For Greater Western New York To Declare Its Own Independence,” Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, July 1, 2021). Since these came from a variety of sources on a plethora of platforms, it’s likely you haven’t had the opportunity to see them all.

Allow me to summarize.

It starts with a simple question:

“What do you think an independent Greater Western New York should look like?

OK, it turns out it’s not so simple as you might think. But at least it sounds straight-forward. While the answer to this question yields a spectrum of solutions, at least most Continue Reading “What Do You Think An Independent Greater Western New York Should Look Like?”

The Fantastical (Real-Life) Time Machine

Bookmark and Share

I had the pleasure of being invited to perform for Living History Day at SUNY Fredonia a couple of weeks ago. The all-day event features dozens of “acts.” It’s offered to hundreds of 7th graders from throughout the Greater Western New York region. They’re bussed in early in the morning and attend live demonstrations of everything from Seneca Indian dances to artillery cannon fire.

These 12-year-olds watch as regiments from the Revolutionary War (both sides), the War of 1812 and the Civil War (both sides) conduct their drills. They see real-life colonial cooking, frontier gaming, and homespun crafts. The learn from medicine women, Suffragettes, and military historians. They discover 18th century artifacts, 19th century women’s fashions, and 20th century genealogical grave hunting.

All this is done in period dress. Not just generic period dress, but actors dress as actual historical characters. I walked in with Harriet Tubman. Later I saw her talking to Abraham Lincoln. I could have sworn I saw a British general drinking coffee with Susan B. Anthony.

And they were all in costume. Even the civilians wore clothing of the era they represented. You can see from the pictures from the event. Everyone donned the fashion of the time from which they spoke and lived.

All except me.Continue Reading “The Fantastical (Real-Life) Time Machine”

Sorry, Mr. President, It’s Not “Flee” New York, It’s “Free” Western New York

Bookmark and Share

If you’re from Greater Western New York, you love it. That makes you part of a long tradition. American patriots felt the same way during the Revolutionary War. In 1779, George Washington dispatched General Sullivan to thwart the British and their Iroquois allies based in Western New York from continuing their lethal terror attacks on the small towns and settlements along the edge of the then New York frontier. When Sullivan’s troops first laid eyes on the beautiful landscape, they immediately knew where they wanted to spend the rest of their lives: Western New York.

Why would you be any different? And yet, living in Western New York too often becomes a burden. Although not as bad as it was decades ago, outsiders continue to disrespect our region. We’ve been the butt of late-night TV jokes. Organizations routinely bypass our bounty, lured by promised riches from others. Even our own state leaders forsake us. We’ve seen this as recently as when the New York-Albany axis decided to use our Continue Reading “Sorry, Mr. President, It’s Not “Flee” New York, It’s “Free” Western New York”

Cuomo Courts Amazon with Our Money

Bookmark and Share

Let’s get this disclosure out of the way first. We use Amazon. We’re Amazon Prime members. Our parent company, Pandamensional Solutions, Inc., uses Amazon print and distribution services for the books it publishes. In all, we spend a lot of money at Amazon and Amazon generates revenue for us. We have certainly benefited from Amazon.

That being said, we don’t think New York State taxpayers will benefit from Andrew Cuomo’s terrible deal to bring Amazon to his state. Enough was revealed when Amazon announced its decision to “split the baby in half” and create two “second headquarters” instead of one. The “lucky” winners were Long Island City in New York and Arlington in Virginia. Amazon promises to hire 25,000 employees at each location. In addition, the on-line retail behemoth also declared it would open a smaller regional hub in Nashville, Tennessee (where they will hire 5,000).

As we said last year (“This is How the Greater Western New York Region Should Respond If Amazon Picks Another Option,” Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, October 26, 2017), bowing to Amazon’s extortion-like tactics was absolutely a terrible idea. We stand by our Continue Reading “Cuomo Courts Amazon with Our Money”

New Tax Law Shows Cuomo Tone Deaf to Needs of Greater Western New York

Bookmark and Share

Many overtaxed residents of Greater Western New York looked at the 2017 Tax Reform Law as an opportunity to spur Albany into finally aligning its policies to make our state more business friendly. Our region has been particularly hard hit.

A December 28, 2017 report from Channel 13 said several Mark’s Pizzeria locations closed. A local stock market analyst said these closures were the result of the new minimum wage law which requires all fast food chains with at least 30 locations to up their hourly rate to $12.75. Mark’s closed just enough locations to leave it with 29 stores. Coincidence? The founder of Salvatore’s Pizza told 13WHAM they won’t be expanding because of the 30 store rule.Continue Reading “New Tax Law Shows Cuomo Tone Deaf to Needs of Greater Western New York”

Are You a Loyalist or A Rebel?

Bookmark and Share

img_3810On a late Winter morning in 1775, William French woke up for the last time. The lively 22 year old lived in the Town of Bennington, a municipality only five years older than the young adult. Self-named by Benning Wentworth, Governor of New Hampshire, the small hamlet lay on the west side of the Connecticut River, nestled in the broad curve of the oxbowing waterway in the fertile eastern valley beneath the Green Mountains. French walked that afternoon of March 13th along King’s Highway until he reached the farm house of an eccentric old patriot by the name of Capt. Axariah Wright. There he met Daniel Houghton and nearly 100 other men. They were there to tackle a pressing problem.

Continue Reading “Are You a Loyalist or A Rebel?”

Western New York a State? Why Not?

Bookmark and Share

Author of 50 Hidden Gems of Greater Western New York to speak at Arcade Free Library

Why did Vermont split from New York State following the Revolutionary War but why didn’t Western New York do the same thing? On Saturday, October 17th at 11am, Posterthe Arcade Free Library will host a talk by Christopher Carosa, author of 50 Hidden Gems of Greater Western New York. Mr. Carosa will share the results of his research on this topic and other related fun facts and trivia concerning our wonderful region. “Western New York a State? Why Not”

Several weeks ago a group of Upstate New Yorkers met outside of Binghamton to discuss the idea of Upstate becoming its own state (they want to call it “New Amsterdam”). These New Yorkers are following in the footsteps of people in California and Colorado, who are also exploring how they could duplicate what West Virginia did and form their own state. Among the questions Mr. Carosa will answer includes:Continue Reading “Western New York a State? Why Not?”

You cannot copy content of this page

Skip to content