Niagara Gazette

Columns

July 4, 2013

From the 'America's Car Show' newsroom

Niagara Gazette — Editor’s Note: The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom’s Corner will appear in Thursday’s editions. 

More research confirms the danger of talking oncell phone while driving

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety just conducted a new distracted-driving study, again confirming the presence and crash risk of cognitive distraction. The human brain is incapable of performing at the same time the tasks necessary to safely operate a motor vehicle while engaged in other cognitively demanding tasks such as a phone conversation or speech to text.

The NHTSA has observed 10 percent of all drivers at any given moment, are distracted by a cell phone. When this level of exposure to risk is combined with the degree of risk as defined in the AAA Foundation study, it is easy to understand why cell phone distracted driving has become a public health epidemic, poised to only get worse. If you see a person on a cell phone while driving, get away from them.

•••

Oh the price of parking these days!

In the ridiculous category: Lisa Blumenthal a Boston resident recently plunked down $560,000 at auction to purchase two parking spots within the city limits. The spots were up for auction because the IRS seized them from a man who owed back taxes. The former owner of the tandem spots paid $50,000 for them in 1993.

Bidding for the spots started at a relatively reasonable $42,000, but quickly shot up to $200,000. Just two bidders remained once the asking price crossed the $500,000 mark, with Blumenthal outlasting her only competitor. “I really wanted them, but there was a limit,” the losing bidder told The Boston Globe. Just four years ago a single parking space in the same neighborhood set a new record when it sold for $300,000.

•••

Ford recall

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Columns
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  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

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  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Ortt jumps on drive to repeal the SAFE Act It was a no-brainer for North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate for the 62nd Senate District seat, to join the forces to repeal the state's SAFE Act.

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  • Verplank: Turn back the clock at the Porter Cup

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  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Tourists attracted here by history, beauty, politics As my friend and colleague, writer Don Glynn has so artfully portrayed over the decades, "For many years after the dawn of aviation, U.S. presidents visiting Western New York started at the Niagara Falls Airport. The reason: The main runway here was longer than that of the Buffalo airport and could easily accommodate Air Force One, the presidential aircraft."

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  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: A constitutional convention is not the answer For the past few years it has been popular for folks of the right persuasion (Republicans and neoconservatives) to call for a constitutional convention ("Con-Con") in hopes of passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA.) A lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon; no doubt your email inbox or Facebook news feeds have shown that.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Scheer, Mark mug CITY DESK: Hobel will be missed

    Lost in all the hoopla surrounding last week’s announced retirement of state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, was the loss of another well-known figure in local government and politics.

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  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: More pastors, a new church and more of everything Before I go further back in time, I want to just go back to last week where I took my own advice and spent a couple of hours at the Como, where I enjoyed one of their traditional "parade of bowls and plates of great salads, pasta and meat dishes" and listened to longtime friends of Tom Darro roast him with humor, accolades and best wishes. And best of all no one who came to the microphone mentioned garbage totes or carts. It was a welcome relief.

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  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Border Patrol chief examines deadly acts A former Buffalo police chief now has the formidable task of reviewing cases where border agents have used deadly force.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Nostalgia for nostalgia: Where will it end? Not only has there been a huge nostalgia boom in America, but we're now getting to the point where there's much nostalgia for nostalgia! Maybe signifying that nostalgia will wear itself out, or, as in the old adage, that it ain't what it used to be?

    July 20, 2014

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