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The peak of the beautiful fall foliage display is on its way and it seems everyone wants to photograph this event. With everyone carrying a camera in their back pocket now it is very convenient to take pictures, but does a smart phone give you the best results?

Flu season is upon us. The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Most seasonal flu activity typically occurs between October and May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February.

Iowa is represented in the U.S. House by three Republicans and one Democrat. After last year's census, an independent advisory commission drew a new map that reaffirmed the current balance, but made one of the Republican districts slightly more competitive.

I took a drive out to Clarence for a bike ride with friends this past Sunday while killing time before the Bills game.

A whodunnit in Oakwood Cemetery revolves around two brothers-in-law, Van Rensselaer Pearson and Thomas Vedder.

Here's another episode from the journals of this past summer spent on the St. Lawrence River. I know I've already chronicled many stories about my time there, but there remains, ladies and gentlemen, a plethora of anecdotes untold. Tales that I would be remiss — and charged with neglect, sen…

Hello everyone — I'm back, not as often as before (my choice) but I missed writing to all of you. And many of you wanted me to spend some time with you. We shall start with once a month for now.

If Mark Zuckerberg seems irritable, he has good reason. His Facebook Empire is facing a digital scandal provoked by a former employee turned whistleblower.

Two weeks ago I published a column about the corruption scandal at Western Region Off-Track Betting (OTB). This included new evidence uncovered in an audit by the New York State Comptroller. It is a story about people who occupy highly-paid public positions giving themselves expensive ticket…

Last month a nominal number of people assembled on the steps of Niagara Falls City Hall with colorful handcrafted placards in protestation against vaccine mandates. Some were health care workers, some were not. Health care workers who have refused COVID-19 vaccines and claiming religious obj…

I’m far from an economist, not to mention business type. I lack any credentials in this department, except to say (echoing the common sense of millions) that there should be more laissez-faire in this realm. Much more than the Biden administration’s been giving us and contemplating.

I wrote a piece on turkey vultures last year but didn’t cover all the neat things about them then. You see, the turkey vulture doesn’t kill other wildlife or really cause humans any problems. Most folks don’t pay much attention to these birds as they soar high in the sky; we only get a close…

Tip O’Neil, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, famously said “all politics is local.” Historically, this meant that an elected leader’s success was often tied to their ability to relate to the everyday concerns of those who elect them into office. It’s a simple yet powerful …

Home improvement is a matter of common sense. Everyone wants a new kitchen or bathroom. Both are really expensive.

I had a doctor's appointment in August. Actually, I had two different doctor appointments. Problem was, I was at the St. Lawrence River, 250 miles away. That meant taking a break from the pleasurable lifestyle of a river rat, with which I'd become quite comfortable.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence affects millions of women and men and it does not discriminate. Prior to the pandemic up to one in three women and one in four men experienced some form of domestic violence by their partners. As we sheltered at home during the …

Heading to the polls can be a daunting task. If you are someone who tries to remain nonpartisan and unbiased, it can be difficult to make a decision about “who” to vote for. That voting stress can rise when you are faced with “what” to vote for.

What’s the old adage? That we “civilians” all have our own occupations and that of showbiz, too? I.e., many of us think – maybe more particularly as we age – that we could have been “contendahs” in one aspect or another of the fame-inducing life (TV, movies, Broadway, the music industry, you…

It won’t be long now before the beautiful colors of fall show up. If you get excited about the gorgeous display like I do, you can enjoy it twice every year, each time with a slightly different show. Leaves in the Adirondacks always peak before they do in Western New York. A trip up there on…

Voting is a sacred responsibility that every citizen has to ensure that their voice is heard in terms of selecting representatives and voting on proposed referendums.

"Stop the Steal" has a new and critical meaning.

When I was a young reporter, I worked for the Gloversville Leader-Herald. I was based out of the Northville bureau in Fulton County on the Great Sacandaga Lake.

My wife, Kathie, dog Maggie and I spent most of this past summer at our camp on the St. Lawrence River. We grew up in that area (Ogdensburg) and it was nice being in and around our childhood stomping grounds.

I write not to praise anyone or to bury them, but to comment on the world’s most valuable, and only non-renewable, resource, that of time.

An audit released last week by the New York State Comptroller confirmed what has been widely reported before: Officials at Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (OTB) have been doling out lavish gifts to themselves and their friends, at the people’s expense. The agency is run by a l…

It’s hard these days to claim the exalted status of “normality,” a rare wine, indeed. But thankfully, I’ve known a few people who come pretty darned close. Maybe I should simply have called this piece “The Effort Toward Normality.”

Everyone seemed to enjoy my old stories of Drummer Boy, so I thought another old story was in order. This story is much, much older though. The information here was gathered from the files of another outdoor writer, Don “Cookie” Cook, who wrote the “Back Page” for the old Medina Journal-Regi…

OK, Joe, it's time to get serious. Are you really ready to protect our political system or not?

What does it take for people to realize that taking steps to preserve the lives of our families, friends and neighbors is vital to making America great?

I have served in modern worship ministry for over 20 years, as a worship leader, background vocalist, keyboard player and recording artist. It has been an inspiring journey of worship and praise. While the foundation of my life in music ministry was built on traditional hymns, choirs and cla…

I became a writer because it comes easily. Anytime I sit down, my fingers have the urge to stumble across a keyboard in some chaotic pattern unique to me. Words flow. I think all 10 digits are involved but I can’t say so because I watch the screen, not my fingers.

A year ago when we were still in the midst of the pandemic’s peak, one of the saddest sights I saw was the playground at Roy B. Kelley Elementary School. The playground equipment was ribboned off with yellow plastic tape, the kind they use at crime scenes. There were no children. There was n…

It was one of those things I had never heard of, yet 10 minutes later it seemed I could not live without: satellite radio. Car radio music without commercials but in a broad assortment of categories, and all the sports and news chatter I could handle. Six months of it came free with a new ca…

I’ve battled migraines since my senior year of high school.

Today’s Nancy, Chuck (“everything’s on the table”), and others like them remind me somewhat of the French Revolution’s Girondins, who did much to push that conflagration into a higher, more lethal gear. Who were these radical-sounding, “playing the game” types of yore?

Every year as apple harvest begins, the questions about apple varieties start to flow in. How many varieties do you grow? Why so many? What are they used for? Those questions usually start the conversations.

Notice how the days are getting shorter and there are not as many hummingbirds around? Some wildlife species, like Caspian terns and ospreys, have already left the area and headed south for the winter. Soon there will be many kinds of waterfowl moving through the Alabama Swamp and other larg…

When President Biden announced vigorous new rules, designed to vastly increase the number of Americans inoculated against COVID-19, he warned the nation's vaccine deniers: "We've been patient. But our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us."

Students have returned to classrooms in varying degrees of joy or despair. Since it’s time to renew our enthusiasm for all things academic, let’s brush up our knowledge of the Father of Our Schools in Niagara Falls, James Fullerton Trott.

Niagara Falls High School got some bad press last week. Sure, eight fights involving 21 girls seems significant. So does one young man posting a false media report that went viral because of an irresponsible web site sharing a fake photo.

Not long ago, I was walking from a store in the downtown area to my truck. As I passed a disheveled, elderly lady pushing a shopping cart, I avoided the urge to quip “I think dairy is in aisle 6.” Instead, I pushed the caustic remark aside and simply said, “I wonder if it will rain.”

It takes a generation or two, the technical term being “perspective,” for history to begin analyzing and then commenting on events. We’ll still be in our masks by then, I suspect, but the tally regarding the current pandemic will include the typical ludicrous anecdotes about how the world co…

Back in 1928, Herbert Hoover wanted a “car in every garage.” If he were alive today, with that goal realized, his new slogan might be a “kayak in every garage.” Kayaks are everywhere. It seems like everyone has one.

In the last year or so the term “frontline worker” became almost a trope, a cliché, but not nearly so worn-out as the real thing was during the ghastly pandemic that China vouchsafed the world a little while (or what feels a LONG while) back.

Even though U.S. citizens are allowed to go to Canada again, there are some still some requirements needed to cross the border. This was true about 100 years ago as well. In the History Center collection are several photos, some of which are captioned, showing an automobile parade that began…

The “tame” wild grouse that I named Drummer Boy was with me at camp for three years.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” — John 13:34-35

I had a chance to sit in Lockport last week and talk about race, society, crime and decency with Pastor Don Chisholm of the Latter Rain Cathedral and Pastor Mark Sanders of the Refuge Temple of Christ.

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