Category: Reader Submissions

Newstead Politics Heat Up

On Friday, August 21, 2020, The Newstead Republican Committee posted an article on the Akron Newstead Opinion Forum Facebook page.

The article and its headline referenced the Conservative Party’s endorsement of a local Republican candidate. The Conservative Party has also endorsed Democrat Adam Burg in his bid for Newstead Town Council. In the now deleted post on the Akron Newstead Opinion Forum, the Newstead Republican Committee chose to tag Adam’s opponent in an effort to mislead this community into believing the Conservative Party has endorsed her.

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Observing #GridlockBuffalo

As I walked down Franklin Street, I could hear the sound of car horns getting louder, and louder. It wasn’t long before I came upon the end of the line of cars, all heading to Niagara Square, for the Grid Lock in Niagara Square protest. A protest against our governments’ Stay-at Home Orders.

Photo By Peter Henley

It was just before noon on a sunny Monday. Even though it was midday, the sidewalks themselves were quiet, not filled with the normal hustle and bustle of city life as we know it. Instead, it was just a steady stream of cars in the street. Reaching Niagara Square, I could see it was completely filled with vehicles, including cars and pickup trucks. Most vehicles could be seen waiving the American flag. Some waived Trump 2020 flags, and a few others waived the Gadsden flag, with its’ yellow field depicting a timber rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. I only saw one Confederate flag waiving from a pickup truck. Continue reading “Observing #GridlockBuffalo”

Another Elder Care Horror Story

Letter to the Editor:

Do not allow your loved one to be placed at Comprehensive Rehab and Nursing Center at Williamsville on 147 Reist Street, Williamsville.

Last week, a loved one who is terminal and completely immobile was transferred to this facility where patient call buttons don’t work and/or are ignored.

Within his time there, one 24 hour period, our loved one was neglected by an uncaring staff who didn’t read his medical file because “it was too long” and therefore had no idea he had special dietary and medical needs, was told “this isn’t a babysitting service” when he begged for help shifting his legs, was called “grouchy and mean” when he voiced pain, was denied a bed pan because timing was inconvenient, and was forced to sit in soiled sheets and underclothing for hours.

While there, loved one’s health declined significantly leading to a family member dialing 911 to have him transported back to the hospital. At this time, another patient begged for an ambulance too, as she had fallen three times in a short amount of time without any intervening help from staff.

When family arrived to retrieve loved one’s personal belongings, a significant amount of money had gone missing. Repeated attempts to retrieve it have been ignored by the staff. A police report has been filed.

A quick glance through Google reviews show many similar horror stories.

I’m only writing this in the desperate hopes that another human being will be spared a similar experience at this horrendous facility.

Kristen Skeet


Regarding Lack of Local Candidates

Lack of candidates once again provides disappointment for democracy in our Town. Election 2019 in the Town of Newstead has two Council seats up for vote. As usual, we’re offered very few choices. The last time I spoke of this was earlier in the year on the FaceBook page, “You Know You’re from Akron When”. Of course, when I brought up how disappointing it was that two incumbent Village Trustees, Michael Middaugh and Brian Perry, were running un-apposed, I was immediately kicked of the site. My post wasn’t mean, in fact it gave all do respect to the incumbents, but just raised the fact that democracy doesn’t work so well when people run un-opposed. I’ve recently been made aware of the two Democrats running for the Council seats in the fast approaching 2019 election. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. One I’ve known for years, and have always had a good relationship with, but really, as a Councilman, I just don’t see it! As much as the Democratic Committee is not wholly to blame, there is the fact that people just don’t want to run. It’s pretty much the attitude of let someone else do the work. In fact, when I ran for Councilman in 2017, I heard many times “better you than me”. This is the kind of attitude that doesn’t help our country. As for our local Democratic committee, I feel it needs a spark to get people interested in actually going to the meetings AND participating in the process. As a person, I like Justin Rooney, but as the Newstead Democratic Committee chairman, I think his time has come.  We need renewed energy for people to be interested. And again, this would not only help the Democratic party, but the entire election process, because limited choices is just not good for democracy in general.

Regardless of the choices though, you do have them. Make the most of asking either the incumbents, or the council-elect participants just what can they do for our community. Too many times they just skate by with no real accountability to our concerns! We should be asking them how they plan on improving our quality of life, like having better and more affordable internet service, or cellular service. The idea of driving down Theodore Road in Golden Pond Estates, and having my calls drop, every time, is unacceptable in this day and age.  And what can we do about renewable energy? Some neighboring towns, such as Amherst, have launched “solarize campaigns”. Back in 2017, Amherst officials launched such a campaign to provide residents and businesses with more affordable solar energy and solar panels.  We should also be asking how they plan on supporting our local fire companies, as the Village and Town are chief funding sources for both departments. And then there’s the question of recreation facilities. I seemed to remember hearing over the years about a dog park, and even a splash park. What happened to these ideas?

The point being, ask questions…make your current elected officials, or those running for office accountable!

-Peter Henley-

Editor’s Note: A List of candidates has been received and will be published shorty -JAP-




Dear Town Council


During my decade of service as the Town Historian, I discovered records of our one-room schoolhouse, Limerick Hall, and began to consult town members about the possibility of preserving that building. I was, and continue to be, confident that making students aware of the hardships that were endured to learn to read and write, to excel in math and science – to become enlightened – in our early years, would instill a sense of appreciation for the convenience and advances that students now presently experience.

And now, my zeal for teaching through preservation of our past has been ramped up, after a recent research trip to Seneca Falls and the Women’s Rights National Historic Park. Seneca Falls, a small town of circa 6, 700 people, has been instrumental in recreating their illustrious past by preserving the Wesleyan Chapel, home of the first Women’s Rights Convention, along with documents and letters that support the awakening that was occurring in 1848. All that remained of this chapel when the restoration began were two walls and the hole-ridden roof and with that building being restored, an entire epoch of history has now been highlighted.

I am eager to bring to light more of the history that made Akron/Newstead one of the most prominent and progressive village/town’s in our state’s early years. Imagine, not only do we have the unique and rich heritage of the Octagon House, but now we will shine the spotlight on the importance of education – the key to our moving forward. In the 1800’s, Akron/Newstead was a force to be noted. Our industry, our treasured educational institutions and the excellence of our leadership all merit the honor of being restored and/or highlighted, to inspire and motivate others to keep up the good quest for excellence.

As a reflection of our rich history and our heritage of progress not withstanding all the obstacles the citizens have faced, I would hope that you would see the value of restoring the Limerick Schoolhouse and doing all in your power as our elected representatives to ensure these treasures be preserved. How proud we would be to have school children from all around Western New York come to Akron/Newstead to learn about school days of the 19th and 20th centuries!

We have every reason to show off our town/village and every reason to want to inspire others with the appreciation of our history.

Thank you,
Nancy Jo Eckerson
Former Town/Village Historian