Weekly Feature



2014-10-23 / Editorial

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ERIC DEGRECHIE
West Seneca Editor

GOODBYE — I still vividly remember attending my first West Seneca Town Board meeting. It was on Sept. 16, 2013, and I was there with my predecessor, Paul Olczak. While Paul was introducing me to various town officials, the room started to fill up with members of the public. A bevy of print and television reporters were also making their way to their seats.

The big issue on the agenda that night was a resolution to oppose the state’s planned closing of the Children’s Psychi- atric Center on East & West Road. More than 50 residents in opposition to the potential closure filled the aisles with many colorful posters and signs. They passionately addressed the Town Board with emotional speeches about how this action would affect each of them personally. Trying to be a professional journalist, I attempted to hide my feelings, but it was difficult to do. It wouldn’t be the last time this challenge presented itself to me, most notably regarding the trials and tribulations of residents in the Lexington Green neighborhood following the flooding of Buffalo Creek earlier this year.

Covering meetings in West Seneca is never boring. Just ask any reporter who’s done it. The community is very involved in the entire process of government, and members are never afraid to make their feelings known. Regular attendees, also referred to as gadflies, are often reporters in disguise, as like us, they pore over data in meeting minutes and budget reports and on message boards.

I guess I should probably now get to the point of this piece. This is my last edition as editor of The West Seneca Bee as my wife has accepted a job in Chicago and we’ll be heading to the “Windy City” at the end of the month. Though we’re looking forward to the move and our future in Illinois, we’ll very much miss Western New York and all the wonderful people and places here.

With that being said, you’re in good hands, as my successor, Jennifer Waters, has covered many meetings and written stories aplenty about West Seneca, so she’s very familiar with the beat. Make sure to welcome her to the job at 204-4925, or jwaters@beenews.com.

It’s often said that saying goodbye can be difficult, and that is the case here, but I’ve enjoyed my time in the editor’s chair and wish you all nothing but the best.

CALLING ALL MUSICIANS — Music scholarships are available through the Friends of the BPO Volunteers and Buffalo Chamber Music Society. The Young Musicians’ Scholarships are being awarded for $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000. The Silverman String Scholarship is being awarded for $1,500 to up to three people. These are available to any high school seniors in Erie and Niagara counties who plan to major in music at any college or university beginning in fall 2015. Applications must be postmarked by midnight on Jan. 15. Applications are available at www.bpo.org, www.ecmea.org or www.ncmea.com. For more information, call 759-6428.

ELECTION POLICY — Bee Group Newspapers will publish profiles of candidates running in contested races for elective office on Oct. 29 and 30. Our longstanding policy is that no letters to the editor, Bee Heard comments or political briefs concerning candidates or the election in general will be published the week before the election. This policy does not pertain to paid advertising.

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