Historical Association of Lewiston looks back at decade that brought us The Sentinel

By Zach Collister

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Apple Granny, and a portion of Center Street, in the 1980s. (Photo courtesy of the Historical Association of Lewiston) 

President, Historical Association of Lewiston

On behalf of the Historical Association of Lewiston and its board of directors, happy birthday Sentinel! The Sentinel’s first edition was issued Feb. 14, 1987, and actually had the title of “We Need A Name!” It was since that very first edition that the HAL started its long relationship with the Sentinel, when we placed our member meeting notice in it for a historian to speak about the history of Lundy’s Lane.

Seeing as I myself was a product of the ’80s, I had to look through our archives of papers, photos, Sentinels and government documents to paint the picture of Lewiston during the ’80s. As I combed through the decade of articles and documents, I couldn’t help but notice that history has eerily repeated itself 30 years later. Sure, people had unique hairstyles and transitioned from the pastel colors of the ’70s to the vibrant colors in the ’80s, but when you look at the major topics, you can’t help but feel you are Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.”

But first, let’s take a drive down Center Street in the 1980s.

Driving into town, Tops was right at Center Street where the present day parking lot sits. It was a brick building then, and you got your groceries in paper bags still. As you pass by Academy Park, you were likely to always see a softball game or two going on while the kids climbed the Academy School corner stone or had impromptu races up the bleachers. In those days, the Buena Vista Hotel was across the street, which, in 1987, two WJJL associates helped unfold and save a kidnapping victim from Rochester while recording for the Peach Festival.

Down Center further is where you would rent movies from Video Factory. As you come to the intersection of Fifth and Center, you would encounter Donna Felicia’s, instead of Casa Antica. Across the street was the old library, which, in the late ’80s, started the push for a new facility to better service a growing Lewiston. This intersection is also the site of Lewiston’s first flowerpot hung on Center Street in 1983.

Putter a half block down in your ’87 Plymouth Sundance and you’ll see some golden arches outside the Frontier House. Who doesn’t remember getting stuck in the Officer Big Mac climb-in jail? Hamburgers went for 39 cents. In 1988, the Ronald McDonald statue was stolen twice from the playground and was found once in Academy Park wearing a shower cap.

A few doors down, Amanda’s was the staple before today’s Brickyard. You wouldn’t see the gazebo at Hennepin Park until ’82.

Down at the sand docks, now more commonly known as Lewiston Landing, you would eat at Riverside Inn, park in gravel parking lots, get drinks at The Bucket of Blood or fish off a path down by the river. The Silo was an old, green mess. It wasn’t until 1987 that the village first looked at refurbishing it, which only included painting and a new roof.

Across the street was the old Public Works building. Although the Whirlpool Jet Boats didn’t exist, it was in 1989 when they were first proposed. It was in the early ’80s that Lewiston first added docks, restrooms, a pathway and improved the boat launch. Those that had slips could tell you how loud Lewiston No. 1’s siren was when it went off!

Artpark was very active in the ’80s with kids programs and art exhibits. And believe it or not, Bond’s Lake was an active ski hill and even had snowmaking machines!

Another interesting thing about Lewiston then was a plane crash on Cayuga Street in 1985 right in front of … wait for it … 666 Cayuga St.

FOR THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE 

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The Sentinel turns 30

Newspaper in fourth decade of serving River Region

SentinelSentinel-30-cover staff thanks readers, advertisers; pledges to continue serving River Region

By Joshua Maloni

Managing Editor

Thirty years ago, a screen star was president, Vanna White was turning letters on “Wheel of Fortune,” musicians were making political statements at the Grammy Awards, and movie star Tom Cruise was dominating the box office.

Boy, those were the days.

1987 also was the year the River Region got its own newspaper.

Of course, it wasn’t the Lewiston-Porter area’s first newspaper – or even its second – but it was the first publication (to our knowledge) to debut without a name.

On Feb. 14, 1987, the paper was printed with a giant headline, in big, bold, red letters, that said, “We Need A Name!”

In a front-page story, editor Joelle Logue wrote, “As you can tell by the masthead, this paper needs a name and, since it will be your newspaper with news of you, your neighborhood and friends, we thought it only fitting that the paper be named by you.”

The Sentinel didn’t become “The Sentinel” until March 14 – issue No. 2. (Back then, the paper was printed monthly.)

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Sharon Norbut, a Niagara Falls native who had moved to Lewiston four years earlier, submitted the winning entry. She was pictured with the nameplate design, which was the work of cartoonist and artist Sam Russo. On the front cover, under the words “The Sentinel,” Russo created a row of historic sites that was bookmarked by Artpark and Old Fort Niagara. The subhead read, “The Good News Of The Lewiston/Porter Area.”

Norbut won a $50 savings bond from the Permanent Savings Bank, as well as a $50 gift certificate from the Lewiston Business and Professional Association to use at any of the member businesses.

More than 300 area residents entered the contest. Honorable mention names included “Landmark” and “Beacon.”

It was an odd and imaginative way to launch a newspaper.

Less out of place then – and certainly fitting in 2017 – was Logue’s lead story, wherein she wrote of The Sentinel’s quest for truth.

“George (Washington) was, as exemplified in the cherry tree story, a basically honest man. We intend to be an honest newspaper,” Logue wrote. “Our purpose is to be a public information paper geared to increase community awareness – to point out the advantages and opportunities in this richly historic area. It’s what’s happening, what’s new, the real accomplishments of people and businesses that we’re interested in communicating to you.

“We’ll work hard in bringing you the most complete coverage of the Lewiston-Porter area, but just as Washington set his own strict rules of conduct, he also enjoyed a good time. This paper will be a happy one. There will be no news of Lebanese terrorists, no Nader casualties or bad weather forecasts. We are optimists in your town merely passing good news from organizations, schools and merchants to you.

“As Lee said of George, ‘He was first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.’ So, too, we strive to be first in good reporting, first in marketing integrity, and the number one paper in the heart of Lewiston-Porter.”

To be the River Region’s go-to source of news – good, bad or otherwise – was the staff’s goal in 1987.

It remains our top goal today.

FOR MORE OF THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE!! 

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Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce: Awards Gala honorees announce

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will honor businesses and individuals at the annual Chamber Awards Gala on Friday, April 28, at the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls. This is the second consecutive year the event is being held in Niagara Falls. It’s due to the growth in event participation over the years.

The evening is one of the highlights of the year, held to celebrate the business community and the citizens who help contribute to the success of the region.

The annual awards gala begins with a cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program. A silent auction will take place throughout the evening. Tickets are available through the Chamber of Commerce office (895 Center St., Lewiston) at $100 per person (valet parking included).

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will honor businesses and/or individuals in the following categories:

Chairman’s Award: Niagara Falls National Heritage Area

River Region Partnership Award: Rainbow Air Inc.

Lewiston Business of the Year: Apple Granny Restaurant

Youngstown Business of the Year: Sanger Farms

Ransomville Business of the Year: O’Connor Family Greenhouses & Garden Center

Sanborn Business of the Year: Willco Auto Care

Village of Lewiston Citizens of the Year: Claudia Marasco and Arlene Sliz

Youngstown Citizen of the Year: Paul Waterstrat

Town of Porter Citizens of the Year: Claudia Fleckenstein and Ellie Murphy

Town of Lewiston Citizen of the Year: Thomas Deal

FOR MORE OF THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE!!

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Chamber Awards Gala: Sanger Farms & Bakery recognized

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Mike and Sandy Tuck of Sanger Farms.

By Jennifer Pauly

President, Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will honor businesses and individuals at its annual Chamber Awards Gala from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, April 28, at The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls.

The evening is one of the highlights of the year, held to celebrate the business community and the citizens who help contribute to the success of the region.

The annual awards gala begins with a cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program. A silent auction will take place throughout the evening. Tickets are available through the Chamber of Commerce office (895 Center St., Lewiston) at $100 per person (valet parking included).

The chamber’s series of profiles on the 2017 gala honorees opens this week.

Youngstown Business of the Year: Sanger Farms & Bakery

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Sanger Farms & Bakery as recipient of the Youngstown Business of the Year Award. The Youngstown Business and Professional Association assists the chamber in providing a business nomination that has shown dedication and service to the Youngstown community.

Sanger Farms & Bakery, owned by Mike and Sandy Tuck, is located at 852 Youngstown-Lockport Road, just outside the Village of Youngstown. Sandy’s parents, the Sangers, originally purchased the farm in 1974 from Howard Tower, with Mike and Sandy purchased it from her parents in 2013.

Sandy has been a fixture, baking pies and baked goods for over 40 years, alongside her mother and daughters. When Mike and Sandy took over the operations, it was a natural transition involving Mike, Sandy and the five kids: Lisa, Carly, Shari, Rogan and Claitan.

As a family-owned and -operated business, Sanger Farms is known for homemade baked goods, locally grown produce and U-Pick, sweet ciders and jams, and now the Back Barn Café, which is serving breakfast and lunch.

The farm is one of the few in Western New York that is open year-round.

Mother Nature is one of the biggest factors in running a farm. Nestled in the fertile land a couple miles from the Niagara River and a mile and a half from Lake Ontario proves to be a benefit to many crops enduring frost and drought. The 2016 summer drought affected many of the peach crops in the region; however Sanger Farms was able to produce one of its sweetest and biggest crops.

FOR MORE OF THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE!!

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Chamber Awards Gala: Willco Auto Care recognized in Sanborn

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Jim Coble, owner of Willco Auto Care, with his wife, Denise.

By Jennifer Pauly

President, Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will honor businesses and individuals at its annual Chamber Awards Gala from 6-11 p.m. Friday, April 28, at The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls.

The evening is one of the highlights of the year, held to celebrate the business community and the citizens who help contribute to the success of the region.

The annual awards gala begins with a cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program. A silent auction will take place throughout the evening. Tickets are available through the Chamber of Commerce office (895 Center St., Lewiston) at $100 per person (valet parking included).

The chamber’s series of profiles on the 2017 gala honorees continues in today’s Sentinel.

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Willco Auto Care as the recipient of the Sanborn Business of the Year Award. The Sanborn Business and Professional Association assists the chamber in providing a business nomination that has shown dedication and service to the Sanborn community. The association recognizes the unmatched customer service that is provided by Willco Auto Care and its involvement in making the community a better place to live.

As soon as you step into Willco Auto Care, you can tell customers are treated like family. That feeling resonates in that customers drive in from places such as South Buffalo and North Collins just to be serviced by the friendly staff and technicians at Willco.

FOR MORE OF THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE!! 

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Chamber Awards Gala: O’Connor Family Greenhouses, Garden Center honored

By Jennifer Pauly

Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce President

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Pictured, from left: Corlette, Wendy and Tom.

•••••

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will honor businesses and individuals at its annual Chamber Awards Gala, from 6-11 p.m. Friday, April 28, at The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls.

The evening is one of the highlights of the year, held to celebrate the business community and the citizens who help contribute to its success.

Tickets are available through the Chamber of Commerce office (895 Center St., Lewiston) at $100 per person (valet parking included).

•••••

Ransomville Business of the Year:

O’Connor Family Greenhouses & Garden Center

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce O’Connor Family Greenhouses & Garden Center as the recipient of the Ransomville Business of the Year Award. The Ransomville Business and Professional Association assists the chamber in providing a business nomination that has shown dedication and service to the Ransomville community.

O’Connor Family Greenhouses & Garden Center has brought beautiful flowers to the Niagara community and beyond since 1980. We are fortunate to have this family-owned and -operated business in our region.

In 1981, Tom and Wendy O’Connor yielded their first crop, and also had their first greenhouse built on the farmland that Tom grew up on at 2234 Lake Road in the Town of Porter. Tom has a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Cornell. He and Wendy and their family have grown the business over the past 37 years to host 10 greenhouses on the property.

Each greenhouse is named after a Disney character and is equipped with heat and water to grow the plants. The hot air furnace system is climate-controlled with different temperatures set for whatever the greenhouses are growing.

FOR MORE OF THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE!!

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The Sentinel at 30: Publisher, first editor and ad rep recall starting newspaper

Mazenauer, Logue, Linenfelser recall challenges, excitement of launching paper in 1987

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The Sentinel in 2017 and 1987.

By Joshua Maloni

Managing Editor

In 2017, it’s easy to have a public voice. There’s little skill, experience or cash required to start a blog or post notes on the internet.

If you really want a challenge, try starting a newspaper.

You’ll need a staff, computer equipment to design the pages, money to print the paper, workers to deliver it, and businesses to purchase advertising to fund the operation.

Oh, and if you’re lucky, people will want to read what you’re writing.

Those same requirements and challenges existed 30 years ago.

While print is still a viable medium, it was even more so in 1987, when The Sentinel debuted. Still, that didn’t mean starting a River Region newspaper was a sure bet, or that it would succeed. Other publications in the Lewiston-Porter area had not been well received.

So why start a newspaper?

The Sentinel recently caught up with Michael Linenfelser, the newspaper’s first advertising rep, and Joelle Logue, the editor who so eloquently laid forth the newspaper’s goals and code of conduct in the very first issue. Also shedding light on the matter was Skip Mazenauer, The Sentinel’s first and only publisher. What follows are selected answers from three separate interviews.

 

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The Sentinel in 1987.

•••••

Mazenauer’s parents started the Grand Island PennySaver in 1944. He purchased it in 1978, and soon after acquired the Island Dispatch. In 1985, Mazenauer branched out to Niagara County with the addition of the Niagara-Wheatfield Tribune.

Q: Skip, you had three newspapers at the time The Sentinel was launched. Why add a fourth newspaper? And why was the River Region the right place to go?

Skip: The River Region always intrigued us. We could see the potential market. The Lewiston Business Association, before they formed a chamber, had decided that they wanted to have a weekly newspaper. They had experienced some previous weekly and semiweekly newspapers; most of them were more politically motivated.

So, they decided to ask for proposals. They asked us and three other groups. We made our proposals to the board of directors that was being led by Sam Sperrazza.

I remember the call very well. He called me up one evening and he said, “We have some good news, and some bad news.” The good news is they chose us. The bad news is they had enough money in their treasury to buy one half-page one time. And then we were on our own.

We came up with a concept through our staff. We had a very talented staff at that point – like we do now – and the idea of a contest came up. Hence, “Name Our Paper.”

FOR MORE OF THIS INTERVIEW CLICK HERE!!

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