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North Tonawanda bans smoking in city parks




Charlie Randazzo of Tonawanda, with his dog Veto, and his friend Ronna Brodie with her dog Blondie (Brown) at Gratwick Park in North Tonawanda.


John Hickey



The North Tonawanda Common Council has banned all smoking and vaping in city parks, according to an announcement this week from Mayor Arthur G. Pappas.

Violators of the new law could be fined as much as $250, and they also risk a 15-day jail sentence if the judge sees fit.

“No Smoking/Vaping” signs will be posted near the entrances to all North Tonawanda parks.

The Council resolution said the Community Health Alliance of North Tonawanda, in its 2020 preventive health assessment, cited a strong increase in vaping by young people as a reason for the ban.

The measure was sponsored by Alderman Robert E. Pecoraro and passed the Council unanimously on Nov. 2.

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“Something like this strikes your family like a sucker punch because you think you’re doing everything right,” said Tom Reubens’ father.

The latest Covid-19 statistics from state and county departments of health, as well as new data from The New York Times’ national Covid-19 tracking project.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Thursday that coronavirus is “everywhere” in Erie County. The numbers back that up. 

A red zone designation would bring shutdowns similar to what the state imposed in the spring.

Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul said the Western New York region is in “a crisis situation” and “at a turning point” amid the current surge in the coronavirus pandemic.

Erie County leaders are running out of adjectives to describe how bad the Covid-19 data is.

One worker reflected on how “we’re becoming a peopleless society,” where human contact – more and more – is dialed out of the equation, Sean Kirst writes.

Erie County leaders are running out of adjectives to describe how bad the Covid-19 data is.

Will Erie County’s “yellow” precautionary zone go orange? Or even the most restrictive red? Those questions and others should be answered Wednesday.


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