Nobody loses this match

At the opening of the Veterans One-stop Center at 1280 Main St. this week, Rep. Brian Higgins scored a chuckle when he recalled a recent hockey game he and some other congressmen and staffers played against the USA Warriors ice hockey team.

The Warriors are wounded veterans who have overcome the loss of limbs and other body parts to pursue their love of hockey.

During the game, a vet asked if he might have a word with Higgins.

“You’ll insult us if you pull back and let us win,” the veteran said.

“With all due respect, sergeant,” Higgins earnestly answered, “you are getting my all.”

The lawmakers won, 5-3.

But we all know who played the heroic game.

Middle-aged boomers?

A wire story in Friday’s News about a spike in suicides among middle-aged Americans made a reference to the departed as baby boomers.

That is, folks born between 1946 and 1964.


Is this large cohort – whose members at the top of the hierarchy qualify for Social Security – middle age?

The older members of Generation X, those born in 1965, might reasonably argue they are middle age.

But even the youngest baby boomers, those who are 49, would have to live to just shy of 100 years to say they are middle age.

The good news is this could be an issue for some baby boomers to debate a few more decades, if they’re willing to work for it on the treadmill.

A recent study from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., reported people who exercise on a regular basis up to age 80 have the aerobic capacity of someone half their age. The study looked at longtime athletes who exercised four to six times a week, averaging 3,700 more steps per day than the non-exercisers, according to the study’s lead author, Scott Trappe.

“In this case, 80 is the new 40,” he said.

Frog story has legs

News outlets across the nation followed The News’ recent story of Paul Marinaccio, the Clarence man with a frog phobia who won $1.6 million in damages after the developer of a nearby subdivision diverted water runoff and turned his property into a wetland.

Most played it straight. A few went for the easy puns, calling him “hopping mad.”

Bill O’Reilly called it the story of the day during his segment with Dennis Miller.

“Immediately I filed suit against The Turtles – not the amphibians, the rock group,” the O’Reilly Factor host said.

He said the lyrics, “Elenore, gee I think you’re swell” frighten him.

“I have a shot here in New York,” he said.

How now, bingo cow?

The revival of cow bingo as a fundraiser for the parent group at West Street Elementary School in Sanborn succeeded last weekend despite a problem with the one seemingly crucial factor.

For two hours, the cow failed to deposit the obligatory pie during the festivities.

Grass by the jungle gym had been spray painted for the occasion. Some 115 spectators watched the cow eat and roam the bingo grid with numbers corresponding to the 329 tickets sold for $5 each.

But what of the unblemished bingo board?

It didn’t matter. A winning number was drawn from a tub. The bingo raised $12,000 to pay for extras like art tables and computer programs, according to organizer Jeff Haseley.

“Everyone said it was a treat and joy just to watch the cow,” he said.

The feelings seemed mutual. The cow, who deposited three pies in the truck during the half-mile ride from the farm to the school, let children pet her.

As for next year, Haseley will add a precaution.

“I might actually use two cows,” he said.

By Patrick Lakamp, with contributions from Michelle Kearns and Lou Michel