Weekly Feature

2010-05-12 / Editorial

Spindle items

DAVID F. SHERMAN Managing Editor

NEW LICENSE PLATES You may have noticed New York State license plates of a different color recently. But contrary to Gov. David Paterson’s failed plan to require all drivers in New York to purchase new plates in order to raise revenue, the new look is not a hard sell.

Lizz Schumer, staff assistant to Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul, told me motor vehicle owners will not be required to purchase new plates when they renew their registration.

“Because Kathy and the other county clerks were able to petition the Legislature to overturn the mandatory reissuance, the new plates are being issued on a voluntary basis only at a charge of $25 per set,” she said.

Renewing a standard registration will not require owners to obtain new plates, but if they want to register a new set of plates after the county auto bureau depletes its current blue and white stock, they will be issued the new yellow plates — if you purchase a new vehicle, for example.

Schumer said the county has enough blue and white plates to last for the rest of the year, so if your registration expires in July, for example, even if you need new plates, you will not be required to get “Empire Gold” plates.

The charge for New York State vanity plates remains the same, and the fee depends on what type of custom plates you choose.

For details on this part of the process, visit www.nysdmv.com/cplates.htm.

ELECTION PROFILES — The Bee contacts all candidates in local school board elections each year, asking them to submit both a recent photo as well as a statement on why they are running for office. Candidates are advised that we only publish full profiles with a photo for those candidates who are in contested races. Information furnished by unopposed candidates is used as background material for a pre-election news story.

If profiles are missing this week from any candidates in contested races, it is because they failed to supply the information we requested.

Voting in all area districts will take place Tuesday, May 18.

GUEST SPEAKER — I recently was invited to speak at a joint meeting of the Williamsville Lions Club and the Amherst Zonta Club, the first such gathering for the two organizations. Both service clubs have seen declining membership in the last few years, so key members decided to try the concept of one meeting for both. I would rate it a success.

Lions Club member Mark Johnston asked me to speak on my role as Amherst town historian, and I found an audience very eager to listen. As I said at the outset, I do not have all the answers about the town’s history, but I always try my best to provide accurate information.

I directed those in attendance to a handful of useful Web sites for both town history as well as the upcoming bicentennial of the War of 1812. These latter sites are www.discover1812.com and www.1812-bicentennial.ca. Our Canadian friends got an early start on commemorating the conflict that stretched from Sault St. Marie to the Richelieu River in modern-day Quebec. They are already hawking souvenirs online.

Members of both clubs are to be commended for the projects they do for the less fortunate at home and in foreign countries. Thanks for having me.

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