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‘Taps’ for local post

Acquavia Post closing Friday

August 29, 2013

The city of Dunkirk will be losing a Lake Shore Drive fixture Friday. The Frank Acquavia Memorial Post 1344 American Legion is closing its doors Friday at the close of busines....

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Aug-30-13 9:50 AM

People always disagree with what others write and I never give it a thought but someone disagreed with what I wrote below and I would like to ask that person to do something.

Could you please tell us here your experience with what has taken place with the military club system over the past 25 years? I’m interested to see how you view it and how you feel today’s younger Veterans support this system and if they do so like older Veterans did 40 years ago. It’s these Veterans who today are the membership and possible future membership of your local service clubs like the Legion and VFW. So, if you could please impart your experience with the club system and it’s effects of civilian service organizations, I would sure be interested. BTW, I would hope your experience is more than just a two year hitch in the military.

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Aug-29-13 8:15 PM

whoreallycares: it was a Guiness book record, but it was Fredonia, most bars per square mile...

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Aug-29-13 5:55 PM

bronski is correct about the military members today. What you’re seeing right in Dunkirk is a result of daily life on military instillations all over the world. Forty years ago and more, the club on base was the center point of life on a military instillation. You could go there for a few drinks after duty, take your wife or girlfriend to a full course meal, go dancing, play bingo, or just enjoy the company of your fellow GI’s. That’s all changed and it started in the late 80’s when they banned military personnel under 21 from drinking alcohol on post; young troops quit going, older ones followed suite. Today, the military club system is a joke. Nobody participates and they’re usually closed by 6-7pm. That spills over into the civilian world and affects your service organizations like the Legion, VFW, etc. Younger Veterans aren’t interested and older ones are leaving us in too many numbers today

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Aug-29-13 5:54 PM

Sixthousanddollarsuit, are you old enough to remember when, in Ripley"s Believe it or not", Dunkirk was listed as having something like one bar for every 76 people. Apparently that may still be true, minus one obviously.

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Aug-29-13 3:53 PM

A few points:

1) The "clubs" do have their place in the community. However, it is true that many people around here spend way too much time in them and too little time with their families or doing other constructive things. You can't deny that.

2) Many young people who would be "club goers" are moving out of the area. There are few jobs available in the area, and the schools are falling apart due to the clientele that have taken over Dunkirk.

3) I can't believe there hasn't been some sort of documentary about the number of "clubs" in such a small town/area. This dynamic simply doesn't exist anywhere else. Some are bound to close/combine due to the changing demographic.

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Aug-29-13 2:52 PM

The Acquavia post may have lost membership, but taking a look at the facilities it had, marketing and management has a lot to do with its closing. But they're not the only ones. Other clubs have had issues, or are having issues. Some clubs have actually increased their memberships in this declining economy. Many clubs become private little cliques for the officers and staff, and the heck with the members. One thing I'm sure of, taxes (or unions) had nothing to do with it.

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Aug-29-13 2:14 PM

Phil, could it be that we have to many "clubs" to begin with. 1st ward, 4th ward, Monnies, Lakeside, Elks, Exempts, Doghouse, Legion, Moose, Con Club, VFW.....etc.. Society has changed. I belong to two clubs... not 12. I think people just got tired of making the rounds and decided to quit going to the Acquavia post. Save your government c r a p for an article that deserves it.

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Aug-29-13 12:45 PM

sad yes, but do not be surprised if the DLDC rides in and pays a boat load of money for the property, no you say, that's what people said about a local car dealership, and what way the result?

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Aug-29-13 12:41 PM

This is just another nail in the coffin for the city. Dunkirk has not changed with the times. Why is that? One reason could be that the residents are afraid of change. They are afraid to step up and voice their opinion. They allow the politicians of the city to make the decisions for them. This is the result and it's going to get worse.

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Aug-29-13 11:55 AM

BRONSKI - when the post was built in 1951 the population of the city was nearly 20,000. The current population is about 13,000 so we have lost about one-third of our people. Do you really believe population has nothing to do with the closing of churches, schools and other entities that need people to exist? Do you really believe that declining population has nothing to do with employers who can't afford to do business here due to excessive taxes and fees? Maybe management is an issue - I can't say for sure - but you can't ignore the fact that this is a dying community.

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Aug-29-13 10:37 AM

maybe theres some underlying factors here that also took a toll on this establisment.there are plenty of clubs that are doing just fine in dunkirk with for the most part the same clientel. maybe bad management/bad bartenders/etc. the place is huge and parking is great.or maybe they could join forces with another military based charter(post 62)(WW2 VETS) combining these or someone else would do great twice the patrons/business.but like ive seen in some of these places.people in charge dont wanna adapt to the times. not saying making it into some downtown club but some updating is nessesary.the only thing this place will turn into is some social services based hole. it aint over till its over. combine forces and conquer.

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Aug-29-13 9:41 AM

I'm with you Bronski -- changes in societal behavior have more to do with the closing than anything to do with fiscal policies.

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Aug-29-13 9:33 AM

Phil, why do you always have to turn everything into excess government and taxes as the reason for a closing in all of your posts. I think Mr. Muscato said it right, the younger people returning from the service are not as interested in going to clubs anymore. Times are different then they where 20 to 30 years ago. Mom and dad are both working and time is valuable to them and their families. Not that the clubs do not have a purpose but they don't have the need as they did before. It is a shame that it is closing and I am sure will be missed by many.

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Aug-29-13 9:03 AM

How sad for the organization and the family. We should be getting used to closings by now with churches, schools, hospitals and businesses struggling for survival. The closings are symbolic of a community on an economic downward spiral. At the very core of the problem is the loss of industry and population. There are simply not enough local dollars available to support the lifestyle that was left to us by our ancestors. Until and unless area leaders come to grips with the fact that we have too much government and that excessive taxes are killing the local economy, we are destined to continue losing the institutions and organizations that at one time made this area a great place to live and raise a family. Shame on us for letting this city die!

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Aug-29-13 8:31 AM

Another sign of the times. Too bad. The Memorial Day open house was always a MUST STOP for us each year.

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