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Everybody's Column

Jubilee should have been mentioned in Prospectus

The News failed to recognize Jubilee supermarkets in its Prospectus 2006 section. The only mention of the Jubilee name was to precede it with "vacant" and "former." Well, Jubilee is still here with a total of 11 stores, with six in the Buffalo and Southtowns area. Keep in mind that each store in the Jubilee chain is locally owned and operated.

Jubilee stores are full-service supermarkets with great perishable departments and retail pricing equal to or lower than the corporate giants, without the need for a shopper's card. The stores are clean and well-stocked. And not only is the owner in the store, but nine times out of 10 you'll find him up front bagging your groceries.

To not include Jubilee in the "smaller competitors" column is unexplainable. We should be proud of a group of hometown owners who put their financial lives on the line to service their customers.

Bob Sorbini

Sorbini Sales & Marketing

Orchard Park


Mohan faces uphill battle against the town's unions

I wish Amherst Supervisor Satish Mohan all the luck in the world in his attempt to straighten out the financial affairs in the town. It's great to see someone who recognizes the fact that we do need a change.

However, I'm afraid it's a lost cause. Kickbacks, cronyism and fraud have become too embedded in American politics. The unions do absolutely nothing to try to hold down costs or build a better government. Their bottom line is taxpayer dollars and how many of them they can get.

Unions are needed. They are one of the driving forces behind good working conditions and a decent wage. However, they must be controlled. So let's try something. Any union whose members draw their pay from taxpayers should allow the taxpayers to vote on the union president. After all, it's the taxpayers' money paying their salaries. Also, the union contract should be open to the public. Let all the taxpayers see what the union wants in wages and benefits.

If this could be implemented, I'm sure many of the "sweetheart" deals, such as built-in overtime, built-up sick leave and people being paid while on suspension, would be taken out of the contract. Let's give the government back to the people.

Robert G. Adner



Wright would surely like his projects to be built

Last September, I spoke with Wright architect Anthony Puttnam for an interview in Pure Contemporary magazine.

As an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright and a partner in the firm that preserves his legacy, Puttnam is well accustomed to the "to build or not to build" controversy. And like Paul Goldberger, the New School dean who compared the Wright projects to albums falsely released as Jimi Hendrix's, Puttnam finds analogy in music.

For Puttnam, saying we shouldn't build from Wright's sketches is like saying that "because Bach and Mozart are no longer with us to direct the orchestra, their music shouldn't be performed. We also seem to accept the fact that when this music is played it is almost never performed on the instruments of the time and so on."

Of the changed locations, he said he thinks Wright "would be pleased to find each of the Buffalo projects on a more generous site with room to breathe."

And Puttnam is sure that Wright would want them built. He remembers Wright, at 85, returning from a planning meeting downcast because the board said they wouldn't build his project. "But ever buoyant, he turned and swung his cane and said, 'But someday they will!' "

Caroline Kooshoian Barry



Story about Google distorted the facts

The decision to place the Associated Press article on Google on the front page of the Jan. 20 News was a poor one. The headline said, "White House wants Internet records." This is clearly incorrect, since it is a building. The report said Google had "refused to comply with a White House subpoena." Apparently, the writer was trying to say that the occupants of the White House had issued a subpoena. Again, clearly in error.

The folks living in the White House do not have the authority to issue a subpoena on any matter. And I think it is quite a stretch to imply, or impugn, that the president directed the Justice Department to take the indicated actions.

Having vented these emotive words early on, Michael Liedtke went on to describe activities by the Justice Department, which is indeed the agency involved on behalf of the Bush administration in this matter.

Perhaps the greatest weakness in the article is that there was only minimal comment on why the government wants the Google information. I agree this is an important subject, and one that deserves to be covered accurately and thoroughly. If The News should elect to use Liedtke's articles in the future, I suggest the editor remove the more obvious bias and stick to the relevant content.

Larry Hillebrand



Killing of innocent people should never be condoned

On Jan. 13, a U.S. drone aircraft fired missiles at the Pakistani village of Damadola, killing at least 13 civilians. In its Jan. 24 editorial, The News defends the strike because U.S. sources claim that al-Qaida leaders were living among the villagers.

One common definition of terrorism is "intentionally killing civilians with the aim of sending a political message to others." The political message sent by this strike is "associate with al-Qaida, and we will kill you, your family and your neighbors." So is The News now in the business of defending terrorism?

To understand the cycle of violence in the Middle East, we need to apply our own standards to ourselves. Perhaps the shadowy operative who pushed the button and killed these villagers lives in a Virginia suburb, near CIA headquarters. Would al-Qaida be justified in destroying his entire neighborhood to get at him? To be consistent, The News should say "yes." But I would say, "no, never, of course not, for terrorist violence is always a crime."

James Holstun



Restoring Richardson complex will boost architectural tourism

The author of a Jan. 25 letter suggested that spending $100 million to restore the Richardson complex is "a dreadful misuse of funds." I can see the Richardson towers from my house. The complex is a breathtaking piece of architecture. Its restoration is in no way meant as a reminder of any horror stories about its former residents.

The writer ignores the significant interest in architectural tourism. No doubt, $100 million could be well spent in countless ways. But the state has allocated these funds for this project, and we should spend them before the complex deteriorates any further.

Every day, I have the most amazing commute to work. I drive along a tree-lined parkway system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, through Soldiers, Colonial, Ferry and Symphony Circles. In addition to scores of beautiful Victorian homes, I pass a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Kleinhans Music Hall (designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen) and First Presbyterian Church, built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style in 1891. And I don't need to mention the architectural gems found downtown.

That's just a small fraction of the architecture Buffalo has to offer to tourists, who would gladly pay to see it. The restoration of the Richardson complex is a no-brainer.

Matthew Duggan


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