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Everybody's column

Let's all pitch in to raze city's abandoned houses

I am a firefighter's mom. Since June 10 I've been with my seriously injured son at Erie County Medical Center. He's recovering because of who he is, because of the excellent care he's been getting and because of thousands of prayers and well wishes. I am grateful, but now I'm angry as to why this had to happen.

The equation is simple. Old houses plus fire (arson) equals potential danger and tragedy. May I offer a mother's cure? The City of Buffalo will spend $14 million to tear down abandoned houses this year, but more is needed. I challenge anyone -- individuals, corporations, businessmen, sports figures, contractors and concerned citizens -- with the capital to TDAH (Take Down A House).

Don't just think about it, show some moxie, find out how to go about it and do it! Then you can proudly say, "TDAH," I took down an abandoned house (or two) in Buffalo.

Barbara Reed

West Seneca


Don't let government take over health care

A recent series of editorials in The Buffalo News examined our health care system and the need for reform. Health plans agree that providing access to health care coverage to all Americans should be our nation's number one domestic priority. Last November, our industry put forth a comprehensive proposal that calls for shoring up the health care safety net, giving working families a helping hand and providing assistance to states to expand access to coverage.

In addition, health plans are doing their part to lower costs and improve the quality of care. They offer innovative care coordination and disease management programs, encourage prevention, incentivize individuals to engage in healthy living and are leading the way toward electronic medial records and evidence-based medicine.

A recent New York Times/CBS News survey found that 87 percent of insured respondents said their coverage gives them access to good medical care at an affordable cost. Americans don't want a government takeover of the health care system. They want a uniquely American approach that blends both the public and private sectors to help everyone gain access to high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Karen Ignagni

President and CEO

America's Health Insurance Plans


Move sex offenders out of neighborhood

Who can endorse a program that houses third-degree sexual offenders in a residential neighborhood? Third-degree sexual offenders are at high risk of repeated offense and a threat to public safety. These men are living on Bailey Avenue near two day care centers, a Boys and Girls Club serving about 150 children and the Teaching and Restoring Youth program for homeless young women, mostly 16 and 17 years old. There are homes with numerous children who must wait for buses nearby. This is a residential area.

Saving Grace Ministries opened with seven beds with promises to our area block club that sexual offenders would not live here. Now they do. What happened? Now we read in the Saving Grace newsletter that it is expanding to 49 beds and is acquiring four more residential properties. We call on all in public office to assist us in thwarting this injustice.

Mary Augusta Kaiser, SSJ



Gates Circle condo is attractive project

There seems to be organized resistance to a condominium on Gates Circle. I would call myself a PIMBY (Put In My Back Yard). One repeated objection is violation of the Olmsted design. Did they protest when Humboldt Parkway was gutted and Delaware Park bisected?

Gates Circle is dominated by the hospital and the former restaurant, neither of which conforms to the Olmsted suggestion. The third corner has very ordinary buildings and parking lots. Only the Chapin Parkway segment still resembles the original and is indeed very attractive. Delaware Avenue bears little resemblance to a past era in which horses predominated. Where is the bridle path?

Traffic congestion has also been cited as a problem. Surely a condominium of 50 to 60 units with off-street parking would generate less traffic problem than a functional restaurant with banquets, receptions, etc.

Uniland should be thanked for proposing an attractive, economically feasible structure.

David T. Mount



Parishioners ready to journey together

I want to make a comment on the headline for the story on the church closings in the July 1 paper, "Journey to end for another 16 Catholic churches." I beg to differ. The journey is nowhere near "ended." We, the members of these parishes -- St. Gerard, St. James and soon Blessed Trinity -- are starting on the next phase of the journey. We are joining forces with the parishes to which we are going, working to prepare for the move, working together with these parishes to form more vibrant communities, joining our gifts and talents for the good of all and "thinking outside the box" to bring new life to the Church in Buffalo.

Will we really do it? Only time will tell. But those of us who care will work to bring it about even while mourning what was and is no more. Or, if we cannot, for whatever reason, go to the church community listed, we will join another parish where we will be involved.

"Journey to end?" No way! It's barely begun! Just watch us.

Bonnie Martin



Few benefit from plan to curb airport noise

In regard to the June 30 News editorial on airport noise, we have put up with increased noise, cracked windows and frustration for years as planes fly overhead, yet only three homes on Harris Court were chosen for home improvements. Instead of "touchdown" as the editorial implies, it should have read, "upon further review."

Vivian Preziuso



Bush's actions speak louder than his words

I cannot believe the arrogance of this person who sits in the Oval Office and preaches democracy to the world, when his administration borders on a dictatorship.

It is frightening to think of what would have happened if he was president during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I recommend that when President Bush leaves office, he build his library on Alcatraz.

Ronald S. Cudney


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