Lackawanna is gaining steady, positive momentum
While I don't live in Lackawanna, one could not help but notice some obvious changes taking place in that city, especially along Route 5, which I travel often. Apparently I'm not the only one to notice as I have seen an article about the windmills in The New York Times, as well as national news clips on NBC Nightly News and the Fox News Network. All portrayed Western New York and especially Lackawanna in a very positive light. It was refreshing to see.
There appear to be several other noteworthy improvements along Route 5, most notably a new hotel under construction. There are several other projects under way, as evidenced by all the construction equipment. The progress in this area is a welcome sight and long overdue. I don't ever recall seeing so much activity in a specific area as I am witnessing right now. Lackawanna has changed forever.
Congratulations to the mayor and his team in Lackawanna for a job well done. For those of us who see the ever continuing progress, we can only hope that other communities take notice, follow Lackawanna's lead, and put us back on the map in a positive way. Lackawanna has changed and is continuing to change. The image is good, the outlook is good. Looking west, I'm reminded of it every day.
Bass Pro subsidy plan should be defeated
I am disappointed, indeed appalled by the Bass Pro/Benderson proposal for Buffalo's Canal District. There is an excellent master plan already in place for the development of the waterfront, a plan that won the prestigious Planning Honor Award from the international non-profit Waterfront Center.
In my mind, there can be no reason for scrapping that plan in favor of a state-subsidized private business (Bass Pro) other than political graft and greed. The grass roots and preservationists want to go ahead with the People's Plan and do not want tax dollars to be used to bribe a big box corporation to occupy a prime historic sight on the waterfront.
Please write to your legislators to ask them to do everything in their power to move the existing master plan for the Canal District forward without further delay.
Jean S. Palas
Hamburg art selection was fairly executed
I write in response to the July 6 letter, "Hamburg let artists down with poor selection process," and the writer's unfounded criticism of the selection process for the Village of Hamburg Sculpture Competition.
The first-round review of sculpture proposals was conducted through a visual preference survey voted on by the public and the sculpture committee. We did this for two reasons. First, since the public will experience the art visually, we felt it critical that the first-round cut be based on an initial visual appeal test. Second, it was the only feasible way to handle the large number of entries we received.
It would simply not be practicable for either the public or the sculpture committee to review the artist's written proposals for all 114 pieces. If we had done so at the public meeting, we would have been there until the next day. Further, the process we followed is an accepted practice that has been used for local and national competitions.
Notably, the writer fails to mention that she is the personal assistant of a disappointed contestant. She also fails to mention that I responded to her concerns in a lengthy private letter to her employer. I am troubled that, rather than accepting the outcome, she chose to make unfounded accusations about what was a very successful event.
Michael S. Cerrone
Hamburg Village Trustee
Writer should leave her politics out of reviews
In Mary Kunz Goldman's review of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's concert on Bidwell Parkway, she ended it by writing that a neighbor's flag waving during "Stars and Stripes Forever" was a "more patriotic action than this particular corner has seen in a long time." The reference was a swipe at the anti-war protesters who regularly demonstrate there.
Many of us, and I am not one of the demonstrators, think that speaking out against the war in Iraq is an act of patriotism. More significant, in fact, than waving a flag during a John Phillips Sousa song. My suggestion is that Kunz Goldman leave her political opinions out of her music reviews. The News editors should have removed her comment.
Spitzer should sign bill aiding nonprofits
Gov. Eliot Spitzer campaigned last year on a platform promoting greater transparency and accountability. On June 18, a bill was passed by both houses of the Legislature presenting a significant opportunity for him to translate his support for those principles into action.
Simply put, this bill would set the expectation for a businesslike approach to the state's contracting process with not-for-profit agencies. The legislation would strengthen current law to assure that our community's providers receive timely communication, decisions and payment.
Without these protections, local agencies are forced to borrow and pay interest on loans just to cover their cash flow. Essential services may be disrupted.
The legislature's unanimous and bipartisan support for this bill is noteworthy. I urge the governor to sign the bill into law.
Dorcas L. Colvin
Commutation continues the cycle of covering up
The president says it's time to move on with respect to the Libby/Plame case. Not so fast! A very serious crime has been committed. A Non-official cover (NOC) agent has been outed. Given the years it takes to recruit, train and place a NOC, to have one exposed is the CIA's worst nightmare. For one to be sacrificed for political purposes in time of war is not to be trivialized.
Plame allegedly was involved with WMD proliferation, particularly from Iran, our most serious national security issue per Vice President Cheney. It is a matter so sensitive that the CIA can not talk about it, which is exactly why prosecutor Fitzgerald is unable to bring charges for this violation against Libby or his cohorts.
Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence was a brilliant legal move. It allowed his appeal to go forward, which in turn preserved his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, which in turn preserves the cover-up.
Now the president wants to move on with no accountability for the underlying crime. The Rosenbergs weren't so lucky.
Andrew R. Graham