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LETTERS

When did Artpark become police state?

I came upon a child of God, he wasn't walking on down the road. He was detained for riding his bicycle in Artpark [before the Richie Havens appearance July 11].

We are talking about an ecologically minded, environmentally friendly, frequent visitor to a state park, doing exactly what he has been doing for decades, now being told it is no longer allowed.

How are we supposed to know when the state park rules change? Give the parks back to the people. There are many state parks with public venues on their grounds. No one tells the tourists at Niagara Falls State Park not to picnic on the grass, that they can't walk around all areas of the park, or what they may eat or drink. When did the Artpark turn into a police state?

I am a frequent park visitor willing to play along with the new rules that are not on any law books. I now believe that these rules are not benefiting the committee that made them believing they would generate a revenue stream.

The music being provided at Artpark includes songs about freedom and civil rights. Don't you understand the messages that you are bringing to the people?

Janet Pryce

Youngstown

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Legislature fails on Mount View

I am a Niagara County taxpayer. I am very upset at the latest article in The Buffalo News on how much it will cost to close Mount View. The article states that it will take $28 million to do so; [County Administrator Gregory D.] Lewis is asking the state for $19 million of that.

Maybe it's just me, but hasn't the Legislature always stood by lowering our taxes? How is this going to lower my taxes? Common sense tells me it will only increase my taxes.

Mr. Lewis still has no final figure on how much it will truly cost to close Mount View and wants to hire a man who is to be [the Mount View] administrator who clearly has a questionable track record. Boy do we sound desperate.

A couple of years ago, we had a plan for renovation for Mount View which would have cost $13 million. The state would have reimbursed 90 percent of the total cost. The Medicaid rate would have been rebased to reflect current reimbursement rates. This plan as a taxpayer would have been my choice, as opposed to the proposed closure costs.

The Orleans County facility is an example of what we could have had if our legislative body had the taxpayer in mind. They have built a beautiful renovated facility. They will reap what they are sowing. Their county truly cares for its elderly and infirmed residents.

Niagara County is falling through the cracks, taking Mount View, Delphi and various businesses with them. Who will pay taxes in Niagara County? Looks stupid to me.

Kathleen Minnick

Wilson

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Greenway planners need to be imaginative

The recent Buffalo News article discussing possibilities for the creation of the Niagara River Greenway stressed the need for "good planning and serious thought."

Remarks by Deputy Erie County Executive Bruce Fisher, however, were a serious disappointment. He was paraphrased as stating Canada's Niagara River Parkway was a "perfect example of what could be created," and that such a new "greenway," together with the Olmsted designed parks, would "bring those opportunities to this side of the border."

Fisher should be aware that (1) the most traditional feature of greenway descriptions is that they are "non-motorized;" (2) Niagara Heritage Partnership has long advocated the removal of four lanes of parkway along the Niagara gorge rim (www.niagaraheritage.org); (3) the Olmsted designed parks in Erie County are categorically different from Olmsted's vision for Niagara; and (4) parkway lanes despoiling unique natural landscapes are in conflict with Olmsted's Niagara vision.

It's anyone's guess what opportunities Fisher would like to bring to our side of the border, but we trust that greenway planners will be able to imagine beyond "what Canada has," while resisting the off-the-cuff musings of Fisher. Otherwise, such ill-conceived remarks by public figures pose the risk of being elevated into planning policy for the entire Niagara Greenway.

Bob Baxter, conservation chair, Niagara Heritage Partnership

Ransomville

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