Sell Perrysburg site before it gets the best of Buffalo
An article about J.N. Adam Hospital appeared in The News Nov. 13. I'm a New York State taxpayer, not a resident of Buffalo. I don't have the political pull of David Franczyk, am not an attorney like Richard Lippes, representing "Friends" of J.N. Adams, or Michael Kuzma, attorney who heads that group and a friend of Franczyk.
This issue has been in the courts with several lawsuits. I suggest this property be put up for sale again. It's an albatross around the neck, in disrepair and getting worse every day.
Advertise aggressively across the country, bids only accepted with available funds. Show a complete map of the property, including every public road it fronts, and value of the timber stand as appraised by an approved New York State forester. If not sold after six months, auction it off to the highest bidder.
There is something awfully wrong with this situation when property in this area is selling for $1,000-$1,500 per acre after all salable timber has already been cut. Sale of this property would only be a drop in the bucket for the needs of Buffalo but maybe Albany should start telling them to sell it before looking for handouts from the state.
Bill and Myrna Moss
Turn Canadian litter into donation windfall
Problem: Clothing and shoes left behind by Canadian shoppers. Solution: Have area shopping centers indicate where local Goodwill and Salvation Army drop-offs are located, or have some of the drop-off trailers in the shopping center parking lots. We all know why the Canadians leave their stuff behind, and I'm sure it isn't because they like to litter. Why not have the less fortunate benefit from their little "white lie" as well?
Peace Center is biased on Middle East conflict
The News article about Elea Mihou portrays her and her organization, the Western New York Peace Center, as dedicated to peace and social justice. I have had the opportunity to attend lectures sponsored by the Peace Center and have found them to be very biased on the Palestianian-Israeli conflict. If she is indeed interested in promoting peace and justice, she would look at both sides of the issue in order to promote dialogue.
Instead, the Peace Center spreads propaganda and dissension. If Mihou believed that "Palestinian life is as valuable as Israeli life," she would examine the policies of the Palestinian leaders who are holding both peoples hostage to their agenda.
Buffalo's orchestra has proven its status
I had been watching for a letter regarding the Baltimore Symphony being a major orchestra and our Buffalo Philharmonic not quite, but an article with readers' comments was then printed in the new ArtsBeat section.
The BPO has had major conductors since I became aware of it in the 50s, including Josef Krips, Semyon Bychkov, Michael Tilson Thomas, and now JoAnn Falletta. Kleinhans Music Hall has often been praised for its design and acoustics. Money was a problem for a time and recordings few, but Falletta seems to have raised all parts of the orchestra's "adventures." Like the city itself, the orchestra was at one time, as I remember, one of the nation's top 10. If not now, it must be very close!
The New York Times called Falletta one of the finest conductors of her generation, and her annual International Guitar Competition continues to succeed.
Another prize at Kleinhans is the Buffalo Chamber Music Society's series bringing renowned musicians here for the past 80 years at affordable prices or free of charge.
Veterans Affairs lacks basic accountability
A recent TV documentary, "Waging War on the VA," was an excellent illustration of what is wrong with veterans affairs. The reporter was interviewing a young veteran of the present war in Iraq. He suffered the loss of an arm, an eye and suffered shrapnel wounds to his body. He presented a letter from the VA stating that his shrapnel wounds were not service-connected. The reporter then showed the letter to Gordon Mansfield, acting director of the VA. Mansfield's reply to the reporter was, "I'll look into it if you want me to." Wrong answer. The answer should have been, this claim representative lacks good judgment and will be dismissed.
Mansfield by his answer shows that he lacks the judgment to manage Veterans Affairs. He should not be confirmed by Congress. Our young veterans do not need harassment from the VA.
Dialogue before war could avoid atrocities
I believe the United States is at war in Iraq ultimately to secure a ready supply of oil, especially because U.S. supplies are dwarfed by those in the Middle East. Many think that Big Oil has encouraged this war in order to line its pockets, with considerable help from the current vice president. Furthermore, all involved in the military-industrial complex are undoubtedly profiting handsomely because of recent U.S. military actions.
Especially with talk about possible military action against Iran, we need to make decisions about going to war that are not colored by financial motives. We should ask the presidential contenders to declare three simple criteria to be met before considering taking the country to war on foreign soils. Presuming that such criteria could be met at some point during their presidency, they should then outline three steps that would be taken as part of the deliberative process to actually decide whether or not to take the country to war. Such dialogue would make us a stronger country.
Collins is lining up the usual politicians
My optimism over the election of Chris Collins appears to be short lived as I read that two of the members of his transition team are Nancy Naples and Dennis Vacco. This is like Jim Keane using his long association with Dennis Gorski as a plus during the campaign.
The election of Collins was supposed to put an end to career politicians who use the county taxpayers to further their careers and enhance their wealth. The only people who benefited from these politicians were their families, friends and special interest groups.
Mixing career politicians with "running government as a business" might prove to be a bad recipe for the people of Erie County.