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Everybody's Column

We can't compare bridges in Charleston and Buffalo

A recent My View contributor expresses the knee-jerk logic "no new Peace Bridge: ergo, no progress;" comparing us to Charleston, S.C., with its "endless supply of new bridges." The bridges in Charleston are necessary, unduplicated and do no harm; nor do they flood the city with commercial traffic to increase the holdings and revenue of a governing authority. The absence of tangible action on another bridge here is not merely "wheel spinning" but more insidious and maladroit than that and emanates from the Peace Bridge Authority itself.

Having condemned a neighborhood long ago, the authority then orchestrated a self-fulfilling prophesy: purchasing an entire block of homes only to let them rot, fostering stagnation and turning the neighborhood from one ripe for renewal into a breeding ground for blight.

And while the historic character of Charleston's urban core is preserved for its tourist-driven economy, suburban sprawl is the dominant pattern of development in the greater Charleston area, having systematically erased traces of history that once stood outside the city's "Old Charleston" section.

Any plan for a truck bridge here that fails to place it where it links to rail, sea and air commerce as well is not just spinning the city's wheels but digging its grave.

Peter Joseph Certo



Upscale housing needed to enhance city's revival

I read The News article, "Waterfront condo-townhouse project gets conditional go-ahead," and was pleased that upscale development was going to be placed on the waterfront. Most thriving cities have new housing that draws successful professionals to the area. Buffalo has an up-and-coming medical community due to our outstanding research centers downtown and we will miss out on furthering this opportunity to bring even more medical experts to the area by not meeting the demand for luxury housing.

Most Americans have also become concerned with fuel prices and environmental issues. Living in the city is a wonderful solution and upscale housing would bring people who would usually reside in the suburbs into the city where they can have a shorter commute while investing in the city economy.

It is about time that Buffalo starts diving head-first into developing our waterfront, a great and underused resource. Many cities make the mistake of tearing down low-income housing in the process of providing upscale housing, but if we can have Marine Drive Apartments along with more expensive housing on the waterfront, then it will add to Buffalo'sdiversity.

Jenna Piasecki



Everyone would be safer if plazas were connected

I would like to respond to the Sept. 22 letter regarding connecting the Valu parking lot and neighboring Dairy Queen in the Eastern Transit Plaza. Yesterday, I drove into Valu plaza and saw the end of the strip "road to nowhere." I could not believe it. There is an area of about only 8 feet of grass that could be blacktopped to connect the two driveways. It would be wonderful to be able to enter and exit onto Transit Road in the area that has access to a signal.

Has the writer ever counted the number of cars with children frequenting the stores in the plaza next to Valu? Besides Dairy Queen, there is Pro Music, a child tutoring studio, Just Pizza and other stores. Those businesses cater mainly to children and young people, and I drive my four grandsons to several of them each week. Pulling in and out is extremely dangerous, especially when you are carrying precious cargo.

Mike Ervolina's business serves mainly adults, but that doesn't make a plaza frequented mainly by children less important than Valu customers when it comes to safety. In fact, Ervolina should consider that someone dropping off a child at a tutorial session or instrument lesson might find it easier to shop at Valu with better access. I can't believe the president of the Clarence Chamber of Commerce is oblivious to the dangers there.

Shirley A. Scherlein



Protesters at UB debate abdicated responsibility

I attended the debate at the University at Buffalo between Karl Rove and Wesley Clark. During this event students were booing, yelling obscenities and protesting. At times, it was difficult to hear the debate. The university did nothing to stop the disruptions.

One could argue that the students were exercising their freedom of speech when, in fact, they were violating the freedoms of those who had paid to see the event. I consider this a violation of my rights because one person's rights end where another person's rights begin. With freedom comes responsibility and self-control, otherwise it degrades into anarchy.

Jennifer A. Cavaretta



Plan for city manager should be put to voters

I believe that the current proposal to institute a city manager type of government for the City of Buffalo should be pursued by the Common Council. While it is always difficult to effectuate change in the political structure of local government, this is one change that could have a significant long-term beneficial effect on the city without diminishing the representation of city residents.

The separation of the day-to-day operations of the city from the political operations would allow for better management. I believe this is a necessary reform whose time has come and I trust that the Council will allow this measure to be put before the voters for their approval.

Christine V. Campbell



Why doesn't FDA crack down on imported drugs?

Months ago, "60 Minutes" devoted the program to the dreadful production of medications in China -- including pictures of filthy conditions and the handling of pills and such coming into this country. I looked in vain for any indication that I was not the only one to see the program. I cannot understand why such a situation did not cause great alarm and swift action to put a stop to at least the situations on film that obviously endangered the many people who ingested such medications. How can this be?

Now we are reading about problems caused by generic drugs imported from India and China. The People's Pharmacy column in the Sept. 25 News put some light on the subject, but where's the big hullabaloo we seem to need to get action?

Let's get something going that will demand action from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice. This is too big an issue, too dangerous for all of us as potential patients, and it is just plain wrong to let this go on.

Kathryn K. Jantz


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