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Editorial unfairly faults?Main Street banking

In its May 17 editorial, "Better behavior needed by banks," The Buffalo News unfairly condemned all banks for the bad deeds of a few, and denigrated tens of thousands of responsible community bankers who make Buffalo a better place to live and work.

Banking is an important business in Buffalo. Seventeen community-oriented banks operate in the Buffalo-Niagara region, and 32,000 Western New Yorkers are employed in the financial sector – more than seven percent of our private-sector workforce. With an average salary of $52,590, local bank employees earn 33% more annually than other private-sector workers.

These bankers are ethical and responsible members of our community, and their contributions to our economy are positive and important.

To be sure, the handful of gigantic Wall Street banks deserve criticism for putting taxpayers and our overall financial system at great risk.

But Main Street banks are very different. They adhere to a much safer strategy. Rather than gambling capital on uncertain investments, they utilize deposits to extend credit to local families and businesses.

M&T Bank, for example, made more than 137,000 new loans totaling almost $20 billion last year.

Robert G. Wilmers

Chairman/CEO, M&T Bank



Corasanti jury does not ?deserve public blasting

What type of a community do we live in when fellow citizens that are requested and required to perform a difficult service to the best of their abilities are subsequently faced with death threats?

It is extremely disheartening to take in the aftermath of the Dr. James G. Corasanti trial and find a landscape of recrimination, accusatory statements and out of control individuals who are seeking to continue intensifying the situation.

The jurors, defense attorneys and prosecutors that performed either a civil responsibility or their job do not deserve to be publicly criticized, chastised, or incriminated. People's lives were destroyed and forever changed. There are lessons to be learned, first that drinking and driving has always been reckless and the same applies for a young girl, in dark clothing, who was skate boarding late at night and second that a thorough understanding of the mechanics of the justice system might have helped to temper the criticisms.

Mary Flickinger

East Aurora


Dixon deserves to be?Buffalo's superintendent

I was privileged to work with Amber Dixon in the Title 1 Math program years ago. I always knew she would go far. Now, she is one of the three applicants for superintendent of the Buffalo schools. I think she is the candidate whom the board should hire. She has already been doing the job. She understands the system. She gets things done.

Why bring in someone from outside of Buffalo when you already have an amazing candidate who lives here?

Judy Zeckhauser



Stopping invasive species?requires lawmakers' help

In the battle against an ever-advancing front of invasive species it's critical to stay at least one step ahead. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter had the leadership and foresight to introduce much-needed legislation to prevent invasive species before they are imported here. H.R. 5864 would replace antiquated 112-year-old rules under the Lacey Act, giving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service streamlined authority to regulate non-native animals as "injurious" and prohibit their importation and interstate sales. The current process takes years to prohibit a species.

In the early 1970s, two species of Asian carp – the bighead and leaping silver carp – were imported to the United States and later escaped into the Mississippi River. They've since made their way northward toward Lake Michigan, out-competing native fish and injuring boaters along the way. Now the carp are on the move toward the Great Lakes through a direct artificial connection from the Chicago Area Waterway System. Once established in the Great Lakes, the fast-growing carp could gobble up the food that sustains native fish, devastating the region's $7 billion fishing industry and forever changing how boaters, anglers and tourists enjoy the lakes. Lake Erie has the potential to be especially hard hit by the Asian carp because of the lake's warm and biologically productive waters.

The Asian carp's arrival has prompted serious questions about how to protect the lakes against these and other invaders. Had this legislation been enacted years ago the Fish and Wildlife Service could have prevented Asian carp and countless other nuisance species from being imported into the country in the first place.

Nate Drag

New York Outreach Coordinator

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Parker got it all wrong?when criticizing Obama

Syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker recently wrote that President Obama "broke decorum by criticizing" Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United ruling and was even worse by "now taunting (Chief Justice) Roberts" regarding the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, which will be decided soon. Further discussion of Obama v. Roberts would fuel Parker's feeling that such is "politics at its filthiest and beneath the dignity of the court." Let us debate, instead, Warren v. Roberts. The former, it will be recalled, was Chief Justice more than 50 years ago who was responsible for the unanimous decision of Brown v. Board of Education. It had to be unanimous, he argued; he was successful, he maintained, because of the tremendous importance of the most serious matter before the court in years and years.

Warren wasn't there in 2000 nor was Roberts when the Supreme court, not unanimously, of course, simply decided, politically, who would be president of the United States. After all, perhaps Parker would argue, the president doesn't outrank even a Thomas or Scalia, let alone a chief justice.

Now, the most important question is Obamacare. What will Chief Justice Roberts do? Will he seek unanimity? Of course not. Can he at least try to emulate Warren? Yes, he can. The court should render, minimally, a 6-3 decision. Chief Justice Roberts, honorable to be sure, may vote "for" or may vote "against."

He undoubtedly will honorably vote his conscience. But, he owes it to the country, a la Earl Warren, to persuade a Republican/conservative to vote "for" or a Democrat/liberal to vote "against." 9-0 is impossible. 5-4 is sickeningly political.

Thomas Santa Lucia



Esmonde got it right ?on the Rice tragedy

Not that we need a reminder that "justice is blind," but many thanks to Donn Esmonde for setting our moral compass straight during the recent Alex Rice tragedy. Keep up the good work.

Ray Pauley

Grand Island