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EVERYBODY'S COLUMN

Power Authority has turned its back on Niagara University

The News is right on the mark in urging Western New York's entire congressional delegation to join Rep. Brian Higgins in working to force the New York Power Authority to be fair in dealing with its neighbors as it seeks a new operating license. An Aug. 23 editorial, however, had one glaring omission. The authority has not only turned its back on Erie County, it has heaped insult on its closest neighbor, Niagara University.

For months, we have attempted to arrive at an agreement whereby the authority would help us fix the problems it created. We met on several occasions and made concrete proposals, emphasizing measures that would benefit the region and complement projects like the Greenway. We thought we were making progress until the authority filed its application weeks before the actual deadline, leaving no time to see if an agreement could be reached with the university.

By doing so, it is asking the federal government to sanction the Power Authority's disregard and disrespect for its closest neighbor for another half century. As a major economic force in Western New York, we are determined to prevent this injustice.

Marsha Joy Sullivan
Secretary, Niagara University board of trustees

Poor planning and response to hurricane is shameful

As I watch the unfolding saga of the plight of the citizens who remained in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, I can't help thinking of the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

It should be quite obvious to anyone who viewed the news broadcasts covering this catastrophe that there was no plan for evacuating that city. It was well-known in that nearly 300-year-old city that 67 percent of the population was black and that 30 percent of the population lived under the poverty level. The evacuation order was issued because the levee was designed to withstand only a Category 3 hurricane. Did these talking heads give any consideration to the fact that those 30 percent probably had no means to evacuate? Obviously not.

I realize that hindsight is 2 0/2 0, but I find it hard to believe that in the city's master plan, there was never a procedure set up to aid people, who live below sea level, to evacuate if necessary. What did they expect handicapped people or those with no cars to do?

It is also obvious that our federal agencies were not in the right place at the right time, even though they had ample warning.

Lee Salisbury
Hamburg

Advocates of creationism are evolving their theory

Even though I don't agree with them, I have to admire the people who are opposed to the teaching of evolution in public schools. They're demonstrating an effective tactic when faced with a change in their environment that is a disadvantage to them (recent court losses): they're evolving.

They've abandoned the discredited "creation science" and morphed their agenda into support of a new theory, intelligent design, using the slogan "teach the controversy." Their slick evolution has even President Bush convinced that "people ought to be exposed to different ideas."

But intelligent design is not science. Science involves the review of observable facts, the putting forth of a hypothesis that explains these facts and predicts new facts, and then the testing of that hypothesis, which either demonstrates the predicted facts or doesn't. There have been no intelligent design experiments or studies conducted and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and there are virtually no testable hypotheses that can be proved or disproved in a scientific laboratory. It is an alternative explanation of some scientific observations, but that doesn't make it science.

Blair Webster
Hamburg

Congestion at Isle bridges isn't caused by dealership

While I agree with the Aug. 25 letter writer concerning Grand Island bridge congestion being unacceptable, I'd like to correct some misstatements he made.

I live within 2,000 feet of the intersection of Alvin and Whitehaven where Fucillo's is located, and there has been zero congestion because of the dealership. Further, Fucillo's has added over 100 good-paying jobs to the Grand Island economy, while increasing its tax base at little or no cost. While I don't live near Invitrogen, I'm sure the same can be said about that company.

The writer seems to think that all the green space on Grand Island is rapidly being used up. This is not the case. While there has been quite a lot of development on the east side of the island, there has been virtually none on the west side, and due to a lack of a sewer system not much is expected in the foreseeable future.

Fran Preve
Grand Island

Group is working to resolve theft of Central Terminal art

The theft of artwork from the Central Terminal has been most troubling and upsetting to the Central Terminal Restoration Corp. While we cannot contemplate the loss experienced by the artists whose work was stolen, the violation of our building and our trust has caused us great harm.

I want to assure all involved that the Restoration Corp. has done and continues to do everything possible to resolve this dark episode in what had been a series of shining chapters devoted to the rebirth of the Central Terminal. This includes continued follow-up with police investigators, ongoing contacts with local art dealers, antique stores and flea markets and our total cooperation in the ongoing investigation.

Russell E. Pawlak
President, Central Terminal Restoration Corp., Buffalo

Middle class needs to fight loss of workers' rights, jobs

An Aug. 30 letter, "County workers finally get a taste of reality," talked about how wages and benefits of American workers are being reduced across the country. Instead of criticizing organized labor for the gains its members have made over the years, we should be commending it and urging more people to join a union to help make their lot in life better for them and their families.

Should the middle class silently sit by and let the standard of living for all Americans be reduced while corporate profits are at historic highs, while our government finds one way after another to send good jobs to Third World countries and while the rich get richer? I don't think so.

Instead of following like a bunch of sheep, we had better hit the streets and say enough is enough. Fight for workers' rights and good-paying jobs. Who better to lead that fight than organized labor? Wal-Mart isn't going to do it. We have to do it.

Michael J. Rusinek
Depew

We can honor troops in Iraq by going to the voting booth

Primary Day is Tuesday. We have all heard some of our government's reasons for being in Iraq. A major one is that the United States will bring democratic values to Iraq and then, hopefully, to the rest of the Middle East. Our men and women are fighting and dying in Iraq for these values.

Let us not forget that we ought to enjoy these democratic values here at home. After the debacle this year of the Erie County government, it is absolutely imperative that we elect the best possible candidates for our government. Consequently, the primaries for many local offices are paramount this year. Please get to your polling place and elect the best candidate for the position.

Joyce H. Bol
Amherst

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