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Newsletters 'Dear friends, it's been a long year ...'

It's the time of year for that annual holiday newsletter. You know, the printed form tucked in a greeting card that details everything that happened to Uncle Sid or Cousin Jane over the past 12 months.

Well, we got to thinking what the annual newsletter would be like for some of Western New York's best-known personalities.

What might they write? Perhaps it would be something like this:

"It's been a tough year. First the budget crisis, then the control board, and the Legislature is always on my back. I don't have anybody to drive me around. I guess I won't be running for governor. I can't make anybody happy. Everybody is picking on me. Merry Christmas."

-- Joel A. Giambra

"The fact of the matter is that it has been a good year. As you know, I'm leaving my job but the city will have a surplus of $39.2 million. The streets are plowed, the firefighters and the police are protecting the people and I'm learning the ropes of lobbying. All I want for Christmas is a casino, Bass Pro and a new Skyway. I haven't felt this good since I hit that shot at the buzzer to win for Canisius. Merry Christmas and never forget, Buffalo is a great place to live."

-- Anthony M. Masiello

"Let me make this clear, this superintendent will not tolerate a bad year. This place is a lot different than Dayton. We get more snow and it's a little colder but I can take it. I am in charge here and I've told Santa Claus, no mess in the chimney and no coal in the stocking. If Santa can't do it my way, stay out of my house. The same goes for Phil Rumore, the media, teachers, students and anyone else who can't follow my rules. Have a happy holiday."

-- James A. Williams

"I can't believe what happened this year. I spent more than $350,000 on the election and I still lost. We're going to take it easy with the gifts this Christmas, and I know you will understand. Come visit me at the Pepsi Center."

-- Susan J. Grelick

"Dear friends: As you know, both of us are going through some hard times. We understand how you feel. We've told Eric to behave himself. We've told J.P. we still have faith in him. We've told Mr. Wilson, we will do everything in our power to make this thing work. Please have patience. Remember, the Pittsburgh Steelers were not built in a day. Say a prayer for us this Christmas and check out the enclosed resumes just in case. God bless."

-- Mike Mularkey and Tom Donahoe

"Happy holidays. You know, it's great living in a small market and not being on strike. Nobody expected much from us this year, but right now it's a wonderful life. I saw President Clinton the other night and he told me to keep up the good work. That guy knows his stuff. Keep your head up and maybe, one day soon, we will all be drinking some holiday cheer from the same cup."

-- Lindy Ruff

"Oh man, what a year. I've been in the studio and everything is cool. Did you see us at the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center? Man, it was cold, you know what I mean? Always smile, and never forget that music is art."

-- Robby Takac

"I've had a good year, lots of records, lots of concerts and many new friends. Christmas is time to get out of my hole and be with other people again. The trajectory of my life has been very solitary, and my art goes with that, but once a year at Christmas, I want to give voice to myself and let you know everything is OK."

-- Ani DiFranco

"Sometimes things don't always go the way you planned. The election was much closer than I expected, but we still won. Pray for my friend Tom DeLay. I have no intention to become House majority leader. Friends, believe me, this is Christmas and no time for politics. And never forget that Santa wears a red suit, not blue. What does that tell you?"

-- Thomas M. Reynolds

"This has been a great year. First the nomination and then the election. Things are really changing around here. I'm moving all my stuff in Albany back to Buffalo. I can't wait for the new year to begin. If you need anything, call Steve."

-- Bryon W. Brown

e-mail: aviolanti@buffnews.com

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