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Everybody's Column

Superintendent can't expectthings to change overnight

As a parent with two children in the Buffalo Public Schools and after viewing Superintendent James Williams' "grades" for the last eight months, I felt the need to write. Who were the parents, school officials and community leaders polled in the March 5 News article? They must have been only his supporters and those who hired him.

As the article stated, he talks the talk, but can he walk the walk? Many changes have been proposed, but are they being enforced and followed through? Where is Williams when it's time to face parents? I have tried to contact him by phone and in a personal letter. I also attended a meeting for parents on the violence in our schools. He sent his administrative representatives. They, too, talk the talk, but have no clue.

No one likes change, but Williams came in like a bull in a china shop. Like the many teachers, classes and programs that were phased out over the years, Williams needs to slow down and phase in his new plans and ideas. He can't expect change overnight. While some find him "a breath of fresh air," others feel the wind being knocked out of them.

Ann Smith

Buffalo

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Perhaps executives' jobs should be outsourced, too

The controversy swirling around the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to India continues. I'll be the first to admit I don't see the big picture. Perhaps outsourcing will eventually lead to financial prosperity here at home.

The rationale for outsourcing jobs to low-wage countries is lower costs of production. This allegedly leads to a higher return for shareholders of the corporations. If this is true, then I wonder why the positions of CEO, CFO, etc., are not outsourced as well.

Surely there are men and women from India who, having earned an MBA from Harvard or Yale, could run our corporations as well as those who now do so. If nothing else, the outsourced position of CEO might carry a salary of perhaps $50,000 per year. Just think of the benefits to a corporation's bottom line without bloated executive salaries, obscene stock options and country club memberships.

Who will be the first to do so? General Motors? Ford? Wal-Mart? I won't hold my breath waiting for this to happen.

Larry Dudeck

Williamsville

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NARAL's criticism of Suozzi is unfair

As a supporter of women's reproductive rights and former NARAL member, I believe Kelli Conlin's criticism of Tom Suozzi in the March 5 News for accepting former Mayor Jim Griffin's endorsement is unfair and shortsighted. Suozzi believes abortion should be safe, legal and rarely needed.

Griffin endorsed Suozzi for his positive accomplishments in Nassau County. Among those is a $3 million initiative, Common Sense for the Common Good, bringing disparate groups together to promote adoption, education and prevention, and homes for single mothers.

NARAL should be embracing Suozzi, who has a track record of doing something positive for women and teaching older politicians to make more productive choices.

Karen L. Spencer

East Aurora

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Increased law enforcement makes the city safer for all

I agree with the police and the mayor on the parking enforcement blitz. The bottom line is, if you park illegally, you should get a ticket. As a city resident for the past six years, I have seen numerous cars parked in front of fire hydrants, at bus stops and crosswalks and on corners and the wrong side of the street, all day long. On several occasions, police cars drove by without even slowing down. These are blatant violations and serious safety issues for those of us who live in the city. I am glad the police are finally starting to deal with the offenders.

I know we want people to live and visit our city, and they should not be afraid of getting a parking ticket, as long as they obey the laws. We all joke about the police in the suburbs being tough. My suggestion is that if you drive in Buffalo, think of it as driving in the suburbs and show the residents of the city the same respect you would show the residents of the suburbs.

Carey Killion

Buffalo

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Buffalo should offer free parking to visitors

Buffalo is always clamoring about attracting tourists to enjoy all that the area has to offer. Here's a novel idea: Offer free parking so visitors can spend their time and money in the city. My husband and I recently visited Alexandria, Va., and were proclaimed honorary citizens for the day. We were given a 24-hour parking pass by the Visitors Bureau that let us park free at any meter.

Needless to say, it enabled us to shop and eat without fear of finding a ticket on our windshield. Will we visit there again? Certainly. Will we tell our traveling friends? Certainly. How about it Mayor Brown? Make it free and easy, and they will come.

Paula Murek

Amherst

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Health care system needs major overhaul

This is in response to the Feb. 14 letter, "Union leader is misinformed about universal health care." I believe the writer is the one who needs to be better informed. These are the facts:

There are 45 million uninsured Americans and another 50 million who are underinsured.

Lack of universal insurance is hurting the economy, as well as our health.

We are the only industrialized country without some form of national health care.

The United States does not have the world's best health care -- it has the costliest.

Lack of health insurance is killing more Americans than terrorism.

Half of all personal bankruptcies are health related.

The United States devotes 15 percent of its gross domestic product to health care spending.

The bottom line is that national health care could save your job, pension and economic survival.

Charles Gangarossa

President, UAW Local 897

Buffalo

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Lame excuse doesn't justify taxpayer-provided cars

I am amused that one of the arguments that county politicians use to justify taxpayer-provided cars is that they are on call 24 hours a day. Thousands of workers in private industry and government are on call 24 hours a day, and few are given cars in case they are called to their jobs.

Robert W. Roach

West Seneca

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State police roadblocks generate lots of revenue

I saw my first robin yesterday. I have also heard the honking of the returning geese. Spring flowers are beginning to bloom. Along with these joyous things, I have run into the notorious New York State Trooper roadblocks. Where are these people in the winter when the weather is treacherous? Do they migrate like the geese do? When the weather is bad and they are needed, they become a rare bird indeed.

I wonder if, perhaps, they are a revenue-producing agency. It's hard to believe the number of tickets they write for such petty things as not wearing a seat belt. Are these people really here for my protection? If so, I wish they'd stop protecting me so much. My pocketbook just can't stand it.

Donald Dale

Sloan

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