>Niagara Power Coalition shouldn't block Greenway
I am writing in regard to the Dec. 8 News article listing the Niagara Power Coalition's objections to the Niagara Greenway Plan. It sounds like the coalition wants to keep $150 million of regional assets as a private "pork barrel" under local political control without subordinating its interests at all to a regional riverfront revitalization plan.
The Greenway proposal could make our side of the river a competitor to the other side of the river, instead of what it is now -- a joke. Residents of Niagara County need only look around themselves -- and then look across the river to Canada -- to see the results of past myopic thinking by their political class.
The coalition's threat to reduce the region's access to revitalization funds from $450 million to $300 million unless it gets its way is a further example of "taking a piece of the shrinking pie." The Greenway proposal maximizes the riverfront pie for all of the region's grandchildren. It should also be noted that the Niagara Power Coalition was also granted another $250 million by the New York Power Authority, with no strings attached. That kind of pork supports a lot of re-elections.
>Let's work to improve Buffalo's housing stock
As a resident and taxpayer in Buffalo, I am doing what I can to help get low- to moderate-income families into houses of their own. I read with interest the article in the Dec. 9 News about the housing activists who are advocating that swift action be taken on the nearly 1,500 state-owned, abandoned properties in our city.
I was surprised to see the defensive reaction of the state agency that controls these properties. I was also disappointed in the Brown administration's criticism of these hard-working housing advocates.
Tiffany Berns, spokeswoman for the Municipal Bond Bank Agency, should do the math. She boasts about $2 million in rehabilitation money being made available for the properties, but at $35,000 per house, that's barely 50 houses out of the nearly 1,500 that are dragging our neighborhoods down. Buffalo needs and deserves more than this drop in the bucket. And the Brown administration should be grateful to PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing) for keeping the focus on this problem.
>Wilson doesn't deserve more taxpayer dollars
In response to the Another Voice, "WNY needs to start work now to keep the Bills," I say: put up your own money!
The state gets the vast majority of its revenue from New York City. Yet the state refused to help either the Jets or the Giants build a stadium in New York. Erie County lacks both the population and income levels to support an NFL team. That's why the TV blackout was extended to Elmira, Syracuse, Toronto, Erie and points farther away.
Ralph Wilson is not a resident of New York, but the owners of the Sabres, Jets and Giants are. Why should taxpayers support using state tax dollars to support a nonresident owner?
With control boards in place in both Buffalo and Erie County, how does spending money on the stadium have any priority over schools, medical coverage and essential public works? To sum it up, use your own money if you want to, but keep your hands off my tax dollars.
John R. Scorsese
>We need to continue monsignor's great work
Monsignor Robert Wurtz was known, both within the Catholic Diocese and the Buffalo community, as a caring man with a kind heart, charismatic personality and great stature. To me, he was just Father Bob, a family friend and a fixture in my life since birth.
I will always remember him for his love of horses, his devotion to the Catholic Church and to Buffalo, and his generous and giving nature. I know he would want the community to remember him this way as well. But more, I know he would want the people of Buffalo to remember the three great causes in his life: Our Lady of Victory Homes of Charity, the Basilica and the canonization of Father Nelson Baker.
We need only remember at this time of mourning that although we have lost an incredible person, we must continue his work, to preserve Our Lady of Victory and to advocate for Father Baker's canonization. My only wish is that Monsignor Wurtz would have lived long enough to see his great visions realized. Buffalo was blessed to have him, and we cannot forget what he stood for now that he has passed.
>Clark will deliver mediocre services
So, West Seneca Town Supervisor Paul Clark wishes to run for Erie County executive. I've lived in West Seneca for 10 years. I've seen 10 years of tax increases, giving us one of the highest town tax rates per thousand in the county; complete lack of reform or otherwise thinking outside the box in the area of cost control; snow piles of up to 6 feet at the end of my driveway despite numerous complaints that have gone without response; and the list goes on.
I sincerely believe that if Clark is elected, Erie County residents will receive what we town residents now receive: higher taxes, mediocre services, the same old same old and unresponsiveness to the taxpayers who pay his salary. But based on the way the taxpayers have voted in recent years, he probably has an excellent chance at being elected.
Louis M. Speranza
>Reagan had key role in ending Cold War
Recently, a letter writer "debunking Reagan's myth" made his case that Ronald Reagan did not end the Cold War, as George Will so gracefully conveyed in his column. The writer likened Reagan's now very famous quote to "jingoism" while stating that great leaders "articulate skills" to gain an advantage to diplomacy.
He failed to draw comparisons to some of the great quotes and speeches of our past which, by his very comparison to Reagan, would be considered jingoism. "Walk softly but carry a big stick" and "Ask not what your country can do for you . . ." are just a few of the many prime examples we can cherry pick from some of our most cherished leaders.
The writer's astonishing view of arguably our greatest president seems to be a seed planted in our revisionist higher educational system, cultured and eventually harvested by the liberal bias alive and well in our universities nationwide.
The facts are clear. Reagan, through an aggressive foreign policy and a military buildup that dwarfed the enemies' spending, won the day. "Tear down this wall" was simply the exclamation point to this very successful strategy.