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Everybody's Column

Extending Route 219 simply isn't necessary

I am responding to the Dec. 18 News editorial titled, "Extend the Route 219 Highway," or as I call it, the highway to nowhere. Not once have I felt unlucky for not having a "major north-south route" because I have several routes.

Why waste millions of dollars for cement that will not do anything for us but allow a faster mode of travel for Canadian skiers? Let's look at what highways have done to our communities. A drive along Routes 5, 20 or 417 will show many closed communities. There will never be a connection directly to Washington, D.C., now that Route 15 outside of Corning is almost completed along with Interstate 99.

We need to look at the future of travel and the opportunities that mass transit could offer for our region. Let's become a leader again, similar to what the Erie Canal did, and develop the mass transit of the future here in Western New York.

I would rather be able to park and ride a system with my family between Randolph and Niagara Falls than drive this route any day, and I would do it more often. Please stop this 219 graveyard and invest in our children's future. We want ways to keep our families in Western New York and bring more here. Think about it!

Thomas Lecceadone

East Randolph

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Fight over burial site is none of our business

I am writing to express my concern over the Dec. 15 front-page story about the Rev. Billy Graham. Even though the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives the media a lot of freedom, which is a good thing, I wonder if the story abuses that freedom.

Sometimes the behavior of the media is justified by the public's right to know. But do we ordinary people need to know about the discussion taking place in the Graham household over where he will be buried after his death? If this were a president using tax dollars to build a tomb, then public knowledge is necessary. Why not leave Graham alone?

Dudley Field

Buffalo

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Why are cable prices rising when channels are being cut?

Earlier this month, we were sent a notice from Time Warner that the Encore Channel, which we've been getting for as long as it's been offered, will be dropped and available only if we buy a movie package. Now the company wants to add a 5 percent increase onto our bill. I'm sure we're not alone in this matter.

The 5 percent increase doesn't seem justified if Time Warner is dropping one channel and then asking us to pay more for a movie package that will cost thrice the amount we paid before. Where are our politicians on this? No one seems to want to confront these guys. Why are they allowed to take away channels and then increase our fees?

Gus Russo

Buffalo

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Cartoon characters shouldn't be smoking

We have come so far with protecting and educating people on the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke that to have comics such as "Pearls Before Swine" and "Beetle Bailey" show characters with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths is not only irresponsible but immoral.

Dennis Hanavan

Derby

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Good deed restores faith in young people

My wife passed away last month after 60 years of a wonderful marriage. My pastor, Buddy Hubbard, has been a real comfort to me. On the night of Dec. 17, he called and said he would like to stop by for a few minutes. I said sure, and told him my daughter-in-law, granddaughter, her husband and my great-grandson were here visiting.

The knock came on the front door at about 8 p.m. and 10 to 12 youths, ages 16 to 21, were on the deck and sang Christmas carols. It was truly refreshing to see so many young people taking their time to sing carols. I believe the future of the United States is in good hands with young people like this.

Dale Strausser

East Aurora

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Bills' blackouts tied to loss of good jobs

If you want to know the reason for the last few blackouts at Ralph Wilson Stadium, just look at the strike at Dunlop, and the pay cuts taken by Delphi workers. These are the people who buy the tickets. As these good-paying, union jobs disappear, we are going to lose all the rest of the good things that they support.

Some guy making $12 an hour is paying a mortgage and car payments, not buying tickets to football and hockey games. Yes, there is a direct link between the loss of our blue-collar jobs and the financial health of our area. All the Wal-Marts in the world can't replace one steel furnace. And Starbucks can't take the place of one tire worker.

Susan K. Nezezon

North Tonawanda

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Don't praise Rumsfeld for failed war strategy

It would seem that Donald Rumsfeld is being summarily relieved of his job as defense secretary and being replaced by Robert Gates, who is more apt to be in accord with anti-Bush sentiments. If so, why is Rumsfeld now being awarded team accolades for a failed military strategy in a war that has cost him his job?

Rumsfeld himself has said the strategy in Iraq wasn't working. Meanwhile, Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota will for some time, due to a brain hemorrhage, be the difference between the Democrats' rule and Cheney's rule if the vice president takes over in accordance with the law. The Republicans would then have Senate control, because of Cheney's tie-breaking vote. Johnson's prognosis at this writing is encouraging. You can be sure he won't resign without a struggle taking many months.

At a time when the polls give President Bush the lowest marks ever on Iraq, Gates says we cannot afford to fail in the Middle East. How this will be accomplished is apparently being held as the New Year's surprise.

Richard A. Kamprath

Town of Tonawanda

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Water Authority needs to get to work right now

The Erie County Water Authority has admitted that it didn't have the generating capacity to withstand the electrical shortage after the October snowstorm. Officials are now saying that they will start attending to this shortage in 2008.

What are they waiting for? There is a new year starting soon -- 2007. Why can't they get started in the new year? Having lived in this area all my life, I think there is a very good possibility that we will have another severe storm this winter. Why can't the Water Authority be prepared?

Norma Stevenson

Amherst

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