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Everybody's Column

>Columnist mistook blog's intent on suburban-city divide

Suburbanites' exploration and discovery of the city's treasures ought to be encouraged. My reaction to hearing of a recent school shopping trip to Elmwood Avenue was that of a suburban parent who visits the city regularly, and is amazed that there are suburban kids who had never been there. Also, urban and suburban merchants vie for tweens' allowance money, and school is one place I expect to be free from commercialism of any sort.

The News column by Bruce Andriatch portrayed my online comments as indicative of a suburban/city divide. By calling it "screaming" and a "mini diatribe," a reader could easily have concluded that my comments expressed hostility toward the city or its suburbs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Local blogs and the people who comment thereupon regularly discuss and debate the divide between suburb and city. Our words there remain within their context, owned by their authors. Through debate, we can chip away at ignorance, and hopefully effect some positive change. Nuance abounds.

The chasm that sometimes exists between Buffalo city dwellers and suburbanites is counterproductive to the region's progress and often plain silly. Through humor and hyperbole, I try to expose the ridiculousness of that divide.

Alan J. Bedenko
Clarence Center


>Holiday's true meaning is all but lost these days

Well, another Christmas is over. Did you survive? It's bad enough dealing with the traffic and parking, the early morning shopping lines, running to all ends of the earth for gift suggestions, wrapping all those purchases, preparing the festive and traditional food and the mounting stress of that daily countdown to the days remaining, not to mention the constant pressures of our daily job and family responsibilities.

But what about after? Here come those multiple, easily used, credit card charges that will soon find their way to your mailbox. Yes, the bills for those overpriced, sometimes needless gifts, those toys that could supply a small day care center, enough food for a small army and the endless Christmas decorations. You think you had stress prior to the holiday? Just wait till you have to make those credit card payments.

Do we ever think of those more in need, people who have just lost a loved one, struggling single parents, the unemployed, the homeless, the battered, people without families and friends and relatives no longer with us? I may sound like Scrooge and I may be dating myself, however, when will the real, simplistic and meaningful Christmas that I remember from the '50s and '60s return?

Michael SantaMaria


>Relying on wind power is wildly impractical

A recent letter writer wonders why we would embrace an upgrade of the Huntley generating station rather than pursue the development of more wind turbine generation. I offer these points to ponder.

It would require about 1,200 two-megawatt wind turbines operating at a capacity factor of 25 percent to equal the 600 megawatts proposed for the Huntley plant. Yes, 1,200 of these 400-foot-tall industrial machines.

Demand for power in New York State is increasing at a rate of 2 percent per year. We cannot meet increasing demand for power with wind turbines. Where will the power come from when the wind isn't favorable for wind-powered electric generation? Wind turbines can't add to our actual power capacity because their output is variable and tends to be lowest during periods of peak demand. Because of these characteristics, we must continue to build reliable power sources as demand increases, regardless of how many wind turbines we plant across our countryside. Wind-generated power is not cheap or green, and there is much data available to bear this out.

Jay R. Ott
Town of Tonawanda


>Buffalo should host the Summer Olympics

Pitch this to the world: Buffalo 2020, host of the Summer Olympic Games. Can you imagine the possibilities with this? An international event, lasting for two weeks but in memories forever. I know that many have already criticized this idea, yet if you dream, keep reading.

With a regional economy in shambles and many young folks leaving for the South, why not have the Summer Games in Buffalo? There is great infrastructure to host several events and lots of space to build. We have the waterfront, open space and hard working Western New Yorkers to make an event the best ever. Some say that I am crazy, but I feel this idea is a great one.

There is HSBC Arena, Ralph Wilson Stadium, University at Buffalo Stadium, the Old Aud and it would be time for a new NFL Stadium. There are endless possibilities with Lake Erie, and Buffalo could build an incredible Olympic Village along the waterfront. Picture this, world: Buffalo 2020!

Patrick McGowan


>Spitzer will need help from citizens for reform

The people of New York have never been more anxious for reform or more hopeful. Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer's overwhelming election was evidence of this. The media statewide have identified areas in need of reform, and although the list is long, legislative reform, how government does its business and corporate greed and corruption rank high.

These are herculean goals for one man, even one with Spitzer's track record. We know the resistance in the Legislature, in the business world and in segments of the community will be formidable.

Spitzer can't meet the challenge alone. Only with the support of New Yorkers can he wrest the resistance from the opponents of reform. As a retiree, I offer him my time and my financial support in this crusade. Spitzer needs to paraphrase the words of President John F. Kennedy, telling us not to ask what New York can do for us, but what we can do for New York.

Louis T. DiLorenzo


>Theft of Baby Jesus was nothing to emulate

After all of the publicity about the theft of a North Buffalo family's Baby Jesus statue, it is not surprising to see the news report a rash of similar thefts this week. Stealing is stealing regardless of the item's monetary value. It is irresponsible to condone what these students did and to justify their "prank" because they had "good intentions."

It is no wonder that our children are having trouble distinguishing right from wrong. There is nothing cute about taking something that does not belong to you. Please, let us act like responsible adults and teach our children that good behavior merits attention.

Jeannine Mullan

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