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Everybody's Column

New Bass Pro plan doesn't make sense

I have two questions regarding waterfront development in Buffalo.

First, after years of discussion about proper use of the Erie Canal Terminus site we had a compromise plan that may not have been everyone's favorite, but was acceptable to many people who had put time and effort into reaching a consensus. How did that plan get scrapped so quickly?

Second, Bass Pro has a showpiece store in Missouri that is worth the trip for outdoor enthusiasts. Bass Pro also has more than 40 branch stores in 19 states and an outlet in Toronto. In Western New York we have several branch stores of three national sporting goods chains. Why do we believe that a modest Bass Pro Shop in downtown Buffalo will draw huge crowds? The grand opening might stop traffic, but what about six months later?

Actually I have a third question. With a blossoming Elmwood Village, rising real estate prices in the Parkside neighborhood, entertainment on Chippewa Street, a world-class university center, exceptional cultural facilities and vibrant ethnic communities, why do we have so little faith in our ability to prosper without a magic bullet?

Oh, one more question for anyone involved with waterfront planning: Have you been to Erie Basin Marina on a summer evening?

Nancy M. Zack



Abstinence remains best path for teens

Media interest in the HPV vaccine has brought to light the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. In any public discourse about the new vaccine for human papillomavirus, teens should be reminded that abstinence is the only 100 percent effective guard against STDs.

At ProjecTruth, Catholic Charities of Buffalo's abstinence until marriage and character-based education program, we encourage youth to abstain from sexual activity until they are married.

While the body can be vaccinated against viruses, there is no vaccine that will protect a young person's emotional health against anxiety over pregnancy or STDs, regret, shaken trust or depression. Remaining abstinent amid social, emotional and physiological pressures results in the development of strong personal character. Our program experience shows that adolescents who understand the full meaning of abstinence have the capability and intent to commit to this rewarding lifestyle.

ProjecTruth has helped make 40,000 teens across Western New York aware of the consequences of sexual activity before marriage.

Judith Vogtli

Program Director Catholic Charities ProjecTruth


Non-Catholics should choose another term

An April 4 letter writer points out that it is somewhat belittling to certain presiding non-Catholic sects when, in the media, the phrase "the bishop" is taken automatically to mean a Catholic high cleric.

Yet the media can't really be faulted for favoring the ancient catechism's definition of bishop, i.e., an ordained Catholic or Orthodox high cleric who is an episcopal successor to one of Jesus' original 12.

Why the reluctance on the sect's part to mitigate the problem by scrapping the Catholic term and substituting an unambiguously Protestant one?

Joseph A. Carnevale



Religion does cause much strife in world

A previous letter writer claimed that it is not religion that causes strife in the world, but people who don't follow the dictates of religion. I heartily disagree.

When a religion claims to be "the truth" and by default relegates other religions to second-rate status, how are members to feel? When it claims to solely know God's will, implying that other religions are grossly misleading their followers, what are followers to think? When a religion insists that it is God's will to convert all others in order to save their souls, what are practitioners to do?

I find it arrogant for any religious body to even claim to understand the concept of God, let alone decree what God wants from us. The human mind cannot even truly fathom the numerical concept of 1 million, yet these clergy dare to claim an understanding of the infinite?

The religions of Christianity and Islam are brothers in this respect and I find it sad that so many are convinced that truth can be found only outside of themselves. Such is the folly of man.

Richard J. D'Angelo

West Amherst


Many in New York don't support Clinton

I disagree most emphatically with the News article, "New York definitely Clinton country." I don't know of a single person who would vote for Hillary Clinton. She has made nothing but empty promises to the electorate. Chuck Schumer is the active senator for this state and he should be running for president. I believe that he is hardest working representative in the entire legislative body.

Joclaire Achatz



Jackson, Sharpton owe Duke players an apology

The Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton owe the Duke lacrosse team players and their families an apology for all that they have gone through this past year. This will be a step in the right direction of peace and harmony between the races. After all, the media have taken action against Don Imus for his remarks about the Rutgers University basketball players. If we, as blacks, want respect we must be willing to give respect.

Dolores B. Vaught



Stupid comments won't scar women

I doubt that any of the Rutgers students is "scarred for life" by the off-the-cuff, thoughtless remarks of an old, crotchety radio man. These accomplished ladies have survived the rigors of academic and athletic demands and are much too strong to be "thrown" by one person's incidental comments. Let's stop the propaganda.

Dorothy K. Bock



Criminal justice system needs a major overhaul

In The News article, "Innocent Buffalonian is second to be set free," there was a statement from Robert N. Convissar, Angelo Stallings' attorney, praising District Attorney Frank Clark's decision not to force his client to prove his innocence at a jury trial, "which we were fully prepared to do." I was under the understanding that we are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Too much is still backward about our criminal justice system.

Christina Parks


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