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Everybody's Column

Bruno must be living in his own little world

Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno claimed in a recent Another Voice that Western New York was saved from being decimated by the governor's new budget. What planet did this guy just arrive from? This area already has been decimated by our wonderful, benevolent governments. Let me count the ways.

We are at or near the top for the worst government, business climate and economy. And we have the highest taxes, Medicaid costs, utility costs, debt, population loss and private-sector job loss. Our public authorities, serving as a patronage plum for the political class, run up huge debt unauthorized by the voters. Thruway tolls were supposed to end in 1999!

The state budget has doubled in just 13 years from $60 billion to $120 billion. Unfunded mandates are shoved onto local governments, creating huge property tax increases, while our legislative saviors pat themselves on the back for cutting taxes. Only these buffoons could make such a big deal over this teeny, tiny rebate check, which hardly offsets the income, property and gasoline taxes we're paying.

If Bruno really wants to save us, allow Western New York to secede from the state so we can escape from this pompous, arrogant, self-serving, undemocratic State Legislature that was rated the worst in America!

Bill Stetz

Elma

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Transit Drive-in plans to keep tradition alive

Lately, there have been several negative News stories relating to the demise of drive-in theaters in Western New York. The Buffalo Drive-in, in Cheektowaga, will be closing at the end of this summer and the Grandview Drive-in, in Angola, did not operate in 2006 and appears to be on its way to being torn down. But I do not want people to think all their local drive-ins are being torn down in the name of "progress."

The 2007 season marks the 55th anniversary for the Transit Drive-in, and the 50th year of ownership for my family, which purchased an already built drive-in theater on Transit Road in 1957. As the owner of the Transit Drive-in, I have every intention of maintaining the drive-in tradition in this community for another 50 years.

The imminent closure of the other drive-ins gives me a feeling of despair for all those who loved and supported them for many years. I want people to rest assured that it is my intention to continue providing the drive-in experience for families in Western New York for many more years to come.

Rick Cohen

Lockport

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Metro Rail eliminates many parking hassles

In response to the suburbanite from Williamsville who had parking problems downtown, the next time he should park free at either the University or LaSalle Metro Rail stations and take the Metro Rail downtown. The adult round-trip fare is only $3 and the train stops in front of Shea's Performing Arts Center.

This would save him the cost of parking and gasoline, and is a greener form of transportation since electricity to operate the trains is supplied from Niagara Falls. However, this terrific alternative is in danger of elimination if the ill-advised "Cars Sharing Main Street" plan is approved, since it calls for the elimination of the rail stations in the Theater District.

Richard Olday

Depew

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Plans should respect sites' historic nature

The Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier applauds the announcement in The News that the Richardson Center Corp. board has secured the Urban Land Institute to work with the community for one week in May to help produce a design blueprint for the complex.

Buffalo is evolving into a city that offers a high quality of life for its residents as well as a destination for art, architecture, history and nature enthusiasts. Many of our local sites are national and international treasures, including the Richardson Complex, so engaging a recognized organization like the Urban Land Institute positions our decision-making process on the right track.

The Landmark Society believes the Erie Canal Terminus site is also a landmark of global interest and deserves equal consideration. We recommend that all parties involved in the development of this area continue to build upon the community input summarized by the Erie Canal Harbor Master Plan. Bass Pro is a welcome addition to the waterfront, but its final location must be agreed upon in a transparent manner honoring the previous efforts of our community as well as the historic nature of the site. Respecting both is the foundation for reimagining Buffalo in the 21st century.

Dennis Galucki

Executive Director, Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier

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Sharpton, Jackson are poor spokesmen

Don Imus is gone. He represents all those who misrepresent cruelty and invective as humor. Legions of others of his ilk remain -- Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, etc. The media and the public abound with people who get their kicks from demeaning others. Many things bother me about the entire incident. Imus' initial statement, one of a string of invectives he has uttered, was unacceptable. I do not pretend to judge the correctness of MSNBC's and CBS's actions. Self-censorship, in my opinion, is preferable to restrictions imposed from above. Still, he got what he deserved.

That the Revs. Al Sharpton (who championed the Tawana Brawley hoax) and Jesse Jackson (who referred to New York City as "Hymietown") were the ones responsible for his dismissal is too bad. With so many articulate, respected and unsullied people who might have represented the black community, it's a shame that those two disreputable people were the spokesmen.

We live in a culture of anger. "The uniter" seems to have rent us apart. We don't speak. We shout and we physically lash out to get our points across. It's time for us all to self-govern, self-censor and control ourselves. Reason, in the end, must prevail over conflict. "Why can't we all just get along?"

Hallie Morrison Block

Williamsville

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Dyngus Day festivities exactly what we needed

Sage wisdom states: "those without vision perish." To wit, the first official Dyngus Day Parade went from, "Hey, we've got leftovers," to "Dyngus Week." People were fed, souls were regenerated and laughter was heard again in a neighborhood that sorely needs that balm.

To the visionaries who keep us focused, bless them all! Next year, join the salute to laughter, love and regeneration, and catch the vision to live again. Perhaps "Dyngus Month"?

Leonard W. Jaworski

Lackawanna

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