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Everybody's Column

>Room for improvement on Niagara Greenway

The Niagara River Greenway presents a wonderful opportunity to create something special along the Niagara River, as a recent letter stated. The writer gave much credit to Louis Ciminelli, former New York Power Authority chairman, for making greenway funding part of relicensing.

This allocation of millions to river communities for their greenway spending, however, permitted the authority to evade its responsibility to make specific reparations for environmental damages. The existence of the gorge parkway, for example, the construction of which was a condition of the original license, and which has an undeniable negative environmental impact on the gorge, is an issue the Power Authority refused to discuss. The much-praised greenway plan has also declined to consider the issue.

Because Ciminelli supports green buildings, he should note the greenway plan fails to require that buildings be green. He should insist on a green requirement. Presently in Niagara County, greenway millions can be spent far from the river on such beneficiaries as school districts, a central-county wine trail and so on. The Niagara Heritage Partnership, therefore, tempers its joy over the greenway with these and other misgivings.

Bob Baxter
Conservation Chairman
Niagara Heritage Partnership

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>Fans are simply trying to recoup some money

Recently in this column, there was a letter questioning season-ticket holders' allegiance to the blue and gold and trying to profit from it at the same time. I'm positive the disappointment of having theIslanders for first-round opponents instead of the Leafs was merely thoughtless provocation of one misguided fan.

The truth of the matter is, it is hard to pay for season tickets, parking, gas, food, souvenirs and everything else that goes along with being a season-ticket holder. Even though Buffalo's ticket prices are lower than most other teams, some struggle with current prices of being a fan in a seat instead of a fan on the couch.

If a season-ticket holder sees an opportunity to recoup moneys for his playoff seats by sacrificing his seats to a Leafs fan for the first round, I'd say he's smart -- a true small-market team businessman who has faith in going to the second round but with some well-deserved kickback in his pocket. Leafs fans will always buy up tickets in Buffalo's arena because they are diehard fans and very loyal to their team.

So, back off the odd fan who has to sell some of his tickets to amend costs of being at HSBC Arena instead of on the couch. This practice is just smart common sense. Go Sabres!

Richard Brizius
West Seneca

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>All beings deserve to die with dignity

Anna Quindlen's column, "Old dog has taught me a few tricks," was wonderful; a joy to read! Her reminiscences of Beau's puppyhood surely brought smiles and nods of agreement to all dog owners. Her calm and loving assessment of his imminent demise brought a lump to my throat, a tear to my eye. And her question "is the tradeoff between being infirm and being alive worth it?" is certainly pertinent for us humans, as she recognizes.

Hopefully New Yorkers will soon join Oregonians in being able to answer that question rationally with the enactment of a death with dignity act.

Walter Dannhauser
Amherst

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>Higher taxes, spending aren't going to save us

Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno's April 10 "Another Voice" might as well have been called "Another World."

Bruno wrote that the State Senate saved Western New York from a harmful budget plan. How did he save us -- by resigning his post and taking Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver with him? No, he saved us through more state spending! Thanks, Joe!

We're already taxed so high that almost everyone left in Western New York has family or friends who have moved out of state to find jobs with companies that have also fled our high taxes and cost of doing business.

Keep up the good work, Joe, and remember the New York State official motto: Taxes -- onward and upward!

John Carlson
Le Roy

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>Country must address the issue of racism

I was always brought up to believe that actions speak louder than words. I am referring to Don Imus' inappropriate racial remarks. While I do feel that he should be held accountable, it seems as though the media circus that the comments created epitomizes the superficial mentality this country has toward racism.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, thousands of African-Americans and others of lower socio-economic status were left to fend for themselves and fight to survive. This showed the extent of racism in the country, but what was done to change this? Who was held accountable for the destruction? How is it that once the news stops reporting the devastation we can so quickly forget?

I find it remarkable that Imus was fired after a few stupid remarks. He hurt some feelings, but who is being reprimanded for the racist actions that are constantly taking place in this country? The media drive public emotion and are getting rich off scrutinizing Imus' mistake. However, is firing Imus bringing him to justice? He is simply a scapegoat for the deeper underlying issue of racism that this country must confront.

Amanda Wittman
West Seneca

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>Giambra, Poloncarz need to work with control board

On July 1, 2005, I resigned from my position as Erie County comptroller in order to draw attention to the grave need for a "hard" control board. The State Legislature created the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority because county government was dysfunctional and the county's fiscal condition was in ruin.

The outstanding, dedicated members of this bipartisan, volunteer committee, led by Chairman Anthony J. Baynes, have done an exemplary job for the citizens of Erie County. Finally we have seen the demise of the reign of friends and family, the end of the irrational use of one-shot moneys to balance the budget, the end of hidden deals, the end of trading jobs for votes and the end of lucrative contracts.

Yet even now, 22 months later, County Executive Joel Giambra and Comptroller Mark Poloncarz remain opposed to nearly every idea put forth by the control board.

Their latest opposition, to the planned capital borrowing by the control board, is really puzzling. Just what don't they understand about saving the taxpayers $4.1 million? Elected leaders were voted into office to serve the best interests of the citizens. They should be working with the control board, not against it.

Nancy A. Naples
Hamburg

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