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Everybody's Column

Perhaps city should spread top students around district

My most sincere congratulations go out to the students and staff of City Honors High School. Their perennial academic excellence, on a national scale, brings deep pride to our much-maligned city.

The point to this was brought back to me by Donn Esmonde's column about county regionalism and how it could positively effect economic segregation. Buffalo high schools are segregating on an academic basis. The very top students in the city are enrolled in City Honors and Hutch Tech, leaving the rest of Buffalo's high schools devoid of their brightest peer role models.

This brings about a dilemma. Teenage peers have the biggest influence, for the most part, on each other. Without recruiting by City Honors, would the top students pull the good, average and not-so-good students up toward their level of academic excellence? Or would the "elite" be dragged down to be mired in the mediocrity of the rest of Buffalo's high school population?

Esmonde suggests the former rather than the latter with his statement: "Other regions saw that separate-but-unequal towns, villages and neighborhoods make the community weaker." Perhaps the same dynamic pertains to schools, too.

Jim Brumbaugh

Cheektowaga

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Foster families provide priceless care to children

The June 10 News article, "Couple fosters family ties," certainly must have struck a chord with readers. Honored recently by Child and Family Services of Erie County, the Knight family is truly exceptional. The family has participated in four different programs, including traditional, overnight, respite and emergency foster care.

Recently, one of the Knights' foster children returned to Buffalo to co-present with Mrs. Knight on a Child and Family Services panel discussion providing a valuable and moving experience for all.

There are many other loving, caring families in Western New York who are likely inspired by such stories. Child and Family Services, a nonprofit agency providing services that support and strengthen families such as foster care and adoption, welcomes inquiries about how to become a foster family and begin to build lifelong memories.

We are available to help caregivers learn how to open their homes to children who need love and support. Forinformation, visit our Web site at www.cfsbny.org.

B. Kevin Burke

Director of Children's Services

Child and Family Services

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Wind power can meet our future energy needs

It has been predicted by knowledgeable experts that the world's production of oil will peak in the next 10 to 20 years. The peak supply of natural gas will follow shortly after. So what do we do to produce our ever increasing world energy needs after we begin running out?

Energy engineers say that by 2020, 10 percent of the world's electrical energy will be produced by wind generators. Wind power is clean, renewable, becoming less expensive and a fast-growing market. A recent study estimates that the wind-generative potential along the coastal regions of the Baltic and North seas could in the future provide enough wind to produce the electrical needs for all of Europe.

So why the outcry over the "Steelwinds" project along the lakeshore in Lackawanna and Hamburg? I consider the generators to be a good-looking example of modern technology and enjoy watching them when sitting down to dinner at a lakeshore restaurant.

George H. Padginton

Hamburg

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Williams was right to credit entire staff

I was astounded by the June 13 letter titled, "Teachers deserve more recognition." School Superintendent James Williams was right on when he said the success of students is due to efforts of all staff, and yes, that includes the receptionists, secretaries, janitors and more, who I am sure are far from impersonal.

We encounter many people in our daily lives who influence us in positive ways. They mentor, motivate and teach us to learn and grow. Let's not forget the parents and students themselves, who opened their hearts and minds to succeeding. The letter writer is in need of sensitivity training, as her rudeness is exceeded only by her ignorance.

Catherine Bauer

West Seneca

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Buffalo teachers deserve their full wage increase

I am a teacher at Grover Cleveland High School teacher who is wondering why the teachers are getting a big-time shaft by the control board and even the mayor. If it's time to bring the employees of Buffalo to their proper longevity step, then why are the teachers getting less?

We have waited four years for an increase. We have not received any cost-of-living increases or step increases in four years. This is not fair. It also violates our written contract. We truly work hard and deserve our full raise. Superintendent James Williams should be working with us, not against us, yet he uses every opportunity to be our adversary instead of walking together along the path.

Cathy Stearns

Tonawanda

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Delivery of power is indeed expensive

The News' wonderful coverage of the Niagara Power Project has prompted me to take a closer look at my last electric bill. Imagine my great surprise to find that my residential bill of $162.69 for the period of April 24 to May 25 included a charge of $92.38 for "Total Delivery Services." It looks like I pay more for the eight-mile delivery from the Lewiston project to my home than for the actual electricity.

Robert D. Beach Sr.

Grand Island

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Chirping street signals must be headed our way

Carol Fleischman's problem with not being able to hear quiet hybrid cars may be on its way out. Portland, Ore., and San Diego, Calif., are not the only cities whose traffic lights make a distinct sound. It is also starting here in Buffalo.

I live near a very busy intersection. I have the kind of hearing that can detect the click a traffic light makes when it changes. Lately, I've noticed the one at my corner makes an annoying sound that reminds me of a cricket's chirp. When I read Fleischman's June 5 My View column, I realized the traffic light is one of the new ones. So far, I've only seen one in action, but I have a feeling more are on the way.

Laurie Glieco

Buffalo

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