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LETTERS

Take back Lockport from lawless youth

I have had enough of the youth running and ruining this city.

I have sat by quietly trying to fix the problems from within block clubs. Block clubs do not work without the support of the police, which I feel we do not fully have. So you now have one angry mother to deal with.

Who is in control of the city? It sure is not [the] mayor, and it's not the chief of the Lockport Police Department. You want to know who it is? It's the youths who run this city, and they know it and are proud of it.

I hear them speak of this while they brag to their friends about how they got talked to by Lockport's finest, or the judge let them go and no one can stop them. They laugh in your faces [that] they own this city; it's time we band together and take our city back.

We moved to Lockport nine years ago, thinking it was an up-and-coming city, full of potential for a wonderful life. I was young and so wrong in that move.

I have three young children who get to sit on the front porch and watch drug deals go down, youths fighting and swearing at adults, and I struggle every day to teach them this is wrong. And they always come back with, "If it's so wrong, Mommy, then why aren't the police stopping them?"

What do I say to this? How do I enforce the right behavior in my children when no one else does it for the whole city? My children fear going to bed at night because the youths are running amok and no one will come to stop it.
I don't have to tell my children to be in when the street lights come on. They fear leaving after 4 in the afternoon because that's when the youths come out. The cars speed up and down the road with the radios blaring at all hours of the night, yelling out the windows to their friends standing on the corner selling drugs. It's amazing no child has been hit and killed by one of these vehicles.

The police drive by during the day on occasion. However, this is when the youths are asleep from being up all night causing trouble. At night, [there are] no police in sight.
For the safety and sanity of all involved, we've got to stop this and hold the parents, along with the youth, more responsible for their actions.

Please help save our city before it's too late.

Nicole Barnes,

Lockport

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Thanks to Rotella for taxpayer relief

This thank you to Lewis "Babe" Rotella is long overdue.

As I'm sure you will recall, beginning in September 2006, the taxpayers of this city united and pleaded with our elected officials to stop the continuous reassessments and tax rate increases.

I was active in the taxpayer efforts and had the pleasure to get to know Babe when we approached him for his help with this matter. Not only did he listen -- his actions spoke louder than his words, and we would like to thank him for that.
Thank you for understanding that residents have had enough and can't afford any more tax increases, no matter what form they come in -- annual reassessments, tax rate increases and often both at the same time.

Thank you for supporting us and having the courage to put a Stop the Reassessment sign on your lawn.

Thank you for investigating whether or not the City Council had the authority to stop the reassessments, for finding out that they could and for scheduling to stop them at the Council meeting on Nov. 27.

Thank you for supporting us by voting to lower the 2007 proposed budget that was submitted to the City Council. Thank you for voting to eliminate the property tax increase for homeowners that was included in that proposed budget. Thank you for supporting us by voting to decrease taxes for homeowners by nearly 5 percent, the first time in 17 years that homeowners' property taxes were decreased.

Thank you for stepping up to the plate and providing us with an accomplished mayoral candidate to vote for, who is not only a successful businessman who is knowledgeable, experienced and respected by his peers, but is also a very kind and humble man.

We will remember what you did for us on Election Day.

Marcia Reinhold,

Niagara Falls

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Taste of Little Italy remembered fondly

The Pine Avenue Business Association rolled out the red carpet for our entire community June 28 with a first-class event in Columbus Square Park.
"A Taste of Little Italy" featured delicious food, bright sunshine, old-fashioned Italian hospitality and -- best of all -- friends, family and wonderful neighbors to enjoy it together.

It was a wonderful evening and a perfect example of the success that can be celebrated when community partners collaborate. The food and beverages were donated by local businesses, and proceeds from the event were donated by the business association to the Memorial Medical Center Foundation for use in restoring historic Schoellkopf Park.

Our entire Memorial Medical Center family joins me in thanking Mike Cimino, board chairman of the Pine Avenue Business Association, along with his fellow board members and their executive director, Mary Jo Zacher, for hosting "A Taste of Little Italy" and actively supporting Memorial's efforts to revitalize the park and the surrounding neighborhood.

Special thanks also go to Dr. Mark DelMonte, chairman of the event, and honorary chairmen Nancy and Sam Gara.

We are especially grateful to the 11 restaurants that donated "tastings": Antonio's Restaurant, Casa Antica, Como Restaurant, DiCamillo's Bakery,Gigio's Cafe, Goodfellas Pizzeria, H.J. Kydd's Catering at the Knights of Columbus, Latina's, Michael's Restaurant, New York Fish Market and Soprano's Pizzeria.

Thanks also go to the event's other in-kind sponsors, including Certo Brothers Distributing, Supermarket Liquors & Wines, Falls Tent & Canvas, Niagara Maintenance Contracting Corp., Linda's Catering, the Sunshine Cafe and the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club.

Memorial has been providing quality health care since 1895, and we are proud and fortunate to have such supportive neighbors all along the Pine Avenue business corridor and throughout the communities we serve.

As we continue to demonstrate every day -- together, all things are possible.

Joseph A. Ruffolo, president and CEO

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

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