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Everybody's Column

A bridge going somewhere, from Youngstown to Toronto

The Sept. 28 Viewpoint story urging progress on the Peace Bridge expansion has compelled me to suggest a more ambitious alternative: Let's build a bridge across Lake Ontario from Youngstown to Toronto. While expensive, it would have far greater benefits than a Peace Bridge expansion.

A bridge across Lake Ontario would reduce the driving distance between Buffalo and Toronto. By connecting Canada's largest market directly to the United States, the bridge would improve accessibility from much of Canada to the entire eastern United States. As a result, it would create enormous trade and tourism benefits for our region.

Furthermore, the 35-mile reduction in distance between Buffalo and Toronto would help our region to feed off Toronto's vibrancy by facilitating more interregional ties. The bridge would also help to reduce congestion along the QEW from Fort Erie to Toronto.

Additionally, the bridge would eliminate the need for an expanded Peace Bridge and its negative impacts on Buffalo's West Side.

The rapid growth of the Toronto region and the continuing increase in free trade are now making the concept of such a bridge more timely than ever. Could the idea be explored further?

Robert A. Krohn



Veteran care involves all levels of government

While the Oct. 6 News editorial, "Improve care of veterans," was right to point out that the next U.S. president must address the underfunding of veterans health programs, providing veterans with the care they truly need requires coordinated efforts at the local, state and federal levels.

Effectively giving veterans the care they need and deserve calls for a comprehensive and coordinated approach from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, state agencies and community-based organizations. Together, we must ensure access to medical care, and closely monitor and coordinate treatment for mental health and substance use problems. One-third of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with mental health issues.

Yes, follow-through is in order, but realistically it falls on more shoulders than those of the next president.

James R. Knickman

President and CEO

New York State Health Foundation


Bad behavior mars breast cancer walk

I volunteer in the survivors tent at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, held in Buffalo. I have done this for a few years. However, after witnessing the behavior of some of these women warriors, this may have been my last. The T-shirts handed out are a privilege, not a right, and are given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Without preregistration counts, it is a guessing game for the Cancer Society as to how many of the shirts are to be ordered.

When some of the ladies showed up, supplies were depleted. We are volunteers and have no control over stock inventory. I was appalled at the behavior of some of these ladies when the shirts ran out. The verbiage hurled at us was totally uncalled for. One woman even said that the sole reason she does this walk is to get the shirt.

Have we lost sight of why we do this walk? It's not about the freebies. It's about honoring those who are surviving, and the memories of those who have lost the fight. They are our family and friends. Please, let us remember the why and who, not the what.

Dottie Stevens

Town of Tonawanda


Financial advisers fall silent while the market collapses

Would it be strange to expect your financial adviser to contact you as the market unravels? Does anyone else notice the absence of financial advice during this tumultuous market?

Where are all the wonderful suggestions as to where to allocate our assets and funds? I would bet that if the market was on the rebound, we would be inundated with ideas about where to put our funds. It seems there is no commission paid on a market collapse; no fee paid for providing reassurance that all is not lost as yet.

Please remember the provider of your investment advice when the market turns around. Maybe not.

Paul Ziolkowski



Market interventions again put nation on socialist path

While growing up during the Depression, I paid little attention to politics and financial concerns. We were content to know that our socks were darned and knee patches properly installed on our jeans. However, I do recall my father railing about the "socialist" programs promulgated by FDR, which he felt would lead us down the trail to economic oblivion and make us all wards of the state.

We are currently living through an even more unique and changing period in our history. While the powers that be in Washington spend our assets and treasure pursuing a messianic mission to spread the gospel of democracy in the Middle East, the United States is rather abruptly converting to a socialist nation.

The federal government is taking ownership of the units of production as it assumes the imprudent risks taken by corporations and individuals. The unpleasant effects of bad judgment (and bad luck) will now be borne by those who remain solvent enough to pay taxes.

Eugene Debs died in 1926 after running for president five times on the Socialist Party ballot. He must be smiling in his grave today.

Carl Baker



Deliver a party strategy to eliminate poverty

In their recent Another Voice, the Rev. G. Stanford Bratton, chief executive officer of the Network of Religious Communities, and Dennis C. Walczyk, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities, called "upon political parties to present a significant policy speech during the presidential campaign dedicated to proposing a comprehensive plan to address poverty and opportunity over the next decade."

North Presbyterian Church in Williamsville fully endorses this request, recognizing that, as a body of faith, we are called upon to be advocates for those living in poverty.

It is the intention of our congregation to urge the candidates to articulate their views and strategies for closing the gap between the wealthy and the poor, the haves and the have-nots, the economically strong and the economically weak, fully expecting that a plan will be stated that serves to help eradicate poverty in our country, and in fact, the world.

Beth Ann Vandenberg


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