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Everybody's Column

City discourages those who attempt to recycle

The other day, I left out for recycling a pile of cardboard boxes that I had broken down. When I got home that evening I saw, much to my dismay, that the boxes had not been picked up by the city's recycling service. This is not the first time this has happened. Now I have a pile of rain-soaked boxes to deal with.

On my way to work that morning, I noticed cardboard boxes sticking out of the tops of garbage bins in front of other residences. This was clearly visible. These were picked up as regular trash. The unspoken message here is that it is better to not try to recycle in the City of Buffalo. Maybe this is why our recycling program is not working and losing money. It is this kind of city mismanagement that affects the quality of life in this city and leads to suburban flight.

Michael E. Abrams

Buffalo

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Where is the change that Obama promised?

Sending 17,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan to bring the total to 53,000 is not a change from the flawed Bush policy. Civilian deaths in Afghanistan already exceed 30,000, and will only increase with more military action. To date, 450,000 men, women and children have fled the area of fighting along the border in Northwest Pakistan.

Are we getting into another $3 trillion quagmire that was Iraq? We need to pull the military out of the region now, pay for the damages already done and help their governments deal with their problems using peaceful negotiations. Conflict resolution cannot be obtained using more bombs and bullets. Where's the change you promised, President Obama?

Sam Miller

East Aurora

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Banking institutions waste a lot of money

Over the last few years, I have been inundated with offers from banks and financial institutions, some of which I have never dealt with. Just for curiosity's sake, I decided to keep track in 2008 of exactly how many I have received.

The Bank of America led with 32, followed by Citibank with 23. AAA was next with 21, followed by Chase with 17. Then came American Express with 12, Discover and HSBC with nine each and Wells Fargo with three. Consider, if you will, how much money has been spent for paper, ink, printing and postage -- and I am only one person.

With almost two months into 2009, I have already received offers from two of these institutions for a total of six. How unconscionable are these institutions inasmuch as the U.S. government has chosen to bail them out?

Geraldine D. Frieday

Akron

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Holder's comment was insulting to many of us

To read that Eric Holder called America "a nation of cowards" in handling racial affairs is an insult to all white Americans who have been part of the civil rights movement. There were many white Americans who took a stance against slavery, operated the underground railroads and marched along with Dr. Martin Luther King. To hear that a black American called these people cowards is an insult. Holder owes us all an apology and he should be held accountable.

Donald Norton

Freedom

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Stop trying to blame everything on liberals

In regard to the Feb. 20 letter worried about Michael Phelps' "second chance," the writer talks about the "far left" being to blame. I am a Democrat and probably farther to the left than middle of the road. I and just about every liberal I know is against Phelps getting a second chance.

With all of the corruption in the last administration and in the world, how ridiculous is it to assume that every poor decision is made by liberals? We had eight years of terrible decisions and I didn't see a liberal anywhere around at the time. Who was owning up to it then?

Penny Gorman

Lackawanna

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Red-light cameras may cause more accidents

The proposal by the seven Buffalo Common Council members concerning cameras at some intersections in order to catch those running traffic lights has me seeing red, green and yellow. After being on the road for 40 years, I've witnessed plenty. I'd love to see "runners" getting tickets. However, because many drivers can't afford tickets, I'm afraid some will become "gun shy" and hit the brakes too soon, resulting in rear-end collisions and much bodily injury.

Aren't the auto accident attorneys who advertise on TV 2 4/7 rich enough? I'm sure they're all salivating and waiting for this most questionable proposal to pass. I'm hoping the Council makes deeper studies and comparisons in other cities that have these cameras. Then consider the safety and well-being of drivers first. Runners may cause fewer accidents than these cameras might.

Tom Ripellino

Buffalo

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Why doesn't New York use automated toll collection?

Next time you read about a toll hike or Albany crying over a fiscal crisis, take a ride to Ohio or Pennsylvania. These states have figured out that a basket or machine can do the job of toll taking. Somehow New York needs a full-time employee, with full medical insurance and a pension, to do nothing but take your dollar or hand you a card.

The computer in a pop machine could do this job. Imagine the cost of "labor" at all of the bridges and toll points throughout the state. Savings from automated toll collection could reduce tolls or repair roads.

The private sector is forced to reduce staff and explore ways of doing with less. Why hasn't automated toll collection occurred to the state?

Doug Malachai

Buffalo

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Philharmonic musicians are incredibly talented

What a pleasure it was to have attended the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concert on Feb. 21. In addition to hearing the breathtaking Beethoven Concerto No. 5 performed by Andre Watts, we were treated to the premiere performance of "A Prayer for Spring" composed by Chris Rogerson, a native of Western New York. What incredible talent filled the stage that night in Kleinhans Music Hall.

In a perfect world, artists who contribute such dignity, grace and beauty to the world would be as richly rewarded for their talents as overpaid and overhyped professional sports figures.

Carol Ann Saraceno-Sackett

East Amherst

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