>Reducing size of board could impede progress
As a member of the Orchard Park Planning Board, I had my first experience with what it could be like operating with a reduced Town Board and the problems that could potentially ensue.
On Sept. 9 at 6 p.m., members of the Historic Preservation Board and representatives from both the Planning and Conservation Boards were scheduled to meet with the Town Board to discuss collaborative efforts concerning projects having historic preservation potential.
Councilman Mark Dietrick was excused from the meeting, Supervisor Mary Travers Murphy was absent due to illness and Councilman Ed Graber was running late due to work-related reasons. Essentially, Nan Ackerman and Dave Kaczor were the only Town Board members present for a time. Needless to say, with the reduced number, there was real concern that very little could be accomplished regarding the meeting agenda and decisions needing to be made.
My personal experience demonstrates firsthand how a reduced Town Board could prove problematic with regard to meeting productivity, collaborative decision making and actions needed to effectively address important town business.
I suggest that residents give serious consideration to the "real world" implications of a reduced Town Board. Everyone needs to make an informed decision that preserves government integrity and efficiency.
>Schools should pause to remember Sept. 11
I have to make a comment regarding the Sept. 11 ceremony that was held a few days ago. I have a grandson in the Buffalo Public Schools. We were discussing the ceremony and I asked him what his school did in regard to remembering this occurrence. What he told me left me in shock. He said nothing was done to acknowledge Sept. 11 -- no mention of it at all, not even a moment of silence.
This was a tragedy that has made history and nothing was done to remind the children of what happened. They need to be consistently reminded not to think of it as just another day. I think that the Buffalo School Board should have the curriculum changed to acknowledge this and that the teachers should implement this into their classes.
>Criticism of My View misrepresents position
I found Ross Runfola's critique of James Costa's My View to be disingenuous. Costa's rather humorous tongue-in-cheek praise of the regulatory interference by the state into the lives of ordinary citizenry is a clever form of literary irony causing people to think about how much interference they should tolerate by the government to produce "utopia."
Costa's main point is: Beware the government that supposedly has your best interests at heart. Runfola casts the argument as one concerning constitutional law and fundamental rights, which surely misses the point.
Runfola warns that Costa has "a carefully hidden conservative agenda," as if having a conservative viewpoint is somehow seditious, malevolent or toxic. To further debunk Costa, Runfola quotes George Orwell to insinuate that Costa's non-logical writing is meant to fool and trick the reader rather than being a literary device. Runfola warns that Costa is attempting to seduce rather than enlighten. And for the finale, he grossly mischaracterizes Costa's position by supposedly uncloaking his true agenda of protecting corporate polluters and tax cheats.
Runfola used what is called ad hominem, an attack on the person to discredit a position or argument. Logic used to be regularly taught in college.
>House should censure Wilson for his outburst
I was completely aghast at the outrageous behavior of South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson during the president's speech. To call the president of the United States a liar at the top of your lungs during a formal address to both Houses of Congress is completely beyond the pale and is something that no one, regardless of one's politics, should stand for.
Wilson should be formally censured by the House and reprimanded by his party for his disgusting outburst. My only hope is that public outrage over this incident might finally stop the race to the bottom of uncivil and disrespectful political behavior that we have been experiencing over the last decade or so. This precedent must not be allowed to stand.
>Marine Drive management ignores residents' concerns
We are having a problem with speeding traffic in the Marine Drive area since the enhancement of the waterfront. Our concern is mainly with the safety of children, older residents and the disabled.
At a resident council meeting, a discussion about dog ownership reinforced our awareness that management does not share our view. Management's shortsighted view of outside appearances and financial gain takes precedence over the more important issue of a stable neighborhood. In a complex of more than 600 apartments, the rules and regulations must apply to all.
Unfortunately, the resident council finds little cooperation and sometimes outright indifference on the part of management on issues that we find important. The root of the problem is non-enforcement of the rules in the lease. This will affect the quality of living for the residents. Another major concern is the lack of security enforcement in and around the complex. We feel very privileged living at the waterfront because of all the wonderful improvements of the inner harbor and future plans. But the influx of activities and the growing number of visitors has multiplied and our sense of feeling secure is a growing concern.
We would like to request an immediate investigation to resolve these issues. The quality of life has deteriorated to the point that tenants are moving out.
And Members of Marine Drive Resident Council, Buffalo
>Labor Day race was a boost for Buffalo
I'm sorry a recent letter writer didn't get to sit by the water near the observation tower at Erie Basin Marina on Labor Day, although I think he could have if he had parked and walked a short distance.
But let's look at the other side of the story. There were roughly 700 people, including runners, friends and volunteers, who did sit by the water, not to mention many runners from around the country. Also, I did notice quite a few families at the Naval Park. Let's boast Buffalo and offer a little sacrifice one day out of the year for other people who, in the end, have the same goal.