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Everybody's Column

Cattaraugus IDA should nix industrial wind development

Thanks to The News for its coverage in the Sept. 12 edition on the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency hearings regarding the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes proposal for wind developers.

The unethical behavior of industrial wind developers is evident throughout New York State. In Wyoming County, Horizon Wind Energy hired a former Perry town supervisor after she carefully crafted a pro-wind law. More disturbing, Machias recently appointed a Horizon lease holder as its code enforcement officer and constable. Such political hubris was after the board was informed he was a leaseholder, and yet the draft wind law relies on him to issue the turbine permits.

Despite the IDA's attempts to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the negative consequences of industrial wind, the stench from conflicts of interest will linger in its nose.

The IDA should ignore political pressure from its handlers in the Cattaraugus County Legislature and not endorse industrial wind development in the county, since the IDA was created to stimulate economic development for industries that create permanent jobs and financially benefit the area. Industrial wind will do neither, and is actually contrary to the IDA mission.

Bradley L. Parker

Machias

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Why no public outrage over ailing elephant?

While watching a local news broadcast, I was elated and saddened by two back-to-back stories. The first featured the remarkable recovery of Walker, the severely abused puppy who amazingly was able to lead a dog walk event. The second story was of Buki, one of the Buffalo Zoo's elephants who is obviously ill.

It was heartbreaking to see her thin and listless frame shuffling along. I could not help but be struck by the paradox here. The community was outraged, and rightly so, by the inhumane torture of Walker; yet the ongoing suffering of a great animal such as Buki is permitted.

I truly hope the movement to have these gentle giants moved to a sanctuary regains momentum. It will likely, sadly, be too late for Buki, who has spent her life in captivity instead of in her native land, but perhaps it will save others.

It is heartbreaking to think that animals that walk miles each day in the wild are confined such as they are. I hope we see the same outrage and activism for Buki and her friends as we did for Walker. Do all creatures not deserve the same love and humanity?

Olivia Emrich

Amherst

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U.S. needs to improve Niagara Falls experience

After a day trip to Niagara Falls, and then over the bridge to Niagara Falls, Ont., I was appalled and embarrassed. As a U.S. citizen and taxpayer, I was shocked by our lack of progress. On the U.S. side, we have the same wonderful views and natural resources as the Canadians.

Many things that do not cost a dime would improve the U.S. side, such as picking up trash or organizing garden clubs or community service students to pull weeds and clean rubbish from the bike and walking trail. A few years ago, there was great debate over using part of the Robert Moses Parkway to welcome tourism and accommodate local residents. That debate ended with a decision to use the path for just that. A few short years later, it sits in desperate need of maintenance. Was there no plan for upkeep?

Decisions need a plan to accompany them, a plan that coordinates with other attractions and can be expanded for the benefit of visitors and residents alike. In its current state, the bike and walking path is hazardous. We have a wonder of the world in our back yards and instead of welcoming visitors to enjoy the area and add to the economic outlook, it is serving as a sign of mismanagement and indecisiveness. How is Canada able to make decisions and capitalize on its resources and the United States is unable to? We could have those beautiful parks and gardens, and keep visitors here instead of sending them over the bridge.

Mildred A. Willett

Elma

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Let's all try to be aware of funeral processions

Last Thursday we were in a funeral procession of about 30 cars, driving south on Delaware Avenue to Forest Lawn to bury a dear friend. The lead car in the procession always slowed down at traffic signals, to be sure the traffic was stopped in all directions. However, at the intersection of Hertel and Delaware avenues, John and I were almost killed.

Our car was 10th in the procession going through the intersection when all of a sudden a pickup truck came barreling through the intersection, heading west across Delaware. The man was waving his fist and shouting at us. No doubt he thought we all were running the red light, and he had the green light. If it had not been for John stomping on the brake, we surely would have been killed.

This man missed the front of our car by inches, still hollering and showing us his fist as he went in front of us. How could he have missed all the stopped traffic, the flashing lights and the flags on the cars? I beg readers to stop and look when entering any intersection. Usually if all the traffic is stopped, there is a reason. Think! Look out! I hope that driver will thank his lucky stars that our quick braking avoided a terrible accident. Our deaths or serious injuries would have been on his conscience forever.

Priscilla Welman

Amherst

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Wilson is right to protest Obama's health proposal

The outburst of emotion from Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina echoes what many Americans are thinking in regard to the president's health care agenda. The disappointment lies in the fact that our elected representatives lack the intestinal fortitude or ideas in which health care reform can begin without passing an all-encompassing bill that our elected representatives will neither read nor understand before making it a law.

A great place to start is to look at existing programs in Medicaid and Medicare and ferret out the waste. Medicaid recipients in our state receive the "Cadillac model" of coverage in comparison to what working people must contribute to their own insurance programs. Why is it that more "branded" products are available through Medicaid while the rest of the population must live with a sometimes inferior generic choice or pay exorbitant co-pays for a "branded" product when the opposite should be true?

Waste dominates the Medicare system as well, and don't forget about tort reform. Lest we forget, most politicians are part of the legal system that has its grip on our health care. Before we all subscribe to a new socialist type of health care, let's not forget the founding of our country and the Constitution, which has been a guide for almost 250 years. It's too bad Wilson apologized for his comment. We need to take back control of our country before our so-called leaders bring us to the brink of even more economic ruin.

John E. Kubiak

West Seneca

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