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Everybody's column

New York making progress at World Trade Center site

A recent News editorial criticized the lack of a memorial at the World Trade Center site. The ruin, rubble and devastation left after the collapse of the towers, damage to adjoining areas, transportation of remnants to Staten Island and the painstaking search through dust and rubble for bodily remains (to provide some solace to the families of the deceased) took an enormous amount of time. Recently, more remains were discovered on rooftops.

Then preparation of the grounds began, amid discussion of appropriate and reverential use of the site. What's amazing is how much has been accomplished in so little time.

The audacity of the editorial's comment on Manhattan's "foot-dragging" is shocking in view of Buffalo's stagnancy on projects such as the Peace Bridge, Bass Pro (has any paperwork yet been signed?) and other stalled plans. Environmental studies, reviews and architectural designs have had to be repeated because of long delays.

New York's monumental project, creating the sensitive and enduring memorial, puts our foolishness into perspective.

Had Buffalo been in charge, we'd still be deciding which company would sweep the streets, then arguing over dealing with the debris. We'd never see a memorial. Who are we to complain?

Karen Kopper

Kenmore

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Trash in Pacific Gyre threatens marine life

Few people are aware of the danger that lurks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. A vortex known as the North Pacific Gyre has been collecting garbage since the 1950s. This vortex of plastic and trash has built up to the size of Texas and is now gaining the attention of environmentalists.

Online Web sites have been developed to raise awareness, however, they do not provide sufficient information. While I agree that it is crucial to pay attention to this issue, it is too rash to simply say "just clean it up." The solution is not simple. It is necessary to find a way to collect the garbage and not the marine life. Furthermore, there is debate as to whether it is even possible to clean up this garbage. Over time the plastic degrades, but never completely. The vortex contains small pieces of broken-down debris that are nearly impossible to remove.

This issue finds itself entrapped in a Catch-22. There is no doubt that if nothing is done there will be severe consequences, but it may take decades before a plausible solution is found. Time is not on our side, but the need to act intelligently is imperative.

Katie Johnson

Williamsville

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Let cars use Peace Bridge, build a new one for trucks

The goal of NAFTA, implemented in 1994, was to eliminate barriers to trade and investment between the United States, Canada and Mexico. NAFTA also seeks to eliminate non-tariff trade barriers. Is there a reason that the politicians and bureaucrats will not come to consensus on how to clear vehicles at one location? There is plenty of room and infrastructure on the Ontario side of the river.

That being said, we must state that we need a bridge able to handle freight trucks only at the narrower part of the river. Clearing the big trucks and cars have separate issues and challenges. The two do not have to co-exist on the Peace Bridge. A bridge at a narrower part of the river will be much lower and much less costly. Has anybody considered the conversion of the International Railroad Bridge to a truck bridge and the rerouting of railroad traffic to the Niagara Falls bridges? Let's keep the Peace Bridge for cars and the other bridge strictly for trucks.

There are 6 million people residing in Toronto. Another 1 million reside in Southern Ontario. These folks like to shop in the United States. The prices and selection seem to be better here. We need these people to continue to shop in Western New York. Imagine if the process of getting from Ontario and back was made easier. The possibilities for Buffalo's renaissance are endless.

Craig J. Brozek

Grand Island

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Officials worked together for good of the community

I would like to recognize Sen. Bill Stachowski for his bipartisan support and leadership in delivering the recent $1 million grant that will help bring 9,300 good-paying jobs to Western new York.

WNY STAMP (Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park) is a 1,300-acre site in the Town of Alabama in Genesee County. the site sits at a unique confluence of industrial infrastructure not far from the Pembroke interchange of the Thruway. It would be home to advanced manufacturers producing things such as photovoltaic panels, computer chips, flat panel displays or bio-manufacturing products.

This project was initially supported by Sen. Mary Lou Rath and her successor, Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer, but Stachowski brought it to fruition, not because it was in his district or because it was supported by his party, but because it is good for the people of Western new York.

This project was also supported by the governor's office, in particular Tom Carpenter of the WNY/Souther Tier District Office, Assemblymen Robin Schimminger, Dan Burling and Steve Hawley, as well as the Genesee County legislature. This is surely an example of politicians doing what is right for the region and not an example of politics as usual.

Steven G. Hyde

President and CEO, Genesee County Economic Development Center

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Wilson lacks self-control and is a poor role model

Like others, I was appalled by Rep. Joe Wilson's inexcusable outburst, but not for political or partisan reasons. He chose the wrong venue for polemics. The Capitol building is our Capitol. The House of Representatives is our chamber. The representatives are there in our stead, representing us. These are our hallowed halls. Wilson's lack of respect was not only an affront toward the office of the president and his congressional colleagues, but toward every citizen. And clearly, Wilson lacks not only decorum but self-control.

In a recent USA Today article, "The secret of school success: Want your kids to master books? First they need to master themselves," writer Laura Vanderkam cites current research that "self-regulation -- people's ability to stop, think, make a plan and control their impulses" results in student achievement. Kindergartners successful in self-mastery have "zoomed" ahead, and older students have advanced outcomes. Achievement notwithstanding, self-discipline engenders overall lifetime skills.

Wilson was remiss in harnessing his impulses. He's a poor example for children whose parents are trying to teach them not only respect for their government institutions, but good manners, civility and self-control. Perhaps it's time for this 62-year-old man to retire from Congress and repeat kindergarten.

Victoria Luchowski

Orchard Park

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