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Everybody's Column

Veterans should receive discount at Naval Park

The other morning, my wife and I took a drive to the Naval and Servicemen's Park in downtown Buffalo. We wanted to have some exercise and pay tribute to the armed forces.

As I approached the cashier at the ticket office, I noticed pricing for adults, seniors and students, none for the military. I asked if there was a military discount and she said "only for active duty." I showed her my Reserve military ID card, and proudly told her of my 31 years in the Air Force Reserve and having served in two conflicts. Again she said, "the discount is only for active duty." There are no active-duty bases in Western New York.

I then asked if there was a discount for AAA members and she smiled and said, "you betcha." Both my wife and I received the AAA discount. I'm all for giving active-duty personnel a military discount whenever one is possible, but to deny a veteran a discount -- especially to a veterans' park -- is disrespectful.

Daniel Perczynski

Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force Reserve (Retired)

Buffalo

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Allow police officials to speak with media

Since when does the Buffalo Police Department need a spokesman paid by the City of Buffalo taxpayers when it used to be and still should be the police lieutenant, captain or inspector on duty who gives the info to The News -- not second-hand information from a spokesman for the department? If Michael DeGeorge is a member of the Police Department, he is not a deputy police commissioner, and if he is a civilian, why is he allowed access to police information?

Roger E. Durawa

East Aurora

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Are illegal immigrants going to be denied care?

We were told by the president that no illegal immigrants will be able to use the health care reform program as proposed by Congress. We are also told that our present system is bankrupting us because we have to pay for all the people who do not have health insurance.

So, will all the illegal immigrants who get sick be left to deal with that problem without the help of our doctors and hospitals, or will we just be in the same boat as now, having to pay for their care through increased insurance costs? Sounds a lot like an oxymoron to me.

Bob Rodgers

Williamsville

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Opening of seaway was key to region's decline

The Sept. 20 Viewpoints article on invasive species was great. So many exotic species have had a dramatic effect on the Great Lakes. I don't think we can afford not to do everything possible to prevent the introduction of any more. Unfortunately it is a lesson learned too late as great damage has already been done.

But the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway had another unintended side effect. It was one of the first nails in the coffin of the Western New York economy. Buffalo is still called the Queen City, but prior to the opening of the seaway it truly was. Buffalo was the railhead for bulk goods going west and and east. Before the seaway opened, grain-laden ships had to off-load their cargos in Buffalo to be transferred to rail for shipment across the East Coast and to Atlantic ports for export. And that was but one of the thousands of commodities that had to come to Buffalo.

In 1957, you could look off the Skyway toward the lake and see thousands of brand new trucks and cars parked and waiting for the rail cars that shipped them to dealers around the East Coast. Now it's just brownfields devoid of anything but weeds. If you want to put a date on the downward spiral of Western New York's economy, start with 1959.

William McAllister

Hamburg

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Carter doesn't speak for most Americans

So former President Jimmy Carter thinks the American public resents President Obama because he is a black man.

At one time he also assumed that Americans were suffering from a grand malaise when in fact it was his own overwhelming, depressing and parochial world view that perpetrated the unsuccessful domestic policies and disastrous foreign relations that characterized the Carter presidency.

His own antebellum attitude toward blacks is not shared by the majority of American citizens. We voted for Obama because he is a personable, well educated and idealistic person who promised to change the country and break down all the racial barriers that stand in the way of any child in America who aspires to be president of the United States.

Obama handily won the election. He does not need Carter telling him that the voters do not like him because he is black. Indeed, it is Carter who has a problem!

Anne D. Germeroth

Williamsville

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Beck isn't a mudslinger; he simply tells it like it is

Clarence Page called Glenn Beck a conservative witch hunter in his Sept. 16 column, which I believe is an incorrect political association. I may be mistaken, but I believe he is, if anything, a libertarian. Accusing Beck of being a mudslinger is also incorrect. The mud was put there by Van Jones over the years. Beck was making his viewers aware of Jones' background as the green jobs czar in the Obama administration.

It makes sense to me in as much as these czars do not have to be vetted, as all other top positions in the administration have to be. The two or three items Page mentioned about Jones are only the tip of the iceberg in his resume. It is all on the record for all to review. If vetting would be required for czars, situations like this could be avoided.

Jim Kinisky

Lockport

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Poloncarz has proven he's county watchdog

Here we go again. I usually enjoy reading the letters sent to this page, but every once in a while we come across one that is so obviously lacking in facts and common sense that it boggles the mind.

A recent writer accused Mark Poloncarz, our current and highly capable county comptroller, of being a joke and wasting taxpayer funds. Fact: Just last month, his office found a $400,000 error billed by the state. Hmm, doesn't sound like wasting money to me. Fact: Before that his office recovered $1.2 million owed to the county. Hmm, more waste? There is also that prestigious commendation awarded to Poloncarz and his office. Hmm, is that the "joke" part?

Repeat -- check your facts! Phil Kadet was hand-picked by County Executive Chris Collins to be his personal lapdog, unlike Poloncarz, who is, indeed, the independent county watchdog.

Linda C. Berman

Getzville

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