Gillibrand isn't getting the coverage she deserves
Is The News overcompensating for criticism that it leaned to the left? On March 11, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand had an amendment approved in the U.S. Senate that would put teeth into a bill for aviation safety. The Federal Aviation Administration would have to report in detail every year on which National Transportation Safety Board recommendations it had adopted and which it had not. This is huge. So why is this Democratic senator's accomplishment stuck on page B3 of the next day's paper, under "Local News Briefs"? Perhaps she would not be "little known in Western New York" (The News' characterization) if this newspaper gave her the press she deserves.
Editorials on March 3 and 12 criticized the Democratic health care bills as being "complicated" and more than 2,000 pages, clearly Republican talking points. Each page has approximately 24 short lines.
Much legislation has complex legal language. Shouldn't our officials be able to handle this? Regarding "the government has not found a way to bring down these costs," the public option was meant to do just that.
The March 13 snide remark about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reflects GOP strategy to discredit her. We need a return to a more balanced approach to politics in this paper.
Don't close Quaker area in Allegany State Park
It is never an easy decision to take money away from an entity, because it will always affect someone. Although sacrifices are to be made, I would just like the ramifications to be considered. As part of the lifestyle of many Western New Yorkers, Allegany State Park is one of the most popular vacation destinations, due to its reasonable price and family atmosphere.
Recent budget cuts have been proposed for this park, which will close down the area known as Quaker. In the Quaker area, there are more than 500 sites. These sites are filled during the summer months. By closing Quaker, we will lose the only vacation destination within a reasonable price for thousands of families.
When I say ramifications, I am also talking about the outside sources that will be hurt from this closing. We all take Route 219 to get to Allegany. Along this route are two major towns: Springville and Ellicottville. Many travelers going to and from the state park will stop in these towns, eat at their restaurants and shop in their stores. Closing half of this park down will be devastating to these two towns. I hope that the state reconsiders closing down a place that does so much good for a great deal of people.
Putting runaway car in neutral is solution
All the news about Toyota recently makes one wonder why a person traveling at full speed, in a runaway vehicle, has enough time to make a cell phone call for help, and never knows enough to separate the power from the wheels by putting the shift selector in neutral. Is it because people are so accustomed to starting the car in park that they don't know what neutral means?
Reagan was first to pick Greenspan as Fed chief
Two letters that appeared in the March 12 edition made me wonder if The News bears a measure of responsibility to ensure that the writers make accurate statements. One writer tried to connect the responsibility for nominating Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve chairman to President Bill Clinton. A quick fact check clearly shows that Greenspan was nominated in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, and subsequently reappointed by Presidents George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush.
In the same column, another writer tried to connect global warming to ozone depletion. This is clearly not the case as ozone prevents high energy (ultraviolet) radiation from penetrating Earth's atmosphere. Ultraviolet radiation does not contribute in any significant way to the warming of the planet.
Such mistakes misinform the reader and can create confusion among those who are trying to form an educated opinion. To quote a phrase largely attributed to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts."
Supporting Volker will bring more of the same
So three county chairmen plan to support Sen. Dale Volker. He's been in office for 38 years, and look what we have to show for it.
All three apparently feel that he has reduced our tax burden. Would someone please remind these chairmen that we are the highest-taxed state in the nation and facing a $9 billion deficit. Isn't it time for some new blood?
School districts right to save for rainy day
As a taxpayer in a school district that has been admonished by New York State for having a fund balance that is too high, I think the state has a lot of nerve. Look at the job the state has done in managing its finances. It seems obvious that someone missed some very basic lessons in money management: Work hard to earn your money, don't spend more than you have, borrow only what you are certain you can pay back and, most of all, save for a rainy day.
I think we can all agree it's time to get out the umbrellas. As far as schools are concerned, the state has failed us, misusing our taxes, cutting funds for education and leaving our local students high and dry.
I say "hooray" for districts where someone had the sense to save. For the past five years, Niagara-Wheatfield has presented a zero tax increase, and has developed more than 15 new programs for students, while managing to save an amount that the state has said is too much. The budget proposed for next year will again have a zero increase. I think that's pretty good in this climate.
To New York State: Take a lesson from school districts that have the foresight to maintain a savings to support their students when the state lets them down. In other words, work hard to earn your money, don't spend more than you earn, borrow only what you are certain you can pay back and, for heaven's sakes, guys, save for a rainy day.