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Hoyt's comments paint a negative picture of city

After reading the Dec. 12 News article, "Hockey tournament concerns lawmaker," I was once again embarrassed for our region. I think most of us are aware that making a statement to the press in today's environment does not limit one's comments to our area. Someone should tell Assemblyman Sam Hoyt there is an Internet.

How many of the tens of thousands of worldwide visitors coming here for the World Juniors are reading daily the news reports out of Buffalo via the Internet? I would guess all of them.

So now these future visitors read what one of our government leaders says about the host city -- "there's a lot of ball dropping going on," "a crisis in the making," "a lack of cooperation amongst the planners," "the planning is insufficient" and "people are going to say what a lousy city " If Hoyt has some concerns about this upcoming event, couldn't he arrange a closed-door meeting with those in charge and have his concerns addressed? Even though such a meeting would not get his name in the paper, it could make the region he represents shine a little brighter in the eyes of our visitors.

Randy Philipps

Town of Tonawanda


DA's friends, family get special treatment

Should Niagara County District Attorney Michael Violante be lauded for recusing himself from his nephew's DWI case? Instead of relating to his staff that he wished to play no role in the process, he should have instructed them to prosecute the case with the same fervor and zeal that they would any other alcohol-related driving incident.

Timothy Violante crashed into a snowbank. Sara Donovan, daughter of a North Tonawanda alderwoman, crashed into two parked cars. I am so thankful that innocent pedestrians or other drivers were not victimized. It sounds like the law enforcement officers performed their duties well, only to have their efforts thwarted in the judicial process.

Paul Fasanello



Albom got facts wrong in column on tax cuts

Well, Mitch Albom may be right about there being too much tax, but he got his numbers all wrong. The proposed reinstatement of the old tax rates wouldn't kick in until after $250,000 net (after deductions). So, the hypothetical couple making that amount would pay $0 more taxes under this proposal. In fact, nobody would have paid higher taxes on income on the first $250,000 in income.

And this tax rate is on earned income. If you make your money on dividends and capital gains, your tax rate would remain at 10 percent on much of it. So, if we want a balanced budget, what do we cut? And if that's not enough, who pays the difference? Those are the right questions, not the mindless (and incorrect!) jabber he put in his column.

Donald Tucker



Supporters of culturals should vote Collins out

Chris Collins has left thousands of Erie County residents out in the cold. By cutting funding to some of our region's cultural jewels, he has effectively told the employees and patrons of these organizations that they are worthless to the region. Buffalo has a hard enough time as it is proving that there is more to this region than football, chicken wings and rusted-out steel plants.

Our cultural institutions are home to some of our greatest exports. When a theater company like Irish Classical premieres a new work, the line "Originally produced by the Irish Classical Theatre Company; Buffalo, N.Y." will appear in the playbill anywhere that show is performed. Some might question the value of such a tidbit, but we should all be proud when someone reads that line and thinks: Wow, there's a lot more to Buffalo than bad sports teams.

Let us not forget the hundreds of employees of these organizations, either. By taking away the funding and worse, campaigning against it, Collins is striking a blow to the region. The money that these organizations are asking for is nearly a rounding error to compare to the budgets of some of the bloated county departments. As someone who voted for Collins and campaigned for him in the past, I can only hope that those who have ever attended the theater, a concert or an exhibit respond in two ways: Withholding their vote for Collins, and supporting our treasured arts organizations financially.

Christopher Keaton

Lake View


Buffalo is lucky to have such a terrific orchestra

I have been attending the Buffalo Philharmonic concerts for almost 50 years, first as a child being dragged to the concerts on Sunday afternoons and now, happily, as an adult. The Dec. 4 concert with Lynn Harrell playing Elgar's Cello Concerto and JoAnn Falletta conducting was one of those rare perfect, transcendent, heartfelt moments.

I feel so fortunate to live in a city with such accessible great music, a city that taught me about classical music and in turn taught my children. Sitting next to me was my college-age daughter, who I did not have to drag to the concert, because she is a student of music and music lover as well. Kudos to the BPO.

Deborah Raiken



Use of poor English grates on one's ears

What has happened to the English language lately is lamentable. The latest horror is the current phrase "you guys."

Recently I dined in an upscale restaurant. The waiter inquired, "Are you guys still workin' on that?"

"Young man," I said, "I am not a guy and I am not working. I'm enjoying a good meal. Now please go away and let me finish."

I know I'm a purist, but when I hear a formerly dignified interviewer refer to a quartet as "you guys," it grates on my ears. "You" is a sufficient address and I'd like to hear it more often. I long for the days of James Kilpatrick.

Barbara D. Holender



Trickle-down theory simply doesn't work

There is an old saying that God must have loved poor people because he made so many of them. Another says the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Eight years of the George W. Bush White House put us in a quagmire of debt. Yet the voting public has seen fit to re-elect the party that stated, during the Ronald Reagan years, that if we give the rich a break, it will trickle down. The only trickle down was the sweat on the working man's brow. If the American people vote without reading the paper or listening to the news, then they will be condemned to repeat history. But my fear is that America will go the way of the Roman Empire.

Ronald Cudney


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