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LETTERS

Putting snow, ice into road is illegal

Section 1219 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, and Section 214 of the Highway Law of New York State, specifically prohibits the placing or leaving of snow, ice or other substance upon any highway, which includes pavement, shoulders and ditches.

In the last few years, the practice of plowing or depositing snow from private driveways or private property onto the highway has increased significantly, especially after roadways have been cleared and snow pushed back behind the shoulders by highway agencies.

The intent of this notice is to point out the possibility of serious accidents as a direct result of the plowing of snow onto a public highway, and the fact that it is contrary to law.

The person or persons responsible for said plowing and/or depositing of snow upon the roadway may be liable to a fine of $1,000 per day, per occurrence, for each day the occurrence remains uncorrected.

As a result, should these practices occur, police agencies will be notified of such occurrence(s) with the intent that summonses will be issued to the responsible person or persons.

Michael F. Lydle, resident engineer, state Department of Transportation; Kevin O'Brien, commissioner of the Niagara County Department of Public Works; Jeffrey Stowell, president of the Niagara County Town Highway Superintendents' Association

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Parkway 'compromise' is no solution

The Situation: The Niagara Heritage Partnership has proposed that the Robert Moses Parkway along the Niagara Gorge be totally removed because:

1) The parkway detours traffic around the City of Niagara Falls and its business districts.

2) Without the parkway, the Niagara Gorge rim could be restored to natural landscapes with hiking and bicycling trails, and be a wonderful focal point for creating a regional ecotourism market.

3) People who live in the city, and others, would have easy access to the natural parkland along the gorge rim.

The Northtowns "compromise": We'll keep two lanes of detour around the city and on down to Lewiston. You can plant trees and flowers along the two lanes and hike alongside them. We don't believe ecotourism exists. Trees are nice, but people first. (And we're the people who count.) Whirlpool Street is close enough to your business district, which isn't much of a business district anyway. Old growth forests are unkept woodlots. We're tired of bantering.

Further details of where the partnership stands are available at www.niagaraheritage.org.

Bob Baxter, Niagara Heritage Partnership chairman

Ransomville

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Lumber City museum needs financial help

The North Tonawanda History Museum is in its seventh year of existence as an educational institution focusing on history.

We have only been in our own Webster Street building for 21 months and have run into every complication imaginable since we moved. We also lost a significant grant for operating expenses due to the economy. We rely mainly on admissions, museum shop sales, donations, memberships and fundraising events to support operations.

Although we have submitted serious grant proposals for the renovation of the building, for a sprinkler system, HVAC system, new roof, fire-suppression system, and the payoff of mortgage indebtedness to get us out from under 8 percent interest, we truly need some additional donations.

We have big plans for 2011: our quarterly used book sales take place on the first Saturdays of February, May, August, and October, and each will include a chowder sale. There will be an outdoor craft show on May 7. Two bus tours are planned: a tour of the Cultural Treasures of the Tonawandas with a luncheon at Pane's Restaurant on May 22; and a tour of the Cultural Treasures of East Aurora with a luncheon at the Roycroft Inn on June 11.

We will have our fourth bi-annual Historic Treasures Tour of 10 historic homes on Sept. 10 and are already selling tickets. We are planning a North Tonawanda Memorial Bowlathon at Tonawanda Lanes on March 27 -- in memory of the bowling centers we no longer have in North Tonawanda. We expect to release our second full-length book in 2011, "North Tonawanda: Historic Treasures." We are accepting $100 sponsorships for the book. These sponsors will be listed in the book and given a copy.

We hope those of you who are in a position to help at this time will seriously consider a year-end donation, perhaps increasing a membership to a higher category or paying a year or two in advance. Your past support has enabled us to do the impossible for the last seven years. Donations can be sent to the museum at 54-60 Webster St., North Tonawanda NY 14120, or visit www.nthistorymuseum.org.

We have a wonderful future ahead, but we need any financial support you can give now.

Donna Zellner Neal, executive director, North Tonawanda History Museum

North Tonawanda

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Hospice care provides compassion, dignity

Hospice: I know what you're thinking, but don't let the mere mention of the word come between you and providing comfort, compassion and dignity for someone you love.

This time of year is full of the hustle and bustle the holidays bring to our often already busy lives. Add to the mix caring for a loved one and your stress levels may more than double. Maybe your loved one could benefit from hospice services -- but you'll wait until after the holidays to make that call. In the meantime, their pain or other symptoms may become worse, their safety at risk, and you become overstressed with the increased demands put on you.

Unfortunately, too many people are afraid of the word "hospice" -- equating it with near immediate death. Did you know the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2007 reported that people with end-of-life illnesses who choose hospice care live longer than patients who do not choose hospice?

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reports that an estimated 41.6 percent of all people who died in the U.S. last year were under the care of a hospice program. At 68.8 percent, the majority of hospice care was provided in the home, whether the patient's home was a private residence, nursing home, or residential facility.

You may be surprised to learn that you may know someone who is hospice-appropriate. Do you know someone who has unintentionally lost weight in the last six months? Is often short of breath? Has fallen three or more times over the past six months? Needs help bathing, dressing, toileting, getting out of bed or eating? Has open wounds that won't heal or a history of infections? Has started taking medications to lessen pain? Has a caregiver in need of help?

If you can answer yes to three or more of these questions, this person may benefit from hospice care.

Since serving its first patient in 1988, Niagara Hospice has served more than 15,000 individuals, as well as their immediate and extended families. Hospice is specialized care for the terminally ill that includes physical, emotional, spiritual and bereavement care for families. Niagara Hospice also provides outreach grief and loss services to the community, and has a speakers bureau. For more information, visit www.NiagaraHospice.org, call 439-4417 or become a fan on Facebook.

Patricia M. Degan, Niagara Hospice marketing director

Town of Lockport

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