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EVERYBODY'S COLUMN

City of Good Neighbors has again earned its title

The death of my daughter Erin was a tremendously painful and emotionally draining time that continues to this day. My family and I struggle daily with the grief from her tragic and untimely death. The way this community has rallied around us has been a bright spot that has helped us to begin the healing process. Not only our friends, but also many people we've never met, lived through this nightmare with us.

Even other families, who were praying for their own loved ones in the trauma intensive care unit at Erie County Medical Center, reached out to us. They prayed for our daughter and offered assistance, even as their own family members were fighting for their lives. This is something we will never forget. The TICU nurses and physicians who attended to Erin during this crisis treated her with tenderness and kindness. They worked on Erin as if she were their own child, all the while treating my family with respect and compassion. They were consummate professionals and need to be recognized.

Erin was a loving and peaceful person who gave of herself in so many ways in her short life. We felt it only fitting that she should give just one more time by giving the gift of life. To donate her organs for transplantation is a decision that has helped us deal with this painful loss. We know that although our prayers for a miracle weren't answered, many other families' prayers were. Erin lives on in the hearts of all who knew her, and now lives on in the bodies of many who didn't. May their lives be enriched by the blessed gift that they have received. Buffalo and all of Western New York again have earned the title of "City of Good Neighbors."

Randy Bigler and Family

Clarence Center

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TARP funds helped banks far more than homeowners

This is in response to the March 27 News article about local bankers who were helped by TARP. The Troubled Assets Relief Program served banks, not families. As one of the very, very few people who successfully navigated the TARP-supported Hope for Homeowners loan modification "opportunity," I share that the taxpayer-invested process helped banks measurably more than homeowners.

There is a bigger story here, of course, and the fact that the financial industry is one of the few sectors in the U.S. economy that is hiring top talent will hopefully encourage citizens to start uncovering the stories behind the headlines.

Bob James

Colden

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Legislature knows facts regarding wind power

I am writing in response to The News editorial, "Let's have some facts -- Opponents of Great Lakes windmills don't even know what they are fighting." There could be nothing further from the truth. The Erie County legislators have been well informed. They had a presentation from the New York Power Authority, discussed the issue for months and heard many wind advocates and opponents before their vote.

When it comes to environmental reviews, the process is being streamlined by the federal government, so all the paperwork and studies will be much easier for wind developers to get projects started. No SEQR process has stopped a project; it identifies issues so the developer can make countermeasures and proceed. The process is already well under way. The Power Authority has hired consultants who are conducting studies to streamline the process for developers. There will be no navigation zones in the lake wind farm. The GLOW project will not be the last project to be built in the lake, it will be only the first.

Costs for the project will be huge. The tax and rate payers will carry the burden. The Power Authority has estimated that the electricity generated by offshore wind will cost 40 cents per kilowatt or more. Wind is not so clean and green. The ill-informed believe it replaces fossil-fueled plants. The truth is wind energy replaces no current power plants because it has no capacity value; wind cannot provide base or peak load power. Wind energy does not reduce carbon dioxide emissions because fossil-fueled plants must run 2 4/7 to back up wind turbines. Wind energy also makes us dependent upon China for critical rare earth magnets necessary for the wind generators.

Thomas Marks

Executive Director

Great Lakes Wind Truth, NY

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New home construction remains strong in WNY

The feature story in the business section of the March 27 News, "Weak market makes new homes unattractive," begs for input from a local perspective.

Western New Yorkers deserve at least a minimum comment relative to a wire story as to how it relates locally. Our area has "bucked the trend" as to what is occurring throughout other parts of the country. We have been recognized as having one of the nation's strongest appreciation rates for existing homes, and new home starts were up 17 percent in 2010 over the prior year.

"All real estate is local," and should not be presented in a broad-brush statement that does not represent the local conditions. These national articles have caused confusion in our market place and consumers should not be misled to think this condition exits here.

With so many committed, knowledgeable and talented professionals in our community who are easily available, it is hard to understand why their comments were not solicited.

Philip Nanula

President of Essex Homes

Member of the Buffalo Niagara Builders Association

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Many don't want to be defined as grandmother

It is more than a little demeaning to hear in the media, especially on TV, references to older women as grandmothers. Although I am a grandmother, I do not particularly wish to be defined solely as such. I am equally, as are most women, a mother, a wife, a sister, etc. I also do not particularly care to be alluded to as elderly, even though I would prefer it to grandmotherly.

Why must one be described pertaining to her age? Is it not sufficient to say "a woman" or perhaps, if necessary, "an older woman" if age must enter the equation? It seems that any woman who is mentioned in the media, be she 60, 70 or 80, is referred to as a grandmother. I am sure some of those ladies have not yet attained that stage in life. By the same token, I do not recall older gentlemen being referred to as grandfathers.

As long as we are talking terminology, how about a different term for "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" when referring to an adult? Would not "companion" or even the hackneyed "significant other" be preferable to the former terms, i.e. in the case of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sandra Lee? After all, these people are neither boys nor girls.

Let us be done with these outmoded terms and call a spade a spade.

Alice M. Szanyi

Kenmore

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