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Taxpayers can't afford to run Hamburg beach

I am a Hamburg taxpayer and do not want my tax dollars spent on a failed state park in Woodlawn. These are difficult times and the town has plenty to do without running a regional park.

The town supervisor was reported to say, "We are running this like a business." I disagree with his use of this popular political phrase that is in great misuse as of late. A business keeps track of all expenses. A taxpayers' group was told it could not be given the figures because it could not keep track of the cost of operating the beach. Eventually some figures were released. Why were we told "no" and then "yes" to this simple request regarding how our money is spent?

A business does not estimate the cost of its employees, as stated by the supervisor. I cannot believe that a public official admits that he doesn't know how the town is spending our money.

A business does not record money it pays to itself as revenue. The report includes $13,000 paid by one town department to another town department. This transaction was described as an "opportunity cost" but I am afraid it is only an opportunity to waste my tax dollars.

A business does include indirect costs, but our government leaders have not included them in their report.

I hope people from surrounding cities and towns enjoy themselves at the expense of the taxpayers of Hamburg, but I wish this spending would stop.

Robert H. McConnell



It is outrageous to call tea partyers 'terrorists'

Trudy Rubin's column on Aug. 4 included the liberals' new talking point, which refers to tea party patriots as terrorists. She even went so far as to call them "our Tea Party Taliban." I have a little trouble connecting a group that wants the federal government to not spend more than it takes in and that believes that the states (as the Constitution says) have most of the power to the fundamentalist Muslims who attacked our country on 9/1 1. By constantly calling tea party members terrorists, extremists and even Taliban, the liberal media try to discount the members of this group without viable arguments or proof. Their rhetoric just relies on their tried-and-true method of repeating the same statement over and over again until most of the uninformed public just accepts it as the truth.

Peggy Bogucki



Youth must lead fight against climate change

The July 31 Viewpoints section contained a valuable article, "Encourage students to rally against global warming." Former Vice President Al Gore's Academy Award-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," single-handedly brought to the world's attention the science and facts about global climate change, as no other person explained with such conviction and clarity. Sunday's article explains the roles for today's youth in solving the crisis. More importantly, he challenges youth "to speak up" and involve themselves to end global warming, just as actively as my generation's involvements were vital to ending the Vietnam War. Students are not asked, but told, that "they must now rise up to protest our government's failure to start a war -- a war against global warming that will literally save lives."

I answered another call in 2007, volunteering for training by Gore and the Climate Project to present his slide show on which "An Inconvenient Truth" is based, and again in 2010 for a second training event for the revised and updated slide show. Since the 2006 release of the film, Gore has gone on to win a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts and written a second book, "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis." Several weeks ago, he folded the Climate Project and the Alliance to Protect the Climate into a new organization, the Climate Reality Project, bringing "the facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and engaging the public in conversation about how to solve it." On Sept. 14, the world will focus its attention on the truth about the climate crisis, as the Climate Reality Project sponsors one presentation in each time zone at 7 p.m., as a global teaching moment. If your school or organization would like a separate climate change presentation contact

Frederick Stoss

Associate Librarian, UB



Insurer should use funds to lower our premiums

I read with amazement the announcement in the Aug. 2 paper that BlueCross BlueShield will be donating $1 million over 10 years to repair and operate the splash pad area at Martin Luther King Park. That is certainly a worthwhile project, albeit an extremely unusual philanthropic move in this economic climate.

However, as a BlueCross BlueShield subscriber, I was incredulous and angry. How dare this company give away money while subscribers are struggling to meet their increased premiums? How dare they give away money after making their employees endure months of contract negotiations before reaching a point where they had to walk the picket line?

I have always wondered why BlueCross BlueShield spends so much money on advertising and why it keeps dreaming up bizarre wellness programs. Last year, I received multiple letters and voice mails offering to help me control several diseases that I don't suffer from! If BlueCross BlueShield really wants to help people, I suggest it begin with its own members. Perhaps if people paid less in premiums, they could spend more on fruits and vegetables.

Tracey Palmer



Americans need to be informed on the issues

Rep. Kathy Hochul has said, among other things, that the recent brouhaha over the debt ceiling in Washington was "a distraction" to the American people, who shouldn't be subjected to such things.

What a peculiar thing to say. Shouldn't Americans be witness to the problems the country faces? Or the difficulties of resolving the problems? Shouldn't they be in on the various opinions of elected officials? Should Americans just mind their own business and leave Washington to do the same? Who is Washington, anyway?

Margaret A. Kearney

Lake View


Protest fracking now, before damage is done

New York will "frack," because not enough people bother to educate themselves about the process and about who really controls it. This is called willful ignorance. The fracking issue is just one more example in a long line of generational memory loss. I predict that the same people who will not protest now, will be the first to whine and ask for reparations for lost resources and health. The damage will have been done, because you can't fix "stupid."

Sandra Sheldon


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