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Bishop does not take joy in the closing of any parish

Had both Bishop Head and Bishop Henry J. Mansell accomplished what they were directed to do, the whole point of the Aug. 7 letter, "Bishop saving money but losing his flock," would be academic.

Some people, including the letter writer, keep mentioning the fact that a church is not the bricks and mortar that make up the physical plant itself. But, for some reason, they seem to forget that the "church" is not a building but a congregation of believers.

The people who write these letters don't seem to understand that the older a building becomes, the more expensive it is to operate. They also don't seem to understand that no bishop, including Bishop Kmiec, really wants to ever shut down any parish, but they have to go by the statistics provided by the demographics of the area.

These figures have been studied and presented by people who were specifically trained to do just that. Today, perhaps the "building" is doing well and holding its own, but just who is going to be responsible for all the maintenance and daily upkeep, let alone the staffing, of the building that will have perhaps 30 or 50 people attending mass each Sunday in the future? Who then has to provide the resources to keep this place open?

The answer, unfortunately, is the Diocese itself, which will probably be struggling to survive, again, given the unfortunate demographics of Western New York.

This isn't the 1950s anymore, and some people seems stuck in that decade and cannot see what is happening for the now, and also, for the future.

As I said, I know that for each parish that Kmiec has closed, it has hurt him personally, both psychologically and spiritually, and I can speak from the experience of his having to close my old parish.

Tessie Nowicki



Fair should include healthy menu items

I enjoyed the Aug. 19 News article celebrating all the eating options at the Erie County Fair. Deep fried madness has certainly taken over. I hope everyone who holds out until the fair rolls around and indulges on these delicious concoctions enjoyed themselves.

However, due to medical restrictions, some people have to stick to a diet every day of the year -- no exceptions. My wish would be to have some vendors offer healthier options for those fair-goers who have such dietary restrictions. I'm hoping someone out there in deep-fried land would offer fresh fruits, sugar-free drinks and desserts.

It would be a welcome change for some of us, and I'm sure for others who by choice enjoy healthier menu options. And who knows, if the healthy menu items aren't sold by close of business we can always toss them into the deep fryer.

Lynn Pasternak



Collins has morphed into quite a politician

I had to chuckle upon hearing the latest radio ad from businessman-turned-politician Chris Collins touting his purported accomplishments as Erie County Executive.

To suggest that county parks are in the "best shape ever" is nothing more than slick political spin designed to cloud his rather unimpressive record as CEO of Erie County.

The administrations of both Dennis Gorski and even the early part of Joel Giambra's regime saw an infusion of hundreds of thousands of dollars funneled into the county parks system and neither of those county executives made any such boast about how great the parks were back then, although they certainly could have.

Perhaps Collins has never driven over the poorly maintained roads at Chestnut Ridge Park or even noticed that the once first-class tennis courts are going to seed. Maybe the taxpayers should pay closer attention to the broken-down and obsolete playground equipment at shelter No. 12 and others at that park as well as the crumbling and deteriorated condition of the so called "100 Stairs."

And speaking of the county beaches, is the parks department actually proud of the way it maintains (or in fact doesn't) the mansion over at Wendt Beach? Or are they speaking about the park housing that is provided for the politically well-connected? So, Collins wants us to believe that county parks are in the best shape they were ever in. Really?

With all his spin, Collins has morphed into that "career politician" that he so loathed just four short years ago. The taxpayers were surely fooled back then, here's hoping that they won't get fooled again.

Daniel Glowacki



Bills have to address more stadium problems

I am so glad that the Bills have finally done something about the issue of smoking at the football stadium! No longer will I be forced to run the gauntlet between obnoxious and disorderly "fans" while moving from the parking lot to the stadium gate.

No longer will I be repulsed by an over indulging "fan" vomiting in the corridors. No longer will I be assaulted by verbal tirades of profanity hurled by "enthusiastic fans." No longer will I be subjected to the physically threatening brawls in the stands initiated by these unruly "fans." Finally, the Bills have taken on the real problem at the stadium.

What's that you say? I'm confusing smoking with drinking? Alcohol can't be the problem; they sponsor the event, at home and on TV. Why, this is a legal product, it could not be the source of such problems, could it?

Since the Bills have "displayed such courage" in taking on the pariah of smoking, perhaps they would like to address the real "real problem" at the stadium. I won't hold my breath.

Dave Hyzy



Make separate parking for the slots and fair

On the afternoon of Aug. 16, my friend wanted to go to the slots at Hamburg Raceway. We had to go in the South Park entrance and were met by several people asking for $5 parking fee. We explained we were not going to the fair as we are both handicapped and unable to walk around.

The casino has valet parking for the handicapped at no charge. We were very sarcastically told there are handicapped parking spaces throughout the parking lots, however, there is no valet service during the fair and we would have to find our own parking spot and walk in, plus we still would be required to pay the $5 parking fee.

Needless to say we made a U-turn and left. Since the fair and the casino are two separate entities we feel that parking arrangements should have been made for each place. We wonder how many other people felt the same way. Hopefully this matter will be resolved by next year.

Clarke S. Hellerman

West Seneca

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