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Blogzerpts / Opinions from

Excerpts from reader commentary on News stories and staffers' online blog postings last week. Online comments come from registered users, but comments to the blogs can be posted under pen names.

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"The Destroyer": In response to Gene Warner's news feature on Dick Beyer's extremely interesting wrestling persona, popularity in Japan and years of charitable deeds, Justin Hayden of Lackawanna said:

What a great story about the Destroyer. Many American wrestlers go over to Japan and become wildly successful and popular and it's great to know the Japanese people still respect the Destroyer after all these years. Thanks for your contribution to the world of professional wrestling and the community.

Robert Dimmig of Buffalo added this:

I am sure Dick won't remember me, but I have great memories of Camp Scout Haven. In fact, I doubt if I would have earned my life-saving merit badge without Dick. Thanks, Dick, you deserve all of the accolades.

Frank Daddario of Akron acknowledged:

So happy to know him and thankful for all the wonderful things he and his family have done for the Akron-Newstead community. It is a well-deserved honor for him.

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The snowstorm that wasn't: A weather story by News staff reporter T.J. Pignataro, with contributions from News Niagara Reporter Charlie Specht, on fizzled-out reports of an impending snowstorm resulted in several comments, including this explanation from Don Nowak of West Valley:

It's all about elevation. Here at 2,200 feet we got the 12 to 16 inches they forecast. Amazing thing is we never lost power. Snow did not stick on the budding leaves and small branches as much as I would have thought. Now if only the sun would show itself.

John McAdory of Zion, Ill., wanted proof:

Does anyone have photos of all the snow? Send a link, please.

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Buffalo Sabres: News sports reporter John Vogl's article about the team's fallen goal scoring brought several comments, including this from Jake Kachelmeyer of Williamsville:

[Thomas] Vanek says he should be a Top 25 scorer in the league. No kidding. After a $49 million deal, and passing up four good first-round picks by matching that offer sheet five years ago Dude, you should be Top 10 or Top 5. Too many slumps for this guy to be considered elite. Stars should CARRY you, they don't put their head down and disappear for months and lose confidence.

Michael Castanza of West Seneca opined:

OK, here is what I think; hockey, especially playoff hockey, is about will. The will to get to the puck, get to the net, etc. The Sabres don't have enough of that kind of player. Everyone at that level has out-of-sight talent, but it's the will to win that separates the best players and teams. Until they get that, they will always disappoint. They need more guys that are willing to pay the price when it counts the most. Until then, it's the same old story. Doesn't matter who the coach or general manager or owner is. The GM, coach and owner need to acquire those kinds of players. That's it.

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Bravery: News staff reporter Lou Michel's piece on the repeated acts of bravery by Lackawanna native Roland Hayes during the Vietnam War drew this response from Ralph Smith of Lyndonville:

I had the pleasure of serving in the Reserves with Sergeant First Class Hayes. He was an exemplary drill sergeant, a true leader. He mentored many younger, inexperienced non-coms intent on wearing the smokey bear hat. His energy and enthusiasm for his unit and its mission were boundless.

As is typical of real heroes, he seldom, if ever, mentioned the particulars of his combat service. He led by example. It's great to see him receiving some long-overdue accolades in this article. It is also not surprising to see that he continues to serve and to lead.