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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.

Wallenda welcome?: News Niagara reporter Charlie Specht's article on the wire walker's warm welcome from Canada and the cold shrug from the United States elicited this response from Norm Nicastro of West Seneca:

The difference between Canada and the United States: Canada is pro-tourism, the U.S. is not. Canada gets behind a project once it's decided to go forward, not New York politics. Agree or disagree, it's going to happen.

Robert Agnello of Grand Island responded:

One problem is officials were not on board from the start. First they were opposed due to their own prejudices and perceptions. Then, once they saw dollar signs, they got with it. But the dollar signs they see aren't going to be a big boost for area businesses. It will be for police in overtime, fines and ticket revenue. The state will probably make money charging for parking and admission to viewing areas that are normally free to enter. Others will receive and spend funds for so-called promotion and planning. But those of us familiar with how things work here know that connected people and agencies will gain some benefit, but the rest of us will be left holding the bag. Even so, I'm still all for this event.

This is what Mr. Wallenda and his family do. The falls is, in tradition, a place where people come to do such things. Embracing that reality and the message of risk for reward action is all but lost on officials around here.


Earl's: News staff reporter Helen Jones' piece about the death of Earl W. Northrup, owner of Earl's Restaurant in Chaffee, brought appreciations, including this from Kevin Skinner of Lackawanna:

As a college student in the mid 1980s, I discovered Earl's on recommendation from an East Aurora resident and fellow Buff Stater. When we went on skiing trips, we always HAD to go to Earl's. The bootleg tables and Mason jar iced tea and wonderful huge homemade pies for dessert, down to the country atmosphere and the welcome you got, along with huge portions, you could not go wrong.

Earl and his wife made sure "YOU were taken care of" and welcomed to please come again. And come again we did, again and again and I thankfully got to take my kids there when they reopened and shared the story and legend of Earl's to them.

A great man, a great place with great food. May you R.I.P. with your great wife Earl, you lived right and did right by others. Don't be sad for Earl, he's happy to be back with his wife again!

Greg Hansen of Peoria, Ill., added:

I never drove past Earl's without stopping in and, being a truck driver for 20 years, that means a lot! The place is legendary in my mind and I'd never missed seeing Earl behind the counter. I was sad when it closed the first time, elated it reopened and now saddened again.

Rest in peace, hard-working Earl! God has certainly made a place for you.


Bills welcome: An article about the Bills' rookies "Welcome to Buffalo" tour brought this positive response from Albert Smith of the Town of Ontario:

I commend the Bills for showing the new players the area and the fan base of the area. This gives them some insight to what the Niagara Frontier is about and what gives the fan base their sense of pride in Buffalo. I am an expatriot from Buffalo and I miss it all the time now in the, shall we say, winter of my years. This city is steeped in history and lore. If they like it here now, they will love it before it is over. Welcome aboard, gentlemen.

Daniel Goshin of West Hollywood observed:

Everyone who gets a proper tour of Buffalo loves it. Food, people, sights, art, sports. I took my girlfriend there for three days and when we got back to Los Angeles, I caught her looking up Buffalo homes on the Internet.