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Everbody's Column

Feral cats decimate?the bird population

The April issue of the New York State Conservationist magazine contained an article about roaming cats titled, "The Ultimate Hunter." It is estimated that there are at least 100 million house-type cats roaming loose, many that have become feral. According to the New York Times, these cats kill at least a billion birds a year and are posing a serious ecological threat to many species, particularly to those that nest on or near the ground, including several on the endangered list. We have personally watched one of these cats come racing across our yard, take a flying jump five feet into the air and grab a beautiful rose-breasted grosbeak right off the feeder. House cats should not be allowed to roam outside. They are all by instinct natural born killers.

Almost all cats that roam continually outdoors have multiple parasites or a disease of one kind or another. If you have a vegetable or flower garden with nice, soft soil, to your dismay you will find that night after night they will use it for their litter box. From continuous firsthand experience, I can say it is a very real discouragement, particularly when you have only a small garden.

A few days ago, The News printed a short article about the feral cats roaming around Olcott. It seems that they have become such a nuisance that a fundraising effort to deal with these cats has been set up by the Bank of America in Newfane. With 100 million cats roaming loose, I can only hope that any of these Olcott feral cats that are caught will be very humanely put to sleep.

Carmon Becker



Roswell Park wrong?to accept donation

The News on Tuesday reported that Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Buffalo conducted a fundraiser for Roswell Park's new nutrition program. It contributed money from the sale of 2-liter bottles of coke. There is an irony here in that no good nutrition program would encourage clients to buy coke.

Also, recent studies have pointed to the dangers of sugar consumption and its relation to increasing obesity in the United States. Is Roswell Park's acceptance of the donation an endorsement of Coca-Cola's campaign to encourage more consumption of coke?

Jim Moran



Keep wind turbines?out of Great Lakes

This letter is in response to Larry Beahan's Another Voice. It is certain we need an alternative to burning fossil fuels, but while the Sierra Club is against fracking and polluting our freshwater, it also needs to be aware that the New York Power Authority plan includes building wind turbines in the Great Lakes, specifically Lake Erie. This will not only disturb the 40-year-old cap over the lake floor containing all the contaminants from the steel mills, it will disrupt the fishing and recreational industry we have worked so long and hard to protect. Ultimately, we may be making a deal with the devil, trading one natural resource, electricity, for another, water. Which one can we survive without?

While Great Lakes Offshore Wind met its demise last year with its 52 proposed wind turbines in Lake Erie, Lake Erie Alternative Power is poised to place more than twice as many 500-foot wind turbines our lake.

Wind power for electricity generates much discussion. Everyone agrees on its potential for future use, however, location will be a major factor in the total cost of the electricity delivered to the power grid.

On June 25, 2010, at a New York State Power Authority meeting at Woodlawn Beach Conference Center, the authority clearly stated the cost for electricity with the wind turbines would be around 19 cents per KWH. This is neither efficient nor economical, as we now pay around 5 cents per KWH. This high price results from the experimental placement of turbines in a freshwater lake. The plan will also require huge government subsidies. These will end about 10 years after the project begins.

Careful calculations must be made to ensure that we, the retail customer and the voter, are not paying for the exorbitant hidden costs. If the system is not affordable, we cannot build offshore wind turbines at the current level of technology.

Sharen Trembath

Lake Erie Coordinator

International Coastal Cleanup

Great Lakes Beach Sweep


2 percent tax cap?proves meaningless

On Jan. 1, New York State's property tax cap law went into effect, capping the school tax increases to 2 percent. This law was much touted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a measure to stop the spiraling school tax increases. Apparently 2 percent does not mean the same thing in political speech as it does for everybody else.

On May 13, The News published a huge amount of information about school taxes. This article also gave information about the "tax levy increase allowed under the tax cap." That average allowed increase for Erie County turns out to be 4.81 percent, while the highest allowed increase appears to be 50 percent in the Kenmore-Tonawanda School District. What happened to the 2 percent cap?

Information also provided by The News shows the average student population for Erie County decreased by 8.26 percent and spending increased by 20.59 percent since the 2007-08 school year. In other words, we pay more for less product. I think any private business would fold with this kind of performance.

I live in the Iroquois School District, where the student population decreased by 15 percent and spending increased by 35 percent. This obviously by far exceeds the average. I think I better go back to school to learn what 2 percent actually means.

Al Meiler

East Aurora


True marriage requires?one man and one woman

Recently an editorial appeared in The News under the headline "Obama gets it right." A more fitting title would have been "Obama gets it left." The News praised the incumbent president for proclaiming that he is solidly for so-called gay marriage.

From time immemorial, society has applauded the union of one man and one woman and reveled in joyous wedding ceremonies and receptions. Why? Because not only is marriage the epitome of romance, but more profoundly, it is the social mechanism whereby new inhabitants are brought into our universe. True marriage is the instinctive assertion of mankind's defense against death and the extinction of the human race.

Compared with such lofty motives and results, gay marriage is merely the attempt to exalt a friendship between two persons of the same sex, but makes no contribution to the propagation and perpetuation of the human population. Existentially, because of immutable biological restrictions, gay marriage is not on the same plane as true marriage.

Despite the hue and cry and desperate wish for equality, it is simply not in the nature of things for gay marriage to attain such a status. Try as they may, the gays' allies in state legislatures can never change fundamental facts of life, even with a presidential endorsement.

Lucian C. Parlato