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Everybody's Column

Corasanti verdict ?sends wrong message

I am sure my language at hearing of Dr. James Corasanti's verdict would have put me in jail had I been in the courtroom. The not guilty verdict was just one more reason for me to thumb my nose at the drinking and driving laws of New York State. This gives every person who chooses to drink and drive a little more guts behind the wheel, knowing he'll get very little punishment or, if you are wealthy, no punishment at all.

But that's all right because I'm thinking this person will probably have to leave the community he lives and practices in because I'm quite sure the general public will be unsympathetic to his weeping in the courtroom.

One thing I'm also sure of is his personal guilt at not stopping in the first place. Then knowing after his wife told him that he had hit someone and later finding out that person was dead should be enough to last him a lifetime. Please spare me the argument of not knowing he hit something. Any human being at least looks in the rear-view mirror if he feels something hit his car. The vast majority of us would stop, unless of course we are too drunk to realize it.

My fear is that our lawmakers will change the laws to make an example out of someone who works hard for his minimum-wage job and cannot buy his way out of a fatal hit-and-run.

Karen Clontz-Patterson

Orchard Park


Acquittal encourages ?others to flee scene

The jury in the Dr. James Corasanti case has done irreparable harm not only to the family of Alix Rice, but also to the citizens of Erie County. By acquitting Corasanti of all felony charges, even of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, the jurors have made it clear that only a first-rate fool (or someone with a conscience) would actually stay at the scene. By running and lawyering up, your odds are apparently pretty good you'll walk away with what amounts to a ticket … and that only if you are caught!

Chalk up another win for the forces of irresponsibility and deception.

Marc Veneziano, M.D.



Selfish behavior ?is an abomination

As I read Thursday's Buffalo News, I was outraged. The Dr. James Corasanti case is another vivid example of selfish and irresponsible behavior.

Donn Esmonde very aptly described the injustice of the Corasanti trial verdict, and the selfishness and irresponsibility of Corasanti's actions — before, during and after the accident.

Repeatedly Corasanti did not take responsibility for his actions. Before the accident, he was irresponsible for drinking and driving. At the time of the accident, he was irresponsible for leaving the scene. And finally, after the accident, he was irresponsible for not admitting guilt.

Corasanti is a doctor, and thus has the added responsibility of that position and profession. Likely, he could not have saved Alix after the accident, but he did not even try! Rather, he was selfish and focused all of his attention on saving himself.

Since July 8, 2011, Corasanti has denied responsibility for the accident and Alix's death — a sad and vivid example of selfish and irresponsible behavior.

It is time for us all to look in the mirror and ask: What would I do? Would I be selfish and irresponsible, or (hopefully) selfless and responsible?

William Morrison



Trash on the beach? is utterly ridiculous

While some people may be upset that the gates at Bennett Beach have been closed a lot this year, I must say that I hope they continue to be closed unless the actions of beachgoers change. Upon taking an evening walk at Bennett Beach after a hot day, I was disgusted at the sight that awaited me. Remnants of weekend drinking littered the beach and the beautiful sand dunes, with piles and piles of beer cans and bottles everywhere.

While minor litter tends to be a constant annoyance in any public space, the gargantuan amounts that were spread across the beach were ridiculous. I find it sad that such a beautiful beach is being destroyed by other people's laziness. Unless people start respecting the beach by throwing out their trash in proper containers, I hope that the gates remain closed.

Megan Schmid



Same-sex couples ?experience romance

A recent writer characterized "gay marriage" as "the attempt to exalt a friendship between two persons of the same sex," while characterizing heterosexual marriage as "the epitome of romance." He believes that marriage's singular purpose is for having children. I am unable to understand on what legitimate grounds he makes these claims. ?How is it that gay couples only experience friendship while heterosexual couples are engulfed in romance? What evidence does he have of this? There is a deeply held bias in the writer's "gut," and as author Charley Pierce explains in great detail in his book, "Idiot America," the "gut" is usually wrong. Perhaps the writer cannot accept the thought of a same-sex couple being romantic and simply reclassifies it as friendship. Get over it!

I wonder what the writer thinks about the biological evidence of homosexuality in the animal world around us. Is it unnatural for animals as well as humans? Or perhaps the writer doesn't believe in science. And what about couples who marry and choose not to have children? Are they breaking natural laws and shirking their responsibility to procreate and replenish the earth with their offspring? I really believe that the sentiments of the letter writer are based in ignorance of what gay couples, or any couples, feel for each other. All he knows is what his gut tells him.

I feel great sadness for the millions of American citizens who are being denied civil rights because of beliefs such as these. I thought in America we are all to be treated equally and enjoy the same rights. When a fearful majority gains too much power, then anyone who acts differently is marginalized and stripped of his constitutionally assured rights. All Americans should rebel against that. Religion is a personal choice and our country should not be ruled based on religious beliefs. The Constitution provides the guidance to govern our society, not the gut.

Dan Bailey

East Aurora


Focus on economy,? not gay marriage

The recent endorsement for Marriage Equality by President Obama might have sent shock waves across America and the globe, but either way should have little impact at the polls.

This bold move may be divided among people, but should not be the deciding factor when voting for either candidate. It simply shows the progress and evolving belief that all men and women are created equal. Americans are entitled to their own beliefs, which is great, but let's make this election solely on the economy.

Right now the American economy is at a critical point and needs a leader who is innovative, progressive and effective. There are many people who could not care less about politics and do not want to engage in any conversation or thought on the topic. But that is the problem; you don't need to be interested to be aware.

With the rising costs of food and fuel, a lagging job market and student loans that can be financially debilitating for decades, a need for problem solving is urgent. All of these issues face the American people and it is time everyone takes some part in changing this.

It may include educating yourself and being aware of the issues that are before us. Knowing who our elected leaders are on any level, in addition to voting. The small group that takes part in this process affects everyone. So we all need to come together and be unified for the good of all of us. When heading to the polls in November, remember that the president of the United States is the leader of the free world and that every voice counts that day.

Mitchell Nowakowski

Orchard Park


Killing feral cats ?is not the answer

A recent letter writer hopes the feral cats of Olcott will be killed. He read that cats kill a lot of birds and are a threat to other species. I guess to some that sounds like an easy bird-saver thing.

But what, then, does he propose to do to other bird killers?

What about all those kids who shoot birds (and squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, etc.) with their BB guns? Or the folks who use harmful pesticides and install large picture windows that birds crash into? Did he read about all the birds that die because they are drawn to big city lights? Or fishing lines that entangle birds?

The writer witnessed a cat killing a bird at his feeder. I used to have a bird feeder, too, until I tired of the carnage from hawks who found it easy pickings.

Then there are the human so-called "sport hunters." They tell me they love "wing shooting." Evidently there aren't enough other bird species to satisfy their hunting desires so they're busy getting dove hunting legal in New York. When I asked why, I was told flying birds are more action than clay "birds" and there are so many doves, don't you know. Guess it's too ridiculous even for them to use the excuse of too many dove/car collisions or they need to feed their families with those tiny fillets.

Let's not forget the birds and other species that lose their homes and food sources when wildlife managers manipulate habitat to benefit hunters' favorite game animals.

There seems to be too much killing going on already. It's refreshing to see a town like Olcott that chooses to work with compassionate experts who are willing to volunteer their time and energy to help solve problems in a peaceful, non-violent manner.

Valerie Will

Orchard Park