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Everybody's Column

Region should celebrate? Wallenda's amazing feat

ABC did a great job. If you watched earlier in the day, the morning sun made the shimmering waters look like diamonds going over the Horseshoe Falls. The evening show was enticing, with cameras at every possible angle. The show was wonderful whether you were there or watched it on TV. Crowds were cheering encouragement on both sides of the falls and yet, quiet as a church mouse, Nik Wallenda braved the torrential heavy mist blurring his vision. On TV you could hear him pray, and never underestimate the power of prayer. As he came to the end, he knelt, let go of one side of the pole to wave to the crowd, then almost ran to the finish.

It would be nice if the New York State Parks and the Ontario Parks Commission would put a commemorative plaque on both sides of the falls. It would also be nice if the State Department of Motor Vehicles issued a commemorative vanity license plate (the old red, white and blue) with not only the Maid of the Mist boat but Wallenda crossing the falls.

Let's celebrate this time, which put a little bit of shine on this Rust Belt area and brought us together for this historical chapter in the new century. Kudos to Wallenda for his inspiration against tremendous odds and all those involved in the United States and Canada who made it possible for him to do his job and do it well.

Philip James Jarosz



Wallenda's show of faith? was as inspiring as walk

Being born and raised in Niagara Falls, it meant real excitement for me to watch Nik Wallenda pull this off. Tether or not, it was a pleasure to see another American visit my old hometown and display his talent and courage over one of the world's most powerful, majestic sights, right here in our back yard. It was great to see Wallenda exercise his freedom of beliefs, religion and expression on national TV in front of millions of viewers.

While Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds on other continents such as Asia, Africa and South America, the United States is trying to walk backward on the high wire, and enter an age of secularism. It was refreshing to see someone walking forward with his faith, in two countries no less! Not only did Wallenda defy the mighty falls, but he also defied political correctness.

Hats off to Wallenda for his skill, strength and courage. He carved his name in history and showcased our mighty Niagara. I hope good things will come from it. He helped to inspire people.

Paul Anthony Imbert



Corasanti jurors ?did a terrible job

I know there have been many letters on this horrible event and courtroom decision, probably the worst since the O.J. Simpson case, but please indulge me with one more letter to the jury with a few more points from my perspective, and after reading some of the jurors' justifications for their decision. Number one, of course, is that Dr. James Corasanti's behavior from the time he got home, and especially his deleting of his texts and sending his wife to see what happened, would have been enough for me to know he knew what he'd done, and for a conviction on the evidence-tampering charges.

Relative to knowing what he hit, I ask the jurors, have you ever swerved to avoid a dead skunk or other animal in the road? If you can see a small dead animal in the road, how do you miss a teenager on a skateboard, crouched or not? I'd have to say that person would stand out a lot more than a small dead animal, wouldn't you? Unless of course, if one were texting. Reflexes slowed by drinking wouldn't help much either.

As to the "possible tainting of the blood evidence," the words in the law are "reasonable doubt," not "any doubt," and to say the blood may have been tainted would mean you would have to assume some person, a total stranger and employee of the hospital, deliberately tainted the evidence. Is that reasonable?

I sincerely hope the jurors are proud of issuing maybe the worst decision I've ever seen, and for compounding the error by stating publicly just how convoluted their thinking was in doing it. I especially loved the juror who stated that the doctor's purchasing of a bottle of champagne showed what a generous person he was. These jurors failed at their task, and failed miserably. There is no excuse for this decision.

Paul Christopher



Drivers should know? if they hit someone

A few days back, driving near home, my friend heard a crash on the passenger side of the vehicle. On checking, she determined she had hit a mailbox and knocked the side mirror off the vehicle, Did I mention that she was driving a Mercedes Benz SUV? I forgot to mention, she is deaf in one ear and uses an aid in the other. I hasten to add, she stopped to rectify the matter.

Patricia Ahrens



Brown right to question ?Bridge Authority's plan

The proposed demolition of the houses the Peace Bridge Authority owns on Busti Avenue would violate a court order issued by State Supreme Court Justice Eugene Fahey, who ruled that the authority cannot segment its plans to build a plaza, then a bridge, or piecemeal phases of the expansion out over decades, which is what it has done.

The authority recently distributed a 2011 Plaza Renovation Map showing 24.61 acres of property is needed to complete the current expansion. This map includes all of the property on Busti Avenue, several city streets and the Episcopal Church Home (the site of the new Duty Free Store).

It is pointless for the Bridge Authority or some elected officials to deny that the Busti demolitions are not a part of the plaza expansion. For decades the authority has blatantly and arrogantly maneuvered around court decisions and public agreements, and continued its agenda with impunity. Without the plaza expansion, there would have been no need to acquire, deliberately blight and now demolish these properties on Busti.

Mayor Byron Brown took the right position asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to intervene. The Bridge Authority has no permits to expand the plaza, no funding and not enough legally obtained land. It likewise has no permits or approval for a second bridge, with no approved bridge design, no land and no funding, either in the United Stats or Canada. It cannot be allowed to creep its way into our neighborhoods with feigned denials.

Brown exercised good judgment in calling the demolitions premature without any viable public plan. That's what a good leader does; places the welfare of people before profit or politics.

Denise Cornell



We need fewer trucks, ?not more, in Buffalo

The Peace Bridge Authority needs to be reined in. It wants to start demolitions of homes in the neighborhood near the bridge as part of its apparently secret project to increase truck parking near the bridge.

It's great that some local legislators have called for the Department of Environmental Conservation to implement air quality monitoring in the neighborhood, but that is not enough.

They and other elected representatives need to follow the lead of Mayor Byron Brown and call upon the governor to tell the authority to re-evaluate its plans. The air in the neighborhood has been polluted enough already. We need fewer trucks, not more. We need trains!

Harry DeLano



Ignoring federal law ?won't solve problem

My understanding of illegal immigration is that it's a violation of federal law. If this is the case, why then should the president be allowed to waive any part of it without the approval of Congress? Particularly if it is used to garner votes for an upcoming election. This would and should be a case where the checks and balances of our democratic system come into play.

Maybe this is President Obama's way of conceding that we don't have control of our own borders. Much like fencing off a section of Arizona, where it's not safe for Americans to trespass due to drug smuggling activity. The catch-22 here is that while we are protecting foreign countries at a cost of American lives, we are not able to justify the same to protect American soil. And while U.S. citizens are punished for federal law violations, illegal immigrants are not. All this, I fear, has and will continue to undermine the integrity of our nation.

Joseph Coia

West Seneca


Corporate America is? killing the middle class

Well, it certainly looks like the corporations have gotten their way. I recently read in the paper that union representation is down to 7 percent of private sector workers and 30 percent of public sector workers. This is down from more than 50 percent of private sector workers. Ah, progress. Now workers are being paid less and their benefits (health care, pensions) are being reduced or are non existent. At the same time, pay and benefits of CEOs and top executives have skyrocketed.

While one breadwinner could, in the past, support a family now it takes two jobs, or more, to survive. With today's generation lying down like sheep, middle class workers have lost most of the benefits that their grandparents fought and died to obtain. Perhaps today's generation should read the history of how union members obtained the benefits that allowed us to have a vibrant middle class. It wasn't a pretty picture, but they were strong, determined workers who bettered the lives of their children with great sacrifice on their part.

Allen F. Scioli