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Everbody's Column

There are drawbacks ?to living off campus

The June 18 article, "Living off campus," was excellent. Valuable advice was given to students and parents. A couple of years ago, my grandson decided he would move out and share an apartment with three of his schoolmates. They signed a one-year lease on a very old two-story home on Ashland Avenue. The bedroom was so small that he had to sit on the bed while using his computer because there was no room for a chair. The closet was less than adequate to accommodate even the smallest wardrobe. Electrical power strips were necessary because there were only two outlets. I painted my grandson's room before he moved in, and repainted it before he moved out. The apartment was better after he left, yet he waited two months for his security deposit and was given half of what he had given.

Perhaps the most serious consideration that was not mentioned in the article was parking. Finding a parking space was a nightmare. Walking a block or more to your apartment was common. To make matters worse, you'd better be prepared to move your vehicle to the other side of the street to comply with the alternate parking that is strictly enforced. When you consider car payments, car insurance, gas and don't forget to factor in the hundreds of dollars in parking tickets that were paid throughout the year, selling the car and taking a cab would have been cheaper.

I'm sure there are some very good landlords, and many who have more positive things to say about living off campus. However, I am not one of them.

Nick Ciavarella



Nuns are following ?teachings of Christ

I feel very blessed to count many priests and nuns in my circle of teachers, mentors and friends. They have shared their wisdom and their energies in helping me and countless others strive to be better people, trying to live meaningful, helpful and spiritual lives. I have known them to be exemplary models of living unselfishly to make the world a better place in countless ways.

It disturbs me greatly to hear of the criticism being directed at some religious women in the United States. It is my understanding that this criticism largely stems from helping women in poverty become aware of birth control, demonstrating compassion for people of all sexual orientations and demanding equality for both men and women. These may not be in direct alignment with some of the present man-made teachings of the Catholic Church. However, they are in direct alignment with the basic doctrines and teachings of Christ and other religions. Love thy neighbor as thyself. I am pretty sure that means all neighbors, not just practicing Catholics. So let's start loving all of our neighbors and supporting the wonderful people who have dedicated their lives unselfishly for others.

Nicki McCullough Calabrese



Obama's hypocrisy ?is truly astounding

Having read The News editorial about Mitt Romney's flip-flop on health care, in the interest of journalistic fairness, I expect soon to read about President Obama's flip-flop on immigration reform. As a senator, he voted against a proposal that would have begun dealing with the immigration issue. As president, he failed to lead a Democratically controlled Congress to pass his DREAM Act. Obama is charismatic and articulate and presents himself as the "yes, we can" president, but his failure to engage Congress and the citizenry doesn't fit with that persona. Deflecting responsibility for this failure, accusing Congress (Republican and Democrat) of being a "do nothing" body, is not an admirable quality in a leader.

Then, just in the nick of time, the president finds the courage and authority to issue an executive order allowing a "temporary" solution for some illegal residents. I thought we were a nation of laws, not orders. Obama needs to get off Air Force One (currently serving as his campaign bus) and start doing his job: offer legislation and engage Congress in open, informed debate so we citizens can see who is the "do nothing" and who has the character to deal with tough issues.

When The News writes this editorial, the title might more accurately be "Obama's hypocrisy."

Lora Lee Downer



Magnificent feat is? worthy of applause

Shouldn't we all be tired of the negative, pooh-poohing attitudes of two News writers concerning the Wallenda Walk?

One of the writers called it a glorified carnival act. Shows you how much he knows. "Carny" acts are usually flimflams, phony deals. This was a daredevil stunt and one of the greatest ever. What it was was inspiring. A courageous young man defying gravity and immeasurable obstacles to give us all the thrill of a lifetime.

Not satisfied with demeaning this marvelous stunt, the columnist went on to bash Niagara Falls. He and his peer would probably go to a birthday party and say it would be better if the cake was chocolate.

His peer did a quarter of a page of negative commentary about the hype, the network and even the announcers. He would have preferred Walter Cronkite.

Talk about your glass being half empty. How much better would they have been if, like most of us, they had accepted this marvelous diversion for what it was? A spectacular performance by a courageous God-fearing young man.

Edward Dee



African-Americans helped? win the Battle of Lake Erie

The News story about the War of 1812 "Remembering the ‘Forgotten War'" by my friend Mike Vogel opened the 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration season and gave a great overview of the War of 1812.

Part of this war, which should not be forgotten, is the contribution that African-Americans and African-Canadians made. Vogel's article mentions that 3,000 enslaved African-Americans took up the offer of the British to escape slavery and move to Canada. He did not mention that the U.S. Navy, comprised of 10 percent to 20 percent African-Americans, took part in one of the most famous naval battles in U.S. history.

According to an Erie Maritime Museum's Internet history publication, during the Battle of Lake Erie, Oliver Perry commanded a squadron of six vessels and 400 men. An estimated 100 of those men were African-American. After a fierce battle on Sept. 10, 1813, his ship was rendered useless and he had to transfer his flag to the U.S. Brig Niagara. He said during the battle those famous words, "Don't give up the ship!" He then forced the surrender of the entire enemy squadron of ships.

Later, Perry, though not sold on the capacity of African-Americans to perform, told his superior who in turn wrote, "Perry speaks highly of the bravery and good conduct of the Negros, who formed his crew. They seemed to be absolutely insensible to danger."

I hope that in the commemoration of the War of 1812, Americans will finally understand that the blood sacrificed by free men and slaves of African-American descent makes them patriots, and their "blood not shed in vain" runs right along other patriots who came to the United States from Europe in pursuit of freedom.

Daryl Rasuli