Talented Sullivan shines in Spotlight
As I finished preparing my weekly column last Sunday for next week's church bulletin, my eye caught the front page of the Spotlight section of The News. It got my immediate attention because it was by Jerry Sullivan. He was writing about women's magazines, from a man's perspective. A caricature of him, which Mike Ricigliano might produce any Sunday, would probably have Sullivan with three cheeks, since he writes so well with tongue-in-cheek. He is a most insightful, entertaining and controversial writer of the sports scene. In this article, he showed a great respect for women, for which I give him a high-five.
Growing up, I saw some of the women's mags he mentioned coming into my home, for my three sisters and mom. The cover story headlines certainly got my attention. The topics that Sullivan mentioned brought a question to my mind: Would it bring a reaction from my parishioners if I were commenting on a journalist writing about "what men want most at 9 p.m."? At that time of day, at my age, I only want an interesting sports event or movie and a good night's sleep.
Thanks to Sullivan for the "five-day tour" of these magazines. Any time we can gain perspective into the wonderful world of womanhood, it's a blessing. Maybe his next article will be on "women in sports and how they view men." I think he's on to a new aspect of his career.
The Rev. Dick Csizmar
Hate to see the NFTA sell Small Boat Harbor
I was very disappointed to read that the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is putting its property at the Small Boat Harbor up for sale. In the past several years, the Small Boat Harbor has changed from a utilitarian boat launch into a beautiful jewel of a facility. To its many slip holders and boating enthusiasts using the public ramps, or to its diners, who simply enjoy eating a delicious lunch or dinner at Dug's Dive while watching the boats in the harbor, the Small Boat Harbor has finally become a destination of choice for our residents.
Finally, after years of waiting, the renovation of Fuhrmann Boulevard, with its new wide walkways, made the Small Boat Harbor easily accessible to any driver, biker or walker. It would be a shame to now have the NFTA "pull the plug" by selling the Boat Harbor to a private developer, potentially closing this waterfront access to the public forever.
Penny F. Zeplowitz
Collaborative effort produced new parish
I am all for freedom of speech, but it should be based on facts. Two recent letters about the merger of St. Barnabas and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament are filled with misinformation. This merger was a collaborative effort of parishioners of both parishes to create a more stable, stronger and vibrant Catholic presence in the Depew-Lancaster area. This decision was based on the decline in practicing Catholics, the shortage of priests and economic challenges, not a directive from Bishop Edward Kmiec or a sinister plan of Monsignor John Madsen. There is no doubt that this and other mergers have caused some hardships, but this is a necessary process that was long overdue, and Kmiec deserves great credit for instituting the "Journey in Faith and Grace" in the face of much criticism.
The statement in the June 1 letter that "no consideration was given to many organizations" is off base since all church organizations have a spot at the new parish known as St. Martha. Unfortunately, some outside organizations not connected with the parish could not be accommodated. His comments about Madsen and his "sycophants" are ridiculous, and in fact some committee members were against the merger. It also slights all the hard work and time of many caring parishioners who represented both parishes. The statement that "the parish had no debt" is also off the mark. It was published in St. Barnabas' annual financial report of Aug. 31, 2010, that it was several hundred thousand dollars in debt.
The much larger St. Martha can well accommodate all of the parishioners without creating a need for one priest to say four Masses on Sunday. Working together, we look forward to a strong and vital St. Martha Parish for the future.
Parking tickets drive people out of downtown
On June 8, we attended the American Repertory Theatre at 1412 Main St. in downtown Buffalo. It is a tiny and struggling, but excellent and professional, theater. It was our first time attending.
We parked in the lot between the theater and the NFTA building, which was posted (we later noticed) down toward the far end of the building. Ten minutes later, the play director advised people parked on the NFTA side to move their car to avoid a ticket. Needless to say, my husband immediately left to move our vehicle only to find it had already been ticketed by the NFTA police for $30. It took only 10 minutes!
In a struggling city where support for our arts is strained, it hardly seems sensible or even humane to ticket vehicles so quickly and without warning. Had an officer walked 20 feet across the lot to advise the audience, no tickets would have been necessary. This audience is a part of Buffalo's growth, not an unruly crowd.
We must continue to support downtown, even if the police and politicians are unreasonable. The NFTA police should reconsider future decisions. A little good will goes a long way.
Suburbanites did not cause city's problems
Every time I read Rod Watson's column, I get more confused. Why does he always blame the plight of Buffalo on the people who live in the suburbs? Why does he knock them for wanting a better life for their families? Why does he blame everyone for the condition of the Buffalo Public Schools except the people who live in the city? The people who moved out of the city didn't cause the problems like crime, empty lots and boarded-up buildings. There are opportunities here, you just have to want to work for them.
Niagara Falls continues to shoot itself in the foot
It never ceases to amaze me how enthusiastically the Niagara Falls Common Council continues to shoot itself in the foot and promote the fallacy that the Robert Moses Parkway is depressing downtown business.
This same argument was used to support removal of the parkway section from Niagara Falls State Park. Forcing people to drive through downtown didn't stop the decline. If there were quality restaurants, interesting shops and fun entertainment venues, no parkway presence would keep people away.
Urban renewal during the 1980s destroyed a vibrant business district, and city leaders have been fumbling ever since. Blaming the parkway is merely deflecting the focus from a dysfunctional city government and incompetent business community.
John J. Dumbrosky