Excerpts from reader commentary on News stories and staffers' online blog postings last week. Online comments come from registered users, but comments to the blogs can be posted under pen names.
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Kiteboarding: News sports reporter Amy Moritz's fascinating July 6 story about the adventures of Lake Shore graduate Kris Kinn, a professional kiteboarder, prompted this revelation from Carl Contino of Buffalo:
I recently decided that at 45 it was time to try something new. Over the past 15 years, my love of "nature sports" like skiing, windsurfing and diving had gone by the wayside, and with it, part of my soul, the part of me that shines and provides the fuel and desire to live with passion.
I considered getting back into windsurfing but after watching a few videos on kiteboarding, it soon became clear that this was the way to go. Flying 30-40 feet into the air, riding the waves, cruising the flat water yeah!
So I've watched 101 videos, have gone to Hamburg beach to watch and talk with the guys, bought all the equipment, and now am itching to give it a go But just one problem. There are apparently no certified instructors in the area (except one guy who didn't seem interested in teaching). So I am off to North Carolina, the Outer Banks, where I'm told is the best place to learn in the country because of nice shallow water and fantastic instructors. Life is good!
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Summer reading: In a response to News staff reporter Brian Meyer's July 7 piece about the the City of Buffalo's 2011 Kids Summer Reading Challenge, Jose Figueroa of Buffalo wrote:
This is a great program. Perhaps this will, if not completely eliminate the systematic desecration of the English language, at least help curtail it. With technology advancing so fast, so is the isolation of our language. For instance, Internet "lingo" has been destroying the proper use of syntax and spelling. When I text my grandchildren, they basically make fun of me for using so many words, and when they text back, I have difficulties understanding what they're relaying to me. It's mostly abbreviated or spelled differently. I don't know, perhaps I'm from the old school, still embeded in a timeless cocoon.
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Brian "Spinner" Spencer: News staff reporter Tim Graham's July 5 story about the left winger for the Buffalo Sabres and member of their 1975 Stanley Cup finals team brought this comment from Tim Miller of Horseheads:
I've been a lifelong Sabres fan, and I was unaware of this story. I remember Spinner playing with reckless abandon and loved his play. I remember him sliding into a goal post before they had the easy-release mounts of today, and ripping up his knee then again I could be mistaken about that my memory is fading from almost 30 years ago.
Such a sad ending for him.
David Muscalo of Lafayette, N.J., added:
Too many demons within caused a tragic end for Spinner. Somewhere in his eventful life, he crossed the line between controlled eccentricity and uncontrolled self-destruction.
One factor that may have contributed to his problems is that he grew up in a small Canadian community. His formative years would have passed in a culturally isolated milieu, and when exposed to the big cities of the NHL, his moral and ethical compasses became confused
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KanJam: Responding to a July 4 article by News business reporter Emma Sapong about two friends from North Tonawanda who invented a backyard game hurling Frisbees into garbage cans, which is now being sold from sporting goods stores nationwide, admirer Philip F. Sweet of Buffalo gushed:
Great game guys, especially great summer game and especially fun and relaxing for seniors.
Rumor has it, it would be especially fun for halftime of sporting events. Super Bowl anyone?
Thanks for providing for great family fun and exercise that is literally catching on nationwide.