Arts groups have been fundraising for years

I had to laugh when I read the June 29 letter comparing recently defunded Buffalo arts groups to "people in the suburbs" having long raised funds to support various activities. "Let's see actors selling 5 0/5 0 tickets between acts," says the writer, "and why not raffle off some art?" The source of my amusement was that two nights earlier I attended a Buffalo theater fundraiser where I bought a sheet of Chinese auction tickets from an actor, while a separate silent art auction included a painting I had donated. These were not unusual occurrences. Having served on not-for-profit arts boards, I can assure the writer that theaters and galleries already spend an enormous amount of time and energy fundraising, and the arts community as a whole contributes greatly.

More troubling was his comment: "Let's see other acting groups selling candles like we have had to do to support the activities we prefer." He seems to suggest that visual art, theater and dance are for "the arts people in Buffalo," while Grand Island residents have different priorities. On the contrary, many suburbanites enjoy and take advantage of our region's rich artistic offerings, just as we urban residents have long financially supported our schools, scout troops and children's sports. There's something very disturbing about the writer's "us-versus-them" mentality, as if city and suburban dwellers are somehow fundamentally different and opposing forces.

Bruce Adams



Time to quit whining about high CEO pay

I just saw another letter in The News where the writer was crying and whining about CEO pay. Did anyone ever get a job from a poor man? Companies have to make a profit or the company closes and the employees get laid off.

You have to be smart and hard working to be a successful capitalist, but you can be lazy to be a socialist and still receive a government check. Where are the bleeding-heart liberals when their favorite Hollywood actors make $25 million a movie? A new Buffalo Sabre will make $10 million a year and A-Rod from the New York Yankees makes $32 million.

Liberal late night talk show hosts David Letterman and Jay Leno make multimillions per year for doing a one-hour TV show five days a week for only half a year, so where's the liberal outrage and whining about them? Stop being such hypocrites and crybabies.

James Ziolkowski



We should be investing in ECC City Campus

The advertising slogan currently appearing on Erie Community College's website encourages students to "Start Here. Go Anywhere." ECC Chairwoman Patricia Krzesinski must have been reading her college's own literature in her decision to abandon its downtown campus. But she seems to have neglected ECC's own "Mission and Vision," since her decision violates almost every point that the college claims to hold dear: Improving accessibility of education, reducing location barriers, bettering educational outcomes and regional economic development.

Education is the single best way to foster better-quality lives, train skilled workers, build a stronger community, lower crime and create more civic-minded citizens, and to deny the community that most needs these things hurts us all. But more importantly, it is but one more barrier to both Buffalo's economic development and the upward mobility of its most needy citizens.

More troubling, this decision appears to be just one more way that this city's administration is institutionalizing the neglect of the underclass, the very people they have the duty to serve equally and fairly. County Executive Chris Collins, in particular, is again using the power of the purse to drive investment away from the downtown communities that are most vital to building the future economic, social and cultural capital of Buffalo.

No one is asking Krzesinski or Collins or ECC to solely bear the burden of rebuilding downtown. But the downtown ECC campus is among the most important institutions whose presence was working to better the educational opportunities for our citizens and economic vitality of our community. It could be again: There is still time to make the right decision and to invest in, not abandon, downtown Buffalo, our community and our city.

Doug Tewksbury



NLRB's meddling is an abuse of power

A July 5 letter writer states that the National Labor Relations Board is doing the right thing in the Boeing dispute because "if indeed Boeing transferred production in reprisal for workers exercising their protected rights, the company acted in violation of the law." This statement ignores the fact that Boeing did not transfer any jobs anywhere. The new factory in South Carolina is an expansion of production, not a job transfer. The Washington state factory has actually added workers and production, making her point moot.

This is a typical knee-jerk reaction to anything unions don't like. The NLRB is in lockstep with the unions ever since our president appointed an ex union attorney to head up the agency. The News was absolutely correct in stating that this is an abuse of power. This type of abuse is becoming business as usual under this administration, most noticeably in the NLRB and the Justice Department, but "favoritism politics" dominates government at all levels and needs to be called out when it occurs. Kudos to The News for doing just that.

James Sullivan



'Going green' is not always the best option

An article in the June 22 Viewpoints section by Timothy Freeman should be required reading by those who promote "going green." I am not anti-technology, but the loss of jobs and the demise of small businesses can be traced to the zealous pursuit of going paperless. I prefer real mail over e-mail and resent the constant notices on statements telling me to pay electronically.

Here is an extreme example of the pursuit of a company to go paperless. For years, I purchased coffee from Gevalia and paid for shipments by personal check. In recent shipments, the company advised me that it was going green and requested my credit card information in order to pay electronically. I called customer service and said I preferred to pay by check. The representative told me personal checks are no longer accepted and asked me to cancel my account.

"Save the environment, kill the economy" seems to be the motto these days. Our landfills are filled with plastic containers. Glass and paper packaging are safer, more healthful alternatives and can be recycled and reused. Microwave ovens caution against using plastic when heating food or heating or reheating baby bottles. The use of glass is preferred to prevent chemicals from leaching into food, especially for babies and young children.

Mary A. Kless