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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Buffalo Sabres: In a response to a July 20 sports item about the team achieving a record renewal rate of 99 percent for their 2011-12 season tickets, Rick Baker of Walworth groused:
I am happy for the team and all but for the average Joe like me this stinks. I have been a loyal paying fan since 1970. But I can't afford season tickets and physically can't make the drive from Rochester every night.
But I was up late in the days they were not so good listening to West Coast games at 1 a.m. with a bad signal. Now the tickets will be gone. I would like to know how many corporate seats were bought up by Toronto millionaires to make sure they get to see their Maple Leafs? And will probably scalp the rest to poor saps like me.
Terry (Pegula) is spending money like a drunken sailor and it's great to see. Great to see that this team is going to be great. I am just scared to death I won't be able to go to a single game now. If they are mostly Sabres faithful buying the seats, than I should shut my mouth. But if I am right about many going up north, I don't like it.
Philip Carr of Calgary, AB explained:
You could make the Toronto games "double platinum" and the Leaf fans would still buy them. You are not dealing with rational people. Every game will have its share of people cheering for the other team. And when the Sabres make it to Calgary, our family of five wear our Sabres sweaters and irritate the Flames fans who sit around us! !
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Weather: In a response to News staff reporter Jake Bolitho's July 18 article on a particularly hot weather spell, folks from other parts of the country chimed in such as Walter Christ of Bethlehem, Pa.:
It's times like these that make me miss the cooling breezes of Lake Erie. There are many things in Western New York that are taken for granted until you move away. Even the snow.
I love it hot, hot, hot. I'm going to be in Buffalo next week and I hope the hot weather holds out. I don't remember temps in the 90's when I lived there.
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Waterfront: The July 19 article about a developing Canalside by News staff reporters Mark Sommer and Jonathan D. Epstein brought this skeptical comment from Jack Saviola of Buffalo:
A lot of dollars are changing hands just to rearrange the deck chairs.
The Donovan Building will be rejuvenated, with some of the money coming from the taxpayers. The HSBC Center will lose a tenant and have little chance of finding another similar occupant. Some architects and construction people will make a little money. And some high-priced lawyers will get new high priced digs with a prime view of the hole where the Aud used to be.
And the community will be no better off!
Michael Kracker of Buffalo offered optimism and reproach:
It's no wonder nothing ever gets built in this city. Any news towards progress is met ten-fold with criticism. I would understand if it was well thought out complaints, but instead it's just knee-jerk response. I am happy to see some progress being made downtown. Couple this with the article about plans to revitalize Chippewa into something more than Thursday through Saturday night clubs and perhaps people might want to come spend their weekends downtown.
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Concert review: News pop music critic Jeff Miers' July 21 review of Cheap Trick at Artpark brought this rave from Chris Maher of Williamsville:
I couldn't agree more. Rick, Robin and the boys sounded as good as ever. I met Rick before the show and he was as crazy as he was on stage. What I will remember the most from this show was how it brought me back to my teenage years, and all the great memories and times we had back then. Cheap Trick was definitely part of the soundtrack of that time in my life. Fast times -- rock on!