Hit-run drivers merit harsh punishment

This is in response to the letter writer who requested that the "bashing" of Dr. James G. Corasanti be curtailed. I have no doubt that he has helped a great number of people through the years, and as a son of someone who lost his battle with cancer at the young age of 50, I certainly cannot ignore those accomplishments. I also firmly believe in second chances. However, Corasanti allegedly made two bad choices that night. The choice to drink and drive was the first. It never ceases to baffle me when anyone makes this decision, especially someone as wealthy as a doctor (or a pro athlete) who can afford a cab ride home.

The writer suggests that he just do "humanitarian work" in lieu of a jail sentence, which leads to my next point: The second "mistake" he made that night was also a choice, not a mistake. He allegedly chose not to stop to see who he hit with his vehicle and maybe use his medical background to try to right this very tragic wrong. Leaving the scene of an accident is a cowardly, selfish act, and deserves the heaviest punishment allowed by law.

Now it has been reported that he has a past arrest for drinking and driving. I wonder how many more arrests or deaths this man needs to get the message. Shame on anyone who drinks and drives. There is no penalty strong enough for someone who hits another human being and keeps driving, whether he is drunk or sober. Make no "mistake" about it.

Jim Vickers



Shame on people who drink, drive

To the writer who wants to give Dr. James G. Corasanti a break because he saved her life, please! He might have saved another life if he had stopped after allegedly hitting the young woman, instead of driving away. "Humanitarian work?" You have got to be kidding.

If he had a clear head, he might have had a chance to save a life. How unfortunate for a man with so much to give to this community. He gave away his career and reputation. He has been charged with drinking and driving not once, but twice. When will people learn drinking and driving don't mix? Probably never.

Paul J. DiVito



If doctor is guilty, he deserves jail time

I am writing in response to the letter, "Doctor deserves another chance," regarding Dr. James G. Corasanti. Like the writer, I am a cancer survivor with a gastroenterologist. Ninety percent of my stomach was removed in 2001. And I have thanked him every day. However, just because he saved my life does not give him the right to take another. Just because he is a doctor does not give him the right to leave someone dead on the road, as police allege happened in this case. If I or that writer had struck and killed someone, where would we be? In jail.

Cynthia Shelvay



Would writer feel same if her child had died?

This is in response to the woman who is tired of all the "bashing" of Dr. James G. Corasanti. Leaving a young girl for dead while driving under the influence, as he allegedly did, is not a "mistake" -- it's murder. Catching the writer's cancer doesn't make the doctor an angel. He doesn't deserve a second chance, he deserves a jail sentence. He already has a previous arrest for drinking and driving. The writer wouldn't be so high and mighty if it was her daughter who had been killed.

She says he should be allowed to do "humanitarian work" instead of jail. That's the problem, though. People of privilege think that the laws don't apply to them. Corasanti is accused of leaving Alix Rice to her dying breath. Was that humanitarian? Was it humanitarian to wait an hour and a half before turning himself in and to wait five hours to have his blood tested?

I would bet that a good number of people who left that country club drove away intoxicated -- they just didn't get caught.

Tom Somerville



Collins doesn't care about constituents

The headline of a July 23 News article read: "Collins feels heat as rats get thirsty." Indeed, rats are on the prowl for water since they need eight ounces of it daily. The article definitively illustrates that County Executive Chris Collins favors rats rather than the children and adults of Erie County with his consistent strategy of sandbagging the expenditures of a very small amount of money for rat abatement within a billion-dollar Erie County budget. Is Collins vying for the rat population endorsement and the rat vote this election year?

Art Parks



Residents can't take 4 more years of this

There exists a strange feel to County Executive Chris Collins and his unique management style. He employs a mixture of arrogance and despotism, a resolve that lacks the ability to compromise or even negotiate, and an insistence on the sacredness of his and only his view. To be sure, he routinely promises great things -- more jobs and lower taxes, but these promises never quite materialize. In fact, Collins has once again vigorously sought the New York State Legislature's authorization to continue our "temporary" 1 percent sales tax surcharge, a tax that we have all been paying since 1985.

A clear example of this style is his recent attack on Mark Poloncarz's campaign efforts. Specifically, Collins' campaign manager has stated that by accepting campaign monies from a service union, Poloncarz "cares more about special interests than the taxpayers of Erie County." By this logic, all campaign funding is suspect. And given the fact that Collins has collected 10 times the campaign contributions of Poloncarz, are we not urged to conclude that Collins is 10 times more likely to care more about his special interests groups than the county taxpayers?

This type of dishonest rhetoric is nothing new for those who have observed Collins in action these past four years. We should expect more of the same hypocrisy during his campaign.

So, while most of us are busy with our personal lives, our local political situation requires us to act in order to end the suffering this political bully has inflicted on our region. Four more years of tax breaks for his business pals, high salaries for his handpicked administrators, a contemptuous attitude toward middle-class workers, costly legal litigations and cuts to cultural institutions are too much to ask from us ordinary folks.

Alphonse Kolodziejczak



Refusal to compromise only hurts Americans

A necessary ingredient in a republic such as ours is compromise. We rarely have a "ruling" (majority) party and even if we did, the design of the Senate could derail the ruling party. So compromise is essential.

Since compromise requires concessions from both sides, I don't understand why one side of our debt debate refuses to do anything about raising revenue (taxes). Debt is simply a result of spending too much and/or bringing in too little revenue. So to attack a debt effectively, you have to find ways to cut spending and raise revenue.

Why are the Republicans so adamant about not raising revenue (taxes)? They won't even consider eliminating the $4 billion we give big oil every year. The Obama side of the debate has agreed to make spending cuts, but nowhere from the Boehner side are offers that include increasing revenues.

Is it because they signed a Grover Norquist (president of Americans for Tax Reform) pledge not to raise taxes? Really, what kind of leader would sign a pledge that takes away one of his key tools in managing an economy? In my opinion, the only pledge our leaders should sign is to do what is best for the country, not for one group.

Jerry Cappello



Don't blame Obama for speaking the truth

Suppose you were barbecuing one evening and a firefighter approached you and said that your grill was too close to the house and could ignite your vinyl siding. You choose to ignore the advice of a professional, and half an hour later, your siding bursts into flame. This event is not the fault of the firefighter.

This point is evidently lost on the writer who sought to chide President Obama for "threatening to withhold Social Security checks" and warning him of dire consequences in 2012 if he picks on senior citizens.

The president does not issue Social Security checks, and he cannot choose to withhold them. Neither action is within his constitutional powers. What the president is doing is warning seniors that unless Congress gets its act together, the money won't be in the bank and the checks will not be valid. If that happens, the blame will belong under the rotunda dome, not in the Oval Office.

Alan D. Delmar

Town of Tonawanda


Grisanti disappoints many who elected him

We have listened to and respected the opinions of the gay community. I, too, am entitled to an opinion and just a couple thoughts. Please respect that. Let us all please remember the short amount of time it took Sen. Mark Grisanti to break one of his important campaign promises. He claims he is now "informed" regarding gay issues. (Apparently the voters did not realize how uninformed on issues Grisanti is when he was voted in). I think he got "informed" real quick, as Sam Hoyt did, after receiving some special considerations from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Let us also remember that county clerk's offices were opened on a Sunday to accommodate the "mass" wedding held in Niagara Falls. How much did that cost the taxpayers? It's a sad day for Niagara Falls when this is the marketing tool the mayor and city officials think will cause a sudden rebirth of the Falls. I congratulate the gay and lesbian couples who did not grandstand in Niagara Falls and who chose to keep their personal lives dignified.

Susan Williams



Politicians' names don't belong on signs

In last Saturday's Off Main Street column, Frank Maddock said that Mayor Byron Brown's name does not belong on the new surveillance camera signs. He's absolutely right, but we should go one step further. Every politician's name should be removed from every sign on public property. I am sick of seeing politicians' names plastered on signs at parks, buildings, etc.

Too expensive to replace the signs? I'll donate the duct tape needed to cover up the names of Brown and all politicians who think they deserve to have their names on taxpayer-funded property.

The article ends by saying that Maddock "suspects ego may have something to do with it." No doubt.

Patty Doyle