Taking water from lake is detrimental to region

A recent News article quotes Ohio's Jennifer Klein, who wants to withdraw more water from Lake Erie, as saying that 3.4 billion gallons of water are currently taken daily from the lake "with no resulting problems."

I disagree; 3.4 billion gallons daily is more than 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). At average flows, a reduction of the flow out of the lake into the Niagara River of 5,000 cfs reduces the level of the lake by a measurable amount, about one-tenth of a foot. So the impact of more withdrawals from the lake can be easily determined. For every additional 50,000 cfs removed, the lake would be lowered by one foot.

Even one-tenth of a foot can be critical to wildlife habitat, fish-spawning areas, etc. On a gently sloping shoreline, a one-tenth-of-a-foot drop in lake level could leave thousands of acres of wetland dry, while a one-foot drop could be disastrous. In addition to the effects of lower levels on the environment and navigation, a reduction in available water detrimentally affects all downstream hydroelectric facilities.

The effects of withdrawals from Lake Erie are felt not only by that lake, but on the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and the entire Laurentian system downstream. That is why a Great Lakes Compact was required, and why Ohio is not being a good neighbor.

Angelo F. Coniglio

Retired Chief of Engineering, Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District



Medal of Honor winners belong on the front page

On July 13, The News published an article on page A1 about the field being replaced at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

On page A5 of that issue was an article about U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry being awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama.

When Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta received the Medal of Honor in 2010, it also was not on the front page -- Prince William and Catherine's engagement was.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the U.S. government and as such deserves front-page coverage.

Diane Blaser



Significant buildings saved with IDA's help

David Robinson's article condemning the use of Erie County Industrial Development Agency benefits for restaurants misses the whole point. I agree with him that IDA benefits shouldn't be used solely for the purpose of creating another eating establishment.

Eight years ago, Ellicott Street between Genesee and Tupper was a ghost town with six boarded-up buildings. Eight years later, it is a thriving 2 4/7 oasis in a downtown desert. This happened in large part due to the construction of 100 apartments and opening of the highly successful Sea Bar and Washington Market. Without the help of New Markets Tax Credits, a federal program that is another tool for developing underserved areas, these establishments would not exist.

The adaptive reuse program, which I had an active role in instituting, was primarily designed to help in the rehabilitation of vacant downtown buildings. After the termination of the Empire Zone Program, we needed tools to replace those benefits. This led to the creation of the adaptive reuse program.

Both of the buildings I have requested IDA assistance for are in deplorable condition and are one step away from the demolition ball. This isn't about restaurants, it's about saving two historically significant buildings. It just happens that restaurants will be occupying them.

We constantly hear complaints from people who come to Buffalo that there is nothing to do downtown. A recent survey of downtown residents showed that the lack of amenities downtown was the biggest problem facing them.

If one studies what has happened in other emerging cities, people come first, then restaurants and then retail. If our intention is to breathe new life into downtown, then restaurants are an important component to that formula. We need to breathe new life into downtown Buffalo, and the Erie County IDA is the conduit for that oxygen.

Rocco Termini

Signature Development



Hit-and-run drivers seem to be on the rise

On July 8, at 2 p.m., I was riding my motorcycle east on Sheridan Drive by Sweet Home Road when I was sideswiped by a white Volkswagen. As I was being hit, I saw that the driver had her head down, probably texting. I hollered at her but she did the cowardly thing and kept on going -- hit and run.

I face several months of healing broken bones, cuts and bruises. Hopefully, after rehab, I can continue my life without pain. I hope this person will think of me every time she wants to text while driving. I hope she thinks of me every time she sees a motorcycle. Everyone, please, watch out for bikers.

Tom Davenport



Neither gender is better than the other

Readers of such articles as "The Gender Divide" should be aware of a certain illogic contained therein. Too often we read authors who will use negative examples and conclude to sweeping generalities which, upon closer examination, do not warrant such assumptions.

Dan Herbeck questions if there is a "superior gender." The many positive examples of persons of any sex, from Athena to Gandhi, show that the perfection of the human race depends on full development and conscientious faculties of both sexes. There is no natural superiority, just as there is no natural inferiority. There are just differences in certain functions for the perpetuation of the species, according to natural laws. There is an innate mothering influence, and an innate fathering influence.

Herbeck's trick proposition is one used, for example, by political parties in support of their grand and sweeping visions of how a government should work, dredging up the negative examples and occurrences to support their erroneous proposals.

If anything, it is the deficiencies in the education, training, family-rearing and other learning processes that handicap people of either sex. Watching women handle rigorous duties as astronauts, in the military and in executive positions, and observing men as nurses, heading up single families and writing songs and poetry, show they can be equally adept and proficient at whatever they put their minds to accomplish.

Let's put this "divide" in its proper perspective, as a complementary, stimulative, creative force of God and nature that has no limits once our mutual talents of mind, heart and conscience are brought to full employ.

David R. Conners