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Restaurants should not be receiving tax breaks

Congratulations to David Robinson for his July 24 column about why restaurants should not get tax breaks. He accurately explained that "the idea of providing tax breaks to a project is that it will create jobs and bring new money into the region," which the proposed restaurants would not do.

By the way, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency should re-examine its policies. It rarely deems a project unworthy of taxpayer contributions, regardless of the merits. For example, it recently awarded tax exemptions of $495,000 to assist a law firm's relocation from one downtown building to another, with no prospect of additional jobs. This was misguided. If the firm would have moved without the tax exemptions, it should not have received them. Nor should the exemptions have been granted if they were an important factor in the firm's decision to move.

David Sweet

Main Seneca Corp.

Buffalo

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Orchard Park Board finally rights a wrong

It took long enough, but congratulations are in order to the Orchard Park Town Board, especially Councilwoman Nan Ackerman for her leadership, in returning public Town Board meetings to twice per month. Clearly this is a solid win for the people. In the words of former President Ronald Reagan, "governments exist to serve the people, and not the other way around."

I applaud the board members for finally doing what is right for Orchard Park and the people they were elected to serve.

James L. Lawicki

Orchard Park

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Battery-powered cars take too long to recharge

A recent article in the business section of The News on the race to produce longer-range lithium-ion batteries for electric cars totally misses the point as to why electric cars for the foreseeable future will be nothing more than glorified golf carts.

It's not the range that's holding them back, but the time it takes to recharge the battery. Say you have two cars, one gasoline-powered and the other battery-powered, both with a 200-mile range. In five minutes or less you can recharge -- refill -- the gasoline-powered car and be on your way. You'd be lucky to recharge the battery-powered car in five hours. The electric vehicle is limited in time as well as distance.

Someone is quoted in the article as saying transportation is going to go electric. Not for awhile it won't.

Doug Kreinheder

Cattaraugus

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Citizens should handle problems on their own

I read in The News that Kenmore and Tonawanda now want County Executive Chris Collins to give them $70,000 for rat control. When did our citizens abandon their own sense of responsibility? When I was a kid in the projects, we took care of our own problems. Snap traps with a wedge of Velveeta or a D-CON salad provided an inexpensive rodent fix.

We never piled tree limbs and brush at the road but rather burned it, mulched it or took it to the back yard or vacant lot. If you cut down a big tree, you gave the wood to somebody who could use it. We never looked to an agency for some sort of solution. This went double for our local police and fire departments, which today are called to respond to situations for which only a few decades ago you would be embarrassed to make such a call. Check your community paper "police blotter" and you'll see what I mean. So before you pick up the phone, remember: Ask not what Erie County or your township can do for you You know the response.

Joe Weiss

Councilman, Clarence

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Follow some basic rules when hiring contractor

Contractor Todd Cameron's efforts to make things better after serving prison time for defrauding homeowners is a newsworthy comeback tale ("Roofer hopes to make amends," July 10 News).

But it's also an alarm bell. Buffalo-area homeowners can take some simple steps to avoid contractor scams altogether. Before work begins:

*Obtain bids and references from several contractors.

*Get a signed repair contract.

*Never make large down payments; 20 percent should be your maximum.

*Pay by check or credit, not cash.

*Be sure the contractor is licensed.

*Make sure your insurance policy covers the repairs.

*Ask your insurer for the names of reputable contractors.

*Avoid contractors who go door-to-door after storms.

Most contractors are honest and ethical. But warm weather and storms attract shady operators. They'll gladly take your money, then do shoddy, inflated or no repairs. Your home should be your castle, not a crooked contractor's piggy bank.

John Sargent

Chairman, New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud

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Ride for Roswell fee is too steep for some

While I'm a big supporter of Roswell Park and am aware of all the good that it does, I have an issue with the Ride for Roswell. Though I've participated in this event several times, I believe it has to change the criteria for entering and drop the $150 mandatory pledge fee. I've talked to several people who would love to help out and ride and would pay a nominal fee, but can't afford this exorbitant fee and don't have co-workers or friends to help them out. With our country in a recession, it's time for Roswell Park to smarten up and make this event open to all classes.

Martin P. Farrell

West Seneca

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Animal woes are inevitable as sprawl gobbles up land

I have read occasional newspaper articles and heard from people with near-miss occurrences with deer and other animals, such as running into them or having them intrude in gardens. I am sorry these things happen, but unfortunately, this is what happens when a species becomes obviously dominant over the land, as we have. We humans have gotten so greedy with our land, building skyscrapers, streets, landfills, theme parks, high rises, manufacturing, bridges, drilling for gas/oil, the list goes on.

Imagine if each of the other species had to compete for land for their "ideal" comfort zone like we do. We don't need more hotels, restaurants or homes, we can't even take care of what we have now. Of the homes I see, very few have gardens, and much of the cut grass is either left to blow away or just sits there till the next cutting. A lot of yard space goes to waste when it doesn't have to -- it often makes the best gardens. My point is that we shouldn't be greedy. We need to quit taking land from others.

Russell J. Fowler

Jamestown