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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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Jerry Sullivan: Following an Aug. 1 column, "Bills not spending like a winner," Jeremy Peters of Celebration, Fla., opined:

The Bills have a new GM, a new head coach and a new coaching staff. Even with those significant changes within the organization, the results in the win/loss column are pretty much the same. We have seen this before! The common denominator here is Ralph Wilson.

Although the Bills have greatly improved in some areas from a year ago, the Jets and Patriots have taken great strides to improve their winning chances by signing top free agents.

If the Bills won't spend money getting free agents then they have to build the team through the draft. Even with a new front office, I really don't have faith in our team building through the draft, because we haven't done so in over 10 years! The leadership has also made it well known that they will not dive into free agency. Looks like nothing is ever going to change!

Bottom line, Buffalo needs to lead the charge not the fans!

Daniel Morgan of Huntington Beach, Calif., explained:

Listen up, fellow Bills lovers.

Mr. Wilson is not cheap. He is thrifty, however. For 15 years he has paid for every draft pick to be signed. Ninety-five percent of them [stunk] and that is not Ralph's fault.

If the idiots making these draft picks chose wisely, you would all love Mr. Wilson.

What bothers me the most is we rarely hired assistant coaches with an NFL pedigree (we got that OL coach and now (assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach Dave) Wannstedt, other than that no one of repute.).

Mr. Wilson has shown Buffalo great loyalty. If he cared about the Benjamin$$$ he would have carpetbagged my Bills out of my former town years ago.

I miss Ted's and Louie's hot dogs.

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Donn Esmonde: An Aug. 3 column on West Side housing progress brought varying opinions, including this appreciative note from Mark Legeza of Buffalo:

As a homeowner on Chenango Street, it's really nice to have your street noticed in a positive light.

For those with strong backs and who really want to make a change in this wonderful city, the West Side is calling you.

It's a lot of work, trust me, but it's well worth it.

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HSBC: News business reporter Jonathan D. Epstein's Aug. 1 article on First Niagara Financial Group's branch purchase of HSBC Bank USA brought this comment from Don Nowak of West Valley:

It seems to me that HSBC has been a pretty good corporate citizen in Western New York since it took over Marine Midland. It is unfortunate that it has decided to exit the local retail banking market, but that should surprise no one, given the stagnant local economy and its global growth strategies.

The good news in all this is that a vibrant and healthy local bank is buying all of the branches, some of which will be sold to its competitors, and a few closed. In addition, it appears that HSBC intends to maintain its large commercial banking presence in Buffalo.

All in all, the impacts of these major changes on the local economy appear to be minimal, and far less negative than they appeared when HSBC first announced its intentions.

Michael Martinez of Lake View offered this observation:

Can we get the original name for the hockey arena back now? Remember when it was called "Crossroads Arena"? Well, we are at a crossroads now, and from the looks of things it seems any removal of jobs is a bad road to be on.

But don't worry. I hear tell the prez said that this country will fight or turn things around or something along the lines of economic recovery or something