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'Tribute' to Italians at game was insulting

For the past several years, the Federation of Italian American Societies of Western New York has been pleased to be a sponsor of Italian Night at the Bisons. As one of the most highly attended of all the Bisons' ethnic nights, we have always found it to be an enjoyable, fun-filled family event in which Italian culture is highlighted. There is food, music and dancing, as well as honoring two prominent Italian-Americans, along with bocce between innings and a tremendous fireworks display.

This year the Bisons added a video tribute to famous Italians, showing pictures on the scoreboard throughout the game. The faces of John Gotti, Al Capone, Tony Soprano and the cast of "Jersey Shore" were shown on the scoreboard meeting with "boos" and disdain from many spectators. Please understand that we find this "tribute" to be distasteful,insulting and completely inexcusable.

Perhaps the Bisons need a history lesson on famous Italians, such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Marconi, Pavarotti; or Italian-Americans like Sinatra, Martin, DiMaggio, Berra and Rizzuto, just to name a few. If so, we would be happy to provide.

To "honor" the achievements and accomplishments of an ethnicity by doing it such dishonor is intolerable, and the FIASWNY can no longer be a sponsor of this event.

Peter R. LoJacono

President, FIASWNY

Williamsville

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Grant's discrepancies require investigation

I am writing in response to the Aug. 12 News article, "Collins adviser's employee tag swipes don't add up." County Executive Chris Collins believes in running the county like a business, and I believe he instituted the card swipe policy to prevent fraud and abuse, didn't he? In any business, executives would be looking at these discrepancies and would question what the heck is going on. Is someone else swiping Christopher Grant's card for him? Who is manually entering the times and why? Who is giving that person the hours to enter manually?

The fish always rots from the head down, and when you have someone in a position of authority making his own rules, it does not look like a chain of command that respects county government. Mark Poloncarz's auditors are doing their job and checking the system for fraud and abuse that Collins instituted for them to monitor.

Ann Riley

Tonawanda

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Collapse of Building 7 has not been explained

In his Aug. 14 Viewpoints article, "Don't believe unfounded claims about 9/1 1," Mark O'Brian concedes that thermite could have cut the beams and argues that the thermite came from cutting the beams during the subsequent cleanup. But unexploded thermite was found in dust collected from all over the city, not just at the site, showing that tons of it had been used when the dust was created. By the way, there is a photo of one of those steel beams in the rubble that was cut at a sharp angle. That is done so that the portion of the building above the cut slides off and does not stay in place; no one cutting up steel for scrap would cut it at a sharp angle. And how does O'Brian explain the collapse of Building 7, which fell at nearly free-fall acceleration into its own footprint even though no plane hit it and there were only minor fires inside?

Hundreds of qualified physicists, architects and engineers have examined the evidence and believe that all three buildings were brought down by controlled demolition. Yet to endorse the government theory, The News selects a biochemist. In the interests of honest reporting, will the News now publish the case for a controlled demolition by a qualified truther?

Richard D. Fuerle

Grand Island

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No need for loud sirens in firefighters' parade

I found the Aug. 13 article addressing volunteer firefighters protesting the siren ban at the Erie County Fair quite interesting. Members of the Erie County Volunteer Firemen's Association finally have stepped up and realized that it is not a necessity. For years, the Firemen's Day at the fair was always well attended. The parade of firefighters was always an impressive sight. The fire trucks were also impressive at the end of the parade. However, the sirens and air horns emitting an ear-piercing blow to those in attendance were always unwelcome.

Having been involved in the fire service for more than 25 years, I find it quite disturbing that a need to sound sirens and air horns even exists. Taxpayers and fire departments spend an enormous amount of money on this emergency equipment. They should be proud to showcase it without having to act irresponsibly. These pieces of apparatus are not toys. They are meant to protect the public and serve during a time of need. It is unacceptable to think that noise is needed for the public to pay attention. Act professionally and be a proud part of the community. To those who feel otherwise, you're portraying yourselves in an amateurish fashion.

David Zaporowski

Elma

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Food trucks will lose appeal in cold weather

Two summers ago, a young man tried pedaling ice cream in food carts in downtown Buffalo. He was not successful. Not only was he hassled about where to sell his yummy stuff, but summer rains and winter weather also played a part.

As far as restaurant owners objecting, well, they can send out their own trucks and then all those food trucks can overstep each other. I suspect, though, that once the weather turns cold and the novelty goes away with the warm sunshine, people will not be willing to bundle up and go out of their warm homes, offices or vehicles to slip-slide to a food truck.

And when those food trucks are reopened after being stored somewhere for a few months, they will need a much closer inspection than any restaurant that is open and inspectable year-round. After all, during several months of anything left unattended that held foodstuff, there is the tendency for mice, rats and mold to thrive.

Chris Arbogast

Buffalo

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Obama main's focus is re-election, not economy

President Obama has his team seem more focused on trying to bring down the candidacy of Mitt Romney than on the pressing issues of the economy and the budget. We need a leader who will lead. The president came into office under very difficult circumstances. But many of his actions have hindered and not helped.

His main concern seems to be raising funds for his campaign and planning his re-election. He seems to think Romney will be his opponent. But with the right-wing direction the GOP has taken of late, I believe he should be looking at Texas Gov. Rick Perry as his challenger instead of middle-of-the-road Romney.

Daniel A. Botzko

Town of Tonawanda