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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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Buffalo River: Following the Aug. 16 article by News staff reporter Kevin J. Bargnes on the upcoming dredging work on the Buffalo River, Sam Long of Buffalo cheered:

I'm very happy to see this happening, it can be nothing but positive for the area. The amount of progress on the waterfront the last few years has been really encouraging. When I was young (back in the days before common sense kicks in), my friends and I used to swim in the Buffalo River all the time. The best was jumping off of railroad bridges and from around the grain elevators. Your feet would hit the bottom of the river and you'd be covered in mud when you got out.

Years later when I was in college I took a class called Great Lakes ecology. We had a field trip down the river one day and I remember my professor giving me an absolutely horrified look when I told her we were at one of my old swimming holes!

Sean Ryan of Buffalo added:

Hats off to the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper for their multiyear campaign of public advocacy and education about the dangerous condition of the Buffalo River. This campaign led to the public recognizing the health and environmental dangers associated with a toxic river. Once the public fully understood the problems, there was a loud outcry to clean the river. Riverkeeper worked with the Corps of Engineers and led the charge to develop and execute a plan to clean the river. Thank you to the dedicated staff of the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.

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Buffalo Sabres: Mike Harrington's article on Christian Ehrhoff, who will earn $10 million from the Sabres this season, $8 million coming in a signing bonus, was met with this response from Rob Mrowka of North Las Vegas, Nev.:

Ehrhoff was an outstanding addition and will make a major contribution to the Sabres. That he is locked up for many years makes it all the more exciting!

Janna Brackett of Farmington added:

I'm hoping he'll be worth the big bucks the Sabres spent on him. If he and his family really enjoy living in Buffalo, maybe he can convince future players to consider Buffalo when they need a new place to play.

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Elmwood Avenue: News staff reporter Mark Sommer's Aug. 15 piece on new restaurants moving onto Elmwood Avenue brought this bit of support from Morgan O'Donnell of Buffalo:

It's true, Buffalo isn't the most prosperous city but it is the place we live so we need to make it the best it can be. I love when people have faith in this town and place businesses around Elmwood and the downtown area. They are trying to make Buffalo a better place There is nothing I love more than my run down Elmwood. I wouldn't change my workout for anything. WE NEED TO SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES THAT KEEP ELMWOOD FRESH AND FANTASTIC TO LIVE AROUND. I will always buy something on the Elmwood strip, opposed to a mall.

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Sly: News arts editor Jeff Simon's Aug. 16 piece on the 42nd anniversary of the Woodstock Festival and two discs -- "Jimi Hendrix Live at Woodstock" and Sly and the Family Stone's "The Woodstock Experience" -- led Peter Robbins of Arcade to observe:

While I did not make it to Woodstock, I did make it to the Toronto Pop Festival and heard Sly and the Family Stone in person. They closed the Saturday night show with "Higher" and the metro police came in and closed it down, claiming a curfew. They were at their best in Varsity Stadium with both their music and the message within. We need to have more music now that brings people together.