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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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Tropical Storm Irene: Following the Sept. 1 article by News Albany Bureau Chief Tom Precious on the aftermath of the storm, Sandy Tudor of Bradenton, Fla., said:

I live in Florida and before knowing that Irene would head up there, my family contacted me. Well, it totally bypassed where I live and in New York and other Northeast states, as a tropical storm, created tremendous damage. I work for a building department in Florida and my job is floodplain management. Floodplains are everywhere, not just the Southeast. Depending upon the weather, anybody can flood. When I lived in the North, we never heard much about it, but since being in Florida and taking many classes on floodplain management, nobody is exempt from flood damage. It just depends on the storm. Don't take it lightly. New York City was lucky because there was no major damage but other parts of the state, Vermont, New Jersey, etc. weren't so lucky. And it wasn't as strong as originally predicted. It could have been much worse.

Jose Figueroa of Buffalo added:

My deepest sympathies to all those folks, not only in the Catskills, but the entire United States Eastern Coast who lost, not only family members, but material properties as well. Having returned from Puerto Rico just yesterday, and after witnessing the devastation caused by hurricane Irene there, I can honestly say without a doubt that the damage there is comparatively minuscule compared to this one.

The folks in the Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles are virtually on the line of fire from these phenomena. The difference is that they are always prepared for the worst, thus minimizing human and material casualties. My advice to these folks is never to give up hope. Resiliency and camaraderie is important more now than ever. God bless all of you, folks, and never give up.

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Jeanneret, Hawerchuk: News sports reporter Mike Harrington's piece on the upcoming induction of longtime broadcaster Rick Jeanneret and center Dale Hawerchuk as the 36th and 37th members of the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame drew this round of applause from Mark Hausle of Knoxville, Tenn.:

Bravo! Rick Jeanneret is an institution and his voice is an instant link to cherished Sabres memories, especially for old-time ex-pat fans like myself. And Dale Hawerchuk is a class act all the way. He spent hours one Saturday afternoon with my son's pee-wee hockey team in Tonawanda after practice and did the same for many other youth programs in the Western New York area. Two guys who belong there for sure.

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Denise Jewell Gee: Gee's column offering a few tips for incoming freshmen brought a few tips from readers, including this one from Brock Buffum of East Aurora:

There should be a companion article to this for parents of new college students. Having worked as a student during the incoming new student orientation at my alma mater for three summers, I realized that the parents often struggle with things and err in judgment nearly as much as the students do.

As 18-year-olds, these young people are adults now. They can vote, they can serve and often are now living on their own with people they don't know for the first time in their lives. They will make mistakes, but the mistakes they make will allow them to grow into the people they were meant to be. Parents should be there as a support system when needed, but they shouldn't be trying to pick a student's class schedule or coming to visit every other weekend under the pretense of bringing some homemade cookies.

Congrats to both the new students and the parents for achieving this milestone together, and good luck with all that you will face together and separately.