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.

Williams' legacy: News sports reporter Keith McShea's Sept. 7 piece on how outgoing Buffalo School Superintendent James A. Williams greatly improved the district's athletic program brought several comments, including this from Earl Schunk of West Seneca:

I couldn't agree more, Keith. Dr. Williams made sure there was funding to fulfill [former athletic director] Dave Thomas' plans, and gave value to the role athletics plays in high school students' lives. Athletics has kept many students focused and staying in school, and has positively altered and even maybe saved some lives. That will forever be the legacy of Mr. Thomas and Dr. Williams.

Dale Zuchlewski of Buffalo added:

Dr. Williams certainly deserves credit for taking the athletics program to another level. No doubt about it. Not many people realize the arts, music and sports foundation was actually created by a group of parents during one budget crisis when these programs were being threatened with elimination. The parents set up the Foundation for Arts and Athletics in Buffalo and registered the corporation and gained tax-exempt status. When Dr. Williams first arrived in Buffalo we decided to turn the corporation over to him because he expressed an interest to help the foundation raise the necessary funds. He did just that. While we set up the foundation, Dr. Williams implemented its ideals. Dave Thomas was certainly there through the entire process. He was instrumental in assisting the foundation and was the driving force in upgrading the facilities.


Denise Jewell Gee: In response to her Sept. 5 column on a hospital's insistence on giving a 72-year-old grandmother a preoperative pregnancy test, Donna Chase of Amherst related her own outrageous hospital bill story:

Here's how it works. My granddaughter was admitted to a Florida hospital for an overnight stay. She was there 18 hours. The bill was $3,000. My son was told that if he paid cash, the bill would be $1,500. Whaaaaaat!


Bruce Andriatch: A Sept. 6 column wondering if kids today are overprotected brought this response from Louis Ciola of Snyder:

In the old days, when parents actually instructed their children in how to use [playground] equipment safely, and work with each other in a spirit of cooperation, you might have a valid point. Today, however, it's do your own thing without regard to others.

I think that one lesson from the proverbial teeter-totter is how to work effectively together. There is far more risk-taking today and far greater amount of risky behavior than ever before.

People have no manners today whatsoever. When I was a kid, we got on the teeter-totters but we didn't disregard our fellow playmates. And, for that matter, we never used helmets, either, when we rode bicycles. But, that having been said, we also acted a whole lot more responsibly, and a whole lot less reckless than this modern generation. My conclusion? We need all these safeguards because people grow up without parents, and are basically clueless.


Wedding anniversary: After News staff reporter Gene Warner's fascinating Sept. 5 account of how Ann and Frank Leitch, now of Wheatfield, will be able to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel where they honeymooned, and at the same rate, Wendy Merkle of Clarence Center commented:

First, it is so nice that this couple is healthy and able to travel and redo their honeymoon so on that score getting married young worked out quite nicely. :) I hope you have a wonderful time! It is incredible to me that they would have the original receipt, and atta-girl to Sherry for letting her parents know about the deal! I love a win-win story.

John Cimasi of Eggertsville added:

What a wonderful story that brings a smile in a time when few newspaper articles do. Congratulations Ann and Frank Leitch!