Collins' allocation is an election ploy
Anyone who cannot see through the sudden allocation by County Executive Chris Collins to fund culturals to be anything other than an election-time ploy for votes is sadly naive. I believe it falls into the category of "damage control." Collins' statement that his decision last year to cut funding had little effect on the organizations is incorrect and inaccurate. He obviously sees only what he wants to see.
Most of the organizations have had to make extremely severe cutbacks and many are functioning month to month. We have had to cut programs, lay off staff (adding to unemployment) and in some cases find smaller, less expensive quarters that barely suit our needs.
For myself, I feel that I have become a full-time fundraiser instead of doing the job I was hired to do -- developing programs to serve the art community and the public. We continually have our hand out and, frankly, I can see that the public is becoming weary of constantly being asked for financial help. With the overall economy in question, people cannot give like they once did and foundations are being deluged by organizations for a piece of the pie and there is only so much to go around. Collins said that "no one closed their doors." He should have added the word "yet."
Donald J. Siuta
Director, Western New York
Artists Group, Buffalo
Will's argument against global warming is sad
I used to respect George Will. He challenged me to learn new words and his intelligent arguments were generally thought provoking. But his argument against anthropogenic global warming is just sad. Sad because of the lack of intelligence and disregard for actual facts.
It seems that anytime he has a chance, Will points to the mythical 1970s global cooling scare, as he wrote in the Sept. 5 News: "In the 1970s, would you have trusted scientists predicting calamity from global cooling?" I guess his argument is that since this was a wrong prediction, then we can't trust scientists.
Well, let's look at the facts. Back then, only a small minority of scientists were predicting cooling. The vast majority of climate papers in the 1970s predicted warming. Of all the scientific papers about future climate published between 1965 to 1979, only 10 percent predicted cooling, 62 percent predicted future warming and 28 percent did not take a stance.
So by the logic that I used to expect from Will: The global cooling scare of the 1970s was wrong; only a small minority of scientists were predicting cooling, therefore, we should look to what the majority of scientists are thinking, not the minority. Today, 99 percent of climate scientists believe that the Earth is warming due to climate change caused by man.
Networking could help waterfront development
While I applaud Kevin Connor's noble sentiments against exclusive development rights and cronyism in the development of Buffalo's waterfront ("New leadership needed to protect the public interest," Sept. 3 Another Voice), I strongly disagree with his premise that this is a "mode of insider dealing -- and continues to undermine public interest."
One of the wonderful aspects of a smaller city like Buffalo is that people know each other. Networking (where friends and colleagues who share similar interests seek connections) is how many fields operate effectively.
How did you choose your child's pediatrician or find your current place of employment? Shouldn't we be thrilled these developers, business and community leaders have chosen to remain or return to Buffalo to develop its economy, quality of life and preserve its wonderful historic significance?
Networking is not mutually exclusive of an open, community-driven planning process. Absolutely, we should demand transparent request for proposals, diverse boards and community input. We should support Gov. Andrew Cuomo's efforts to make the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. accountable. But we should also recognize and encourage local leadership that attracts other ethical leaders who are focused on building a waterfront that will be an incredible destination for business, residents and tourists.
Support efforts to find cure for ovarian cancer
On Sept. 2, I was one of more than 16,000 people who wore teal as part of Wear Teal Day, an event that heralds September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Teal is the color for ovarian cancer, a cancer with subtle symptoms that include bloating, abdominal pain, urinary frequency and difficulty eating.
In 2011, more than 21,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,000 of them will die. Unfortunately, because the signs and symptoms are vague, the majority of women are not diagnosed until they are in later stages of the disease, when survival rates are low.
I volunteer my time year-round to advocate with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance to bring an end to this disease. Our priorities include increased funding for federal programs like Johanna's Law: the Gynecologic Education and Awareness Program and the Ovarian Cancer Control Initiative (both run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and the Department of Defense's Ovarian Cancer Research Program.
These programs are vitally important because women and their medical providers need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. Additionally, ovarian cancer does not yet have an early detection test; the Ovarian Cancer Research Program currently has several scientists researching potential ovarian cancer early detection tests.
On Sept. 24, there will be a local fundraiser for the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, the Teal Carpet Affair, in Buffalo. For information, please go to tealcarpetaffair.eventbrite.com.
Governor should pursue state-controlled casinos
I would just love to see state-controlled gambling in New York, but only if the casinos pay for city improvements, and pay state and county taxes. Why not? Las Vegas does it. We sure have all kinds of gamblers in New York State. Rich or poor, the casinos attract anyone and everyone who has money.
The casinos here are making money, but they don't share it with anyone. Even if they did, they would still have a lot of money for themselves. Promises to help improve the areas around the casinos are broken, and all the areas around the casinos look like a dump.
I think with state lotteries and state-controlled gambling, we the people who live in New York deserve a break in paying taxes. New York has one of the highest tax bases in the United States. So roll the dice, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and make us a winner.
Felix J. Coniglio Jr.