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Food truck industry is good for Buffalo

Regarding The News story, "Downtown landlords seek city limits on food trucks," the basic gist of the argument is that since the revenue streams of some businesses are under threat from competition, the government must step in, and by limiting competition, protect the interests of the established businesses.

Ultimately, this serves as a loss for the consumer, who would otherwise have more consumption choices, and serves to squelch an entrepreneurial environment by hoisting up government-created barriers to entry. Preserving the monopoly power of local eateries is not a legitimate reason to ban, or strictly regulate, food trucks.

If, as per the original article, "the restaurants are fed up" with the food trucks, then they should adapt to the environment, and not call on the government to shape the environment in their favor. This issue is minuscule, but serves as a microcosm of the all-too-pervasive attitude of the government protecting established business interests from competition.

The food truck industry, in cities where it is allowed to proliferate, has helped foster entrepreneurship and create employment opportunities. Start-up costs as low as $15,000 provide an incentive for those with limited capital to enter a sector of the economy where they previously could not.

From a cultural perspective, food trucks, as part of the "street food movement" have created an entirely new food culture. Often revolving around local fare and authentic ethnic foods, the food culture in the cities where the trucks have been allowed to proliferate -- namely Los Angeles, New York and Chicago -- has benefited immensely.

The food truck industry, if allowed to grow here in Buffalo, would be good for the job environment, the food culture, consumers and entrepreneurs. The only parties that would be negatively affected are businesses that cannot adapt, as it should be.

Michael Mezzadri

Orchard Park

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Parents must instill a better set of values

I read with great sorrow and concern the reports of Jamey Rodemeyer's suicide. To the parents of those "one to three bullies" being looked at by the Amherst Police Special Victims Unit, I hope this will be a serious wake-up call when the doorbell rings, and Amherst Police arrive to talk to these children. I'm sure these bullies are in considerable anxiety upon hearing of the police investigation. Have these parents ignored or dismissed complaints about their children -- oh, boys will be boys?

Parents, please get your collective heads out of the sand, wake up and smell the stinkweed! Bullying is a national epidemic. It is not going to go away unless parents get on board and proactively work to ensure that their children are brought up with a better set of values than it seems they are now. There is software available to help parents monitor online activity of their children -- use it. Above all, really talk to and listen carefully to your children.

Bullying is harassment, it is a crime. If bullying targets sexual preference or religious beliefs, it can rise to the level of a hate crime. This is no laughing matter -- it is not just locker-room hijinks or simple pranks. Parents must unite to combat this epidemic. The future of your children is in your hands.

Myron T. Ortolano

Williamsville

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Judges need to be judged in courtroom

A recent letter from an attorney states we should not judge the records of various judges based on how frequently their decisions are overturned. He has just exposed a major problem with our legal system at every level of government. If our laws, drafted mainly by other attorneys in public office, are so difficult that judges are tripping over them, please explain to us non-attorneys how we are supposed to make sure we don't violate a law.

If judges are constantly being overturned, does that not tell the average citizen that the judge is not keeping proper control over the actions in his courtroom? Or are we to assume that somehow these lower-ranked judges get more difficult cases? Can I assume he is perfectly happy with the U.S. 9th Circuit judges who seem to be overturned once a month?

Even the U.S. Supreme Court seems to be filled with nine judges who cannot fully understand the U.S. Constitution, hence all of the 5-4 decisions (100 percent political, in my opinion).

If the nine best judges in the country (because our politicians told us so) cannot agree on such a brilliant and relatively short document, then please tell us why "ignorance of the law is no excuse." Good grief, the Constitution even comes with its own set of user's manuals known as the Federalist Papers, yet nine judges keep on generating 5-4 decisions. Seems our courts have transformed from a justice system to a legal system and finally to a purely political system.

Finally, if a high overturned rate is not a good metric, then what would the experienced attorney suggest we use in our evaluation?

Craig Whitley

Holland

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Hikers should not have been in Iraq

Concerning the "Iraq hikers" Sarah Shourd, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, of course we are all pleased that they have been released unharmed. However, I am deeply concerned that three civilians were allowed to enter a country where a war is going on. Wouldn't you think that this would not be allowed? Wouldn't you need a visa from the State Department?

Why take this trip in the first place? Was it so important to hike in Iraq? There are thousands of wonderful hiking trails in the United States. Most, I'm sure, are a lot more picturesque than the barren landscapes in Iraq. Wouldn't that have been a much wiser choice than exposing oneself to danger or, even worse, to what actually happened to them?

Do we know who paid the exorbitant $1.5 million bail deal for the three hikers? Newspaper reports state that the Arab Sultanate of Oman mediated the release and transfer of the bail money. Did he provide the funds? Did the United States pay this ransom?

If the State Department had done its job, the hikers would not have been there at all. They were extremely lucky not to be injured, and very fortunate that Uncle Sam came to the rescue.

Edward J. Dee

Buffalo

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Why is GM sending more jobs to China?

General Motors recently signed an agreement with a Chinese automaker to make and design electric cars. No wonder we have no jobs here. In America, our own companies are sending jobs overseas. Talk about getting an electric shock from your own reliable "American" GM.

John Jendrysek

Orchard Park