Why are Bills asking for additional money?

I am a simple man, so I may need some help in my search for an explanation of something that I read in the paper last week. I read a couple of articles in which National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, who is a Jamestown native, said that it will take state and local tax dollars to keep the Buffalo Bills viable for the future.

As I recall, over the summer there was a labor disagreement between the NFL owners and the players on how to divide $9.5 billion (with a b) in profits between them. Am I the only one who sees a problem in logic here?

So are the taxpayers of Western New York being asked to subsidize this hugely profitable private enterprise while schools, libraries and the arts are being cut, not to mention the infrastructure that continues to crumble? Somebody please explain this to me.

Jeff Tracy



We can't afford to give team $100 million more

If the Bills need $100 million in tax money to stay here, I say, let them leave. We cut teachers and social services, and there are abandoned homes everywhere, but many in our area want to subsidize more of our tax dollars to overpaid athletes.

If the head of Business Backs the Bills thinks it is so important to keep the team, then raise the money privately.

I really believe there are not many communities that want the expense of a pro football team. I really enjoy a good football game, but if it means coming up with that kind of money, I say, "Go Bills."

Frank Gaik



Weary taxpayers deserve a break

Here is a message to Roger Goodell, Ralph Wilson, Bills fans, legislators and politicians. It is long past time that the Bills moved on and gave us weary taxpayers a break. Forbes magazine had an article about team value and profit. Lo and behold, Wilson had a $41 million profit last year. The time has come to tell the team owner to stand on his own two feet, or have the fans subsidize their own entertainment.

I for one, along with a lot of other taxpayers, am tired of this lunacy. How much better it would be if our libraries were fully funded, and our roads, infrastructure and social programs were taken care of instead of fattening Wilson's wallet. Other cities and localities in this country do not have a football team and still get along just fine.

Tom Mroz



We must intervene to eliminate bullying

I remember as a child being bullied and going to my parents, who did nothing. I went to the nun, who was my teacher, and she did nothing. So as a teacher, now retired after 30 years in the parochial school system, I made it my mission to teach children about this terrible behavior.

We all need to remain vigilant and determined to work for change, and to partner with our school officials in their efforts. We need to stay the course and hold them accountable for what they promise. We also need to focus on how a child becomes a bully and to intervene and counsel when a child at a young age demonstrates bullying tendencies.

I encourage parents, grandparents and students who wish to honor the memory of Jamey Rodemeyer to log on to This website was created by a mother whose daughter was bullied most of her school life. There are some outstanding resources for school boards and PTO groups that are frustrated with programs that have not worked. Arm yourselves with this information and then, please, go make a difference.

Delphine Levesque



It's hard to ignore a punch in the head

I had to laugh at the "expert's" advice in Donn Esmonde's column last Sunday. For one, bullies instinctively know how to push other people's buttons and what hurts the most. Two, ignore it? How can you ignore a punch to the head or your glasses being broken? Three, nothing will stop the bully from continuing until he does get a reaction. Not that he needs one, because just abusing a victim is reinforcement enough. And admitting, "Yes, I'm fat" or "Yes, I've got a physical disability," only reinforces the negative aspects of one's life.

It is the bullies who must be changed because, as Hara Marano wrote in Psychology Today, "Bullies turn into anti-social adults, and are far more likely than non-aggressive kids to commit crimes, batter their wives, abuse their children -- and produce another generation of bullies."

David Group



Those hurt by Collins can't wait for election

On Nov. 8, those comprising the Collins trifecta -- the ones he sent to the unemployment line, the ones whom he is contemplating sending to the unemployment line and the ones whom he denied bread and employment by hoarding the stimulus monies -- must remember: An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Jose Figueroa



Collins appears to be best man for the job

After reading the backgrounds of both Chris Collins and Mark Poloncarz, I found they have a couple of things in common -- both come from middle-class backgrounds and both are hard-working, self-made men.

Popularity and personality conflicts that arise are common with most individuals. All people are not liked, nor are they perfect. Differences of opinion are what makes America great. However, these should not be the prime qualifications when entering into decisions on choices for office.

If you were to read both articles without knowing the political preferences of each candidate, and if you were to look at the accomplishments of each candidate, both are reputable men. However, if you were to be objective, remove affiliation from the choice and vote for the most qualified, I would have to say that Collins is presently the forerunner. I will continue to keep abreast of the campaign and when I vote I will choose the best candidate for the job. I am certain that all who vote will assess the candidates in the same manner.

Ilona Klein



Collins acts like a career politician

If County Executive Chris Collins isn't a career politician, as he so loudly proclaims, why is he running for another term?

Alison Jones



Candidate's religion should not be an issue

The questioning of any candidate's religion has but one patriotic response: Stop the discussion now. This is America.

David Schiller



Republicans are not working for the people

With the Republicans declaring that their first priority is to beat President Obama, how can they even pretend to be working for the good of the people? As an independent voter, I will not forget this Congress and all the hardships it has caused the middle class and how it scared our seniors. It has hindered this administration's efforts to try to turn the economy around, all for political gain. Once a president is elected, we should all support his efforts and work toward the good of our country, regardless of his or her party. This voter is watching.

Mike Schiavone



Tea party needs an appropriate name

There's no "tea" in "we." Bye-bye, "tea party." Hello, "we party."

Marty J. Walters



PEF members willing to do their fair share

The News believes that PEF members live in a "fantasy world" and are "insulated from real-world economics." And this all happens because we had the "governor and Legislature wrapped around our fingers." I only wish we had that much political power. The reality is we are members of communities throughout Western New York. We pay the same rising prices for good and services. We also pay the same taxes that everyone else pays. We are fully aware of the tough economic times and we are willing to do our fair share in addressing the problem. Obviously the collective bargaining agreement that we just turned down asked for more than our members determined to be fair.

The governor says we all must share the pain, so why will the rich and wealthy get a $5 billion tax cut at the end of the year? Speaking of the state needing to save money, none of the authorities or its employees have had to take cuts. With approval of the governor's office, the various agencies continue to fill their ivory towers with assistants and deputies, all being paid six-figure salaries. The governor uses the state air fleet to commute to and from work. And we continue to contract work out, when it costs more than if state workers did the work.

Finally, we see the governor throwing millions of dollars at companies to create jobs in Western New York. Just recently, he gave $400 million to five companies and only three of the five were based in the United States. It seems like there is money for everyone except the unionized work force.

Kevin Hintz

Region 1 Coordinator

New York State PEF


Turning rails to trails helps deter vandalism

This letter is prompted by a recent letter writer who noted the problem he is experiencing with vandals using motorized vehicles to access his property via an abandoned railroad. I also own property adjacent to this railroad corridor. These problems will continue until local municipalities take control of the corridor, pass laws forbiding the use of motorized vehicles and enforce restrictions. The vandals he described are rarely caught. They do their dirty work when there is no one around to see them.

Where local municipalities have built multiuse trails on abandoned railroad corridors there are few of the problems he describes. Legitimate users, walkers, hikers, bikers and cross-country skiers despise abusers as much as the writer. The presence of these good people is the best deterrent to vandalism. Property owners should band together and demand that local municipalities accept responsibility for abandoned railroad corridors within their jurisdictions. Build multiuse trails on the railway beds. Turn the corridors into features that benefit the entire community. Provide a safe, healthy environment for people of all ages and abilities.

Catherine Martin