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.

* * *

Jeff Miers: News pop music critic Jeff Miers' review of a Cyndi Lauper concert brought this pleasantly surprised comment from Jeffrey Spriegel of Kenmore:

How such a soulful, booming voice comes from such a diminutive creature I surely do not understand. Lauper mastered the blues, remade her classic hits into contemporary bluesy tunes, and shared her passion for how we, as human beings, should be treating each other and educating our children for tolerance and celebration of our differences. Her music uplifts and, as she told us, rescued her from the depths of recent personal despair. I have no problem with Miers reviewing her music. Parents and good citizens need to "stand up and step in" like Cyn told us last night.

* * *

Herbert A. Hauptman: Following News staff reporter Dan Herbeck's obituary on theNobel Prize-winning scientist, Hap Klein of Tonawanda recollected:

I met Dr. Hauptman several times in the past 30 years, and I don't think I have otherwise ever been in the presence of such a grasp of reality and intelligence.

He once showed me some decorative baubles he designed and made that actually were the physical representations of incredibly complex mathematics by which he could design a shape about the size of a baseball and fill it precisely with spheres. It was equal to the mathematic balance of a symphony or a perfect equation.

He not only was a great scientist and mathematician, but also a very warm and active human being. We once compared favorite areas for hiking and this man, who traveled the world and could hike anywhere, chose one of my favorites -- the Great Smokies. He even had some great favorite trails.

I recall he was once edified when I explained to begin to cook rice pudding in half and half. He thought that was an incredible idea.

I hope he was able to enjoy his joys, especially his family and exploration of the universe to the end of his capability. We are much less by his absence. I am blessed just to have known him slightly.

* * *

Preservation: Commenting on The News editorial, "A new sense of self-worth?" about the recent Preservation Conference, Robert H. MacCallum of Sloan opined:

Take a look at what's going on! The Statler, the Lafayette, Central Terminal, the old Buff Psych Center! These ongoing renovations, in addition to the gems like the Martin House, Graycliff, the Frank Lloyd Wright boathouse, Buffalo Harbor Lighthouse and so many others. It is nice to see and read and hear about these things even the Bills getting off to a great start. Have we turned the corner? I think so. You can almost feel it.

Now we, and The News, need to right-think our weather. We need to celebrate one of the few places in this country where you can have great sailing and great skiing all rolled into one. We bemoan our snow? Aspen doesn't. Vail doesn't. Stowe doesn't. Old Forge doesn't. Why do we? Let's make Buffalo the country's first urban experience snowmobile and four-wheeler destination. Change the laws. Allow them on city streets or all secondary roads in the county. Can't wait for the next big one to hit. Buffalo -- America's year-round playground!

* * *

Buffalo Bills: In response to News sports reporter Jay Skurski's piece on placing Shawne Merriman on injured reserve, Michael Leary of Horseheads observed:

You have to take chances in this league, so give Buddy Nix credit for trying to improve the team. At least Merriman brought some excitement and star power to the team for a while. I wonder if Nick Barnett would have signed here, I'm sure Merriman's influence helped. I know it was only preseason, but Merriman's play against the Bears with two sacks and a tackle for a loss got a lot of fans excited. It's too bad he got hurt because the guy worked hard, but now the young LBs will get their chances.