News photo misrepresents the Sheridan Parkside area

The photograph of the vacant structure located at 39-49 Lardner Court in the Town of Tonawanda that accompanied the Oct. 30 front-page News article on suburban poverty is a snapshot taken totally out of context. It is an unfair representation of the neighborhood and demands further explanation.

The town recently acquired this property from a preforeclosure sale, and demolition began on Oct. 31. The town had been allowing the Sheridan Park Fire District to conduct search-and-rescue training in the building. The town had also been preparing the property for demolition. The holes in the roof of the structure and pavement digging for utility disconnections are clearly evident in the photograph. A building always appears the worst just before it is demolished, and The News photographer captured it at exactly that point.

The town invests nearly $300,000 each year in acquiring and clearing vacant structures before they become problems. The town has been actively addressing unsafe and vacant structures in the Sheridan Parkside neighborhood since 1994, and to date has demolished approximately 300 units of vacant housing.

There is a very strong Sheridan Parkside Village Property Owner's Association that works tirelessly to overcome the negative press it receives. This misleading photo is a real insult to the association and our town.

The Sheridan Parkside neighborhood has also seen the new construction of 35 single-family homes representing a $4.2 million investment from first-time homebuyers who believe in the future of their neighborhood.

Anthony F. Caruana


James Hartz

Director of Community Development

Town of Tonawanda


Huge income gap proves trickle-down doesn't work

After reading the article, "Richest saw income grow 275 percent in 28 years," in the Oct. 27 News, it is interesting to note that this incredible rise in income for the wealthiest Americans came about after the trickle-down theory was put into place. Because of greed, trickle-down has never worked, and it never will.

Jim Bialasik



We owe it to veterans to get involved and vote

Nov. 11 has become a very important holiday for me. Not because I am a veteran, but because of what it symbolizes. I have to admit that as a native-born American citizen growing up in peace times, I never gave Veterans Day much thought. But now that I am older, I realize that veterans are an important symbol of our duties as citizens of this great nation.

As citizens, we are called to be more than just consumers. We are called to participate in the defense of our nation, our values, our rights and our liberties. Our nation is based upon our participation at many levels. In our local community, we vote, we volunteer, we participate, we step up to run our community and governing organizations. At the national level, we vote and let our elected officials know what we expect from them, how we expect our taxes to be spent. At the world level, we are called to be aware and to speak out and act against injustice.

As Americans, we are part of a representational government founded and guided by high ideals. Our way of life is based upon participation of the citizens. Veterans are examples to us all of citizens who have taken this calling seriously and who have sworn to put their lives at risk to defend our nation and way of life. Veterans are those folks who have chosen a life of citizenship to this nation. We need to thank these folks.

Follow the inspiration of our veterans and be involved. On Tuesday, get out and vote. Make your opinion known, participate by volunteering and stay involved. Teach our young how to be citizens, lead by example, let them know that freedom is not free. And teach them to honor and respect those who are serving and have served our nation. And on Nov. 11, remember to thank our veterans.

Michael Rockwell



Story of man and his dog was truly heartwarming

It has been 35 years since I left Buffalo. Since The News became available online, I have been an avid reader. It is often said that you can take the boy from Buffalo, but you can't take Buffalo from the boy.

The recent article by Anne Neville, "Dog runs out of desert and into man's life," tells a story of true love -- the love between a man and his dog. It is said that a dog is man's best friend. Dogs are always happy to see us. We tell them our inner-most thoughts and confide in them, since we know they will not break our trust in each other. The story of Jason Gross and his best friend Boss tells a story of bonding and love that is worth telling over and over again.

I recently adopted a dog and, like Jason, would find life not nearly as satisfying without a dog. Pets have a way of putting a smile on our face and just making us feel good. Dogs give us unconditional love and have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial. Caring for a four-legged companion can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness.

I saw Jason and Boss complete their cross-country trek to help find a cure for diabetes -- I was at the finish line in Santa Monica. I am Jason's uncle and I have diabetes. Please consider adopting a dog or, as in Jason's case, letting a dog adopt you. You are sure to feel better about life.

Jim Rosen

Kapaa, Hawaii


We can't afford to spend $100 million more on Bills

Our federal government is in debt up to its neck and is borrowing about 38 percent of its spending. Our state government is also in debt, cutting back everywhere and laying off workers. Local governments are tax-capped and income-squeezed. All are short of funds for basics, much less frills, and more cutbacks are inevitable. Taxpayers struggle with exorbitant taxes, job losses, sky-high health care costs and daily inflating prices for food and energy. The economic picture is dire. But the Buffalo Bills want us to provide somewhere around $100 million to spruce up the Ralph so they will agree to stay in Buffalo for a few more years. The claim is that it's for the fans -- to make a better experience for them -- but the fans don't seem to be complaining.

The National Football League makes billions, the players make millions and the fans already pay through the nose to park and attend the games. But the league and the team feel the taxpayers should provide "around $100 million" to redo an already more than adequate stadium. A couple of months ago, the players and owners were arguing over how to divide $10 billion per year in revenues. How about putting a couple of percent of that into a "stadium renovation fund" so the teams can pay for such "necessities" themselves.

Robert J. Andres

East Concord