Region ought to promote Arts and Crafts movement
Now that Buffalo has, by all accounts, received accolades for the recent National Preservation Trust Conference, I believe that it is time to have a public discussion as to which direction our "preservation" community goes next. We know that a market exists for restoration projects like the Martin House, Graycliff, the Roycroft Campus and the Larkin District. I, as much as anyone, would love to see the Central Terminal and Richardson Complex restored. Unfortunately, it is going to cost immense amounts of money to complete these restorations.
I believe that a more responsible approach for our community would be to expand upon the momentum generated by projects like the Martin House and Roycroft Campus. These projects are grounded in the Arts and Crafts movement that flourished in the United States at the turn of the last century.
Our region has a rich history of involvement in this movement, beyond Darwin Martin and Elbert Hubbard. Charles Rohlfs and Otto Heintz were also major players in this movement and they lived and worked here in Buffalo. I am certain that there are many others. Why not have small-scale museums dedicated to these artists and craftsmen? These museums would capitalize on an audience that we already know is coming here to see these types of sites. For a relatively low cost, it would create another reason for people to stay here one more day, while exploring this movement in our community.
Fans should sing along during national anthem
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the TV picture of Sabres fans not singing our national anthem is quite a picture indeed. They just stand there, period. Don't they know the words, or do they really dislike our country that much? When watching a game played in Canada, the anthem singer was silent for a moment or two so the cameras and microphones could pick up enthusiastic Canadians singing their country's anthem. Now that was a picture to make any Canadian proud. I challenge all Americans to stand up and be heard.
Stanley B. Corris
Higher education costs soaring out of control
The "experts" tell us that avoiding college debt can be bad for students (Nov. 28 News), but it is really bad only for those in the education establishment, which feeds from the public trough of government subsidies, and for the financial industry, which profits from government-backed student loans. The more money we make available, the higher the cost goes. Higher education costs have increased about four times that of inflation and twice that of medical care. As our government's free-money policies contributed to the housing bubble, so it is building an education bubble that is about to pop.
The education establishment would have us believe that only with a college education can young people find good-quality, high-paying jobs. But too many graduate with degrees in fields where insufficient jobs exist and with more debt than they can hope to repay from earnings in those fields.
The company I worked for in Chicago wants to expand and is so desperate to hire engineers, machinists, welders and service technicians that it recently erected a billboard on an interstate highway just outside O'Hare Airport advertising those positions. The number of applicants -- four. The number who were qualified -- zero. I see similar situations occurring here in Western New York.
The "experts" also tell us we need alternative energy, so we subsidize things like wind turbines that produce intermittent energy that our grid has no ability to store, and our large primary generating facilities cannot ramp down and up quickly enough to make use of. Thus, most of the intermittent alternative energy we subsidize is wasted.
Too often the "experts" we consult are those whose jobs are ultimately dependent on public money, be it education or alternative energy. Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.
Every person needs to have a living will
An article in the Nov. 28 News discussed the fact that many baby boomers do not have a living will. Many of them feel that since they are in good health, they do not need one.
I, too, am a boomer and at one time I didn't think I needed one either. I exercised regularly and was in good health. Part of my exercise routine was to bicycle to and from work -- a seven-mile ride each way. One morning on my way to work I was struck by a careless driver of a pickup truck and suffered a traumatic brain injury. While the injury has caused many problems, it certainly could have been much worse. I now have a living will and my loved ones are aware of my wishes -- in writing.
You may be fine while reading this letter, but everything could change in a New York minute when you head out your door. Do your family a favor and get a living will and save them from having to make any agonizing decisions. They will know exactly what your wishes are.
Why doesn't America take care of its own?
I just watched "60 Minutes" and saw where 25 percent of U.S. children are living in poverty. Many of them are living in the family car because their parents can't find work. I saw children sleeping in a car while their father slept outside sitting on a cooler. They have to wash up in a gas station before going to school.
We are spending $4.5 billion to send a probe to Mars. We also send financial aid to countries that hate us, including China to which we owe billions. It is about time members of Congress woke up and started doing the job that we are paying them to do. They are living inside a cocoon protected by their self-serving laws.
Robert J. Faxlanger
New liturgy at Mass may inspire Catholics
Kudos to a Nov. 25 letter writer regarding the new liturgy for Catholics. The liturgy took effect Nov. 27 at the onset of the new church year. The changes are few, yet very meaningful. Let's hope as Catholics we are inspired by the change.
Shirley K. Reiser
Put Marshall's name on federal courthouse
Since the new structure in downtown Buffalo is a federal courthouse, it would seem very appropriate to honor the first black Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall, (appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967) by naming it for him.