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Self-serving politicians hurt Town of Tonawanda

I have to comment on the events prior to, and since, the Nov. 8 elections in the Town of Tonawanda. Michael R. Vishion is my nephew. I thought he was crazy when I learned he was running for Town Board. I have since changed my mind.

I worked for "Mick" for four years at the concession stands at the two Town of Tonawanda golf courses, Sheridan and Brighton. I didn't have to work, because I'm retired from GM and have a small business. I wanted to. It was fun. I met hundreds of really great people. We hosted special events run by numerous leagues, and it was a pleasure.

Mick lost the election by a relatively narrow margin. Now, out of political spite, and of no benefit to town residents, the Town Board has terminated the contract with Mick's company, Comfort Concessions and Catering. The town will take over operations at the golf course concession stands.

The town representatives (a misnomer) estimate the town will make more than the $12,000 per year C.C.C. was paying the town in licensing fees. They claimed in the Dec. 6 News that they have been "talking" about it for seven or eight years. Do you want your financial planner to "talk" for seven or eight years before acting? Or was there other motivation to act now? I suspect this estimate to be grossly in error considering the costs and liabilities associated with running the operations to the standards to which C.C.C. did, of which I have a working knowledge.

This opinion is not "sour grapes" because Mick lost the election. The "sour grapes" are certain town officials' arrogant reaction to Mick's perceived audacity to oppose them. As I said, I thought he was crazy to run. Now I understand why he did. He wants to remove the self-serving politicians and return control to elected officials who will serve the constituency of the Town of Tonawanda.

Chuck Vishion

Tonawanda

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World War II veterans made great sacrifices

In "Reflections on infamy 70 years ago," the memory of the attack on Pearl Harbor was revisited in a great News article about that terrible day. I am one of the baby boomers born in 1946. My father and mother (both deceased) married as soon as he returned from fighting in the Pacific in 1945. One of the remarkable characteristics of those who served was all that they accomplished when they returned to the United States. I recall my mother telling me that my father suffered for years after his return. What is known as post traumatic stress today was labeled a nervous breakdown back then. I knew a little about my father's time served during World War II, but many of those servicemen and women kept that time in their lives private, which brings me to my father-in-law, Joseph A. Love.

Joe passed away three years ago, at the age of 89. He was a soft-spoken man and had something of interest to add to any conversation. He never talked of the atrocities he must have experienced in the European Theater. We learned that he entered the concentration camps shortly before returning to the United States. Except for meeting Gen. George Patton in Germany at the end of the war, Joe told us very little. He was never one to boast.

It was not until his passing, when my wife and her brothers and sisters began going through his belongings, that they came across a small treasure of medals and plaques and ribbons that we never knew he had. The veterans who served in that war are in their late 80s and 90s, or no longer with us. Soon, there will be no one left to tell us of that time in history. Writers like Lou Michel and AudreyMcAvoy, who followed up the next day with another article commemorating Pearl Harbor, are the ones who keep the memory of what men like my father and father-in-law lived through so many years ago. I wonder how many others know nothing of the sacrifices and the time served by friends and relatives? This is a tribute to those who served and a special tribute to Joseph A. Love.

Nick Ciavarella

Lackawanna

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Bring our troops home, restore manufacturing

The United States is outsourcing jobs, providing foreign aid and relying on foreign oil. We are waging wars that do not directly protect or defend our country. If you ignore the terrible injuries and loss of life, the monetary cost of war today is at least $3.7 trillion and counting.

We have the military might and the technology to completely protect ourselves, along with the resources necessary to sustain our country. Bringing our troops home could save $470 million a day. Closing foreign bases could save an additional untold amount. Our troops, now home, could protect against terrorism and illegal immigration while assisting in national tragedies such as flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes.

As a country, everything we need could be grown, mined, developed and manufactured by us here in the United States. Government should be concerned with the rights and well-being of U.S. citizens, not the profits of international corporations. Manufacturing as a share of our economy has plummeted from 53 percent in 1965 to less than 13 percent in 2009. This depressing statistic doesn't take into consideration the cost in American manufacturing jobs caused by outsourcing and globalization.

People who commend globalization contend that access to foreign markets and cheap labor increase corporate profits, which benefits our economy. This ignores the effects of manufacturing job losses. Outsourcing causes our jobs, wealth and technology to be exported to other countries. Imagine practiced isolation. We wouldn't be sending our inventions and technology overseas to be manufactured at the expense of our citizens. For all of us, and especially for the servicemen and women who swore to protect our way of life, could we have the American dream once again?

Paul Solly

Orchard Park

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Candidates have no clue how most citizens live

How many times have we said to ourselves: "Presidential candidates should live in our shoes"? Well, I have a plan.

One year before the presidential campaign begins, every candidate and his family who is interested in running for office should be relocated to a state outside his home state. All of his assets should be frozen. He must look for a job (not a soft, cushy government job), his wife could also look for a job (I hear Walmart is always hiring) and his children must be enrolled in the public school system. He must live like this for one year, paying rent, utility bills, more than $3 per gallon for gas, outrageous food bills, etc.

I guarantee you if he got a taste of what the normal family has to deal with every day, he just might think about the little people and their struggles to survive in this crazy world and really campaign for them and not his own ego. Wow! I just woke up from a funny dream.

Louise M. Mather

North Tonawanda