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.
Bounty system: News staff reporter Tim Graham's story about a cash bonus system for hits under former head coach Gregg Williams produced numerous opinions, including this from Steve Rochevot of Baltimore, Md.:
This is supposed to be a game of fair play. Getting rewarded between the players for good plays is one thing; players contribute to a pot. A bounty for actually hurting someone is not only against the NFL rules, it is illegal. This is assault and battery for hire. People go to jail for lesser crimes. I am sure we have all been happy when an opposing player got injured; will we all be asking how much that hit was worth? With today's rules about big hits and fines are these bounties really effective anymore? I say nay!
Tom Wawrzyniak of Oakville, Conn., offered this outlook:
Spare me the holier-than-thou attitudes. Are we supposed to be that naive to think that this is something new? All that's happened here is that somebody finally got caught. As far as we as fans are concerned with our demands for sportsmanship, consider this hypothetical situation: You're at a Bills/Pats game and the Bills "D" gets a vicious sack on Tom Brady (I did say it was hypothetical). Tom Brady does not get up. Are you going to form a prayer circle in your section and hope he's not hurt, or are you going to scream your head off and hope you don't see him again until next season? Be honest, now!
Trico building: News staff reporter Mark Sommer's article about the expected demolition of the Trico Products building drew numerous responses, including this from Thomas Marks of West Seneca:
Wow. I would challenge all of those who don't understand the value of a building like this to spend a day touring the fully renovated Larkin at Exchange. I had the pleasure of working in this building for the last three years, and I have missed it every day since I changed jobs.
Ninety-nine percent of what actually gets built today (your so-called "modern structures") are cheap, characterless, suburban buildings that are practically disposable in their build quality. With that said, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus has done a great job of building some of the most impressive and architecturally notable modern buildings in this region. The BNMC is surrounded by surface lots and urban prairies that could easily be used to expand rather than taking down a historically significant building that could be sustainably reused.
If the BNMC is going to replace the Trico lot for a well-planned, architecturally significant building that could not be built on other surrounding sites, and was 100 percent funded, I would be open to demolition. The problem many of us have is the bait-and-switch that so often happens and leaves us with parking lots and poorly planned, cheap, suburban-style buildings. Don't confuse "doing anything" with progress.
Archie Galloway III of Cheektowaga not so-subtly suggested:
This city's industry has changed! We now have to change with it if we are going to move forward. The medical campus is part of that change. Change is inevitable. LEAD, FOLLOW or GET OUT OF THE WAY!
School Zone: In a response to News education reporter Mary Pasciak's blog about the attendance provision in the teacher evaluation agreement, Aduffy330 wrote:
The Board of Education is backing teachers into a corner and asking them to go along with it for the good of the students who don't show up. Poor test scores can lead to teachers being dismissed, according to the current iteration of the performance evaluation, and we all know that truancy lowers test scores. I'm glad to see the BTF is not caving and I hope this does go to court. There is inherent unfairness across the board regarding teacher evaluations now. This is twilight zone thinking and helps no one. Teachers and their unions need to take this nonsense to court and restore sanity to the process.