We must work together to bring jobs to WNY

I am responding to the recent article about the efforts of the Genesee County Economic Development Center to secure funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for infrastructure needs to build a new 363,000-square-foot yogurt manufacturing facility, code named Project Wave, in the Town of Batavia. Our organization has benefited from the support and participation of many elected officials and organizations in the effort to bring this international company to our region, including demonstrable assistance from the team at Buffalo Niagara Enterprise.

The BNE recognizes that our region needs to work collaboratively to bring new jobs and investment to Western New York. Whether a company is looking to build a new facility in Erie County, Chautauqua County or Genesee County, we need to remember that a region working collectively is significantly more poised for success in the global marketplace.

Because of the unique attributes of our region, including a world-class interstate highway system, our proximity to a large geography, including an international border, and a productive and highly educated and motivated work force, Western New York is poised for success. The BNE recognizes this and we are very grateful for its support of our efforts here in Genesee County.

Steven G. Hyde

President and CEO, Genesee

County Economic Development Center


Explore & More would be great for Canalside

We're very hopeful that the Explore & More Children's Museum will soon become a reality on Buffalo's waterfront. Our experiences not only with the East Aurora-based facility but with similar museums in Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Rochester have been nothing but positive. Like other successful museums, Explore & More has consistently reinvented its educational (and, of course, fun) programs over the years, and its winning formula continues to attract families, school groups and others from local and neighboring regions.

From the standpoint of long-term viability, these museums serve not only as year-round attractions but as destinations that offer the opportunity for visitors to spend the entire day. The best museums are highly interactive and encourage repeat visits.

The disciplined approach to Canalside development thus far has produced inspiring results, and a children's museum would continue the transformation process. Not only would it signify a resurgence of the region, it would also serve as a wonderful indication of our priorities.

Andy and Kim Hakes

East Aurora


Eliminate barriers to cancer screening

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer awareness is a cause that is vitally important to my family. In November 2009, my now husband was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at the age of 29. Today, because of support for cancer research funding, he is thriving and living life to its fullest. His passion for life has inspired me to advocate for increased support for cancer research funding and to raise awareness about the importance of regular screenings for colon cancer.

Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States, but it does not have to be. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives and millions of health care dollars by catching the cancer in the earliest, most curable stages. It is critical that barriers to screening be eliminated. Despite the scientific evidence supporting the benefits of screenings, many citizens do not receive them. Treatment costs for colorectal cancer are extremely high, but much of this could be reduced if everyone over 50 got screened.

Congress can help remove some of the financial barriers to colorectal cancer screening through passage of the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act. This bill would waive co-insurance under Medicare for screening tests, increasing screening rates in the Medicare population. Better screening would reduce suffering, save lives and reduce cancer costs to the Medicare program. Please contact your member of Congress in support of this important bill.

Kelly Fletcher



Drivers need to share the road with bicyclists

A few days ago, I was so happy with our good weather that I was inspired to clean and oil my bike and fill my tires. I started out mid-morning for a downtown meeting, filled with that incomparable feeling of the freedom of propelling myself, breathing in fresh spring air.

After only a few blocks, I was startled out of my happy state by the blare of an automobile horn behind me. I turned around to look and the driver yelled at me that the sidewalk is for bicycles. I yelled back, as calmly as I could, that the law says, "Bikes on the road," and gestured to show her where the road was. She yelled at me again, in the tone one would take with a naughty child, to get out of her way. I said, still fairly calm, "I know the law." As the light changed, the driver sped up and passed a car on her left, also passing me at an unreasonable speed and distance from my bike.

In such a situation, I usually look pointedly at the car's license plate number, mostly to try to send a nonverbal message to an unruly driver. Unfortunately, rather than memorize this license plate number, I was surprised to hear a loud and ugly obscenity coming out of my mouth.

I don't know what can be done about this ignorant and inconsiderate behavior. For the record, the City of Buffalo prohibits bicycles on sidewalks for those 14 years of age and over (City Code: Chapter 479, Section 19). More specifically, New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws guarantee bicycles the same rights of the road as automobiles (Article 34, Section 1231), and require them to ride in the road on the far right side (Article 34, Section 1234).

Lynn Magdol



Canadians impact the local population

I would like to make a comment regarding the March 11 article regarding people moving to and out of Western New York. The reporter should have written the article from an international view. I myself am a transplanted Western New Yorker who was born in Toronto and has lived here for more than 20 years. I find it very interesting that being on an international border, he did not take into consideration the many Canadians who live and/or work here.

Being on an international border means you cannot ignore people from Canada and the world who choose to make up the Western New York mix. For the few who come from elsewhere in the states, a lot more people come from somewhere else.

Barry Krebs