It is time to put an end? to Peace Bridge saga

For more than 45 years my family and I have enjoyed visiting Canada, mainly during the summer vacation season. Following a week's vacation in Canada, returning home to the Albany area where I make my living and home, my family and I spent 2 1/2 hours idling in traffic waiting to cross the Peace Bridge, along with thousands of mainly Canadian motorists taking advantage of the recent Canada Day Holiday weekend.

With an abundance of time spent idling in traffic, wasting gas while breathing exhaust, I thought of what most Canadians must be think of Buffalo and why anyone would ever consider investing time or resources in the Buffalo-Niagara region?

Instead of symbolizing unity and progress between nations, the Peace Bridge saga is more a pathetic metaphor for the lack of progress and leadership among government officials at all levels, a barrier to commerce and growth for economies on both sides of the border with locally depressed economies. Sadly, there is simply nothing peaceful about the Peace Bridge or visiting either side of the border.

Pulling up to the customs booth, I was greeted by a young customs official who had the nerve to ask how I was. Among the questions I thought to ask but wisely did not were "Caught any terrorists lately ... Intercepted any fugitives ... Feeling good about homeland insecurity," among others.

As a native Buffalonian who has watched and waited patiently for a companion bridge to be built, I have grown increasingly intolerant and frankly cynical over Buffalo's analysis-paralysis between preserving its faded glory and investing in its future.

Entering the election season, it's time to hold our elected officials accountable and ask why a solution hasn't been found to resolve the decades-old problem with the Peace Bridge.

Why has Buffalo idled over its past when its future is slipping through its hands? A ridiculous amount of time has been wasted on this issue. It's time to move forward, Buffalo, and look to our border with Canada as an asset, not the liability that it has become.

Michael F. Schaeffer



Obama is focusing?on the wrong things

Here is an example of inconsistency on the part President Obama. He wants everyone to prove they have health insurance (under Obamacare). If you don't, you have to pay a tax and the IRS will come looking for you.

However, the president does not want anyone to prove they are a citizen. His Justice Department keeps suing states that want to set up voter identification methods.
Now which of those two examples is more important to the future of our country?

John Orlowski



Inconsiderate smokers?are hazardous to everyone

I have a bumper sticker from the Surfrider Foundation that says, "Hold onto your butt, our beaches and streets are not your ashtrays." Sometimes I wish I could have a huge neon sign blinking this message as I drive.

Invariably as I am passing or following someone in a car, I see a smoker hang out the window, arm and hand draped down the side of the door, smoking. Then dropping the butt out the window.

Why, probably because she doesn't want the smell of smoke in her car, or the ashes falling on her clothes or seat.

Or perhaps too lazy to put it in the ashtray in her car. Or could it be she might even be thinking that she can hide her smoking from family members. Are you kidding me?

Anyway, if you want to smoke, go ahead. However, why are you dropping the butt on our roads and streets? And this goes for the ones who are not driving, but feel compelled to drop their butts on our sidewalks.

How unsightly and uncaring about those who are subjected to your habit. And who do you think is going to pick up after you? But when I think about it, if you don't care about the effects of smoking on your own body, why would you care about its effect on those around you?

I commend Buffalo General and Roswell Park officials for banning smoking in and around their property. Now the problem, isto make sure this ban is enforced.

Evalyn Katz



Collins' statement? lacked information

In a recent interview available online, Republican congressional nominee Chris Collins defended the high price of health care in the United States by claiming that, "People now don't die from prostate cancer, breast cancer and some of the other things."

I have to wonder how anyone could possibly say something so wrong. Breast and prostate cancers are among the most deadly in the United States. According to the CDC, about 40,000 women died from breast cancer in 2011. An estimated 30,000 men died from prostate cancer.

Despite all modern treatment, diagnosis and care, one out of every four people who gets one of these cancers ends up dead within five years of diagnosis. That's worse odds of survival than being shot.

Even if you're so completely out of touch that you don't know someone who has died from one of these cancers, this is information that's available to anyone within two minutes of searching the Internet.

I have to ask, is Chris Collins so uninformed about the realities of health care in America that he doesn't know cancer kills?

Adama Brown



Make the playing field? equal for city students

I read with interest the recent article about freshmen football at Orchard Park High School. It was good to see that community members raised $18,000 to sponsor the season. This is great news and provides opportunities for the young men of Orchard Park.

One wonders where such funding might come for a Buffalo Public Schools program. As a graduate of Bennett High School, I considered myself lucky to have a 20-yard pool for swimming competition. As far as I know, Bennett's pool is still 20 yards long, although new opportunities may have arisen for city schools. (Erie Community College allows the city to use its pool, I hear.)

However, the ability to raise $18,000 to fund any sport for Buffalo Public Schools is still strictly limited. How can we provide opportunities to the young men and women of Buffalo commensurate with those available in the suburbs? It has been a question that has been around since at least my time, 40 years ago.

We pride ourselves in America with the idea of upward mobility through opportunity for all, yet disparities exist and continue.

Kudos to Orchard Park supporters of athletics. No one wants to take away those opportunities, but when will the playing field be made equal?

Alan J. Bozer