Drivers have no regard?for pedestrians, cyclists

The recent News article, "At risk while traveling on two wheels," drives my point home. Pedestrians and bicyclists are being struck and killed by vehicles at an alarming rate here, and I see no progress being made. Wearing a bicycle helmet is for falling, not for being hit by a car.

The problem is with public awareness and with outdated bike lanes, as well as a general disregard for fellow pedestrians while driving. Even in parking lots, I see cars driving right at shoppers walking to stores, with no regard or respect for their safety. This needs to change if we are to be known as a safe community. A 4-year-old girl and an elderly person deserve respect while walking in lots, as does everyone.

Other states provide pedestrian crosswalks with button-activated flashing lights. They have safer, wider bicycle lanes and stiff fines and enforcement for pedestrian disregard. In the dozen pedestrian fatalities already this year, there are rarely charges filed. When they are filed, the driver gets off.

I believe if we all started to look around and notice other drivers and pedestrians in parking lots as our neighbors, we would find a new respect and awareness to look out for their safety and happiness. I would like to see local municipalities install a few pedestrian crosswalks with lights, and to educate the public to watch for pedestrians everywhere. It requires a change in all of our attitudes toward each other. Until we take actions to create more safety, nothing will change.

Bob Baker



It is disgraceful to see?only foreign-made goods

On July 4, we went to New York City to celebrate this great country by watching the fireworks. A highlight of our trip was a tour of West Point Military Academy. We thought we would get souvenirs for ourselves and our two grandsons.

Here's the part you won't believe. Every item in the gift shop was made in China, Pakistan, Taiwan or Indonesia. Needless to say, we didn't buy a thing. Now wouldn't you think the shop was run by an outside vendor? Nope! The guide said it is run by the Daughters of the American Revolution. After that eye-opener, we are not surprised the Olympic uniforms were made in China.

Ron and Betty Mazur



Our end-of-life wishes?should be made clear

I felt compelled to comment on the article in the July 15 News regarding end-of-life care. In New York State, a living will is, as far as I know, not considered a legal document, but I have found that the doctors I have dealt with do take it into consideration.

My 41-year-old son had a living will, which was instrumental in terminating life-extending care in 2011. In 2001, my mother had a stroke. She had been suffering with Alzheimer's, Type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis for years. She and my dad had been married 60-plus years. The hospital had copies of my mother's living will, in which she indicated no extraordinary measures and that she wanted to be as free as possible from pain. After the physician showed my sister and me my mother's MRI indicating the damage and discussing the prognosis, we explained to my dad that we had to let her go. He agreed when he saw my mom's living will and what her end-of-life wishes were. I know that had to be one of the most difficult decisions he ever made. She died within 24 hours, at peace and pain-free. My dad told me he will always remember when the pain stopped and she relaxed, and the peace she had when she died.

I was the legal guardian for my mentally retarded younger brother. I had to fight to get his doctor to agree to do a DNR order and to allow hospice when it became evident to everyone involved in his care that he was no longer who he had been. After six months of visits and hospitalizations we prevailed and hospice was called. He died peacefully in his bed three days later.

Alice I. Miller



Italian Festival offered?some spectacular shows

For years I've hated the Italian Festival because it was just an unorganized carnival mess, but this year it was the best ever! The article in the July 15 News did not do it justice because it neglected to mention the great performances we were so lucky to have here in Buffalo each night, compliments of the multitalented Frankie Scinta. No festival has ever had such a variety of spectacular shows every night filled with so many amazingly talented performers.

I was impressed by how well Scinta managed to work the festival's theme of "God, Family and Country" into his program. I loved his reminiscing about growing up in Buffalo, and was glad to see that he's still down to earth now that he's made it big in Vegas. We are grateful that he came home to work so hard for us and for inviting headliner Louie Prima Jr., who also provided us with a night of great entertainment produced by another ex-Buffalonian, Michael Licata. We've been lucky to have Bobby Militello and so many wonderful entertainers right here in our hometown.

Peter LoJacono, president of the Federation of Italian-American Societies, did a wonderful job of arranging to display our Italian/Sicilian heritage and in assisting us in locating our roots. The festival provided a great variety of traditional, delicious Italian food to choose from. Chef Marco Sciortino demonstrated how to make genuine Italian dishes and offered samples of his tiramisu. The young girls dancing in their Italian outfits, bocce tournament, grape stomping, marionette theater and gondola all added to keeping this festival ethnic as it should be. Congratulations to all who worked so hard in this heat to make this year's festival one Italian-Americans could be proud of. Grazie!

Linda Lee Sciortino



People have always been?judged by their appearance

My View writer Ross Runfola seems to think that people are judged in an elitist manner, by others, based on their manner of dress, and he is correct! People over the age of 18 have the choice of how to adorn themselves from the closet they have created. In that choice, they express to the world what they think of themselves. Pride of appearance has been an essential part of the human condition since we started wearing clothes. Stature in the community has been conveyed thusly for thousands of years. We teach our children to dress properly, have proper personal hygiene and grooming, and hope they carry the lessons through adulthood.

Twenty-first century humans are sloppy and inappropriate in dress and personal appearance and they wonder why they are treated badly by others. Buy clothes that fit and cover you properly, then wear the appropriate outfit for the occasion. This shows respect for your fellow human beings, your host or hostess and the occasion. Sunday best for church is as old as the hills! Take a bath. Get a haircut and then comb and brush it daily. Brush your teeth. And what is the lesson in all of this? Perception is and always has been everything. Judging a person on his appearance is not new or elitist but common sense and intuitive understanding based on thousands of years of community and survival. The content of character and mind starts with understanding what is acceptable and what is not. There are consequences to our every movement and action.

Nora Masters