Bus monitor should have ?told principal immediately

I would like to comment on the recently announced retirement of bus monitor Karen Klein. We all shared the disgust and frustration as we watched a defenseless woman being bullied by four seventh-grade students. Unfortunately, these youths represent the steady, spiral decline of societal behavior with all of its perceived ramifications.

The world rallied this woman, both emotionally and financially. The better part of humanity was exhibited, with a striking determination to counteract the ugliness we had all witnessed.

As much as I sympathize with Klein, I must also criticize her. If she was unable to defend herself, then one could assume that she was ill-equipped to defend or protect the children on the bus. Why didn't she speak to the principal the first time this had happened?

I am deeply saddened when I think of all the children who are bullied or harassed on a daily basis, living in despair and hopelessness. For some, no one seems to care – there is no support or financial gain.

These are the inequities that disturb me!

Elizabeth D. Sikorski

West Seneca


We must train voters ?in political oversight

Our adversarial political system has many of the characteristics of our justice system. For example, in our current presidential campaign, America represents the courtroom, Democratic Party politicians represent the defense, Republican Party politicians represent the prosecution and the American voter represents the jury.

However, since there is no judge to prevent contempt, our politicians feel free to drench both the courtroom and the jury in media sewage containing smear and deception. This behavior is protected by the First Amendment to our Constitution. Our political scientists are trained to estimate the results of the smear and deception.

In addition to their contempt, our politicians are so morally corrupt they use federal government deficit spending to obtain campaign contributions from special interests. The sad result is the bloated economic and social mess that threatens our democracy.

American voters need to be trained to act as the judge so they can prevent contempt in the courtroom and ensure that the defense and prosecution are not morally corrupt. This training is called political oversight – government by the people rather than government by the politicians. Our First Amendment protects our right to exercise political oversight.

In my opinion, our universities should close their schools of political science and open schools of political oversight.

Michael F. Patterson

Clarence Center


Parking is horrendous ?at Darien Lake concerts

I would like to comment on the interview with Bob Montgomery, general manager of Darien Lake, in the business section of the July 29 News. Why are we as Western New Yorkers turning a blind eye to a problem that has existed in our area for the last decade? I would like to ask Montgomery the most relevant question for Western New Yorkers. Why are we changing a policy about parking at Darien Lake and not making any recommendations for improving parking?

People have been asking for better parking for concerts at Darien Lake for the last decade. Why are no new egresses being built for the back concert lot? Now, with the new parking policy, there are going to be 10 times more people in the back lot. OK, put in fences for safety, but also make more exits! Why should hard-working Western New Yorkers get out of a show at 11 p.m. and be stuck in traffic until 1:30 a.m. on a weekday? Not to mention spending $11 per alcoholic beverage, paying for well overpriced concert tickets and listening to an outdated sound system.

Obviously I am aware that Live Nation has much to do with this, however, where is our fair share of consideration? At least help with the parking problem if you are over-inflating prices in our already bone-dry economy. I'd also like to say that our area's economy should be taken into consideration when setting prices. We are not Toronto or New York City. Yes, make safety a priority, but a little common courtesy is in order. It's not like we aren't paying for it.

Patrick Oliver II



Leave dogs at home? on hot summer days

I was a committee member at the Trilla in Marilla Weekend on July 28. What a wonderful weekend, with beautiful motorcycles and cars numbering in the thousands. I spent many hours walking through the town and taking in the sights with the tens of thousands of spectators. However, one small group didn't belong there. These were the people who chose to walk their dogs on the hot asphalt in the searing sun and heat. It broke my heart to watch these poor animals dancing on the street over and over again to stop the burning of the pads on their paws. Panting, needing shade and water. Scared and shaking at the crowds of people around them. Dog owners, take your shoes off for one minute and stand on the street in the sun. Maybe you'll think twice. Take time and use common sense. Be your canine's best friend. Enjoy the show, then go home and walk your dog in the cool of the evening. He will most certainly thank you for it.

Mary Siwirski



School Board elections? should remain in May

The Buffalo News recently argued that school board elections should be moved from the first Tuesday in May to the general election date in November. The New York State School Boards Association supports keeping the school board elections in May, although we see no reason not to move the Buffalo board elections to the third Tuesday in May like nearly all other school districts.

In May, school board candidates have a much better opportunity to present their background, ideas and motivation for being on the board without getting wrapped up in the politically charged November partisan atmosphere. If voting were held on Election Day, the views of school board candidates could potentially be tied to a political party or lost among so many other issues.

Moreover, a school board member's tenure should track with the academic calendar. School board members elected in November typically take office in January, thereby starting their board responsibilities in the middle of the academic year. In our opinion, this doesn't make sense.

An election in May allows for a smooth hand-off between board members when leadership changes occur as the school year ends and as the new July 1 budget year begins.

Voter turnout is important, but so is a smooth leadership transition from one academic year to the next. May elections provide candidates running for the school board with the best opportunity to have voters hear their views without being overshadowed by larger elections or getting caught up in partisan politics.

Timothy G. Kremer

Executive Director, New YorkState School Boards Association