Replacing summer school? with worksheets is absurd

What are these academic "professionals" thinking in the Buffalo Public School system? They canceled summer school because of funding. They replaced it with worksheets, a teaching model used when I was a student (35 years ago). But these were used in the classroom, not summer work. Worksheets are busy work. Not only is that way of "teaching" ineffectual, but to hand out a 70-page packet to students where English is not their primary language and then to hand out these same packets to children in grades K-6 (with some changes for older students) is absurd.

To further exacerbate the situation, the schools will offer an incentive program to students who hand in their packets within the first two weeks of school. Let me get this straight; students who can't speak English without the assistance of a certified teacher, who live in a home where English is not their first language, will likely not be able to get a "prize" if they cannot complete the packet? What a great way to set a student up for failure and to discourage the child right at the beginning of a new school year!

Here's a thought: How about letting the students choose a book (or two) for summer reading and give an option of projects they can complete to show that they comprehended the book(s). According to New York State standards, student reading should be self-selected as often as possible. Or, perhaps, the students could read The News (paper or online) and write about a couple of current events with some guided questions that the teacher will review with the students prior to sending the assignment home. This is what the student would hand in at the beginning of the year without an incentive.

Maria Delaney



Overgrown brush? should be removed

I don't live in the $300,000 condos in Brookins Green in Orchard Park, but I live in a $150,000 house behind them. From where they live, these residents can't see the overgrown brush that is on their property and has overgrown onto my property. I take pride in my home and work hard to keep my yard looking nice. The homeowners in Brookins Green do, too. If you want to take a ride, you will see that the front of their homes have the most lush green lawns and well-kept landscape in Western New York.

I have contacted the Orchard Park Village code enforcement officer on at least eight occasions over four months, simply asking that the residents cut down the brush overgrowing onto my property. I have had no satisfaction. I am certain that if it was the other way around, and the homeowners of Brookins Green were looking at overgrown brush and weeds on my property that was growing onto theirs, the outcome of this would have turned out much different. Shame on these homeowners and shame on the Village of Orchard Park.

Karen Rowley

Orchard Park


Lancaster welcomes cemetery ?but in a different location

I would like to clarify my position regarding the proposed national veterans cemetery in Lancaster. The headline of a Buffalo News article published on Aug. 15 reads "Supervisor doesn't want VA cemetery." This is not true. My objection is to the potential site identified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 4106 Walden Ave. in the Town of Lancaster.

This property is a prime location for future development for an industrial or manufacturing business park. If this property is sold to the federal government, it will be removed from our tax rolls forever. The impact from the loss of property tax revenue will have an adverse effect on both current and future residents of our town. As town supervisor, I must form my opinion on this and all matters while holding the best interest of our taxpayers in mind.

The VA identified only one potential site in Lancaster for the proposed cemetery, while multiple sites were identified in another municipality. I would truly be honored to have a national veterans cemetery located in Lancaster. Our veterans deserve the best of everything for the many sacrifices they make for our freedoms. A final resting place for veterans in our community would be welcomed with open arms if the VA will consider an alternate location in the town.

Dino Fudoli

Supervisor, Town of Lancaster


Obama had his chance,? now it's time to move on

I am a senior on Medicare. I love my family and my country. Kudos to the Wall Street Journal and USA Today for publishing a simple, side-by-side blueprint comparing Paul Ryan's, Mitt Romney's and President Obama's proposed budget/campaign promise. After review, and contrary to what Rep. Kathy Hochul and Obama are trying to make me believe, I do not fear being thrown over the "Medicare cliff" by the Republican plan.

I believe there are countries that would attack us in a minute if they thought they were strong enough, and under the Republican plan, I feel our country would be safer. I feel, besides having to improve our economy, the deficit must be reduced a ton for my children and grandchildren to enjoy this country in the future, as I have in the past. I don't feel the Republican plan will throw me under the bus for the sake of the rich.

Despite always pointing his finger at someone else for any problem, Obama had complete control of the House and Senate for two years and did nothing for me in that time. He's done nothing since. ("Obamacare?" Why do Canadians come here to shop?) I gave him a chance based on his campaign when he spoke so eloquently. I will not stick my finger in the fan twice!

Tom LaPorta



Seneca Nation woes ?date back to Snyder

I read with amusement the criticism from former Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr. about my administration. Snyder writes as if the problems I have been dealing with had nothing to do with him or his five decades in nation politics.

In 2010, I ran for nation president on a reform campaign. Why? Because I had been the nation's attorney for many years and was sick of seeing the corruption and mismanagement that so typified Snyder's reign.

Rather than continue to bear witness to this cesspool of corruption, I resigned my position and gave up my lawyer's salary to take a chance that the Seneca people were fed up like I was. They were. I won with 77 percent of the vote.

Since then, I have faced opposition from the eight councillors who remain loyal to Snyder. They tried to fire me from my job and stop my reform initiatives to improve nation government. This opposition has a cost – like the millions we have lost at our bingo halls by maintaining as manager the Snyder ally on the Council who watched the Hamburg casino take our business away. Nonetheless, the Council voted unanimously to take back control of the nation's land at Snyder Beach, something Snyder failed to achieve the four times he was president.

Snyder used to say that the nation's political business should not be aired in public. There must be an awful lot at stake for him to ignore his own advice now.

Robert Odawi Porter

President, Seneca Nation of Indians