No reason to serve? liquor at the Hatch

Mayor Byron Brown's idea of serving liquor at the Hatch, located at the Erie Basin Marina, is a bad idea. The Hatch is a family-oriented destination where people enjoy taking their kids during the summer months. The mayor's proposal will turn the Hatch into a nightclub environment not suited for children.

Templeton Landing and the new Liberty Hound provide adequate establishments that serve alcohol. Buffalo would be better served with an indoor water park for kids rather than another watering hole for city workers to frequent. This will also make the waterways of Buffalo less safe by encouraging boaters to operate their vessels while under the influence of alcohol.

City Hall should stay out of the nightclub business. The mayor must think that bars are the answer to everything. Even the building approved by the city for Washington and Perry streets will have two skating rinks and, you guessed it, a sports bar.

David M. McNamara



Cheese smuggler s?are pretty crafty

People living on the Southern border have their problems with drug smuggling into the United States. Here on the Northern border, we have our problems with smuggling, too. They're smuggling our cheese out of the country into Canada! What will happen to us cheese addicts when we can't get our fix? Those Canadians, they invade our malls, take our parking spaces and now they're taking our cheese – and they do it with a smile while always being pleasant and courteous. Crafty people, eh?

Wayne Whitaker



A German stamp costs ?more than one from U.S.

The recent Viewpoints article about the U.S. Postal Service noted the solvency of Germany's postal system, but failed to mention that a first-class letter within Germany costs 95 cents.

Rev. John A. Buerk



Gas prices should be? dropping, not rising

Last weekend, I noticed that the price of gasoline had gone up to $4.15. Looking at Saturday's Buffalo News Business section, it said that crude oil was down, year to date 6.7 percent, and gasoline was up 24.4 percent. I realize that there is no direct linear relationship between the two, but historically the price of gasoline would change approximately 1/4 percent for every 1 percent change in the price of crude. If this were still true, then gasoline should be $3.29, not $4.15.

It's interesting because never has so much oil been produced or gasoline refined in the United States. Also, gasoline consumption in this country has been drastically cut back. There is no shortage of oil or refined gasoline. It seems that this new dynamic is due to the tremendous increase in the amount of gasoline and other oil-refined products that are now being exported from the United States.

I do believe in capitalism and realize some can pay more than $6 per gallon; but also feel that this new pricing dynamic has tremendously hurt the recovery from the Great Recession because it hurts the economy (and jobs) as we spend more on gasoline instead of other consumer products.

So, get used to $4 or $5 gasoline prices even as we produce more oil in the United States and export more gasoline. Ouch!

Bernard Jemiolo



We must speak up? for what is right

After being released from the Nazi death camp Dachau, Christian Pastor Martin Niemoeller ended every one of his sermons saying, "First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me."

Much can be learned from that, especially in the dark, turbulent sea of political unrest we see swirling around us. Part of our First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …" Abortion is an intrinsic evil, which cannot be supported by those following the tenets of my particular Christian faith. I love my faith and I love my country and I do not expect everyone to share my views, but because of what the First Amendment states, I do expect everyone to defend my right to practice my faith without imposing laws that fundamentally oppose those beliefs.

If we do not put our differences aside and speak up for what is right for all, we allow the tyranny of evil to rise again. Though we are in the midst of an important presidential election, let us not lose sight of our basic human rights.

Dawn Curazzato



U.S. should watch ?French experiment

Attention occupiers and people who claim the wealthy don't pay their fair share. The prime minister of France, Jean-Marc Ayrault, agrees with you. France plans to impose a 75 percent tax rate on earnings over one million euros and a 45 percent tax rate on earnings above 150,000 euros. (A euro is worth about $1.25 U.S.)

Businesses were also hit with measures, including the amount of loan interest that is tax-deductible and cutting existing tax breaks on capital gains. We will now see how France's economy responds and how many jobs are created. It's a perfect model on where this country is headed. Just remember, we still will have a wealthy class, it will just be the ruling class.

Michael Best



Sync city school calendar? with suburban districts

Let's not discuss school taxes, teachers unions, teachers pay or how teachers work X amount of days. That is not what this letter is about. Even though I believe they are underrated, underappreciated and underpaid, that is a letter for a different time.

I am starting to make plans for a family vacation. Easter is March 31, 2013. Yes, it is only the first month of school, but coordinating with other family members takes advance planning. So I looked up the Buffalo school calendar, not knowing what I would find because it is never the same.

In the past, there was no winter break, but two weeks at Easter. Then it was yes to a winter break (to save on heating costs?) but one week at Easter. Heaven forbid we have the same school calendar as other schools in the area – Williamsville, Kenmore, Amherst. That would be too easy. So what did I find? One extra day in February to complete a President's weekend, and one week at Easter time. We're not concerned with heating costs now?

My daughter goes to a Buffalo public school. Do I love the school? Yes. Will I move because of this? No. But why does the district have to make everything so difficult?

Donna Brewster Meyers