Citizens can't afford? another tax increase

As a property taxpayer, I find myself in opposition to any increase in county taxes. Let's be serious – a 3.4 percent increase? An increase in school taxes, and a proposed increase in town taxes? Where does it stop?

It was just announced that Social Security recipients would receive a 1.7 percent increase, most of which will be eroded by increases in health care costs.

Most people in the private sector, as well as retirees, are struggling to make ends meet. Everywhere we turn, the cost of living is rising precipitously. In light of the present economic situation, increasing the cost of government at any level is unconscionable.

We as taxpayers can no longer afford to pay extravagant salaries and fringe benefits to the public sector. We can no longer overlook the waste in management and operation of government programs and projects.

We need a new direction. It's called streamline, economize, live within a budget and do without when necessary, just as we in the private realm have to do everyday.

Frank A. Sikorski

Board of Directors, Depew/Cheektowaga Taxpayers Association


Let the voters decide? if taxes should go up

Once again we are informed that our property taxes are going to be increased. How wonderful! It is explained that it will only cost us somewhere around $18 a year. That doesn't sound all that bad. However, school taxes also have gone up. Another menial increase of around $20 a year. Then we're informed that the town taxes will be going up. You guessed it, another $20 per year.

I recently read that dairy products will be going up, along with pork products. Gasoline costs twice as much as it should and yet there's not enough taxes derived from it to keep our roads repaired. We're told that pension costs, libraries along with arts and cultural programs will continue to be provided.

Everything but our paychecks seems to be rising and no one seems to be able to stop it. Our elected officials continue to sit in their plush offices and dream up ways to take more and more of our money. However, when it's time for re-election, the money to run their campaigns seems to come out of nowhere. They spend millions like we spend twenties. All for what? So they can sit in their plush offices and dream up ways to take our money.

Hey, how about letting us vote on whether we want our taxes to go up in order to keep libraries open or continue to give money to arts and cultural programs? How about putting our money where your mouth is, Mr. Poloncarz, and put it up for a vote.

Lee Salisbury



Father Joe emulated ?true gospel message

I attended Wadhams Hall Seminary College in Ogdensburg at the same time as the Rev. Joe Moreno. I did not go on to be ordained a priest as he did, but if I had, he was exactly the kind of priest that I would have wanted to be. Father Joe threw his heart and soul into his ministry, emulating the true gospel message of selfless service to God's people. To the end, he was not concerned with being recognized and acknowledged, but simply with being a true instrument of peace and love to all.

And I honestly believe that Father Joe had a hand (along with defensive tackle Alex Carrington) in deflecting that would-be game winner by Arizona kicker Jay Feeley and causing it to doink harmlessly off the left upright so that his beloved Bills could win Sunday's game.

Michael Scully



We will never forget? beloved Father Joe

We at St. Lawrence Parish held an Interfaith Vigil Service for our beloved Father Joe Moreno Sunday night. We all need healing to understand this great loss, and the church was packed with mourners.

One of the priests opened the vigil with the words, "Father Joe served others well, but he was not served." How true. He was a soul in anguish. Told to be out of his residence at St. Lawrence by Oct. 17; no new assignment from the diocese offered, even though he had been requested as a chaplain at local hospitals but needed the sanction of the bishop; funds reduced; nowhere to go; a dead end.

Father Joe leaves a legacy of love, caring and concern not only for our parish, but all of Western New York. He will never be forgotten for what he did for others. Rest in peace at last, Father Joe. Know that we all love you, mourn you and will never forget you.

Eleonore M. Clark



Stark differences ?evident in parties

People say you can judge a person's character by the friends he keeps. The same could be said about who people regard as their heroes and villains. With that in mind, here is an observation after watching the Democratic National Convention.

The one person in this country who is universally despised by liberal Democrats is, by all accounts, a faithful husband and loving father. He passed a law to supply the poor and elderly with affordable prescription drugs. The same man also dedicated more money to fight AIDS in Africa than any president in our history. He led a stunned nation after the tragedy of 9/1 1. And with the approval of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, he fought the war on terror.

Conversely, the star of the Democratic Convention was a man who admittedly had sex with a 21-year-old intern in the White House. He lied to the American people and a grand jury. As a result, he was the second president in our history to be impeached. He lost his license to practice law in Arkansas. He weathered credible accusations of sexual harassment and abuse. Democrats, is this the best you have?

Gary Noshay



Lend a hand to help? those in 47 percent

Growing up, I was in the 47 percent. But with hard work on my Mom's and my part, and with some help from the 53 percent, I grew up to join the 53 percent.

If it were not for my hard work and the 53 percent that helped me, I may not presently be in the 53 percent. So thank you to those who helped.

Now it's my turn to help those in the 47 percent who also want to join the 53 percent.

Cheryl Forell-Tomasulo, M.D.

East Amherst


Region should replace? Skyway with a tunnel

In 1980, at the hotel he designed and built – then the Hilton, now Adam's Mark – Clement Chen was honored by his colleagues at the National Architects Convention as architect of the year.

At his acceptance speech, he outlined his vision for Buffalo and the waterfront. One issue he addressed was the lack of planning in building a Skyway bridge at the east end of Lake Erie. He suggested that a tunnel would be of greater use since wind and snow closings had plagued the Skyway and it blocked the view of the waterfront from downtown Buffalo.

Interesting that we now are revisiting the replacement of the Skyway. I wonder how many planners have reviewed Chen's proposal from 1980.

Bruce Moden

East Aurora


Tearing down Skyway? would be a big mistake

The drums are beating to tear down the Skyway – it's too expensive, dangerous and obsolete. Well, let me say that as a relatively new resident of the Buffalo area who traverses the Skyway at least twice a day, I view the Skyway in an entirely different light: As an iconic and scenic element to this city, from which (taking care not to drive recklessly) on clear days I see the mist rising from Niagara Falls, the Canadian shoreline and expanse of Lake Erie, the wind turbines along the lakeshore (as well as on the ridges 30 miles to the east on very clear days) and the architecturally interesting buildings of downtown Buffalo.

I'm not buying the argument that the presence of the Skyway blocks land important to development. How many brownfield sites, both on the harbor and river, as well as away from water, sit idle awaiting development?

The Skyway should be maintained and cherished into the future as a unique part of the fabric of this comeback city. Look at vehicle safety improvements through better enforcement of speed limits through speed detection cameras and police enforcement. Tearing down the Skyway would be viewed someday as a huge mistake, a huge loss.

Keith Jones



Amherst should not?cut funding for police?

I was very concerned to read that the Amherst supervisor has proposed a 43 percent cutback on replacing Town of Amherst police cars as well as cuts police say would amount to a freeze in hiring. According to the report, officers say their staffing level has remained the same since 1979, which is below the national average for a town the size of Amherst.

Amherst is known as one of the safest towns in America. It makes no sense whatsoever to jeopardize the safety of Amherst residents by cutting our excellent Police Department's ability to patrol our streets.

Because of the problems inherent in a struggling economy, robberies and other crimes are increasing, not decreasing. For the town supervisor to present a proposal that might hinder the Amherst Police Department's ability to fight such crime is unwise.

I would strongly suggest that the Town Board reject the supervisor's proposal to cut funds from the Police Department when increased police protection is definitely needed during our troubled economic times.

Penny F. Zeplowitz