Federal historic tax credit? should be modernized

Buffalo is fortunate to have a rich legacy of historic buildings and the financial tools to support their preservation and reuse. During the past 10 years, we have seen dozens of our most important buildings saved from the wrecking ball. The Lafayette, the Webb and the Darwin Martin House are just a few recent examples. Making some strategic changes to the federal historic tax credit (HTC) will help continue this trend and make Buffalo truly a world-class historic destination.

As the Nov. 26 News editorial put it, "Improving rehab tax credits would pay big dividends." Our current HTC can do more.
The Creating American Prosperity through Preservation (CAPP) Act, recently championed by Sen. Charles Schumer, would create some key improvements to the HTC, a program that has already revitalized 38,000 historic buildings, created 2.2 million jobs and attracted nearly $100 billion for the transformation of vacant and dilapidated schools, factories and more nationwide.

By changing the building age requirement to "50 years or older" instead of "built before 1936," the CAPP Act would enable post-World War II communities to qualify for the credit. It would also increase the amount of the credit for smaller-scale projects, making small buildings such as those located on the 500 block of Main Street more attractive to developers.

Buffalo's heritage truly is the fuel that will drive our region's future, and modernizing the federal historic tax credit through CAPP will ensure it burns bright.

Rocco Termini

Signature Development



McCain is a large part? of the GOP's problem

Several years ago, a mob stormed our embassy in Islamabad and killed two Americans. Where was the GOP outrage then?

Subsequently, two more in Africa were bombed and lives were lost. Again, there was no suspicious outcry, and foreign aid to Pakistan continued.

Sen. John McCain should be the last person to criticize. In the fall of 2008, when our personal investments and the national economy were going down the toilet, he repeatedly said the economy is fundamentally sound.

With two unnecessary wars in progress, he repeated "Bomb, bomb Iran." He insisted that Sarah Palin was qualified. Years ago, he said Iraq would be a short war.

And he continues to misstate and predict incorrectly on his many TV appearances.

Norman Hasselbeck



U.S. is sending the wrong? signals on the Middle East

So at last the Palestinians get a little bit of official recognition at the United Nations – "Observer State" status, and the Israelis immediately retaliate by announcing plans to build 3,000 new Jewish-only homes in the West Bank on land that the United Nations has determined was illegally seized.

What is this – middle school? You punish your "enemies" for any real or imagined advance in status by purposely doing the very thing you know makes them angriest?

And let's remember: Abbas and the West Bank Palestinians are the "good" Palestinians. They are not Hamas. They have been obeying the Israeli and U.S. demands, maintaining order, cooperating with the occupation, preventing terrorist attacks on Israel. And what have they gotten for their efforts so far: nothing. Now, less than nothing.

What this shows the Arabs in the Middle East and the rest of the world is that the Israelis have no interest in a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians. The Israeli government clearly figures it can keep the present status going on forever, with the army and unwavering U.S. support.

Sadly, it also shows the Palestinians that they have nothing to gain by cooperation, especially in contrast with the recent fighting in Gaza. This is a terrible message for the United States, which is complicit with Israel in this stalemate, to be sending the Middle East and the world.

We need to send a very different message. That is, both sides have to engage, once and for all, in a real and meaningful peace process that respects the rights of both peoples. Before it is too late.

Eric A. Gallion



DeJac Peters does not? deserve to be condemned

Lynn DeJac Peters was a young, single mom working at her parents' business and trying to raise her family when her daughter was murdered. I believe she chose not to bring home the so-called low-lifes a recent letter writer spoke of.

Everyone makes mistakes and some turn out pretty ugly.

I think Lynn suffered enough, not being able to properly mourn her daughter, Crystallyn, or raise her twin sons and another son. Let alone having 14 years of her life taken while being imprisoned for something she did not do! I don't know anybody who is perfect. Where is the letter writer's compassion, understanding and, most of all, forgiveness? Is it the $2.7 million settlement money?

If so, tut-tut said the queen, and God bless you, Lynn. I hope you turn your cheek the other way from heartless, uninformed people and try to be happy for the rest of your life and enjoy your family with lots of love.

Judy Smith Benzin



Passage of term limits? would save the voters

With the approval rating of Congress at an all-time low, I find it somewhat puzzling that the issue of term limits for our senators and representatives hasn't been more of a talking point by our political pundits in the media.

Whether you're in support of progressive or conservative values we, the American electorate, complain that our government in Washington is broken and that many of our federal legislators seem to be interested only in how to get re-elected and further their own personal agendas, and not in doing the work of the people who elected them. If this is true, why then do we keep sending the same bunch of do-nothings back to Washington?

I know that having term limits isn't the only solution to fixing the problem of gridlock and self-fulfillment in our nation's capital, but it's a start.

This would give our representatives less ability to satisfy their own personal power and financial interests and allow them to do what is right for the voters. Some would say that they wouldn't be there long enough to understand the inner workings of Washington, but I say they wouldn't be there long enough to be corrupted by it.

Because we as voters can't seem to stop re-electing these obstructionists, perhaps we would be able to save ourselves by voting for the passage of term limits.

Joseph Parente