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ECC housing project makes economic sense

A recent News editorial ignored many of the circumstances and the economic effects of the student housing project proposed by Zaepfel Development next to the Erie Community College North Campus. The salient facts are as follows:

The property currently generates $9,000 in real estate taxes; with an abatement, that figure rises to $75,000 in the first year alone.

Over 10 years, the project will generate more than $2 million in real estate taxes.

Erie County paid approximately $5 million to other counties for Erie County students attending colleges in those counties. The Town of Amherst's share for 2010 was $867,000. Niagara County was the primary recipient of these "charge-backs," having received $3.5 million. By providing student housing for ECC students, the Town of Amherst and Erie County will save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Additionally, the Town of Amherst needs a strong ECC North Campus. At a time when there are political initiatives to consolidate ECC in a downtown Buffalo campus, the student housing project, together with the construction of the proposed $30 million Center for Academic Excellence building, will solidify the North Campus. This project could place up to 400 students living and spending their money a short distance from Main Street in Amherst.

The question is simply, does it make economic sense to grant the abatements? After hearing and considering the facts, how can anyone argue that it does not?

James A. Zaepfel

President, Zaepfel Development

Williamsville

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County wrong to allow disc golf in reserve

Well, our county government, with its infinite wisdom and without public comment or consultation with the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy, has allowed a disc golf club to install a new course in an area of Chestnut Ridge Park known as the Shale Creek Preserve. This area has afforded hikers a quiet trail through undeveloped forest to a unique natural feature called the Eternal Flame.

What part of the word preserve doesn't the County Legislature understand? I guess nothing says preserve quite like concrete pads and poles. The Erie County Parks Master Plan shows areas of the park are designated as "recreation." The Shale Creek Preserve is in an area designated a "nature reserve zone." The county doesn't even follow its own master plan.

Disc golf shares this trait with its more common brethren; they are both "a good walk spoiled" -- only in this case they are spoiling the walk for others. Perhaps our new county executive and parks commissioner can rectify this ill-conceived plan.

David Schuster

Orchard Park

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It's time to put an end to 40 years of killing

A recent letter to the editor extolled the virtues of "freedom of choice" for women to kill their child, even to the point of proposing a national holiday to celebrate 40 years of killing 54 million! Now perhaps the writer really thinks he has the good of women at heart, but he really needs to receive further education.

Some women are hurting terribly due to post-abortion regret. Counselors have found that older women who had abortions in their youth now have mental or emotional or other symptoms and need counseling to help them. This can be provided through Project Rachel and its counselors and retreats.

Men, too, are enduring their regret for abortion, but in different ways. More than 10,000 men and woman have formed groups in many countries, including the United States, known as I Regret My Abortion. Many were seen on TV holding their signs at the March for Life in Washington on Monday.

Why are all these women and men suffering in different ways? Because part of them died with their baby. Women's rights do not include the right to kill.

"The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion Because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you, and you to kill me? There is nothing in between." (Mother Teresa, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1979.)

Let's make plans for a celebration of life next Jan. 22, and put an end to 40 years of killing.

Dolores Kurzdorfer

Amherst

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There's no way to justify or defend child porn

If Lawrence Brose's supporters truly believe that possessing child porn is freedom of speech and expression, then they are not only contributing to the problem, I believe they are as sick and twisted as those who actually possess child porn. No way can they justify it or defend it under any circumstances. Confidence, faith and loyalty are one thing, but this is simply blind, misguided and naive at best.

Possessing child porn in any manner or form, for any reason, is immoral and against the law -- period. It also exacerbates the abuse and shame these innocent children and their families are put through. Many will be scarred for life. This is so wrong on so many levels. I challenge any one of Brose's backers to explain how on earth possessing child porn is freedom of speech and expression. It is in no way art. Freedom of speech and expression? Not even close!

Ken Scibetta

Tonawanda

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Most prefer a fare hike over loss of bus routes

I think I speak for many bus riders in saying if it is necessary for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to raise the fare in order to maintain the current level of service, then it ought to do it. The proposed cuts will make it impossible for many, especially the working poor, to get to their jobs. An extra 25 or 50 cents for a day pass is an acceptable price to pay if it means keeping your job. We do not need more jobless people in this area.

The NFTA and The News editorial board have no personal knowledge of what it means to rely on public transit out of necessity or they would not have endorsed these cuts. I applaud Assemblyman Sean Ryan and State Sen. Mark Grisanti for fighting against them. I encourage Mayor Byron Brown to speak on behalf of city residents who will be harmed by these cutbacks. Raise the fare and maintain the current level of service.

Thomas Gadra

Buffalo

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Gingrich lacks morals needed to lead nation

One person we don't want for president is Newt Gingrich. A man who can't keep his family or his marriage together is certainly unfit to lead a nation that is already morally bankrupt. How about a leader who is God-centered and keeps his baggage at home?

Edward J. Voltz

Orchard Park