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Don't forget DiPaulo's when listing pizzerias

I read with great interest the Jan. 22 News article titled, "Pick of the pizzerias." It raised the question: How do all of these pizzerias survive and compete in the Ken-Ton area? I was shocked to find that DiPaulo's Pizzeria was not mentioned once.

DiPaulo's has been in business at the same location at Brighton Road and Colvin Boulevard (across from the airplane) since 1968 -- longer than any pizzeria in the Ken-Ton area! I have been running DiPaulo's since 1972 and have owned it with my wife since 1983. We have accomplished this longevity with friendly customer service, great value and quality ingredients. In fact, we still slice our own Margherita pepperoni, the best you can buy, while most others use a less expensive presliced product. That's just one of the things that sets us above the rest.

A good deal of our success can be attributed to our great staff. Many of them have been with us for years and some are kids of people we employed in the past. Most of all, our customer base is second to none. Many of them have been with us since the '70s. They are known as the"DiPaulo's Regulars." Our customers are truly friends of ours.

We are proud of our 44 years of service to the Ken-Ton area and we look forward to many, many more years.

Michael A. Grieco

President, DiPaulo's Pizzeria

Tonawanda

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Shuffling teachers won't boost scores

Regarding the state and School Board's solution to solving the poor graduation rate and performance of students in the Buffalo School District by changing the faculty, I propose an experiment:

Let's take the faculty from schools like Nichols, St. Joe's and Williamsville East, which have a high incidence of excellence and almost 100 percent graduation rates, and place them at work in the city's troubled schools. Is there a soul out there who thinks this would provide the much-sought panacea?

And when similar or worse results were achieved with the proven successful faculty, would we still strive for more stringent teacher evaluation procedures, and blame student failure on the argument of suburban expectations versus city school realities, knowing this also doesn't hold water as student achievement is measured via state Regents' performance standards?

Perhaps the solution remains in attendance, attitude and positive parental involvement. The city school district is laden with superb teachers in all areas, who present an opportunity for successful learning to all those who choose to accept.

Peter Kent

East Amherst

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People come and go but the music lives on

Much has been said of the recent separation between the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and its music director, Doreen Rao. She is unquestionably a heavyweight in the business, with decades of experience in all forms of choral music. While I am quite new to the group, it appears that she did incredible work turning around the chorus during her tenure.

Music directors are inherently polarizing. Despite the cooperation we see on stage at concerts, it is rare that within any organization there is united approval of a leader. Rao was no exception. Her techniques, while effective, were popular with some and equally unpopular with others. This is no reason to end the tenure of any director, especially mid-season; but it is definitely not a reason to boycott our magnificent chorus, as many are doing.

I find musicians to be the luckiest people in the world, doing what we love. The beauty of music is that it transcends politics, personal dissatisfaction and personnel decisions. Arguments for and against Rao are valid. But to refuse to sing the beautiful works in our spring schedule, including Haydn's "Creation" and Mahler's "Third Symphony," is indefensible.

After the unexpected passing of the chorus manager at my previous organization, our director helped us move on by reminding us that in music, "We are all unique, but we are all replaceable."

Rao, Chorus President Steven Bench, even Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta -- they all come and they all go. But Haydn and Mahler have been with us for centuries, and will continue to be as long as we are willing to perform them. The music should never be a casualty of personal pride and disagreements. American choruses and orchestras would be much better off today if this were remembered by their musicians and leaders.

Brett Kostrzewski

Orchard Park

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Let local dream team build Buffalo's future

I know exactly who to assign the monumental job of governing the $1 billion in incentives pledged to Buffalo by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. No, leaders of the Peace Bridge expansion, waterfront development, the NFTA and those identified with the Bills and Sabres need not apply.

First, we sign up Dave Pietrowski, the guy who birthed and continually runs the World's Largest Disco. He has the imagination and stamina needed to put on a sold-out, world-class event for many years. Then we get Donna Fernandes, who runs the Buffalo Zoo. She can stretch a dollar like nobody else. If she had the money we throw away on major league sports teams, Delaware Park would look like the Serengeti. The third member of the dream team is Carl Paladino. This fellow can effectively build and finance anything. With his passion and unconventional outbursts, the media will keep the public informed on a daily basis.

Throw these three in a locked room for 48 hours. Toss in some chicken wings, pierogis and pizza for sustenance. I guarantee you the result will be the defining road map for the glorious future of Western New York.

Joe Weiss

Clarence

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Funding Roswell Park is more vital than Bills

I can't understand Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to cut funding to Roswell Park while he promises to spend millions of dollars and do everything in his power to see that the Bills stay in Buffalo. The Bills' economic impact to the area is minimal and is costly to taxpayers. It is just a game, while Roswell Park involves saving lives. Should this topic even be debated?

Martin Farrell

West Seneca

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Enough with gimmicks, just reduce state taxes

A suggestion for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the politicians in our area: Instead of diverting our money to politicians to allocate to their benefactors, reduce the property taxes by $1 billion, which will allow the citizens to decide how to allocate their own money. The governor can then wail in high-pitched tones about how he was instrumental in the resultant turnaround, one in which everyone gains.

Tom Ziegler

Attica