New recycling totes are working out well

To some, recycling might seem ho-hum. A month ago, Buffalo was treated to new recycling totes -- very nice and large and appropriately green. At first, I wondered where I would put this thing, but it was easy. I just keep a box in my back hall and dump it into the tote outside, which is emptied every two weeks.

Now, I really like it. I can put all of those ubiquitous plastic bags in there, every doggone thing that I've ever regretted throwing into the trash. I throw clean newspapers, catalogs, junk mail (minus any personal info or address labels), cat food and other cans, that odd plastic thing, the broken metal object and cardboard into the tote. This is so convenient.

I find that in the course of two weeks, I've almost filled the thing. One person. I get satisfaction out of this; satisfaction with getting rid of it in one fell swoop, with maybe having saved the life of one animal, and possibly helping to save the lives of our future generations. Those big green totes are wonderful things and it took me awhile to appreciate them. My street looks better these days, because the totes are covered and contain all that trash that used to end up on the lawns and sidewalks.

The billions of tons of plastics and other dangerous materials going into our landfills and air and oceans is mind-boggling. What kind of creature poisons itself? Man. The high incidence of cancer and other life-changing diseases is trying to tell us something. Let's choose to not poison ourselves.

Jane Marion



Riverside is ignored in waterfront plans

Well, it's nice to see all the elected officials jumping on the bandwagon and making the waterfront more beautiful and more easily accessible for public use. The people of our city and region must realize how important this beautiful waterfront is to us. The unfortunate problem is that the elected officials who are responsible for the waterfront improvements and development forgot one part of the city -- Riverside. This is the only part of the city with the word "river" in it and, guess what, we're stuck with the noise and emission-polluting Thruway.

I realize that there are only about 8,000 residents who live here, but why is it we get treated like bottom-feeders when it comes to waterfront development? I think City Hall, the county and the state should begin to work with our councilman and his office to study the best way to restabilize and redevelop the Riverside waterfront. After all, we are taxpayers, too, and we also vote.

Wayne Flading

Rediscover Riverside



There's nothing noble in use of birth control

I am astounded by Adam Zyglis' editorial cartoon in the March 7 News. I struggled with the right adjective to describe my reaction to his solution to a raging social debate. That of one's reproductive "rights" and one's responsibility for assistance to the underprivileged, vis-a-vis welfare. The words I considered ranged from insidious, pernicious, odious, preposterous and evil. I settled on sad.

That the pill is the preferred moral solution to welfare is indeed a sad reflection on his perception of humanity, and the poor in particular. Note that his depiction of a welfare recipient's offspring is entirely that of wailing, despoiled children. Does he imply that all people on welfare will have only unwanted, unloved children? Is the eugenic application of the pill the best alternative to welfare? Is this a Freudian expression of what Zyglis thinks of the underprivileged; that it is better they never be born, than they not be allowed the right to life? Is it inconceivable to his mind that some, if not most, children born poor would become dignified human persons?

To answer, I respond with an emphatic yes! I would rather have my money be used to fund a broken, abused, inefficient welfare system. Welfare at least allows for the recipient to have a child who will have the opportunity to become a productive, loving and dignified person.

The primary effect of the pill is to prevent human life. I see nothing noble in its use; especially to selectively decide who lives and who does not. It is ironic; the article just below his cartoon is about saving feral cats, versus their destruction.

Jim Maxson



State's crushing taxes discourage businesses

I find it puzzling that U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins have only now awoken to the reality that New York State has failed to turn most government-funded university research into any meaningful "for profit" business activity.

Their solution is to offer government incentives that only temporarily neutralize the crippling effects of the state's crushing tax and regulation burdens.

If anyone takes the time and effort to turn an idea into a profitable pursuit, then why would they not also take the time to survey the economic wreck called New York State and realize that any offer of government aid is a trap door to economic ruin once the government aid expires?

Politicians of any party love to pledge their economic sobriety during a campaign, but then go "off the wagon" and become inebriated with a delusional spending agenda that, while ensuring their re-election, leaves behind a hefty bar tab that many businesses are now running away from.

Businessmen all know that government incentives from a heavily taxed and regulated state like New York are nothing more than a drunk promising to sober up for the umpteenth time.

Matthew R. Powenski



Right to free speech must not be stifled

There's been a lot of hand-wringing lately about the influence that super PACs will have on our electoral process. The fear seems to be of the unlimited dissemination of facts and opinions by unions, corporations or anyone else who wants to actually have a say in the governance of our country. Politicians say that restrictions are necessary to prevent the "corruption or the appearance of corruption" that money in politics inevitably brings.

In reality, the money seems to result in unlimited television ads that may insult our intelligence, but shouldn't rise to the level of banishment in a free country. While an onslaught of negative ads can be irritating, they can also be informative. For example, Newt Gingrich wasn't about to volunteer any information about his time spent lobbying for Fannie and Freddie.

My fear is not of exposure to political opinion, but of government officials, i.e. those with the power to fine or imprison, being able to authorize who can say what about government officials! I have to ask, is it only libertarians and Supreme Court justices who have any respect for our constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech?

John Swanson

East Amherst