Excerpts from reader commentary on News stories and staffers' online blog postings last week. Online comments come from registered users, but comments to the blogs can be posted under pen names.
BillBoard: Mark Gaughan's blog on the Bills' signing of defensive end Mark Anderson to a four-year deal worth $27.5 million -- including $8 million guaranteed -- brought several responses, including this from MacSteed:
This is the best Bills off-season in recent memory. The Mario Williams signing was obviously the pinnacle, but this is a very important acquisition, too. For the Bills defense to be truly formidable in the pass rush, we obviously need consistent pressure from multiple players. I love, love, love the match-up problems this is going to create for opposing offenses.
Like the Giants, we'll have a four-man front that pressures the quarterback in passing situations while allowing for maximum pass protection from our linebackers and secondary. Better still, Mark Anderson is a net gain for Buffalo and a net loss for New England. Well done, Buddy Nix and company. Keep the good news coming!
Artpark: In response to an article by News staff reporter Charlie Specht on new admission fees of between $5 and $25 for Artpark's popular Tuesday in the Park concerts, Brian Buckley of Buffalo figured:
Twenty-five dollars to actually be able to see the bands play live? Well, really $30 when you factor in the parking. So if my fiance and I actually want to watch the band play, not just be off to the side and watch on video and listen, we have to pay $50, plus $5 for parking, plus concessions. We'll call it $20 to $40, depending on how many drinks we have, plus $25 for the half tank of gas to get to Lewiston and back to Buffalo, plus the $4 in tolls, equals $105-125 per show.
I guess they don't want any crowds in Lewiston for those kinds of charges.
Joe Primerano of Macedonia, Ohio, had a counter to naysayers:
For all those who are critical of a $25 admission plus $5 to park, obviously they have not traveled too much. These are bargain prices if the entertainment is quality. On a comparative example, here in Cleveland for a sports event: Indians parking $10 to $40; Browns $25 and up; Cavs parking around $15 to $20.
Don't forget, the musicians don't ring a bell in front of Walmart at Christmas. This is their livelihood. Don't they need to get paid? To put it another way, do you complainers work for free?
Springing into spring: A lighthearted News editorial on early spring weather brought some weathered opinions, including this from Daniel Wargula of Atlanta, Ga.:
Enjoy the nice weather when you can because it goes in cycles and it can change quickly. In Atlanta we are in our ninth day of over 80 degrees and everything, Bradford Pear, azaleas, dogwood trees are in full bloom. Streets are covered with pollen and we are waiting for a good rain to wash it away on Friday.
Denise Jewell Gee: The News columnist's recent piece on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's pension benefits change for future workers elicited this response from Ralph Smith of Lyndonville:
For all the plaudits the governor is receiving, it's a shame he isn't REALLY balancing the budget. As long as the state and municipal subdivisions are borrowing part of their current annual obligations from the pension system itself, and the pension system is receiving instead what could very easily become worthless IOUs, there is a lie to his chest beating. He is still passing the buck to future politicians
This governor has contributed a new way to use financial trickery to make himself look good.
Charles Croker of Hamburg countered:
If nothing else, it certainly is refreshing to see a leader of Cuomo's stature confront this issue -- as well as the entrenched special interests that have protected its path to bankruptcy -- and demonstrate that he understands the significance of the problem and is willing to take steps to change the mind-set that has caused it. His independence and candor have been long overdue in Albany.