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Selling Girl Scout camps would be a huge mistake

I was shocked to discover that the Girl Scouts of Western New York will be selling a piece of my childhood -- the entire 784 acres of Camp Pinewood in the Dansville-Arkport area -- and two other camps by closed bid. As a Scout since age 5 and now the mother of a 2-year-old daughter, I cannot imagine the disappearance of Pinewood. I have camped there since Brownies, and attended Jeanne Fusco's Dogwood Day Camp every year with my mother, then with my sister, and then as a counselor with my step-daughter.

The line from the board of directors is that the sale will best serve the needs of today's girls. Shouldn't these adults be working to protect the interests of tomorrow? And what are the needs of today's girls? Every child is better served by time spent outdoors, learning survival skills, independence and leadership skills enhanced by planning and carrying out trips and adapting to unforeseen circumstances.

We should be asking ourselves how to find the funds to maintain the camps, how to get more Scouts involved, how to keep girls interested in Scouts and how to teach them that the best part of Scouts is hiking, camping, fresh air, boating, riding horses and being a kid. It's not selling cookies or earning a Savvy Shopper, Entertainment Technology or Product Designer badge (yes, these are real merit badges).

2012 is the 100th year of Girl Scouts and "The Year of the Girl." If we want girls to be empowered and for Girl Scouts to be a place "where girls grow strong" then they should be acquiring real leadership skills and appreciating their environment. Pinewood is an underutilized but wonderful asset. It could be used by Boy Scouts and other community organizations or could be reduced in size while continuing to be a Girl Scout property.

Girl Scouts taught me to stand up for what's right, so I am. The sale of Pinewood would be a disservice to our girls.

Noel G.H. Folts

Dansville

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Saying, 'God did it' only stifles inquiry

For the April 12 letter writer who thought the "Reason Rally" to be a serious misnomer, I would point out that we do not obtain answers to unsolved questions about the world or universe by saying, "God did it." Such a stance only stifles inquiry that might lead to answers. Our curiosity cannot be satisfied by that shortcut. The more we learn about the universe, the more striking is its size, beauty and mystery. We should never be satisfied with, "God did it." We should be spurred to finding out even more about our earthly and celestial environments.

Charles P. Mowatt

East Amherst

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City should welcome creation of new jobs

In a city that is still struggling to find growth and prosperity, why do the people and government of Buffalo consistently resist the growth of locally owned business looking to expand and add new jobs to this area?

Less than a month ago, Delaware District Councilman Michael LoCurto and the City of Buffalo instituted several restrictions on the popular Elmwood Avenue restaurant Acropolis OPA, in regard to music and the planned second-floor patio. These restrictions will prevent the establishment from expanding not only its bar and entertainment areas but also its work force.

The city cites the annoyance that music and bar patrons impose on unwilling local residences and businesses along Elmwood and Ashland avenues. At one point, it even suggested that the establishment be required to complete an environmental impact statement, which the National Environmental Policy Act requires only for actions that could significantly affect the quality of the human environment.

There is clearly something amiss in this situation. The city and its people usually rally and cheer for successful businesses to move in and grow along their beloved Elmwood strip. What is it about this business and city politics that won't let it expand?

Directly across the street from Acropolis is another local business, Blue Monk. I have personally enjoyed Blue Monk's open-air nature on late summer nights with plenty of music and libations. So why is it acceptable for one business on the same block to conduct itself such, but not another?

Acropolis' expansion would help rejuvenate the local economy by creating jobs and encouraging Buffalo and suburban residents to patronize small businesses in the heart of our city.

Timothy P. Moriarty

Amherst

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Create a Bill of Rights for fans and taxpayers

I don't always agree with Doug Turner's column, but I have to emphatically go along with the one on sports teams' obligations. Let's have a Bill of Rights for the fans and taxpayers who support the teams.

1.) No player gets more than $100,000 for the first year. After he proves himself, then a contract can be negotiated.

2.) No taxpayer money can be used for football stadiums, baseball fields, hockey rinks or anything that requires a special facility. These teams are running a business; let them pay their own bills.

3.) No equipment or clothing can carry a team logo unless those articles are manufactured in the United States. The fans support the teams; let the teams support the industry.

4.) Teams can sell franchises for handling their merchandise.

I'm sure there are other things that can be added to this list, but at least it's a start.

Bob Adner

Tonawanda

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Report all suspicions of abuse immediately

In response to The News article titled, "Hospital faulted in child abuse case," I was very disgusted to read about how a hospital failed to report child abuse. Working in a hospital myself, if we see any odd behavior, or something alarming, we are to report it immediately to the proper authorities.

If there were a number of medical staff who documented that this child's injuries may have been caused by child abuse, why didn't just one person report it? It sickens me to think this baby girl, only 11 months old, was released back to her parents after spending days in the hospital due to suspicious injuries. I cannot believe it wasn't until the parents brought their baby back a second time, only days later, that the medical staff finally reported abuse.

If I was on the hospital staff and that infant had died, I am not sure I would be able to live with that on my conscience. No infant should have to endure this neglect from professionals who are supposed to provide safety.

Jeanne M. Primosch

Lackawanna