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Obama's energy goals will devastate economy

I am prompted to write in response to a Viewpoints article by Walter and Nan Simpson that appeared in the April 22 News. It was prominently featured as an environmental article commemorating Earth Day, but it was clearly an attempt to promote the misguided and ill-informed national energy goals of the Obama administration.

It is an admirable trait to be a political advocate and an activist for promoting environmental causes, but to do so with misleading and alarmist statements demands a response. The authors state a highly biased view on climate change (aka global warming) by mixing valid scientific observations with unwarranted extrapolations.

The scientific community accepts the evidence that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing, the temperature is slightly increasing, there is a relationship between the two and that our burning of fossil fuels partially contributes to these occurrences. However, what is not universally accepted is that global warming is caused entirely by man's activities, nor will this warming effect continue to grow exponentially in the future.

Most importantly, devastating our national economy with implementing an unrealistic, unattainable national energy policy would have negligible effects on unpredictable climate change. It would be refreshing for The News to present equal space to contrasting views about fairly complex scientific issues.

Joseph F. Bieron

Orchard Park

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Don't sell tickets for Wallenda walk

The New York State Parks Department says it may have to sell tickets to restrict the number of people who get on to Goat Island to view the Wallenda walk over the falls. A parks representative was on television and said, "Profit was not in the picture." The news report also said the state may partner with Delaware North in this venture. Delaware North has never done anything without a profit motive; that's its business.

If the state wants to restrict the number of people on Goat Island for safety reasons, it only needs to station employees or police at the bridges and count people crossing, then close off the bridges. To sell tickets is outrageous and in violation of the "Free Niagara" movement under which the park was founded. Once again, hypocrisy rules with the New York State Parks Department.

James Brunn

Niagara Falls

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End the subsidies for wind turbines

Citizens of Orangeville expressed a collective sigh of relief after reading that the Stony Creek Wind Farm has been put on hold while Invenergy waits for more government subsidies from the Obama administration. Despite years of federal support, most forms of "clean energy" such as wind are still dependent on subsidies for survival, and some of the subsidies are set to soon be phased out.

Republican staff director McKie Campbell of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee recently stated, "It's clearly against our national interest to engage in long-term subsidies where the moment you pull the subsidy, the business fails."

Clear Skies Over Orangeville members as well as thousands of anti-industrial wind activists are carefully watching a legal challenge in neighboring Ontario, Canada. Twenty landowners have become participants in two separate collective actions opposing an industrial wind project. The claims are for alleged property devaluation and loss of use and enjoyment of the plaintiffs' lands. The landowners near the proposed wind turbine development are clearly upset that 430-foot turbines are to be sited close to their property. The total value of the claims now exceeds $17 million. The claims are based on established legal principals and there appears to be precedent for these claims.

The case is being watched carefully since it was disclosed that 40 properties in the Town of Orangeville fall within the 885-foot setback recommended by General Electric for safety concerns.

Cathi Orr

President and founder

Clear Skies Over Orangeville

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Poor child rearing is root of problem

While fully granting that Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes' recent suggestion that New York State take over the Buffalo Public Schools is certainly well intended, the one thing that this drastic action would not do is instill much-needed higher moral values into the student body. Politicians, teachers and clergy can only work to undo what is already learned, be it lack of respect for authority, education or for each other.

Policy makers and pundits alike are historically reluctant to encroach upon parenting skills. This is delicate, taboo territory. Yet how our young adults behave in school, as well as in the world at large, is directly related to what they learn at home from their primary care givers. Now it seems that teachers are being held responsible for student apathy toward learning, which begins long before their public schooling.

Outrageous as it may sound and at the risk of sounding Orwellian, perhaps New York State should take over child rearing practices, which are at the very heart of this ongoing and troubling dilemma.

Joseph Ciarlo

East Aurora

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Why bother voting in the GOP primary?

There is a great deal of hoopla about the Republican nomination process but there was very little mentioned or written about the local primary vote. While this has led to a light turnout, I was left with the question of "Why vote at all?" when I went to exercise my constitutional right.

How democratic is it to be told that one's choice is limited to four names and that no write-ins would be allowed? And why hasn't the press -- The Buffalo News -- explored the issue of the uselessness of the New York vote after the smaller states have, in effect, made the decision for us? What I perceive is a very poor excuse for democracy and a lax effort on the part of all the media.

Jean Duffy

Williamsville

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'Killer Joe' was an excellent play

Despite a lukewarm review, a large group of us chose to attend a performance of "Killer Joe" at the American Repertory Theatre. The sold-out performance was stellar in all the ways that count: terrific acting, especially Killer Joe and Dottie, believable set and very good direction. They "talked over one another" with perfect timing. This play is well worth attending and the young company is well worth supporting. Give yourself a treat and go see it!

Bonnie Botsford

Buffalo