We need to create manufacturing jobs
It seems that we have forgotten or ignored what industrial development agencies were supposed to accomplish. "Industrial" is the key word.
Based on the article in the April 22 News, few of the tax breaks are actually for industrial development. It seems like it's every man for himself, rather than considering the economy as a whole.
Manufacturing and big business, which Democrats and unions seem to despise, are the drivers for any economy. Why? They bring in capital, new money, create jobs, careers, taxpayers and are a stimulus for small business to exist and thrive. Service jobs, which are plentiful around these parts, serve only to move money from one pocket to another without any net improvement. Manufacturing jobs have a leveraging factor of 10 times, meaning that for every dollar of manufacturing-based income, there is an equivalent of $10 circulating in the economy.
Until our leaders get their act together and continue fighting for their "share," Western New York and New York State will continue to die a slow death.
Teachers must hold union accountable
Our four children have grown up in the Buffalo Public Schools. Along the way, many wonderful and dedicated teachers have invested in their lives and mentored them. For this we are grateful.
So it is disconcerting to hear that Phil Rumore and the teachers union have once again put their own self-interest ahead of the students by saying no to the latest teacher evaluation process that was approved by the state. This decision will cost the school district much-needed resources and will jeopardize the quality of education, especially for schools like Lafayette and East high schools, which serve some of the poorest and most vulnerable students.
It is difficult for us to believe that Rumore and the teachers union speak for the dedicated teachers that we have come to appreciate and respect so much. It is time for these committed teachers to hold their union accountable.
It is time for the adults in this community, including the union, teachers, school board members, superintendent and parents, to come together and do the right thing for the children of Buffalo.
Myron and Joyce Glick
Dangerous drivers take too many lives
On Feb. 11, my daughter, Patricia, died in a traffic mishap in Amherst. She left behind a husband, two daughters, three brothers, nieces, nephews, friends and two broken-hearted parents.
From 1985 to 2005, I taught a defensive-driving insurance-point reduction program for a local safety agency with national affiliation. I did it for several reasons, but the main reason was my hope that persons attending the course would become safer drivers. It is dangerous out there, and as I drive around on my daily routines, I find it disheartening to see other drivers' behavior, which includes driving too fast for conditions, speeding, following too close, running red lights, reckless driving, non-use or improper use of directional signals and many more.
As an instructor I would emphasize what I considered the four "Cs" of safe driving: consideration, cooperation, courtesy and common sense. Unfortunately, too many drivers do not practice any of the above. Too often they not only risk their own lives, but they put other drivers and pedestrians at risk.
Driving is probably the most dangerous activity that you do on a daily basis. Your greatest risk of getting injured or killed is in a driving mishap. The worst hazard you will probably encounter is the other driver, because you never know what he might do. I know most people are thinking, "It won't happen to me, it only happens to somebody else." Look around you. Each and every one of us is somebody else. Bad things happen to good people every day. It doesn't matter how much money you have, how old you are, your gender or the color of your skin. On Feb. 11, Patricia was somebody else.
Robert A. Morris
U.S. Air Force, SMSGT, Retired
Senecas still owe us millions for casinos
The recent editorial in The News concerning the Seneca Nation's Buffalo Creek Casino missed one important point. The Senecas owe more than $400 million to the state, $60 million of which is owed to Niagara Falls. What makes anyone think they will pay a dime on the profits of the new Buffalo Creek Casino on Michigan Avenue near Perry Street? All they will be getting is another free ride. Ever since Gov. George Pataki signed that ill-advised pact with the Seneca Nation, we have been for a ride in a broken wagon behind their lead horse.
Patrick J. Mangan Jr.
Teacher evaluations are seriously flawed
In regard to The News report on the Johns Hopkins University group, maybe we have to reassess how helpful this group will be for our schools if it has to interfere in Buffalo Teachers Federation negotiations not directly concerning it. This whole controversy on evaluating teachers for students who do not show up is ridiculous. This also continues bad feelings from the James Williams era.
Helping teachers develop and improve their skills is good. I see problems with the whole teacher/school evaluation movement and especially with the current controversy. Students in troubled schools who actually show up and pay attention to their teachers are the ones we most need to help. This evaluation movement makes their schools and teachers most likely to be punished.
Raiing the tax rates won't boost economy
Will higher tax rates make us all better off? All the great improvements in our society since World War II are the result of higher tax rates. And the Great Depression resulted because tax rates were lowered. At least, so believes the writer of an April 24 letter in The News.
Did lowering tax rates in 1924 trigger the Depression five years later in 1929? If so, then why, after the large tax increase under President Herbert Hoover in 1932, did the Depression deepen? And why, after the even larger tax increase under President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936, did it deepen more until cured by World War II? And why, after the large tax decrease under President John Kennedy in the early 1960s, was there a period of relative prosperity?
Kennedy said lower taxes, especially on investment income (think capital gains), will foster a rising economy good for all because "a rising tide lifts all boats." What would he say about higher taxes? Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it.
Richard Houlihan Yunker