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.
Robert Moses Parkway: In response to News Niagara reporter Charlie Specht's article on the plan to remove a portion of the parkway, James Hufnagel of Wilson said:
Cities all over the country -- New York, Seattle, Cleveland, Portland, just to name some -- are removing obsolete, underutilized roadways to open up waterfront for the benefit of their citizens. Economic development, real estate values, quality of life -- all will improve when Niagara Falls is allowed to fully access the Niagara Gorge and Niagara River and capitalize on these world-famous tourism resources.
The Robert Moses Parkway is an anachronism that professional planners have long regarded as a mistake. Many thanks are due leaders like Sen. Schumer, Gov. Cuomo, Mayor Dyster and Niagara Falls City Council President Fruscione and the City Council for their leadership on this issue. We deserve our future and these people are making it happen.
Dan Davis of Niagara Falls added:
It is called ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. You remove ugliness to make it desirable to private enterprise. You not only attract private developers, you make the tourist attraction a better experience and increase the land values in the neighborhood.
Silencing the music: NeXt correspondent Justice Namaste's piece about the virtues of school music programs and the threat under budget-cutting knives brought this reaction from Dominic Bisone of Rochester:
What should be cut besides the arts? Nothing. They are by far the most disposable programs. The arts are anti-social activities. People will argue that the arts get the creative "juices flowing" but isn't that what other core classes are for? Read a book and have a debate. Everyone knows that 99.99999 percent of students aren't going to make a living as a painter or musician or creative writer for that matter; that's why they're called "starving artists." The moral of the story is the arts are by far the most expendable courses, as well as the teachers who run them.
Marcia Donner, East Aurora stated, simply:
My daughter is in middle school and her motto is, "Music is Not What I Do, Music is Who I Am."
Lafayette's restoration: News staff reporter Mark Sommer's story about the remarkable work done on the historic building by developer and part owner Rocco Termini caused Cindy Ann Sitterle of Cheektowaga to reminisce:
Reading about the treasures, the color of paint found as the renovation occurred, takes my breath away. While the Lafayette was scheduled to be renovated, I walked by and saw an old cash register and the stools and yellow booths from another era at what was once the hotel's restaurant. Some of the booths were not intact. However, the view took me back in time since I remember eating there when I first worked downtown in 1975-1976. While bringing in 2000 at what was known as "The Blues Room," the former restaurant area was used as the coat room where we simply tossed our coats over the booths.
I am absolutely elated that a wonderful work of art, a piece of architecture has been given new life.
Buffalo Bandits: In response to News sports reporter Budd Bailey's article on the team's poor 7-9 season finish, Brandon Wilczynski of North Collins suggested:
The Bandits need to get younger and faster. There's too many older vets that don't pull their weight anymore. In the new style National Lacrosse League, teams with fast guys coming in from the field game are having the most success. Now that the goaltending situation is figured out, it's time to somehow add some scoring depth and some young fresh legs on defense.
Though it's tough to do when you keep trading away your first-round picks. Granted they have Edmonton's first-rounder this year. As they advance, it's not looking to be extremely high of a pick.