Make changes at all levels?to help improve schools

I have some suggestions for the new superintendent as she gets ready to begin her new job. First, teachers in Buffalo know how to teach. Even though it's trendy in education now to micromanage every part of a teacher's day, get out of the way and let them do their jobs.

If they're going to be evaluated on how their students achieve, allow them to make their own decisions on how best to accomplish it. Take a long look at who is making decisions in the district.

Empty City Hall on a regular basis and get all the quasi administrators into school buildings working with students. If you've spent most of your career in an office, you have no business telling teachers how to teach.

Send these people into failing schools to work directly with students and allow them to see first hand how badly some of their theories translate into reality.

Lastly, take a long look at how things are done and make everyone responsible for results, not just teachers. People serving at all levels of administration need to answer for their part in what happens in the district.

The same people have been sitting in the same jobs for years and things in the district have gotten worse, not better.

Just like the teachers, if City Hall administrators can't show growth based on their work, changes need to be made.

Anne Duffy



Webster block buildings?don't fit into canal mode

Has no one noticed that the architect's renderings of the proposed buildings for the Webster block, handsome as they may be in the eyes of some, bear not the vaguest flavor of the type of building reminiscent of the "Canal Days" that the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. had originally envisioned? The museum buildings adjacent to the Naval Park fit that mold quite nicely. Why not continue that trend on the west side of Main Street and tie the whole project together?

The article accompanying the photos in the June 22 News states that, "The development would blend in with the surrounding buildings." Exactly what might those buildings be? The Buffalo News building and the HSBC Atrium on Washington Street? Yes, they would, but those structures were conceived long before the Canalside project was dreamed of and have nothing to do, practically or aesthetically, with the historical feel of the project at hand. To promote the continuance of this type of design in this neighborhood, in my opinion, would do irreparable damage to the whole concept of reviving the Canal District as a reminder of the commercial glory that was once the Buffalo waterfront.

Felix Klempka



Lackawanna should restore?Bethlehem Office Building

The City of Lackawanna is forcing Gateway, the owner of the Bethlehem Old North Office Building on Hamburg Turnpike, to demolish the building, giving it 60 days to comply. In spite of 30 years of neglect by both the city and the owners, this building's exterior still remains in remarkably good condition. The Beaux Arts style began in America in 1893 at the Columbian Exposition and continued to our own 1901 Pan-American Exposition. This building dates from that time and Buffalo has other notable examples, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Buffalo Savings Bank, to name two.

Lackawanna attempted to use $500,000 of Restore NY money to help tear the building down even though the funds were intended to remove asbestos and prepare the building for preservation. Now it continues to push for its removal with no real reason to do so, because it is not in danger of falling down on anyone.

Why not use the $500,000 for its intended purpose and then see if the Historical Building Tax Credit soon to be signed by the governor would provide enough incentive to actually save it? There is talk of building a new building to house a Buffalo Industrial Heritage Museum; that sounds pretty silly when you have this, the absolutely perfect building to house such a museum. Its location at the southernmost end of the outer harbor would be ideal. Keep adding attractions to the waterfront and eventually you will get that critical mass that brings in tourists from all over. Restoration and reuse of this historically and architecturally significant building would add greatly to that critical mass. Once it's gone, it's gone forever and this one is certainly worth saving.

Jim Rudnicki

Lake View


Buffalo needs to expand?its public transportation

I left Buffalo to live abroad four years ago, met a guy and got married. And although I love it in Europe, I am starting to miss Buffalo more and more. When I brought up the subject of moving back to Western New York with my husband, there were a lot of convincing arguments on my side – great quality of life, cheap real estate, four beautiful seasons, the list goes on and on.

But the biggest downside Buffalo has when compared to any European city is the public transport. We have no interest in owning a vehicle, and unfortunately that is just not a viable option in Buffalo. Sure, I lived on the West Side and had classes at UB North; but now I see that the Richmond/Baynes route, which I used to get to school and work every day, has been reduced to 90-minute intervals. Sadly, I have to say I am glad that I don't live there anymore. What a hassle that would have been.

So, Buffalo, here we are: two young, highly qualified professionals looking to come back to my hometown and hopefully start a family soon. But we're not coming. Because honestly, in this day and age, every city's public transport network should be expanding, not shrinking. And until that happens you can find me in the Frankfurt subway.

Katie Ludwig

Frankfurt, Germany


Hatred of U.S. being taught?in North Korea is appalling

How alarming it was to read in the June 24 News that kindergarten children in North Korea are being taught to hate the United States. We are seen as imperialists who started the Korean War and separated the country, causing North Korea the problems it has today.

This successful propaganda education is evident by the pictures the children see and draw. They can be seen to show U.S. soldiers treating North Koreans with torture. Posters on the walls of the classroom show soldiers depicted as "cruel ghoulish barbarians with big noses and fiendish eyes. Teeth bared, they brand prisoners with hot irons, set wild dogs on women and wrench out a girl's teeth with pliers." It is painful for me to repeat these words.

Children are precious and vulnerable and creating such images and memories is horrific for them and worrisome for us.This form of inculcation is bizarre, shocking and distressing. I can't imagine how frightened the children must be of the United States, especially our soldiers. They are being taught to fight and seek revenge while their government engages in "peace" talks with our government. These talks are such hypocrisy.

All Americans ought to be well-informed about such a damaging movement so as to be prepared to deal with its potential frightening consequences.

Marguerite Battaglia