NFTA has to make changes?so people can get to work

A recent Brookings Institution report, "Where the Jobs Are: Employer Access to Labor by Transit," ranks the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority 11th for being able to get riders to and from their jobs, and 31st for how many people can reach their jobs in 90 minutes or less via bus and rail service. That's only part of the reality.

My job search has to be focused within the Buffalo city limits because the buses run more frequently there. If I miss a connection to a bus taking me to Williamsville or North Tonawanda, another one may not be due for a half-hour or longer. In winter, it happens more often. Many employers don't want to hear "I missed my bus again, that's why I'm an hour late."

NFTA executive director Kimberley Minkel states the NFTA's ability to connect workers to jobs in the suburbs is obstructed by the shifting of jobs out of the city. I suggest that what obstructs workers from getting to jobs is the NFTA's refusal or inability to provide service to the suburbs at an level equal to which it is provided in the city. If Minkel is aware of that job shift – which has been happening for decades, by the way – what are she and the NFTA doing to counterbalance it?

Employers need to realize that there is a large pool of willing and able potential employees inside the city limits, and start opening locations here. I don't mean fast food jobs, I mean jobs that pay a living wage. The NFTA needs to realize that until that change happens, it is responsible for doing all it can to get employers beyond the city limits.

I feel I'm missing some great job opportunities because I just can't depend on the NFTA to get me there on time every day, all year long.

Marcia Kuma



Parenting today deprives?kids of a sound direction

Regarding John Rosemond's Aug. 2 Health & Parenting column, "Growing up, then vs. now," being the parents of children of boomer age, or close to it, my wife and I have always been proud of the fact that we have always given them the freedom to make their own choices. What has happened between that generation and the programmed, deprivation-free children of today makes me wonder what the future holds.

When Mary goes to school looking like a lady of the evening (I'm being polite), she knows if school district officials were to impose a dress code that her parents will sue. And when Johnny comes home with poor grades and says it's the teacher's fault, he knows his parents will believe him. I think we can see where some of the problem lies.

I wonder, in their older years, if the parents will feel comfortable having these children making decisions for them. I have a feeling that they won't have to worry about that, because the government will be making those decisions.

Richard Hughes



Dedication is what keeps?City of Buffalo's history alive

My wife and I (her with a broken foot), just took the last of the 2012 "Walking tours of the Old First Ward and Buffalo River shore." What an incredible, beautiful, and very informative trip. First Ward historian Gene Overdorf and his assistants gave an awe-inspiring presentation.

Gene's dedication, along with the many efforts and accomplishments of his sister, Margaret "Peg" Overdorf, executive director of the Valley Community Association, deserve to be highly applauded by our community. The two beautiful parks that have been carved out of wasted space and resources goes to show that hard work and dedication do pay off. We are very fortunate as a region for their desire to re-energize an abandoned and abused portion of Buffalo.

I and my family have been lifelong suburbanites, and have great positive feelings about the City of Buffalo. When we see how these folks have abruptly turned things around, it brightens those feelings even more.

When we look around the community, county, state and entire country for that matter, and we see all of the political wrangling, name calling, gridlock and lack of respect, you wonder what things will look like for the next generation.

When we look in the mirror, we need to ask ourselves what we can do to expand on these wondrous efforts. And we can only hope that more Gene's and Peggy's and Overdorf families can continue to carry the torch.

Peggy and Gene Overdorf's efforts have not gone unnoticed by our family, nor the Western New York community. We hope that the flame they have ignited burns brightly long into the future. Best of luck to them as their efforts spawn more of these positive conversions of wasted resources.

Gary and Donna Frost



Robinson really missed?the mark on Romney piece

The Aug. 5 op-ed column, "Gaffes reveal a lot about the candidate," tells more about Eugene Robinson, the syndicated columnist, than Mitt Romney, the presidential candidate. While the columnist readily admits he is attributing negative views of Romney with limited information, it is his broad bias that stands out.

For example, Robinson implies that because the Romneys are wealthy and own horses they lack empathy for others. Yet it is Robinson's own words that show a lack of empathy for the candidate's wife and those who suffer from neurological disease. Ann Romney, who has multiple sclerosis, has been quoted numerous times saying that horses are a wonderful therapy for her to deal with MS.

Would Robinson have criticized the much-beloved President Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, because they were wealthy horse owners, especially if Jacqueline was afflicted with a serious ailment? I doubt it.

As others have done, the columnist attacked Romney's comments that Israel's culture is one reason for the country's success while the Palestinian culture was the reason it was struggling. Robinson clearly feels that the restrictions on Palestinian movement is unfair and the reason for their lack of progress.

He ignores the reason for those restrictions – years of suicide bombings in pizza parlors, cafes, buses and wedding sites. The restrictions were the result of the Palestinians' behavior. Israel has a right to protect its citizens. The restrictions have worked.

Robinson ignores a 2002 United Nations report written by Arab intellectuals that supports Romney's claims, as does the book, "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations." Indeed there are wonderful progressive, educated Palestinians who understand the cultural changes necessary to take place in the Arab world in order for the Palestinians to move forward. These progressives are not aided by columnists like Robinson who ignore the facts that have been documented in these sources.

The commentary accuses Romney of having a blind certainty. It is actually the columnist, who is willing to accept uncivilized behavior and political bias, who is blind to the double standard he is using to judge others.

Elinor Weiss

East Amherst