Simply protect trees ?with plastic tubing

With great disgust and concern I read the article on Aug. 12, regarding nuisance beavers in Amherst. I'm no animal activist, but killing animals instead of taking a few easy steps to prevent tree damage is inhumane. I have lived on Ellicott Creek, the very section talked about in the article, for approximately 20 years. I have planted trees near the creek edge and just protected the base with $5 worth of 5-inch diameter plastic drain tubing, which allows the trees to grow without being harmed. I kayak the creek and haven't seen any dams.

I especially was appalled by Highway Superintendent Robert Anderson's statement that said the traps themselves don't kill the beavers, but because they are set underwater, inevitably they drown. Brilliant! I sympathize with the families whose trees got destroyed. Knowing that there is a simple way to prevent the destruction, I hope that when they are replaced, the trees are protected, instead of killing innocent animals.

Kenneth Hoage



Killing wildlife ?is not the answer

Not again! More killing of wildlife, this time beavers. It is disturbing that the typical first and only response to wildlife issues around here is killing them. Wildlife sanctuaries, the Humane Society and animal advocate groups are here, knowledgeable in humane methods and eager to step in, yet are rarely to never contacted for wildlife issues around here. What's up with that? Always killing wildlife to control them is a like blight on the region with a scar that never heals.

I am neither impressed nor proud to live in a region that encourages and justifies hunting, trapping and torturing creatures that live in the wild. My roots are with those who peacefully co-exist with wildlife from snakes to squirrels to coyotes, Canada geese, bats, porcupines, skunks, raccoons, bees, etc. It's how I was taught, my parents were taught by their parents and so on. I'm a vegetarian (no fish, chicken or other meat) in my late 50s who enjoys watching wildlife, and am glad to be amongst the majority of people who do not deliberately cause harm to other living creatures.

How refreshing it would be to read an article in The News about non-lethal methods being used for people conflicting with wildlife.

Michele Zaichuk

Lake View


Gnawing on trees? is a capital offense

For beavers in the Town of Amherst, just being a beaver is a capital offense. According to an article in The News on Aug. 12, a few (maybe six) memorial trees along the Amherst Bike Path were gnawed, so beavers are being trapped and drowned. Apparently relocating the beavers is not an option. The dams could be removed without killing the beavers if this were a case of flood control. As for the memorial trees, surrounding them with mesh would deter the beavers.

This summer is not a matter of flood control, and beavers are not dangerous creatures that attack humans or spread disease. They are intelligent, social, feeling creatures with amazing engineering skills. Must they perish merely because they are considered a "nuisance"?

Kathleen Noye



Ryan offers seniors ?a choice on Medicare

In an Aug. 12 article on the Romney-Ryan ticket, Jerry Zremski says Ryan's budget would "in part" remake Medicare into a voucher system for future enrollees. In an Aug. 13 article he repeats this point, and later in the article he finally notes that according to Ryan's plan, seniors would have the option of getting a voucher from the government to buy health care. But he neglects to mention the other option: to remain with traditional, government-run Medicare.

So according to Romney-Ryan, seniors would have a choice between traditional Medicare and private plans with premium support.

Is it too much to ask that The News' reporting be balanced and truly informative?

As for Rep. Kathy Hochul, she supported the $700 billion cuts to Medicare when she refused to vote to repeal "Obamacare."

As seniors, we welcome an approach that presents choices, including that of traditional Medicare, and actually seeks to preserve this all-important program.

Janice L. Schultz-Aldrich

Leonard Aldrich



Romney's decision ?proves interesting

What an interesting past few days in politics. Mitt Romney selects devout Catholic Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. Ryan is a devotee of atheist/objectivism philosopher Ayn Rand, who basically divides that portion of the population not laissez faire capitalist as looters and moochers. President Obama pledges to protect us from Ryan. Romney, not to be outdone, also pledges to protect us from Ryan. And Ryan, for his part, is asking out loud "Ayn who?"

Larry Fallon

West Seneca


Ryan is not from? humble background

In an Aug. 14 editorial, The News describes Paul Ryan thusly: "With his small-town roots and humble background … Ryan is a running mate that many people can relate to – unlike Romney, often criticized for his silver-spoon upbringing and corporate connections."

Unlike Romney? Humble background? Republican vice presidential candidate Ryan is a multimillionaire, thanks in part to his great-grandfather's founding of a construction business, and his grandfather and father continuing the business.

Ryan is no more from a "humble background" than your every-day millionaire. He is, rather, a child of privilege. Period. To describe him as from a "humble background" is insulting to those of us who really are from a humble background.

Sandy Low



Ryan certainly is not ?a fiscal conservative

Paul Ryan, fiscal conservative, deficit hawk and darling of the right wing. To be or not to be a conservative – let us count the ways.

1) Voted for all Bush/Cheney Iraq War emergency appropriation supplemental bills ($800 billion worth) that were conveniently left off the deficit until 2010. Where was the watchdog then?

2) Voted for Medicare Part D legislation, another unpaid Bush initiative that added billions to the debt – but the hawk's beak never budged.

3) Voted for the TARP bailout, the very act that ginned up the whole tea party movement. Et tu, Brute?

Paul Ryan, fiscal conservative? Are you kidding? And as for his views on civil rights, women's health and the plight of the poor and elderly? Don't get me started.

Joe Sullivan



Hiking Thruway tolls? will hurt businesses

The New York State Thruway is proposing a 45 percent increase in commercial vehicle tolls, which flies in the face of opening our state for business. This four-lane artery is critical for commerce, including our business, and I estimate our company will pay an additional $27,000 per year.

Shur-Gain, based in Wyoming County, manufactures and delivers animal feed to dairy farmers across the state. This highly competitive business operates on very thin profit margins and may have to pass the extra cost onto our customers. Dairy farmers are already facing low milk prices and high feed prices due to this year's drought.

Rather than driving up the cost of doing business in New York, the Thruway Authority should work hard to reduce its business costs and heed the governor's leadership in opening New York for business. Unfortunately, this toll increase declares that New York is closed for business.

Barry Baetz

General Manager, Shur-Gain



Bike lanes would help? fitness, environment

In light of the all the recent accidents involving bicyclists, I wondered why our area doesn't follow the lead of other cities and make bike lanes and paths a priority when repaving and constructing new roads. There is no reason why lanes and paths couldn't be connected to go everywhere in Erie County. Not only would this be a safety and health benefit, but biking also is becoming a necessity for some to get to work, especially with the high cost of car insurance and rising gas costs.

Hopefully the politicians and city planners will recognize this so we can be proud of our area's commitment to fitness and the environment.

Martin Farrell

West Seneca


In politics, what goes ?around comes around

I am disgusted by the tactics used by President Obama's re-election campaign against Mitt Romney. It is using outright lies and distortions to discredit Romney. However, Republicans and conservatives who are crying foul about these bogus attacks against Romney seem to have a short memory span. In 2003, they didn't seem to mind when President George W. Bush's re-election campaign, led by Karl Rove, used lies to discredit Sen. John Kerry's service in Vietnam. Maybe it's just me, but apparently both the right and the left don't know a thing about fair play. This is a good example of the saying that what goes around comes around.

Michael N. Nacosyn

Orchard Park