Pharmacist enriched ?my life tremendously

A nostalgic tear was brought to my eye when I read Women's Voices by Roberta VanderMeer in the Oct. 20 News. She wrote about Bill Gorenflo, a pharmacist whose store at the corner of Bailey and Minnesota also served as his makeshift kitchen. I, too, was fortunate enough to share an occasional meal with Gorenflo, but to me he was of other, greater value.

In the mid-'60s, I was a college student living just down Minnesota from the store and a devotee of comic books. This was the age of the great Marvel Comics – Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Silver Surfer and all the rest. Gorenflo's was the source of my addiction and Gorenflo was my dealer. He would allow me to come into the store on delivery days and let me open the bundle of freshly delivered comics before anyone else got to them. He took a fatherly delight in my passion and approved of all my choices.

It brought me great joy to see him mentioned and to realize that he had other special people in his life. It's too bad I didn't save those comic books; they're worth a fortune today, but then, my life was enriched enormously by knowing Bill Gorenflo nearly 50 years ago.

Paul Tenser



Boy Scouts of America? has done great things

Donn Esmonde's comments on the Boy Scouts of America are predictable for anyone who would never be a Boy Scout and doesn't know anything about the Scouts. The national media ran to the story, too. The 1,247 accusations of sex abuse from 1965-1985 are too many, obviously. Let's talk about what the report is really about. It is about the continued attacks on religious freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of worship.

In that 20-year period between 1965 and 1985, Boy Scouts of America had 75 million young men go through its program. It had more than 1 million Eagle Scouts, 30 million Cub Scouts and, maybe more importantly, more than 2 million adult volunteers. Yet Esmonde calls this abuse an "epidemic."

Scouts have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to national parks and collected and donated countless clothing and food to the needy for 100 years. Boy Scouts are taught to be men of compassion, character and strong spiritual values. Too many people these days believe they are doing something by just walking in the park wearing colored T-shirts. The Scouts are taught to be people of action.

Jay Prendergast



Seneca Diabetes Foundation ?is being unfairly impugned

It is unfortunate that, in the waning hours of a political campaign, one desperate faction has succumbed to its baser instincts and hurled groundless allegations to impugn the integrity of the Seneca Diabetes Foundation.

Chartered by New York State, this 501(c)(3) organization has no other purpose except to help members of the Seneca Nation to cope with and overcome an epidemic that ravages its population. The foundation is an independent entity and is not in any way affiliated with or subject to direction or supervision by the Seneca Nation, which has no right whatsoever to inquire into its activities. Nevertheless, since its formation the foundation has worked cooperatively with Tribal Councilors, regularly furnishing updates on its activities in service to the Seneca people. Timely and complete responses have been given whenever the Tribal Council has asked. No honest inquiry has gone unanswered.

Under the guise of a "press conference," candidates Richard Nephew and Robert Porter have used the local media to spread their allegations that the foundation board has engaged in conduct that is improper, even criminal. This was a desperate move by desperate candidates. However, it is truly regrettable that, in smearing the foundation, they may accomplish little more than to deprive the Seneca people of support they so gravely need.

The Seneca Diabetes Foundation is certainly appreciative of the support it has received from the Seneca Nation, its gaming corporation and the community at large. It would serve the best interests of all if Porter and Nephew set aside their efforts to disparage the foundation and focus instead on the health and welfare of the Seneca people.

Jacek A. Wysocki


Seneca Diabetes Foundation


Waterfront development? going great without Quinn

You know Halloween is near when you turn on your television and see a ghost from the failed past of waterfront development before your eyes. Yes, that's right, our old friend Larry Quinn was recently on local television lamenting the course that progress is following on the downtown waterfront.

The specter of failed attempts to bring Bass Pro to Buffalo said he doesn't approve of the current plan's lack of an anchor tenant – which in spookier times would have led to substantial financial gains for him if that plan would have come to fruition. This is the first public criticism I have heard of the revised objective that seems to be finally working.

After all of the positive happenings reported along the whole length of the lakefront in the past year, does anyone think it's a coincidence that Quinn is no longer active in planning the direction of the most important part of the downtown renaissance?

Perhaps we should hold an exorcism behind the same hockey arena that Quinn made millions on after selling his part of the Buffalo Sabres, and rid ourselves of this nightmare once and for all.

John Walker



Let's prohibit smoking ?in apartment buildings

I am writing in regard to New York State's ban on smoking in public and work places, effective July 24, 2003. While the law bans smoking in almost every indoor area where non-smokers can be exposed to secondhand smoke, there seems to be a gap in the law regarding smoking in apartment buildings. The law states that the ban "shall not apply to private homes, private residences and private automobiles."

Common sense would indicate that an apartment building is not equal to a private residence. I respect a person's right to smoke in his residence, but I see a gray area when the smoke from an individual apartment creeps under the doors into public areas of the building, and seeps through the floor boards into other people's apartments. This exposes others to the dangers and inconvenience that the law was intended to address.

Even my friends who smoke regularly tell me that if they smoke in their apartment, they make sure they do it near a window with proper ventilation so that their apartment isn't steeped in smoke, and so it does not negatively impact others who live in the same building.

I would like to see this law amended so that landlords have the authority to address this issue with tenants who are inadvertently violating other tenants' rights to breathe clean air in their apartments.

Rob Alessi