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Esmonde’s portrayal of West Side is wrong

Donn Esmonde’s July 19 column on Joe Galvin and the West Side was disappointing, another fairy tale about a “sketchy” neighborhood where white men are heroes, women are wives or girlfriends, and minorities are shadows.

Esmonde overlooks thousands of good, conscientious people who have lived in these neighborhoods forever. Take Bridget, the Irish immigrant who owned my home before me for 30 years. She cleaned houses, played fiddle and fixed her home herself. Or Mo, who has owned the store where his family works and lives for two decades. Or Carmen, a single mom who raised two successfully employed young men. Our neighbors are teachers, business owners, workers, retirees and families.

And what of the kids he describes as “hollow-eyed,” needing to be “tamed”? I still see their sparkle. They want to make a living, but our schools fail us, jobs are scarce and poor neighborhoods are hardest hit. These young men are not evil; they are seeking their own solutions in a complicated world.

For 12 years I have lived, mostly alone, across the street from the first house Joe bought. Joe maintains his houses beautifully, but he’s not the reason I’ve never once felt unsafe or been a crime victim.

Shame on The News for not telling more accurate stories about the places we live.

Cynnie Gaasch

Buffalo