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OCT 14- OCT 21, 2014

Letters to the Editor

October 14, 2014

Ebola Not the Only Problem

Meat Eating is ...

U.S., state, and municipal health authorities are working overtime and spending millions of dollars to stem the spread of Ebola, which has killed just one person here.

Where is the comparable effort to stem the spread of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases that kill 1.4 million Americans annually and are linked conclusively to excessive consumption of animal products? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that’s 23 times the number killed by all infectious diseases combined, including AIDS, hepatitis, blood poisoning, and intestinal infections!

Apparently, our society tolerates this massive assault on our public health, because meat, dairy, and egg products have powerful champions in Congress. Bacteria and viruses have none.

Yet, each of us can take personal responsibility for our own and our family’s health by reducing, then dropping animal products from our menu. Fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains contain all the nutrients our body requires and are touted by leading health authorities. Soy and nut-based meats, milks, and ice creams offer a delicious transition treat. Lots of websites provide helpful transition tips.

Nelson Gustavo

Niagara Falls

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Dyster philosophy at odds

With Block Club mission

In response to your recent article about the retirement of long time block club leader Roger Spurback, I have these observations to offer: The city building policies of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster couldn’t be further opposed to those of Spurback.

Spurback believes that healthy neighborhoods are crucial to a city’s success. Dyster believes throwing millions of dollars at the downtown tourist district will revive the city.

One of Spurback’s biggest issues has been abandoned houses and businesses that sit for years, vacant and condemned, and act as attractants for drugs, prostitution and other criminal activity. When one house falls into ruin, nearby neighbors are quick to leave the neighborhood, creating a domino effect.

The city has entire blocks of such structures, which Dyster doesn’t see as a major problem.

How many condemned houses could have been knocked down had the city sold the $1.5 million downtown parcel for it’s full value rather than gifting it to do nothing developer Mark Hamister for paltry $100,000?

More than $481,000 in public money was given to Idaho snake oil salesman Mark Rivers to stage his disastrous Holiday Market a couple of years ago. The month long mid winter event was an abject failure. Could the money have better been spent in our neighborhoods, cleaning up eyesores and tearing down vacant buildings?

More than $700,000 was given to the multibillion dollar, multinational Hard Rock Café corporation for a series of downtown concerts that allowed Dyster to play rock star and down shots with washed up musicians. For that amount, 35 vacant and vandalized public nuisances could be eliminated.

Concerts, festivals and dubious hotel projects? The neighborhoods continue to crumble and those who can afford to are fleeing the city at the rate of around 1,000 a year during the time Dyster's been in office.

Spurback watched the sad decline and finally decided that, after 22 years of working diligently to save the city’s neighborhoods from neglect and ruin, he’s had enough.

I don't blame him.

John P. McKnight

Niagara Falls

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Bills Have a New Owner; Start Putting Forth a Contender

Buffalo sports fans can now breathe a sigh of relief as Terry Pegula is now "the man" with the Buffalo Bills.

However, the time for praising is now finished; it is time for Pegula to learn from his Buffalo Sabres experience and bring in people who know how to put together a winning team at One Bills Drive. His first call should be to Bill Polian, and give him free rein to make whatever appropriate changes are needed at season's end.

New ownership now means a new direction; it's time for Mr. Pegula to start leading the way for a championship-quality team, and not continue to put forth a half-baked facsimile for an NFL team as has been the wont of the previous ownership.

Lloyd Marshall, Jr.

Lockport

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Tunisia Not a Backward Country

In response to your article comparing New York and Tunisia:

Tunisia is far from being a desert country inhabited by nomads, and is certainly not a major oil-producing country either. It produces only about 25 million barrels per year. It is a Mediterranean country just a few miles south of Italy. This is the old country of Carthage (remember Hannibal?), which for a few centuries dominated the whole Mediterranean area before Rome did.

Its economy is based on services, agriculture, and tourism. It produces Mediterranean vegetables and fruits, olive oil and wine, like Italy, Greece, Spain, etc. Tunisia is visited by about 6 to 8 million, mostly northern European, tourists every year; attracted by its beaches, weather, and antique Roman and Carthaginian ruins. It has a well-educated population (mostly comprised of Muslims but also with Jewish and Christian minorities, living peacefully side by side for centuries), a large middle class, and is the only genuine democracy in its region.

Med Many

Carthage has numerous historical sites, including the 19th Century Saint Louis Cathedral, pictured, and the ruins of the ancient Phoenician city-state

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Obscure North African country of camel-riding nomads!! Really!

I’m just shocked when I read your article about comparing NY to TUNISIA regarding coal power plants pollution. I can’t believe that in the US there's still ignorant "journalists" so disconnected from the rest of the world! So Tunisia is just an "obscure North African country of camel-riding nomads" !! Lol

Come on guys do your home work and get some informations before you publish such stupidity. English is just my third language so sorry for my poor writing. I’m Tunisian and proud of what my country did three years ago and still struggling to be a democracy after almost 50 years of dictatorship and facing terrorist threats. But I’m not expecting you guys to acknowledge that. I’m dissappointed how rude you are; how hateful your words are against a whole country! Reducing 11 millions of Tunisians to camel-riding nomads in an "obscure" country!

Janah Benali.

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Insulting Article on Tunisia

In relation to your article about comparing Tunisia to New York;.

We the Tunisian people find it insulting that you refer to our country that of being inhabited by camel riding nomads. You accuse the reporter in your article of ignorance, however how much research did you do on what Tunisia is like today?

Tunisia is one of if not the most prosperous liberal, modern , economy of Africa and with a special economic relationship to EU. A vibrant and well- developed tourism industry with 1,148 kilometers res of pristine blue Mediterranean coast line. Snow capped mountains, dense woodlands, biodiverse wetlands, mystical deserts. Also, the location for many famous Hollywood films., and to name just a few. Last but not least our rich and proud history stretching thousands of years. World Empires fought and tussled over our land.

We have no beef with people of Jewish ethnicity, so to mention that we would have a problem with that in your article is also extremely insulting.

I hope that you can enable comments section for your article so that people have a chance to clear your misconceptions and under-researched view of Tunisia.

Nadir Debbabi

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Reporter’s comments on Tunisia a Fools Errand

As a Tunisian, I must say I am dismayed reading the article “Comparing New York to Tunisia, Running a Fool's Errand or What? By Mike Hudson”, published on October 7, 2014 in the Niagara Falls Reporter.

Apparently unhappy about some type of an environmental report by Ms. Heather Liebowitz—that equated the New York State's coal fired power plants pollution to that caused by the entire country of Tunisia—, Mr. Mike Hudson goes on to spew humiliating and degrading labels about the country of Tunisia and its people describing them as “camel-riding nomads”. He also described Tunisia as “an Arab country that had its' last revolution, or violent overthrow of the government, just three years ago, in 2011.”

I am really astonished of Mr. Hudson’s remarks and connotations that are denigrating and of racist nature. In his short but full of hatred article, Mr. Hudson continues his bashing of Tunisia, as if the environmental report he is debunking was published by the country of Tunisia itself. He used language such as “The reality is that Tunisia produces more camel dung each year than the entire State of New York.”

Despite my disgust of what I read, I do agree with Mr. Hudson that maybe “Tunisia is not better than New York in pollution”; however, as a proud Tunisian, I want to humbly invite Mr. Hudson to come visit Tunisia. He might actually be surprised. Yes, he may find “camel dung”, poor infrastructure … but he will surely find people who are proud and hospitable. We do welcome all irrespective of sex, race, or religion. I assure him that even Ms. Leibowitz—a female with Jewish last name—will be more than welcome. Even though, he thinks that “Ms. Leibowitz is perhaps unlikely to spend a night there”. Lately, the Tunisian people are spearheading the region for change and in seeking a brighter future free of oppression and dictatorship. The Tunisian revolution was mostly peaceful and nonviolent to the contrary of what you claimed. It was a popular uprising—not a violent overthrow of the government-- that protested against corruption, poverty, and political repression.

Seriously, Mr. Hudson, come on down and visit Tunisia, the country to made fun of, and you might change your mind. After all, ignorance is the cause of fear and prejudice.

Fethi Benjemaa

Senior Scientist, State of California. (Formerly a camel-riding nomad)

 

 

 

 

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