Gates Circle restoration is waiting to get started
In a recent article Stephanie Crockatt, executive director of Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy, wrote a positive review of the transformation in our parks with rehabilitation, restoration of gardens and traffic circles all of which were completed in the past decade.
She is seeking public input on “new project priorities for park enhancements” and asks what “exciting opportunities” lie ahead.
Well, welcome to the forgotten decade that Olmsted Gates Circle has experienced from autos that have smashed into the circle causing untold thousands in damage to its structures.
The City of Buffalo has collected money from insurance companies that covered these damages.
This significant gem of the original Olmsted plan is left with broken granite benches and lampposts sending an ugly message to all who enter Gates Circle that Olmsted envisioned.
Councilman Joel P. Feroleto has been very responsive to our efforts to raise awareness of the work needed at Gates Circle through an initial meeting we scheduled.
The councilman scheduled a follow up meeting with Crockatt and spent time researching the financial way forward for Gates Circle.
We are told by Feroleto that there is a city budget allocation of $149,000 established for the restoration work at Gates Circle.
But will it be done?
Gates Circle should be one of the “exciting opportunities” as well as “project priority” of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy in 2019.
If this damage had been done to McKinley Square at Buffalo’s City Hall within sight of our mayor’s office, this restoration would have been completed years ago. Joseph Costantini
Politicians should embrace voter ID requirements
Within the last few decades, it has become abundantly clear that voting reforms are necessary, and that some form of standardization is a must.
One way to standardize how we vote is to insist on voter ID.
This can be accomplished without any changes to voting machines or ballots cast.
Face it, you need an ID to drive a car, go hunting and fishing, purchase alcohol, and withdraw money from your bank account.
So why are some politicians aghast over having to show your ID to vote?
Because some voters are undocumented which should be illegal to begin with, and they are counting on these votes to sway an election.
Another reason to insist on voter ID is to ensure that we avoid duplicate ballots and ballots cast using names of the deceased.
In this day and age of technology, there is no reason why ballots cannot be cast via computers which can then tally results. While proof of identification can take many forms, driver’s license, government ID or even fingerprints; it is possible to arrive at a system which can also serve multiple functions.
Besides assuring voting privileges, it can check for fugitive wants and warrants, legality of citizenship, and assist in assessing demographics for fairness in redistricting.
This should not even be a question. Those politicians opposed to this are so desperate for power that to them the ends justify the means even if it means jeopardizing homeland security in the process.
This minor step will go a long way and cost very little to initiate, and should be a
Ralph Northam is an easy target. He is neither likeable nor honorable, and he certainly failed when it came time to take responsibility for his past actions.
But, before any of us add on more of our outrage I want to confess to being in Halloween pictures where I dressed like a fat lady.
Don’t forget to check your old photo albums for cowboys and Indian costumes adorned with hatchets to scalp enemy children.
The list goes on.
Hoboes? Crazy people? Elderly, gray haired ladies carrying canes and forgetting where/who they are?
Was my neighborhood the only one who was insensitive to others?
And I don’t excuse the costumes because we were young and not in college as was Northam. Someone over 20 dressed me for the occasion.
It may be time for us to consider zero tolerance. It doesn’t work; ask Al Franken. I understand the danger of ever stepping out from “group think” especially when it’s so popular with the Democratic Party.
I can easily go along with the cry for Northam’s resignation, but I do think the liberal Democrats, of which I am proudly one, risk being narrow minded and judgmental more than progressive.
It’s always easy to add a voice to the crowd shouting for an end to intolerance, social injustice and downright bigotry.
It is harder to realize we’ve all been cruel at times, and that’s what it was, and decide to do something more than being angered by what the other person did.
We all did it.
Shame on us.