Gates Cir­cle restora­tion is wait­ing to get started

The Buffalo News - - OPINION - Lynn Sullivan

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.

Or­chard Park

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