Sunday, January 6, 2008

Local Opinion

Letters to the editor
Link (JG)

Let poor people throw money away
"The letter “Add riverboat casino to Harrison Square” (Dec. 30) was really quite realistic.

The churches probably would be against the gambling, but look at it this way: The poor (financially disadvantaged) are going to throw away their money anyway on cigarettes, booze, lottery tickets and/or drugs. Slot machines would just give them another alternative.

These folks can spend one-third for cigarettes, one-third for liquor and one-third for slot machines.

A casino would provide many service jobs that we can also use. The college grads usually move away.

Why should Steuben County have all the breaks? They got the lakes – that’s enough.

You know the Bible says, “The poor will always be with us.” I wouldn’t question the Lord."

Walkway proposal repeating history
"I was the technical director of ARCH Inc. from 1977-91 and a past board member of the Embassy Theatre Foundation.

Back in the 1980s when Grand Wayne Center was being built, the city wanted to use the Embassy Theatre auditorium as its principal space for plenary sessions of conferences and conventions. The city proposed doing so by sticking a bridge into the Jefferson Boulevard façade of the theater. This was headed off by instead building a terminus for the bridge on the east side of the theater.

So now history is repeating itself with a scheme to stick a bridge into the west façade at the behest of the new hotel in Harrison Square.

Don’t misunderstand. I think that Harrison Square will in the long run be of benefit to the downtown, which could use a shot in the arm in the way of retail and housing.

How many people remember the Midtown Crossing project touted as the solution to the same problems in the late 1980s? Or the construction of the Travelodge Hotel directly behind the Embassy on Harrison Street in the early 1960s?

It is hard not to conclude that government, with its lack of institutional memory or consistency, shouldn’t just get out of the way and let the market work."