Weekly Feature

2010-11-24 / Bee Heard

Bee Heard

(Editor’s note: Call The Bee at 632-0390 and record a one-minute comment on our Bee Heard line. It gives readers an opportunity to comment quickly and candidly on items of local or regional interest. Callers do not have to identify themselves and no callers’ names will be used. In the interest of fairness and good taste, The Bee will not publish derogatory or insulting comments. All comments are by our readers and are subject to editing.

.I’m inquiring about the illegal use of fireworks in July. Is there any way they can enforce the law and stop people from shooting off the fireworks and disturbing everyone?

.Recent cuts of $4 million to the Town of Amherst budget are commendable, but cuts more like $30 million are in order. The Town of Hamburg has a population of about 54,000 with only 377 full- and part-time employees and an annual budget of $39.56 million. By extrapolating data from Hamburg government, Amherst should have a budget around $85 million and only 700 fulland part-time employees, not 1,000. The board needs to get serious about what it costs to operate this town.

.In response to the comment last week about the winter parking ban, I totally agree. I was told by Amherst Police they will only tag people who block my driveway if I call them. What’s wrong with us? We need to enforce the laws on the books. The first step might be to enforce the overnight parking ban like other communities nearby.

.Twenty-five years ago I consulted a government forester regarding the poor condition of the ash trees on my southern tier acreage. At that time, he called the ash a “fringe” tree, fully capable of growing here, only a slight change in the environment can upset its health. The tree that was once so prolific in the blue hills of Cattaraugus County has been struggling for years beyond our control. Even if we could stop the emerald beetle, does it make any sense to fund treatment for a patient tree whose condition may already be terminal?

.Folks need to be aware that the four parking lots for the Amherst Libraries are managed by the town, not by the library. That said, thanks to all the folks who communicated with the powers-that-be about the deplorable condition of the Clearfield Library parking lot over the last year or so and major thanks to the Amherst Highway Department which just finished paving the lot. Now if we could keep the library open more hours, we could get some actual use out of the new lot.

.Conscientious drivers are navigating through Amherst on a mission that is becoming increasingly more dangerous. Car crashes are serious events and involve more than two vehicles. Beyond traffic delays and debris cleanup, they endanger first responders also. Above all, they consume police time preparing the crash report. Amherst Police need to begin assessing a hefty fee on drivers involved in the collision.

.The village board is wasting their time if they think the New York State DOT will do anything about the traffic on Main Street. The NYS Toll Authority and the NYSDOT are jointly responsible for the traffic conditions on Main Street. However, drivers are responsible for motor vehicle operation. Why isn’t the trustee contacting Assemblyman Jim Hayes to determine when the main line toll booth will be relocated?

.It’s not just Main Street that needs traffic calming. Those drivers who avoid Main Street use North Ellicott and Belmont like it’s a NASCAR off ramp. We pay taxes, too, but get short shrifts from the board and police. For the record, drivers are even passing moving trash collection trucks on both streets. They really move fast in this small area.

.I would like to publicly thank the Town of Amherst Highway Department for the excellent response in my request for retention pond issue in my backyard. Within two hours of my calling the highway department, crews were on the scene and alleviated the high water issue. What a great job the highway department does, not only with leaf pickup, but for the quick response. Thank you, Town of Amherst Highway Department; keep up the good work.

.I see they have a new traffic light on Maple Road; of course, it’s not synchronized with any of the other lights. They can do this all over the country, but not here. Why do we always end up with the short end of the stick?

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