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Death and demolition

Today's lead editorial, "An outrage in Wichita," on the murder of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George R. Tiller, remarks on the parallels between the suffering by that community and this one years earlier following the slaying of Amherst Dr. Bernard Slepian.

Authorities quickly made an arrest in the case of Tiller's shooter, whereas it took three years before police in France arrested James C. Kopp, later convicted of state and federal charges.

Unfortunately, such heinous incidents offer vocal figures like Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, a bully pulpit. Terry haltingly deplored Tiller's murder, but only after calling the doctor "one of the most evil people on the planet” and saying that “he reaped what he sowed.”  Terry's vile words are in no way representative of the pro life movement but are newsworthy because of the notoriety of his organization.

The secondary editorial, "Demolition delayed," poses a logical question to an illogical action being sought by Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo and the Federal Highway Administration, in requesting the Peace Bridge Authority to postpone demolishing several uninhabitable houses. As the editorial states, "In terms of a building a new bridge and plaza, it doens't make much difference if the houses come down now or later."

With one exception, these structures are not historic houses and, ironically, many are slated for demolition. Some neighbors and Niagara Council Member David Rivera, want the authority to fix violations at the houses, three of which are eligible for but not currently on, the National Register of Historic Places. The exception is the Wilkeson House -- we're already taking heat, and rightly so, for ignoring the link of that structure to one of the early leaders of Buffalo (his grandson once lived there), however much time and changes have degraded the building itself.  

Should vermin-infested houses, already set for demolition, be gussied up? Moreover, should the demolition of any of these structures be postponed. If so, to what end?

Dawn Marie Bracely/Editorial Writer

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