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Everybody's Column

Media's attack on ECMC is unwarranted and biased

It seems every day there is a new attack on Erie County Medical Center by the media. Now it is the excessive severance packages given to exiting employees holding high positions. Does anyone actually think that CEO Michael Young or anyone else on the board would just give away money in an illegal manner with all the press that we have been getting in the past year? As for the supplement ECMC gets from the county, that was all part of the agreement for becoming a public benefit corporation. If Erie County holds up its end of the bargain, as it was ordered to do, ECMC will be self-sufficient in a few years.

Check the facts with other comparable hospitals and their severance packages. I am an employee of ECMC and I am a taxpayer too. My hospital of choice is ECMC because we are the number one trauma center in the area. People from surrounding states come here because we are the best! Young is bringing about change for ECMC, for this community and for the patients and employees. I am glad to see it and to be a part of it.

My hope is that the media stop trying to dig up dirt on this hospital and start focusing on the good things it does for the people of Buffalo and surrounding areas.

Terry Scheda



Bait-and-shoot program will destroy park's gift

The bait-and-shoot program has been resumed in Stiglmeier Park. This insanity has to be stopped. If it wasn't for the Rails to Trails project and for more development in the park, there would be no need for the bait and shoot. Throughout the years, many people have spoken out against overdeveloping the park, wanting it to stay natural for the wildlife. The deer are what make Stiglmeier Park unique.

Anita Depczynski



Clinton is too angry to serve as president

I am writing in regard to the Feb. 11 editorial about Sen. Hillary Clinton. First, Clinton is too angry -- among other things -- to become president. Sure, Rush Limbaugh gets angry, but he's not running for president. As for the other women leaders The News mentioned, were they angry women? I don't think so. Why compare them to Clinton? I don't get your point. Should we elect her just because she is a woman? Of course not.

Secondly, does having one's aide indicted, as Karl Rove did, necessarily make him a bad man? I don't think so.

And lastly, the editorial quoted Clinton talking about criticizing the war in Iraq and asking hard questions. She asked: "Since when has it been part of American patriotism to keep our mouths shut?"

I served in World War II in the Marine Corps -- 15 months in the Pacific -- and I distinctly remember one of the security warnings: "Loose lips can sink ships." Don't try to tell me that she and others like her are not hurting our war effort and troop morale and safety. They are!

Ed Shanahan



Concern for seniors should spur Congress

I am concerned for seniors, who worry about being stopped from getting prescriptions filled in Canada. They worry about handing over their homes to their children a full five years before going into a nursing home. They are concerned that soon some will be cut from the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program. We need more senators in Congress, like New York's Hillary Rodham Clinton, fighting for seniors.

My children struggle to pay for schooling. Seniors struggle to pay for prescriptions. Something is very wrong with the system.

Diane Mogavero



Wal-Mart fills a void for shoppers, workers

With all the bad press on Wal-Mart lately, I felt something good should be said. Wal-Mart is the closest store for us to get clothes, supplies, etc. I don't normally do my food shopping there, but I go there for other things. I've always been treated nicely.

I know many people who work for Wal-Mart. It offers a good wage and the option to work full time or part time. It gives employees a discount and a good atmosphere to work in. That's better than most places around here.

As for the Feb. 15 News article about some Wal-Mart stores not carrying the morning-after pill -- oh well, people should practice safer methods so they don't get pregnant. Lawyer Sam Perkins stated that he would go after all the Wal-Marts that don't carry the pill. He should give it a break and do something more worthwhile with his degree.

Jeanette Allen



City Hall help is vital to demolish buildings

There are two burnt-out houses here in our block club area on the West Side of Buffalo. One burned in July 2005 and the other in October 2005. We have asked, begged and appealed to everyone in local government to help us get these buildings demolished. However, City Hall is very busy with really important stuff like the waterfront, the casino and Bass Pro. For tiny specifics like burnt-out houses in the neighborhoods, well, there's no money for demolition.

So where should we turn? City Hall is enthusiastic about a "Buffalo Renaissance" and attracting new business to the city. Why would leaders suppose that will happen? City employees won't even live here if they can get out of it. The schools are a shambles and drug dealing is a blooming cottage industry. And as to our appeals for help? Sorry -- wrong number!

Susan M. Guastaferro

Vice President, Bradley-Dart-Danforth

Area Block Club, Buffalo


Youth curfew laws may not impact crime

Youth curfew laws are wrong. Laws are supposed to be designed to remove criminals from the street, not innocent teens guilty of the "crime" of being under 17 and outside. Many studies have shown that the enactment of these curfews has absolutely no affect in lowering the crime rate. This appears to be the new trend, a pre-emptive strike against crime by removing innocent individuals from the street. It is the parents' responsibility to set rules for their children, not the government with police enforcement. According to the FBI, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the time period with the highest rate of youth crime. Perhaps the Buffalo Police Department should shift some patrols into a noon to 8 p.m. time slot rather than a 9 to 5 slot. Youth curfew laws should be struck down as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. There are no valid studies supporting a compelling state interest that these laws reduce crime.

Michael Rebmann



Amherst employees should follow leader

I am a resident of Williamsville and in 2005 my county and school taxes increased 14 percent. This year my county taxes increased 17.5 percent. We finally elected a town supervisor who is actually trying to reduce our taxes by eliminating unnecessary expenses, and now some town employees are starting a movement to impeach or recall him. Their biggest complaint, apparently, was that they had to wait until pay day to get paid. If any employee is spending taxpayer dollars to support this movement, they should be fired. Without pay.

Eric F. Torsell


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