Volunteers are cuddling preemies at Sisters, too
I was thrilled to see the Hartford Courant article "Cuddle Up -- Volunteers provide the tender human touch babies need to be healthy" in the health section of the Dec. 26 Buffalo News. Are people aware that a similar program exists right here in our community? The Special Care Nursery, the NICU at Sisters Hospital, has been enjoying this for nearly a year now. As a Level III NICU, we believe and practice the standards inherent in developmental care philosophy.
There were hurdles to overcome -- liability, infection control but especially "traffic control" since so many people are eager to participate and provide that loving, healing touch that research has proven is so necessary to improve feeding, which increases weight gain, reduces crying and enhances trusting bonds for our preemies.
Our program, like most others, is not designed to replace parental interaction but to enhance it by helping to fill the gaps when parents are unavailable. It's a win-win arrangement for both our infants and our volunteers.
Kathleen M. Rog
Coordinator of Family Services Sisters of Charity Hospital
Most Americans aren't sacrificing very much
As we welcome 2007 into our lives, I am grateful to all who serve in our armed services -- and their families and loved ones. I find it offensive reading that more U.S. troops have died in Iraq than in the 9/1 1 attacks. Just saying this seems like an attempt to legitimize a link between the two.
Well, I've seen fellow Americans over the holidays and we're not sacrificing very much. We all feel it's terrible that Americans are dying in Iraq, but I've concluded that as our politicians send more people there to die, we don't really care enough. If 1,000 soldiers died there today, after the shock we would still not demand that those remaining be brought home. We at home are not sacrificing, and really don't care enough.
Time Warner takeover has been disastrous
Ever since Time Warner took over Adelphia Cable, many problems have ensued. First it removed the NFL Channel, then with fewer channels it raised the prices. Now we learn two more channels may be removed, one being Fox, which is very popular in Western New York.
Time Warner also promised to credit bills because of outages during the Oct. 12 storm. Our local government should look into getting another cable company in the area to compete with Time Warner and stop its monopoly tactics.
Convert hospital space into doctor's offices
The following suggestion might eliminate closure of hospitals if feasible: remodel lower floors of hospitals to provide private doctor's offices to be rented, thereby providing steady income for the hospital while utilizing excess rooms.
Since most doctors visit their hospitalized patients each morning and then travel to their private offices, the extra time and travel would be eliminated. As an additional benefit, the doctor would be available if needed.
Anthony F. Digangi
News should drop 'Pickles' comic strip
I protest the "Pickles" comic strip published on Dec. 24. It was sadistic, the object of the sadism was a little kid and it came out on Christmas Eve. How degraded can you get? The cartoonist, Brian Crane, must be sick to produce such trash. He is beneath contempt for doing so. This strip should never again appear in The Buffalo News.
Richard J. Lanham, M.D.
Making Buffalo safer needs to be top priority
It seems that the politicians in Buffalo have made their main concern the waterfront. They are in denial. The problem lies within the very core of Buffalo. Safety in the downtown area is horrible at best.
Recently my son moved back to Buffalo to finish his college degree after spending the past few years in Melbourne, Australia. To help finance his education, he took a position in an upscale restaurant downtown. Since September, he has been mugged and assaulted. He was taken to ECMC and had a metal plate put into his face. Then his car window was broken and all of his books were stolen. Another day he returned to his apartment to find an incoherent homeless woman.
Just last week, two thugs charged after his car. He had no choice but to put the car in reverse, causing an accident with another vehicle. Believe it or not, he just caught someone in the act of pickpocketing his wallet. He is now on a first-name basis with the Buffalo Police Department.
It is said that it's a "jungle" downtown. My son's experiences are proof of that. He has given up on the idea of finishing school and is returning to Australia. When are those in power going to get their heads out of the sand and see what's going on in this city?
Mary Ann Scamurra
Forget about Bass Pro, try to attract IKEA
Hopefully, the Buffalo area will allow the idea of a Bass Pro store to die a natural death. For a real destination experience, Buffalo should try to lure an IKEA store. The nearest one is in Burlington, Canada, and coupled with the hassle of bridge crossings, most in the area have probably never visited this store.
The company offers great furniture design with affordable prices, and you can even dine there for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Kids are kept busy in the free, supervised play area while parents shop, fully equipped with store-provided items like pencils, papers, tape measures and catalogs. Far from being attractive to only a few select shoppers, as is the case with Bass Pro, IKEA would be a real destination and, more importantly, would provide our area with a wonderful and much-needed shopping alternative.
Why publicize Ford's disapproval of war?
I was very disappointed that the message regarding the Iraq War by President Gerald Ford was released before his funeral. Since he did not agree with President Bush's present course of action, I am sure this made it somewhat awkward for both families. I am sure Ford was too much of a gentleman to think it would be released so soon. The media must use more decorum if such a situation arises again. If it was kept secret for years, a few more days would not have mattered.
Rose Mary Warren