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Everybody's Column

Independent third party monitors Mattel facilities

In his Dec. 18 column, "U.S. ignores abuse of Chinese workers," Douglas Turner appears to be guilty of the very "willful ignorance" that he is so quick to censure in others.

Contrary to his claims, Mattel actually does have an independent third-party monitor, which publicly reports on conditions at facilities that make Mattel products. In 2007, Mattel will recognize a decade of commitment to its Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP), the cornerstone of our ongoing commitment to responsible manufacturing practices around the world.

Mattel has worked hard to get other toy manufacturers to follow our lead and adopt transparent measures to ensure that factory employees are treated fairly and provided decent working conditions. The fact is that 10 years after we launched GMP, Mattel remains the only toymaker to publish the reports of an independent third-party monitor on manufacturing conditions.

Jules Andres

Mattel, Inc.


It's great to see New Era investing in community

It is good for the image of the City of Buffalo when a prominent company with national distribution chooses to locate its successful business and flagship store in the center of the city. We salute New Era Cap Co. for its investment in our community with its new Delaware Avenue location.

It is even better for the image of our city that New Era Cap has also installed a striking new billboard at the off ramp from the I-190 North and Elm Street. Finally there is a replacement for the embarrassingly outdated signage that heralded an exhibition at the Pierce Arrow Museum on Women and the Automobile stating that the named exhibit will end in 2002!

We applaud New Era for keeping its business in Western New York and wish the company well. And we are thankful that this billboard, so visible to visitors traveling from the United States and Canada, enhances our area. Welcome to downtown Buffalo!

Barbara E. Ochterski

And Fellow Members of the Buffalo Sunrise Rotary Club


Workers cleared storm debris from county roads many times

I would like to respond to comments made by Amherst Town Supervisor Satish Mohan in the Dec. 15 News. Speaking about the cost and collection of storm debris in Amherst, he stated that the only remaining areas that had not had a third round of pickups were those along about 40 miles of county and state roads. Mohan said he was trying to reach county officials to coordinate the work on those roads.

County crews out of the Harlem District, New York State Department of Transportation crews, utility crews, county parks crews and private contractors hired by Erie County were removing debris from county roads in Amherst starting on Oct. 12, and continuing until Dec. 15, for which I have documentation. We cleared those roads four to five times. My office never received a call from his office regarding this matter.

Town departments as well as residents have direct access to the phone number for my maintenance garage and office on Harlem Road. I take exception to Mohan's statements on behalf of all crews involved.

Richard J. Syracuse

Senior Highway Maintenance Engineer, Erie County Highway Dept.


It's sad we have to worry about thieves in churches

I want to issue a warning to all the trusting folks who go to church and politely greet unexpected visitors. On Dec. 31, I arrived at church to find a gentleman waiting who said he was early because he didn't know what time the service was. He helped me with my coat, offered to help me with a bulky box I was carrying and made small talk. I consciously made the decision not to be suspicious of him, because he was so well spoken and friendly. That was his MO. When my back was turned, he so swiftly swiped the wallet from my purse that someone sitting only a few feet away didn't see him do it.

We are taught to welcome people, and treat the stranger as though he might be Jesus himself. But that Christian tradition is exactly what makes churches vulnerable. I would suppose this wasn't the first church he has hit, nor will it be the last. Please be alert and careful, lock doors to offices or storage rooms where valuables are kept and, by all means, always keep your purse with you.

Marcia Brown



Extending Route 219 will benefit tourism

With two sides to every story, I felt passionate about responding to the letter writer who opposes extending Route 219. Much to his dismay, there is a major advantage in spending money on extending this well-traveled route.

Yes, our Canadian neighbors would benefit, as they take a convenient path to one of the largest money-making tourist attractions in New York State -- ski country. But these Canadians spend millions of dollars in Ellicottville, through shopping, dining and paying property taxes along with providing jobs for constructing and maintaining second homes. Thousands of New York skiers would also truly welcome this extension as they make their way frequently to Holiday Valley or Holimont.

Ellicottville has such a neighborly atmosphere that people have raised their families, made lifelong friends and traveled from all over the world to faithfully spend time in our state. As Gov. Eliot Spitzer starts his role, he would be happy to know that although people may be leaving upstate due to serious work issues, they still travel down Route 219 for money-making recreation.

Lisa DiPasquale-Cove



'In search of lost libido' was an immoral article

Just before Christmas, I sat down to do a quick read of The News only to confront the ugly, gross, immoral article, "In search of the lost libido." I was livid, to say the least. Is this gal, Lisa Earle McLeod, for real? It was a disgusting theme. She should write for R-rated magazines. I cannot believe The News allowed this to be printed. It is no wonder I do not care if I ever read your newspaper.

Gloria M. Tomaszewski



Build a visitors center at Peace Bridge plaza

I've read several articles in The News recently that underlined the need to pump more dollars into the Convention and Visitors Bureau. This money is needed to tell outsiders about the cultural and architectural assets we enjoy here.

I suggest that a visitors center be built at the Peace Bridge plaza on the Buffalo side. We are missing a direct chance to tell our area's story to folks coming into America over that bridge.

Vince Kane


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