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Everybody's Column

Cartoon was insulting to Buffalo police officers

Upon reading the editorial page of the Jan. 18 Buffalo News, I was shocked and dismayed by the editorial cartoon, which purports to pertain to the Bike Path Rapist investigation.

First and foremost, on its face, the cartoon is offensive to the dedicated and hard-working members of the Buffalo Police Department, all law enforcement officials who have worked tirelessly on this case, the rape victim portrayed in the cartoon and all survivors of sexual predators. The cartoon is demeaning to all victims in this case and their families. Moreover, it misrepresents the investigation. The News has wrongfully prejudiced the reputation of the Buffalo Police Department.

H. McCarthy Gipson

Buffalo Police Commissioner


President's actions are breeding more terrorists

Here we go again. Bold pictures of U.S. planes taking off from a carrier to attack "terrorist" targets in Somalia cheered on by President Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and The News. Precision strikes based on excellent intelligence.

Then the dust clears. The U.S. intelligence services, which haven't got it right since before 9/1 1, do it again. The U.S. Embassy admits that we apparently didn't kill any terrorist leaders. Instead, people on the ground estimate the civilian dead in the dozens; men, women and children fleeing a civil war. Once again, images of U.S.-sponsored slaughter are spread throughout the world. More young people are recruited to avenge dead relatives or fight American power.

We lumber on with a president who cannot change a disastrous course, military brass who have been purged of all independent thinkers and a general leadership that is driven by vanity or venality. I weep and pray for my country.

Stephen Dyson



Wheatfield residents have nothing to fear

We live in a NIMBY culture. When it comes to good deeds, if any project decreases the value of our assets, we say, "not in my back yard." I guess the concept of charity for all occurs only on Dec. 25.

I live in the Town of Wheatfield and I also lived in Buffalo on Woodlawn Avenue when block-busters used racism to break the neighborhood down so they could make a profit. The white homeowners fell for their schemes. The black homeowners I knew, when I lived with my folks, were good stewards of their property. They praised my dad for not leaving when others panicked.

Values did not come down because of responsible blacks moving into the neighborhood. Values came down because whites sold en masse just like the real estate dealers knew they would. I hope the property owners in Wheatfield are clearheaded enough to take this economic concept to heart.

Richard Czarnecki



Most qualified person should fill critical post

The News editorial about Gov. Eliot Spitzer's decision to locate the Empire State Development Corp. co-chair in Buffalo is correct in noting that this person must be "someone who gets things done," but wrong in insisting that he must be from this area. What is essential is that this person is the most qualified, and that he or she surround himself with a team of experts who understand the economic plight of upstate New York.

Naturally, this person will be in regular contact with the governor, and should have the authority to speak for the governor. I applauded Spitzer's decision to establish an upstate headquarters with a co-chair with equal authority as his downstate counterpart as one of the most significant pledges any governor could make to this region.

The fact that he is taking his time to select this person is a sign that he is truly attempting to find the best person in the country to fill this critical post. Once this person is hired, the real test will be whether he will be given the necessary authority and tools to truly make a difference. I am confident that he will be.

Sam Hoyt

Assemblyman, Buffalo


Fahey would be ideal to lead development

The News editorial urging the governor to "find a top-notch director" of the Empire State Development Corp. could not have been better written for a man whose name immediately came to mind.

Eugene Fahey feels "upstate's pain . . . envisions projects . . . [can] get them done." In brief, he "has deep upstate empathy as well as skill." He was the best councilman of those with whom he served, probably the best who ever served. He has been a trial lawyer, an outstanding trial judge in both the city and Supreme Court and now sits on an appellate court.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer should try, at least, to persuade Fahey to leave a position he undoubtedly loves and respects to meet the challenge a new director will face. Fahey knows government and law. He lives and breathes "understanding, local commitment and leadership skills necessary to build a robust recovery."

Thomas Santa Lucia



It's so easy for Ivins to second-guess Bush

I wish Molly Ivins would run for president of the United States so that when elected, she can appoint Barbra Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell to her cabinet. I am sure that the four of them, with their many years as Monday morning quarterbacks, should be able to solve the Iraq War problem in their first staff meeting.

Then she can come to Buffalo and use her second meeting to solve the Erie County budget crisis. The easiest task in the world is solving major problems from behind a writer's desk.

Daniel S. Kopec

Orchard Park


Terrorism Insurance Act can't be allowed to expire

The Jan. 9 News story, "Group says insurers are 'gouging' customers," mentioned how one group in Washington thinks that insurance industry profits should result in Congress abolishing one of the most critical government programs that secures our nation's economy from terrorist threats.

Their flawed logic could result in disastrous implications for businesses that depend on the availability of affordable terrorism insurance. Nearly all economic experts concur that absent a federal government backstop, there would be little to no terrorism insurance in the market.

If that were to occur, the economy would atrophy as construction of buildings halts, jobs are put on hold and businesses relocate. Studies have estimated that allowing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act to expire would lower GDP by more than $50 billion and mean more than 300,000 fewer jobs. Not to mention the harrowing impact another catastrophic terrorist attack would wreak on an economy lacking insurance coverage.

Janice M. Abraham

President and CEO, United Educators

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