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Everybody's Column

>Companies should hire most qualified people

Rod Watson's column, "Promises on hiring must be kept," was way over the top and out of line. Is there a pool of qualified candidates that these "repeat offender" companies have to choose from, or are they supposed to just hire people based on the color of their skin? Baer & Associates was mentioned, which has 11 employees, four of whom are women. That's 36 percent. I suppose that doesn't count. And where are these companies' hiring records? Have they interviewed minorities and found they were not qualified? Have they tried to hire minorities and the people selected did not work out?

I applaud Jessica Parker and congratulate her on her accomplishments. By no means do I make light of her success. But she should obtain employment because of her qualifications in a difficult field, not because someone was forced to hire her. "They owe Jessica Parker, and all other like her, better than that." Give me a break. No one is owed anything.

Melanie Sell
Lancaster

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>Cartoon was a slap at police agencies

I was appalled by Adam Zyglis' editorial cartoon in connection with the Bike Path Rapist. I can't believe The News has stooped so low as to make fun of the investigation of a serious matter in this community. Investigation methods and technology have changed and improved significantly since 1981. It was a negative slap at the police agencies in Western New York, which should be commended on the work they do.

Barbara J. Campagna
Williamsville

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>Jade's has great food and friendly service

Gusto's "Cheap Eats" critic recently stopped at our favorite local restaurant, Jade's. She joked about her own blunders as she came in the wrong door, and couldn't find Polish food on the menu because she didn't look at the last page. She came to this restaurant to try the Polish platter, but didn't have it.

Then she made it sound like the restaurant isn't doing a good business just because she happened to show up at an off time. Restaurants don't always have the same volume of business at all hours. This restaurant is packed on Fridays because of its best-ever fish fry. It is one of the few restaurants that serves the same quality fish fry five days a week.

Jade's is a family business that takes pride in everything it serves. These wonderful, hard-working people operate this business to support their families. They offer fantastic food, at good prices, with friendly service.

Although good things were said deep inside the article, it left a negative impression that hurt the owners', the workers' and the regular customers' feelings.

Martin Wacker and Family
Depew

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>Time Warner's response leaves a lot to be desired

I had to respond to comments by Gordon Harp, Buffalo Division president of Time Warner Cable, that appeared in the Jan. 17 News article, "Critics chide Time Warner on service." Harp insists Time Warner was unaware of any unresolved issues related to the storm and that the company had effectively responded to every known service issue. I beg to differ with his assessment of the situation.

My cable service was up and running, but my Internet service was out completely or sporadic at best for two weeks, maybe working an hour a day. I called Time Warner and asked if I would be getting a refund for this outage period. I was told there would be "bill adjustments," but I would not see it until my December bill. December came and there was still no adjustment to the Internet portion of my cable bill. When I called again, it did then make the adjustment.

This is hardly "effectively responding" to customer service complaints. Adelphia had its problems, for sure, but I am fairly certain most people will say it had a better customer service department.

Bob Simonds
Tonawanda

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>Why is Obama labeled as African-American?

I find it very interesting to see the media call Sen. Barack Obama the "African-American candidate" for the presidency. He has a white mother. Why do we always have to pull the race card? Obama is as white as he is black.

Melissa Peters
West Seneca

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>Banning trans fats is a sensible proposal

Gretchen Fisher of the New York State Restaurant Association said in the Jan. 17 News that customers should be allowed to decide for themselves where they eat. I don't see how banning trans fats limits my choice of where to eat -- it just removes one factor that would go into that decision.

The problem with Fisher's argument is that consumers need information to make intelligent choices. Trans fats are pervasive. Not only are they used for deep frying, they also are used in baked goods, and there is no way of knowing what is in that muffin unless the restaurant reports trans fat content on the menu. Is Fisher in favor of trans fat disclosure laws?

Let's call it like it is -- Fisher just doesn't want her constituents inconvenienced. With heart disease being the number one killer in the United States -- and Buffalo having one of the highest rates of heart disease in the nation -- I say bravo to those trying to do something about it. I've heard enough rhetoric from lobbyists.

Ted Lightfoot
Amherst

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>Let's be honest about what U.S. troops are fighting for

American troops are fighting for America? No, the Bush administration has them fighting for reconstruction companies like Halliburton, the Carlyle Group, Brown Kellogg & Root, and oil corporations like Chevron, Shell and Exxon.

American troops are fighting for democracy? No, the Bush administration has pushed the Iraqis to pass a constitution that created a puppet Islamic theocracy to be run from the newly built American embassy.

American troops are fighting for freedom? No, the Bush administration has used the Iraq War to deny rights and liberties through use of wire-tapping, illegal incarceration and torture.

American troops are fighting for peace? Not according to the recent National Intelligence Estimate report, which states that the American occupation, with its permanent military bases, is actually increasing world terrorism.

So why do Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins continue to fund this illegal war? Because for them to change their actions would be an admission that they were easily duped by an immoral simpleton in office. Besides, it's not their children who they send to die for such "worthy" causes.

Terry Todoroff
Cheektowaga

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