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Everybody's Column

Grieving survivors have no statute of limitations

I expect I am not the only Western New Yorker feeling disgusted after reading The News article on the Altemio Sanchez case. It is my opinion that the State Legislature needs to again revisit the code on the statute of limitations within the legal system for sexual assault and rape.

The use of DNA technology can acquit as well as convict. It is a sad statement that admissible evidence in this case cannot be used due to a statute of limitations. There are a number of states that have no limitation for the offense of rape, and other states that have eliminated the statute of limitations if a suspect can be identified by DNA.

I speak from life experience when I say that there is no statute of limitations on grieving your parent, your spouse or your child. There is no end to anxiety, depression or sadness for the survivors. Their lives have been changed forever.

The families of the women who are victims of the Bike Path Killer deserve true justice. The children of Joan Diver have a huge burden to bear for the rest of their lives.

I must add that the dishonesty and denial of Sanchez's uncle not only allowed the suspect to continue heinous crimes, but to hide away long enough to be protected by the statute of limitations.

Patricia Webdale



St. Stanislaus School gets special treatment

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo announced the closing of 14 schools because of declining enrollment. One school not on the closing list is St. Stanislaus of Buffalo. This school has an enrollment of 75 students, putting it 58th out of 61 on the list. This parish is under the auspices of Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz, a close friend of Bishop Edward Kmiec.

The schools that are closing have a higher enrollment and some of the highest academic standards. Why was this particular school protected? I would like to have someone from the diocese explain to the parents of the schools that are closing, why? Is there a hidden agenda?

Roger Napier



President's actions merit impeachment

Adolf Hitler's ascendancy showed how fascism seeps into the fabric of a society, gradually becoming acceptable, especially to those economically threatened. It breeds intolerance to free speech by relying on disinformation and propaganda because its very nature is totalitarian domination.

Now here is President Bush -- with 80 percent of the civilian population and 60 percent of active military against escalating the war in Iraq -- justifying his "surge" by saying, "The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people, and is unacceptable to me."

Well, there you have it. This commander in chief, after having lost his right to speak for the American public in the November elections, in true dictatorial fashion now wants to go against the people's will and do exactly what they told him not to.

Impeachment is the democratic way to end incipient fascism. The light of bipartisan inquiries and hearings with a trial in the Senate is the American way to combat totalitarianism.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called it "spiritual death" when a nation continually spends more on the military than on programs of social uplift.

Ray Peterson



All control boards usurp local power

A Jan. 12 letter stated that the Erie County control board is not accountable to the people and usurps the power of our duly elected officials. I agree. Sadly, the writer indicated support for other control boards, mentioning Buffalo. It is time for this community to acknowledge that usurpation is what all control boards do.

In 2002, Buffalo balanced its budget following the state's announced city aid package. Later, the state reduced that aid by about $30 million. Even though state revenues were down, there were other places where reductions could have been made with less dramatic outcomes.

Basically, the state precipitated the Buffalo fiscal crisis. New York State and Erie County have spent massively to build and maintain infrastructure in the towns, including roads, bridges, water and sewer lines. The state also aids costly town school district expansions.

These spending policies facilitated our extreme economic segregation. To help offset this segregation, state and county governments are ethically obligated to direct more money toward cities. Control boards are not the answer. Usurpation is usurpation, wherever it is found.

Lynda Stephens



We must keep Clinton out of the Oval Office

Our elusive, chameleon-like Sen. Hillary Clinton recently traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan to engage in secret meetings with the leaders of those countries. She was searching for "accurate information on the true state of affairs" militarily and politically.

Clinton stated that she doubts the Iraqi government will keep its promise to secure Baghdad. She should be an expert regarding unkept promises. Remember her promise to bring 200,000 jobs to upstate New York? I asked her personally about that promise and was told "we are working on that." Her idea of "working on it" apparently is thinly veiled campaigning for the Oval Office.

Military spokesmen said they cannot comment on the meetings because they are not authorized to do so. Just imagine, if you can, what she would be doing in secret if we are unfortunate enough to find her once again in the Oval Office with her equally undesirable power-mate nicknamed "Slick Willy." Let's keep them both out of the Oval Office in 2008.

Thelma Jenkins



Clinton hasn't done anything for region

Hillary Clinton has finally made it official with her "I'm in!" message on her Web site. However, curious to me is the fact that behind her in this video are lush green trees and bushes. There haven't been green leaves on the trees since late September 2006, while she was still stating she "hadn't made a decision on whether to run for the presidency."

She has done nothing positive for this area and she had no intention of fulfilling her term of senator, yet many people still voted for her. Clinton goes on to state that it is time for a change. What change does she want? The Democrats have assumed power at a time when oil prices are plummeting and the economy is strong. If the reference to change is her view of Iraq and the war on terror, she voted for it.

Clinton is still looking less than honest to me. Remember, a vote to put her in the White House will put Bill back there, too. I will vote for a candidate with more honesty, integrity and dependability than Clinton.

Melanie Mann


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