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Everybody's Column

>Comic strips offer commentary on life

I feel I must comment on the letter from the doctor who wants The News to drop the "Pickles" comic strip. I would be willing to bet that I have been reading comic strips for more years than the good doctor, and I can state with certainty that most are neither comic nor for children. Rather, they are an artist's commentary on life and what is going on in the world around us.

For example, there is one in which a man has suffered a stroke and how he and his family are coping. There is one in which a woman has cancer and is bald due to chemotherapy. Another is about a cat with a nasty disposition who insults his owner and steals from members of his household. Several derive their "humor" from ridiculing or hurting other members in the strip. Aren't those all knee-slapping hilarious?

Doc, do what I do -- skip over the ones you don't like and don't try to deprive others of their right to read them. If The News dropped every strip someone complained about, there would be none at all.

Albert Dinero
East Amherst


>Bishop Timon-St. Jude is rising to the challenge

As was reported in The News, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has announced that it will gradually eliminate its annual subsidy to the six former diocesan high schools by 2010. While this news may seem alarming, it is a reality that we have been aware of and planning for for several years.

Bishop Timon-St. Jude has increased its emphasis on recruitment, admissions and fund development. Our Office of Advancement has been given the responsibility to facilitate a process that will increase enrollment and secure greater financial stability.

In a short time, quite simply, we have seen immediate results. At this point, it appears that our enrollment for the incoming freshman class will increase. Through the Strong In Faith Fund and our Kaleidoscope scholarship dinner, our alumni and benefactors have responded generously and have made a substantial investment in the quality Catholic education that we provide.

I am confident that our school and community will rise to this challenge and secure a strong future. As partners, we will advance the Timon tradition of providing a quality Catholic education in the Franciscan tradition.

Thomas J. Sullivan
Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School


>'Surge' is too small to make a difference

Like many of us, I wonder about the "surge." Is 20,000 enough to police a city of 5 million people? New York City has 35,000 officers. Chicago and Philadelphia have a ratio of one officer to 225 citizens. In Los Angeles, it's one to 425. In Baghdad, to have one soldier to 225 Iraqis, we need about 20,000 troops. But isn't this harder than policing an American city? The surge is too small.

Curtis Hoerbelt


>Catholic schools are vital to community

This year, with the big Catholic Charities campaign on its way, I have decided not to donate. My donation will go directly to Trinity Catholic Academy, my daughter's school. This is not war, this is survival; an effort to keep a neighborhood school open. By giving directly to the school, I know 100 percent of my money will be going to help promote our school, keep the best teachers and invest in our children's future. Investing in our children through the city schools, both public and private, will help keep people in the city. Providing the best education possible to our children is the key to a thriving community and city.

Deborah Corbett


>Bush and Rice are trying to deflect blame for war

Since anti-war citizens like myself, along with the left-wing media, are responsible for somehow fueling the Iraqi insurgency by wanting to get out of this undeniable quagmire, I wonder how pro-war people feel about the recent comments made by both President Bush and Condoleezza Rice.

The president and secretary of state, as reported in the Jan. 18 News, have continued to criticize Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his government for not doing more to quell the uncontrollable violence that dominates Iraq. According to al-Maliki, this criticism has done nothing but help the "terrorists."

Hmmm, where have I heard that one before? Bush and Rice are trying to deflect the blame for this war, which continues to get worse by the minute. Perhaps this "surge" in troops will be the fix we all so desire; if not, get ready to hear more criticism of al-Maliki. And when you're sick and tired of hearing about that, it will be back to stem cell research and gay marriage, the real issues we should be concerned about.

Anthony Pasceri


>Don't label as 'racist' all who oppose development

My family and I have lived in Wheatfield for almost 10 years. Do I give to good causes? Of course. I sponsor four AIDS orphans in Swaziland through the Young Heroes Foundation. My husband works for an inner-city housing agency. We both were youth counselors at Compass House for many years. I've never thought of us as being bad people, but the way the media have taken this whole Shawnee Landings project and run with it, it makes me think hard about that.

Am I a racist because I'm afraid to lose 17 acres of surrounding forest to development? I'm a member of Greenpeace, too. Am I a bigot because I don't like the thought of developing Wheatfield into another Amherst, which is where we moved from? We lived here before all the housing developments were built. I wasn't crazy about them, either.

My house cost $85,000. We're not rich. Neither are my immediate neighbors. We're just people who don't want to see more wildlife hurt by overdevelopment. Would I care this much if $300,000 houses were being built on the same land? You bet. Absolutely. Maybe the people who don't actually live here should stop with all the "racism" talk. They don't know me. Quite frankly, after all this, I don't want to know them, either.

Lisa Walter


>Clinton should resign as New York senator

Now that Hillary Clinton has announced her intention of running for president, the first thing she should do is resign as New York senator. There is no way she can effectively serve the state while catching red-eyes coast to coast.

In fact, all public officials running for an office other than the one they were elected to should resign. They were elected to do a job, and the public is entitled to someone who will execute that job on a full-time basis.

David Schaff

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