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Everybody's Column

Teens shouldn't ignore rules for junior license

Recently, Western New York has been saddened by two tragic accidents that would not have happened if the teenage drivers involved had just obeyed the law.

Five young ladies who had just graduated from high school were killed when their vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer at 10 p.m. The driver had a junior license, which prohibited her from driving after 9 p.m. unless she was accompanied by a parent or guardian. The law also states that the holder of a junior license cannot have more than two passengers under 21 years of age unless they are members of the driver's immediate family.

Buffalo Police Officer Carl Andolina was seriously injured in a collision when a vehicle driven by a junior license holder failed to yield the right of way to Andolina's motorcycle. This accident occurred at 12:30 a.m.

In light of these tragedies, it would be a good idea for parents to talk to their children and stress that laws are made to be obeyed, and that if they are not home by 9 p.m., their junior license will be taken away. Parents to whom a vehicle is registered should also consider the fact that there may be some legal issues with allowing the use of that vehicle.

Our prayers are with the families and victims of these accidents, and it is hoped that something has been learned from these horrific events.

Richard C. McIntyre



Town of Evans officials must control spending

Both the towns of Evans and Brant have water supply and quality problems. Evans developed a $12.5 million plan, then held a public meeting to explain why it was good for the town. Officials claim the proposed project will not result in higher taxes or water rates. Believable? They never made it clear if residents would even get to vote on the biggest spending project in the town's history.

In Brant, the town sent out a letter and a survey asking residents about their water supply problems and if they thought they could afford to pay for improvements. Some Evans residents will be getting replacement water lines while others will still be using wells, many with high sulfur content.

If you picked up a $100,000 house in Evans and moved it to Brant, the homeowner would save $620 in town taxes. The inability of Evans officials to control spending contributes heavily to this inequity. Farnham received a $688,555 grant and saved $185,000 via interest-free state financing for its water tower project while Evans proposes using low-interest loans. Evans residents' diminished voice in town government has resulted in some of the highest town taxes in Erie County.

Frankie Valli sang "Silence Is Golden." In Evans, silence is costly.

Ed Schneider



SPCA should accept healthy feral cats

The advocates of the Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Release program to reduce the overwhelming feral cat problem need to understand that not everyone considers this program to be the only humane long-term solution to solving the problem. Advocates congratulate themselves for neutering feral cats, thereby saving unborn kittens from lives of misery. But they return the neutered cats to the same lives of misery on the streets. Many cats die slow, painful deaths from injury, disease, abuse and exposure.

Many people do not want to tolerate sterilized feral cats roaming their neighborhoods. They continue to be a nuisance, and pose sanitation and health problems. What about the thousands of cats living in vacant homes and buildings for whom there are no caretakers?

Advocating solely TNVR to reduce the feral cat overpopulation is misguided. The SPCA's new policy of not accepting healthy feral cats will only exacerbate the situation and needs to be re-evaluated. Only when humane societies become a part of a comprehensive cat control program will the numbers decrease.

Connie Eaton

Prevent-A-Litter Inc.



Hydrogen-fueled cars aren't energy efficient

A June 30 letter stating that we should consider using hydrogen fuel as an alternative to ethanol is misleading. My opinion on hydrogen fuel car is based on the book "Hell and High Water" by Joseph Romm, an MIT-trained physicist who managed energy-efficiency programs in the U.S. Department of Energy during President Clinton's administration.

According to Romm's analysis, the math for hydrogen cars simply doesn't work out. There are two ways to create hydrogen, extract it directly from fossil fuels or split water molecules using electricity. For cars, the latter is the betterapproach.

A vehicle needs about one megawatt-hour of electricity to produce enough hydrogen fuel to travel about 1,000 miles. In order to produce the electricity needed, it will burn coal and as a result, will produce about 2,100 pounds of carbon dioxide. Driving the most efficient car (40 mpg) for 1,000 miles will produce an additional 485 pounds of carbon dioxide.

A vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells would indirectly create four times the carbon dioxide emissions of today's most efficient gasoline cars. We need to invest in cleaner energy technologies and energy-efficient programs such as hybrid cars, wind and solar plants.

Tim Widjaja



Where can people buy clothes made in U.S.?

On the Fourth of July, I dressed in red, white and blue to honor the birth of my country. My hat was white with red, silver and blue stars on the front and said "USA" on the back. My shirt had a red, white and blue butterfly on it, and pinned to it was a red, white and blue pin proclaiming, "All American Grandma." My shoes were red.

On the inside of the hat and shoes, and on the back of the pin were the words, "Made in China." The shirt was made in Honduras. I would love to buy "Made in USA" products if someone would tell me where I can do that.

Marilyn Ruggles



We need moderates to lead our country

The political system in America is broken. Both the Democratic and Republican parties are fine by themselves. Throw in the liberals and conservatives and the system goes awry. Liberals want to give away everything and conservatives will share nothing. Perhaps at this point in our history a new party is needed, comprised of moderates. The moderates would decide each issue based on its merits rather than an extreme ideology. Common sense would replace extremism and return America to its once great stature.

Norman Niedzielski

West Seneca

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