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Everybody's Column

>Diocese of Buffalo deserves credit for being proactive

I read with interest the July 22 article, "Diocese hardly touched by sex suits."

While U.S. Catholics reel from the fallout of the priest sex abuse scandal, I think it important to point out a proactive diocese that showed leadership by informing and educating clergy and laity on this issue; namely, the Diocese of Buffalo.

In 1989, while stationed at Niagara University, I attended an all-day workshop mandated by this diocese for clergy and laity working with youth. Presenters included a priest, social worker and psychologist who focused on the prevention of child abuse and intervention. They distributed and discussed policies on standards of behavior and boundary issues to be observed.

This is significant as the Buffalo diocese enacted this program three years prior to the 1992 national standards set by the Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Since then, I have worked in three other dioceses (two in New York State). None of these had any such program in my years there, nor faint acknowledgment of this issue in their diocesan media. While one can debate the use (or misuse) of "statute of limitations" to establish or debunk the veracity of past sex abuse claims, I think it is important to acknowledge when leaders of a Catholic diocese take this matter seriously and try to protect their most vulnerable members.

Finally, I must ask this: Could not the "little amount" (your quote) of funds paid by the Buffalo diocese to settle sex abuse cases also be due in some measure to the integrity of generations of Buffalo area diocesan priests who have given their lives selflessly in the service of God's people? I think so.

Rev. John T. Maher



>Hockey controversy was not Newsworthy

Is it front page news when a 10-year-old misbehaves in a public place and an adult tries to discipline him? With the situation in the world I would think there would be something more newsworthy to fill that space.

That story should have been buried in the middle of the Amherst Bee.

Jerry Zajac



>Eagle House opinion isn't shared by all

I am writing regarding the recent review in Gusto by Janice Okun. Admittedly, I am biased. My family has owned and operated The Eagle House Restaurant for more than 26 years. I am the fifth generation in my family to be involved in the hospitality industry in Western New York, beginning with my great grandparents on Niagara Street to my grandparents at The Little White House in Williamsville and LaMarque on Delaware Avenue.

When I opened the paper, I was in disbelief and truly saddened beyond words. However, I have quickly recovered from my sadness, due to the most wonderful customer base a business could ever ask for.

Our customers have repeatedly paid us the greatest compliments possible with their sincere outrage at Okun's article and continued patronage. Our telephone has been ringing nonstop, not just for reservations, but again to compliment and encourage us to keep up what we're doing so well here at The Eagle House. We have one of the hardest working and talented chefs and staff in our kitchen who pride themselves on every plate.

We are all different. It is, in fact, "what makes the world go around." One person's taste buds do not reflect the feelings and opinions of an entire population. A panel of judges for different backgrounds and qualifications, all with different likes and dislikes and possibly entirely different experiences would round out the dining reviews in your newspaper to a higher level of fairness.

Coincidently, Okun's article has stirred a new sense of pride in our entire staff, because we know at The Eagle House we are anything but "mediocre." The phone is ringing again, I have to run and answer it with pride.

Tricia Hanny Browne

General Manager

The Eagle Restaurant



>Windmills can't replace a beautiful city view

I live on the lake shore and the view of Buffalo was phenomenal. That is, until the wind turbines were installed.

Who is gaining any benefit from this? My understanding is that 4,000 to 5,000 homes are gaining advantages from the $40 million dollar initial investment. I'm "green" minded, but these figures just don't make any sense.

The mayor of Lackawanna says that these windmills are going to revitalize the town, yet there is no plan for doing this. I miss the view of the city.

Bill Rose



>Exxon Mobil is taking the irresponsible route

Exxon Mobil is reporting yet another quarter of staggering profits near $10 billion. While we pay the high gas prices that pump up Exxon's profits, we also are paying for Exxon's campaign to block action on global warming.

Exxon Mobil is the only oil giant directly funding global warming denier groups. The company's own public records show that through 2006 Exxon Mobil has spent up to $21 million bankrolling global warming denier groups like the Heartland Institute, which describes global warming as nothing more than "environmental alarmism." Although Exxon Mobil says it is taking action on global warming, the company's latest corporate citizenship report shows that its own global warming pollution levels actually increased by more than 5 percent last year.

Other oil giants are taking global warming seriously while continuing to make healthy profits. They invest their profits in renewable energy and set limits on their own pollution, or support a federal bill that would do so. But Exxon Mobil does none of these things.

Studies used by Congress show that if we increase our use of homegrown renewable energy resources like wind, solar, geothermal and biomass, consumer energy prices would drop and new high-paying jobs would be created. Exxon Mobil is the only oil giant still refusing to invest in renewable energy.

Paul Hofheins



>Paying to recycle sounds better on paper

It is with mixed feelings that I read the July 26 News story, "Paying residents to recycle?"

I was thrilled to think I could be rewarded for something that I already do on a regular basis. At the same time, I am worried that I will have to look at a recycling tote next to the big blue tote that people do not put behind their houses now. When the new 10 feet from the front of the property rule takes place, it will only look like a bigger mess.

Nancy J. Schwendler


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