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Everybody's Column

Reduce poverty by forcing fathers to support children

The recent News series on poverty in Buffalo is correct in stating that the problem is widespread and leads to crime, illegal drug use, lack of education and unemployment; all of which increase such undesirable behavior in future generations. The articles also indicated that a major cause of poverty is single-parent households, which are approaching 70 percent in Buffalo. That is the root cause of the poverty: unwed mothers who cannot support their children alone.

Maybe if fathers were forced to financially support their children, poverty could be reduced. Perhaps then men would avoid fathering children. Fathers who were financially involved might take an active role in the family, which would be beneficial, or at least there would be a reduction in the poverty with the additional support.

Getting fathers to pay will not be easy, but it must be done. Wisconsin has found that at the time of their child's birth, many unwed fathers are proud of this fact and sign papers specifying this. There can be repercussions to the mother for not telling who the father is and, if necessary, it can be proven by DNA.

Drastic measures are required to prevent poverty from increasing exponentially in future generations, because poverty leads to even more single parents.

Donald Adams

Williamsville

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No one ever said Bush caused natural disasters

A recent letter claims that the "liberal left" blames President Bush for the attacks on 9/1 1, hurricanes, droughts, diseases, etc. If that is what we are saying, the writer is correct, we sound crazy. God is in control of those things.

Yet who ignored the warnings leading up to 9/1 1? Who invaded the wrong country, allowing Osama bin Laden to remain free six years later? Who appointed Michael Brown to head FEMA? Who appoints his incompetent buddies to high offices? That wasn't God.

To the best of my knowledge, no one ever said Bush caused hurricanes or droughts. All we have said is that his responses to these disasters have been disastrous. Most people agree. The far right tries to portray the left as a bunch of loonies by putting words in our mouths.

Many on the "left" are Christians. I am an ex-Republican, but I will not back the current administration. We aren't loonies, unless it's crazy to want smarter and more competent leadership.

We may be involved in a war against terrorism, but we are also at war with each other, and this sort of rhetoric to try to make Americans fear and hate each other is exactly what terrorists want. United we stand, divided we fall, and no one has divided this nation more than the Bush administration.

Dick Greenwood

Jamestown

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City's residency rule is hardly a hardship

As someone who chooses to live in the City of Buffalo, I take offense to the letter published Oct. 28, which argues that teachers should not be forced to live in the city. The letter makes it sound as if the residency requirement is a hardship; something that I feel is hardly the case.

The assertion that clothes shopping cannot be done in the city is untrue. There may not be as many options as in the suburbs, but I am able to purchase the majority of my clothes here. True, we may not have a Wal-Mart, but we do have a Target and a Kmart. Besides, nobody has suggested that teachers would be required do their shopping in the city.

The point is also made that new teachers cannot afford to buy a house. That may be true in some cases, but I would imagine that at some point in their careers, these teachers will be in the market for a home. Perhaps after living in the city, they will find that they may actually prefer to buy a house here. If not, there are always other options. No one is forcing them to teach here.

Ryan A. Lysarz

Buffalo

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New bridge for trucks would solve problems

We can ease Peace Bridge traffic and save millions of dollars by building four lanes for trucks adjacent to the railroad bridge, one mile north of the Peace Bridge. The railroad bridge does not need high elevations. It supplies a platform to work from. The piers are there and could be supplemented for the truck lanes. The river is narrowest there.

There is vacant industrial land where the railroad enters the United States that could be used for inspection terminals. Of course, if we were smart we would inspect the trucks in Canada. Just a little north and west of the racetrack are acres of unused farmland.

That takes care of the trucks. Now, what about the cars? Don't build a new plaza and displace hundreds of residents. Keep the same plaza. With cars using the additional truck lanes, cars could zip right through. Hire a dozen more inspectors. That costs a lot less than a new "signature bridge." And maybe we could paint our lovable, old Peace Bridge with some more interesting colors.

Robert Truckenbrod

Ellicottville

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U.S. officials showed absolutely no foresight

How did the United States get to the point where basically one man can hold the country hostage by raising the price of a barrel of oil? Now I know there is much more behind the scenes than just Iranian President Mahmoud Admadinejad, but he did say that he was going to see to it that oil prices would reach $100 a barrel. Well, $92 is not far away.

Did this country ever think ahead? I was in school in the '60s, and they knew oil supplies would run low someday. We had shortages in the '70s. I worked in Texas in the 1980s, and I can remember that a lot of banks closed because we let the Mideast take over the oil markets. The off-shore drilling was basically shut down. That continued right on through the Clinton administration, which was when global warming started praying to Mother Nature and hugging trees.

I feel someone should have seen this coming and started getting the oil producing back here, where it should never have been stopped in the first place. The U.S. government should be ashamed of itself for letting it get this far.

Robert E. Cragg

Buffalo

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National Fuel Gas never fails to amaze

I have just written a check to National Fuel to pay my bill for last month. Included in the total of the bill is an amount that reads, "Billing Service Charge." I was informed by National Fuel Gas that this charge is to cover the cost of printing my bill. In other words, I am paying National Fuel for the privilege of receiving a bill each month. No other utility charges a fee of this nature, and I can't see why National Fuel does. By the same token, when I send in my payment, can I knock off a few dollars for the "privilege" of paying the bill? Yeah, when donkeys fly.

Norbert C. Podemski

Cheektowaga

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