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Everybody's Column

More nurses are needed to fight deadly infection

Recent News articles have reported that deadly staph infections are on the rise. Hats off to State Sen. Mary Lou Rath for recognizing the seriousness of this and proposing that all nursing homes and hospitals screen for this infection.

However, equally important to help stop the spread of this organism in hospitals and nursing homes is to have an adequate number of nurses working in such facilities. Currently nurses are daily being given an unsafe number of patients to care for. When this happens, studies show infection rates rise, and so do patient deaths.

Hospitals, unless mandated by a state law, will not increase the number of nurses, because of their bottom line. These unsafe staffing levels are keeping nurses away or causing them to leave.

The public needs to be aware of this and demand that bills in the Assembly (A6119) and Senate (S1551) be passed to guarantee safe staffing levels. Keeping a safe number of nurses at the bedside is just one way to help fight this deadly infection and prevent many unnecessary deaths.

Linda M. Sheehan, R.N.

North Tonawanda


Thruway Authority is twisting the facts

The Buffalo News series concerning the New York Thruway Authority has been very enlightening. What caught me eye was the statement: "Thruway use, expected to grow 2.3 percent this year, is only rising by 0.5 percent." It appears, then, that Thruway use isn't down; growth just didn't meet expectations.

Over a half century ago, comedian Red Skelton paraphrased Gen. Douglas MacArthur's famous departing statement by exclaiming: "Old politicians never die, they just smell that way." This could be applied to the Thruway managers.

I can see it now; the managers will reduce the proposed 10 percent increase to, say, 5 or 6 percent, and then beat their chests and proclaim how much money they have saved us in tolls.

Craig A. Woodworth



Retired postal workers getting pretty good deal

I found the Nov. 11 News article about rising health insurance premiums for postal workers quite interesting because, although they may not realize it, they are getting a pretty good deal. As a retired Erie County employee who is also pre-Medicare age, my new monthly premium for my wife and I is $548.98. For a family plan like Daniel Morano would require, the payment is $739.98 -- much higher than the $348.86 he will pay. But do we get a big article about our plight in The News? Nope.

In 2005 we got socked with a 60 percent increase in our premiums. In 2004, the county and the unions agreed to provide free fully paid health insurance for life for those who retired after January 2003, while past retirees were forced to go with a single provider and got hit with another increase. Did we get a sympathetic article about that injustice? Nope.

At least postal workers don't have to contend with a double-standard where some pay big and some pay nothing. Erie County retirees (prior to 2003) pay more for health insurance than any other government agency I know of. We just "can't get no respect."

George P. Knab



We should be thanking soldiers who have served

I want to tell the American public about a truly outrageous act I witnessed recently. My wife, her son and I went to dinner at a popular and crowded restaurant. While seated in the waiting area, I was appalled by the reaction people had to our party of three. Our appearance was not distasteful, yet most were inclined to avert their glances from us. After a while, my wife and I felt sorry and disgusted for her son. On a typical day this behavior might be acceptable, but this day was different, for it was Veterans Day and he was dressed in his full military uniform.

To our dismay, not one person -- not even the staff -- took the time to acknowledge his presence by a simple gesture, nod or thank you. After having completed two tours of duty, both of which included combat, I would have thought he had earned that respect. Have we learned nothing from history? It is not our military that makes policy, but our government. The brave men and women who are in uniform today do so of their own volition and thus should be praised and not ignored.

Dennis Wnek



Writer over-reacted to photo of costume

In response to the letter writer who thinks The Buffalo News went too far showing a picture of a "scantily clad" woman at a Halloween party, first let me say we are not living in the 1800s where women were covered from chin to ankle.

I wonder, does she think that the ad inserts in the paper from department stores showing models in bras and panties are also "showing much too much"? How did she manage to get through the '70s? That Halloween costume was the style of clothing worn on such TV programs as "Laugh In" and "Sonny and Cher," both family-friendly programs.

Maybe she should take another look at that picture, because there are no breasts showing and less abdomen is revealed than she would see at the beach. And as for the thong underwear, I don't wear them; that was my tattoo.

To the Buffalo News, keep up the great pictures and reporting.

Clare Taggart

Niagara Falls


Let's keep Wal-Mart out of Orchard Park

Wal-Mart is renewing its efforts for big-box construction near Quaker Crossing in Orchard Park. It appears many residents mistakenly believe the Orchard Park Town Board is going to exercise the same judgment as East Aurora and Alden, given these towns share common preferences and concerns for preserving the character of our communities.

Arguments and petitions concerning negatively impacted local businesses, environment, traffic overloading and safety issues, decreased property values and complaints regarding misrepresented tax advantages have been presented at town meetings and in publications. Yet board members persist in favorable expressions of supporting this project.

The surreptitious rezoning of this Quaker Crossing area two years ago trumped residential interests in favor of the developer. Unoccupied new commercial structures in our community further indicate controlling sprawl is not the board's primary concern. Orchard Park citizens need to express their consternation to council members about losing the orchard in Orchard Park.

Louis L. Boehm

Orchard Park

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