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Everybody's Column

Children who need therapy aren't 'miraculously cured'

I am a pediatric physical therapist providing early intervention, preschool and school-age services in Erie County. Recently The News quoted County Executive Chris Collins as saying that preschool children are receiving services and as these children reach school age, they are "miraculously cured" and no longer receive these services.

It is every therapist's fervent wish, and every parent's heartfelt dream, that their child be "miraculously cured." The children I work with are diagnosed with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, Asperger's syndrome. Some have motor delays as a result of fetal alcohol or fetal drug syndrome. Others have motor delays as a result of brain tumors, head injuries or prematurity.

Highly educated, skilled and caring therapists provide much needed services and support to these children and their families to help get them ready to attend school with their peers. When the child becomes school aged the services are continued within the school system. They are not "miraculously cured."

While I applaud Collins' attempts to control costs for the taxpayers, I strongly resent the implication that the services provided are unwarranted. I would invite him to shadow me to see first hand the services he deems over-utilized.

Rose Wright, M.B.A., P.T.



Let's stick to the issues when casting our vote

A vote for the president of the United States should not be based on race, gender or likability but on the issues. The president will also have to make important decisions on a daily basis and handle any crises that arise.

Barack Obama, with his law background, can analyze an issue, study the parts and come up with a plan to produce the desired outcome. His willingness to consult experts in the field is evidenced by his choice for vice president, and the care he is taking in responding to the current financial crisis.

John McCain needed the help of his influential father to get into the Naval Academy where he graduated near the bottom of his class. He has shown a propensity for impulsive decisions in his choice for vice president and in his wildly changing opinions on solutions for the financial crisis. Whose finger would you want on "the button"?

Consider how each candidate makes decisions. Obama has the intelligence, the problem-solving skills and the right temperament to be a thoughtful and knowledgeable president with a vice president who brings experience and will "challenge my thinking." McCain does not.

Jane Roberts



Does GOP still want to ax Social Security?

In January 1981, the Dow was at 10,800. This September, Dow is at 10,800. Let's see, what was the formula for annual percentage yield again? Never mind, how's your 401(k) doing? Apparently dissolving Social Security so that individuals can find wealth in the stock market wasn't such a good idea after all.

Not to fear, a crack team of Bush economists is prepared to invade Wall Street looking for warrants of mass deception. They are trying to duplicate the success story that their foreign affairs counterparts found in Iraq.

And yet, there are people in this country who desire four more years of this.

Ed Dinsmore



Economic rescue plan really isn't a 'bailout'

Of all the mistakes surrounding the economic rescue plan before Congress and the American people, among the worst was labeling the effort a "bailout." Somehow, the term came to be interpreted as a bailout of Wall Street or, worse yet, the financial fat cats who are now sitting on their yachts somewhere laughing at taxpayers. Thus the overwhelmingly negative response from constituents, the heat of which was clearly felt by Congress.

In reality, the plan is an effort to stabilize a very unstable situation through an investment plan that may or may not eventually produce a return. By way of analogy, if a group of careless individuals treat fire safety in a cavalier and capricious manner -- let's say carelessly discarding cigarette butts, leaving candles unattended and so on, resulting in several city blocks catching fire, is putting that fire out "bailing out" their behavior? Of course not.

Well, there is an economic fire of sorts happening now and it is incumbent upon our political leaders to put that fire out as quickly as possible before it spreads any further. The people who packaged and sold the financial instruments at the base of this problem have already gotten their gains and they aren't giving them back. An investment by the government now will not likely benefit them any further.

Edward G. Wright



Prosecute the banks, don't bail them out

I refuse to be OK with any of this. The worst thing that this country needs is to continue to abuse credit. The banks who did this need to be prosecuted, not helped out. This reminds me a lot of Iraq. Hurry or we are going to be wiped out by weapons of mass destruction. Why can't people run businesses and households without excessive credit? I would rather wait and see, I don't believe "W" for one minute. This is not right and there should be other ways to fix this.

Amy Durant



The tree of liberty must be refreshed

Let's see, we have a war in Iraq based on deception and suspect intelligence costing billions, a $700 billion taxpayer-financed bailout of financial institutions run by incompetent and greedy "captains of industry" with little or ineffective government oversight, taxes creeping up every year while personal worth tumbles and tens of millions of citizens remain without health insurance. Energy costs are skyrocketing, and pollution and greenhouse gases threaten the safety of future generations. And we have politicians so entrenched in the status quo that no bold initiatives are undertaken.

Thomas Jefferson stated: "God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. . . . The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. . . . And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? . . . The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

It's been a lot longer than 20 years; perhaps the time is getting closer.

Michael S. Albert, M.D.

Orchard Park

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