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Everybody's Column

>We need more agents, not a new Peace Bridge

Unfortunately, the Sept. 28 Viewpoints story, "Location, Location, Location," contributed to the misguided notion that we must add more lanes to the Peace Bridge to expedite border crossing. No matter how many lanes are added, traffic will continue to stand idle unless there are additional processing lanes and additional Customs personnel to man them. It is the bottleneck at the processing lanes, not the lanes on the bridge, that is causing the problem.

Why is the traffic heading north to Canada, usually limited to a single lane, rarely backed up? It's because the Canadian government staffs its processing lanes at a level sufficient to handle the traffic. It's pathetic that the Bush administration has eagerly spent hundreds of billions of dollars on a war that had nothing to do with terrorist attacks, but refuses to hire enough Customs personnel to adequately man the border crossings so vital to our economic strength and security.

We do not necessarily need another bridge. We need the federal government first to provide the funding to fully man the processing lanes that exist, an action that can be accomplished quickly, without controversy and without negative impact. Then, we need to add additional processing lanes. Then, and only then, do we need to consider the long-term solution of a costly second bridge.

Stephen Knight
Buffalo

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>Some economists favor holding off on bailout

The Sept. 26 front-page Associated Press piece on the bailout/rescue plan excluded the economist experts' opinions on this situation. Sen. Richard Shelby stated that he has received five pages of letters from the top economists in this country who are against this plan, yet this was not mentioned.

Congress has been contacted by 166 economists, including three Nobel Prize winners, concerning holding off on the plan because of the haste to pass this bill quickly and, most importantly, the long-term consequences for our nation.

So, are the people hearing all the news or only what is meant to influence thinking in one direction? Ask yourself, who really benefits from this plan? Get online and do your own research.

These experts back up the position of the smartest economist in the U.S. government, that being Congressman Ron Paul.

Tony Matuszak
Depew

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>Officers have sacrificed a lot for their pensions

Recently The News did a story on police officers' pensions. It used Officer Patrick J. McDonald as an example, and I would like to point out a few things. The story said that on average, McDonald worked 13 hours a day for an entire year. Just think of the personal sacrifices he made while doing this. Take 13 hours and add 8 hours for a good night's sleep and you're at 21 hours, leaving him with just three hours to spend time with his family.

The News also stated that he made few arrests but wrote a lot of tickets for vehicle and traffic law infractions. Little does everyone know but the routine traffic stop can be one of the most dangerous situations an officer places himself in. Law enforcement is not about making arrests all the time, it's about protecting the general public.

As a retired member of a law enforcement family, I also worked overtime to help with my pension. I gave up a lot of personal time with my family and paid dearly for it in the end.

I commend McDonald and all the others for working to protect the citizens and for the personal sacrifices they gave up with their families. McDonald and other officers who retire did nothing wrong. They decided it was time to finally spend time with family.

Gary Lickfeld
Buffalo

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>Comparing Palin, Wilson is quite a stretch indeed

Perhaps Americans' greatest freedom is the freedom of expression. The supporters of Sarah Palin have every right to to defend her qualifications to be president. As a retired American history teacher, I just ask that they make their case a little less flamboyantly and closer to historical reality. Recently in a letter to The News, a writer noted Palin's experience "is actually at least as good as that of President Woodrow Wilson." The writer dismisses Wilson's career in academia.

Wilson earned a bachelor of arts from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. He taught at Princeton, and later became the president of Princeton. He was one of the leading experts of his day on the U.S. Constitution and American government. Wilson brought a brilliant mind to the White House. I've studied his accomplishments and failures. To paraphrase a famous line in a vice presidential debate: Sarah Palin is no Woodrow Wilson!

Fred Schrantz
Springville

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>Paterson's new hire is a slap in the face

Gov. David Paterson has hired Ivan Lafayette, a 78-year-old State Assembly retiree, to a newly created $140,000-a-year position in the State Insurance Department. This is a terrible slap in the face of the New York taxpayers when the state government is in multibillion-dollar deficit. Such political patronage is despicable, and should be stopped immediately. Is the governor's office incompetent or just stupid? This is double-dipping governmental fraud. It must stop.

Wayne Yunghans
Fredonia

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>Looks like Republicans aren't on the same page

The Republicans just can't get on the same page. At the University at Buffalo's Distinguished Speakers event, Karl Rove indignantly, even vehemently, denied that the administration engaged in torture in interrogations. The same night, in his debate with Barack Obama, John McCain criticized the administration for having engaged in torture. Who knows more about torture, McCain or Rove?

It has been a principle of Republicans that government stay out of our free-market economy. So President Bush proposes a bailout of the pillars of that economy.

McCain, an economic conservative and opponent of "earmarks," chooses as his running mate a Washington outsider. That outsider, Sarah Palin, certainly managed to bilk Washington. She hired a lobbyist and got many millions for her town of 6,000 people, as well as much more for Alaska as governor. She was in favor of the "bridge to nowhere" until the scandal about it caused her to oppose it.

During the Republican Convention, her family was paraded and she was portrayed as a working supermom. Well, I am sure that she is against premarital sex, and in my mind she is not a supermom. One thing that is consistent about Palin is her opposition to abortion; denying other moms and their daughters a choice.

The more one learns about Palin's record, the more her appeal is paling.

John Hoffman
Williamsville

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