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Everybody's column

Paramedics save lives, so let's pay them fairly

I find it rather comical that a company like Rural Metro can boast record profits but cannot pay its EMTs, intermediates and paramedics a fair wage. It's sad enough they work in deplorable vehicles and have to idle on street corners rather than at quarters, but why can't our local municipalities that pay or depend on this service back the EMS providers and make some demands of their own?

Whether people know or not, these "ambulance drivers" do more than just drive you from your home to the hospital. Intermediates and paramedics start IVs, intubate, cardiac monitor, administer life-saving medications, etc. Many of these "kids," as I've heard them referred to, learn street medicine. And I've seen these "kids" intubate a patient easier than a medical doctor due to the nature of EMS and conditions they work in. Many also go on to be nurses, physician assistants and even doctors.

These men and women are our first line of defense. While I applaud the fire departments of the area, our EMS professionals deserve a pay increase and recognition for work well done. I know they don't receive this from their management, which is more concerned with profits and signatures.

John Fallon



Releasing balloons hurts wildlife and environment

The blackout at Ralph Wilson Stadium left many people inconvenienced and upset. The amount of damage that a few balloons in the atmosphere can cause was dramatized as the media look at what needs to be done when it comes to security, etc. However, what the media need to address is the negative impact that all balloon releases have on the environment.

In its simplest form, releasing balloons is littering. More important is the negative environmental impact they have on more than 265 species of birds, fishes, mammals and marine life. Many of these animals are already on the endangered or threatened lists. Consequently, balloon releases are currently illegal in five states.

Just as throwing rice at a wedding has become a thing of the past, releasing balloons for celebration needs to stop.

Some fan gave the Depew High cheerleaders balloons to release at the Depew-Lancaster game. Although it may have been well-intentioned, it was ill-advised. Depew's 35-0 loss to Lancaster may have been cosmic retribution.

Regarding balloon releases, TV news media and we should focus on the bigger picture, our planet, rather than the microcosm we call Buffalo.

Paul Elmore



Turkish leadership has a long way to go

Trudy Rubin's recent column on Turkey's rising diplomatic role causes some concerns about her agenda. She points out that "Turkey sits at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, bordering not only the European Union, but also Georgia, Iran, Iraq and Syria." One is made to wonder why she fails to mention that Armenia has a 325 kilometer-long border with Turkey. Some commentators have referred to that border as "the last closed border in Europe." Turkey has closed the border since 1993 mainly because Armenians throughout the world keep insisting that the Turkish regime admit and recognize the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 by the Ottoman Turks.

It is also puzzling that Rubin lauds "Turkey's recent overture to Armenia." It is a fact that it was the president of Armenia who made the overture by inviting his counterpart to Armenia to watch together a historic World Cup qualifying soccer match between the two nations.

Rubin's praise of the Turkish leadership culminates with an undertone of obsequiousness. She urges our next president to "take a cue" from the Turks' "soft power efforts" in our future negotiations. Without any memory of its immediate neighbors, it's hard to imagine Turkey's effectiveness to mediate conflicts around the world.

Jean Adjemian

Niagara Falls


Assist Social Security by outlawing abortion

I am astonished that Sen. John McCain has failed to exploit an issue that should be a natural for him.

On the Sept. 21 "Meet the Press," pro-choice billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the following statement: "We have a birth rate that's too low to support Social Security."

Since Roe v. Wade roughly 50 million Americans have been destroyed by legalized abortion. If these Americans had been allowed to live, the American birth rate would not be so low, and Social Security might not be in trouble.

Voters who are not billionaires would do well to think long and hard before voting for a candidate like Sen. Barack Obama, who aggressively supports abortion rights. He has promised to make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority.

For Obama, abortion rights trump the security of Social Security. For seniors and soon to be seniors, this puts the issue of "choice" in a whole new light. This is an issue made for McCain, who has been steadfastly pro-life. He should address it, preferably before the election.

Richard H. Escobales Jr.



Young and old alike should back Obama

Seniors arise! We have something unique to give to our country this election time. Those of us who were adults when Pearl Harbor shook the nation into war can remember a world that no one younger can even imagine. It was a time when, whatever hardships we might have encountered, like Anne Frank we still believed that people were basically good.

We seniors are young in heart, otherwise we wouldn't still be here. People may laugh at our optimism. Some say "you should write a book" when they haven't time to listen to us tell the jokes or remember the songs, the artists and the stories that made World War II endurable, even for those who suffered most.

The young people are aware. They are standing up for life, and refusing to be frightened into submission. Let us help them win a fresh and hopeful future by voting for the Obama/Biden ticket.

Barbara Williams



Palin, Cindy McCain out of touch with reality

Watching Sarah Palin shooting a machine gun in Kuwait and Cindy McCain doing doughnuts in her corvette burning up a set of tires, something she "loves" to do, shows that they are out of touch with most American families and have no idea what struggles many families are forced to deal with on a daily basis.

Norman Denny


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