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Letters to the Editor

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Six-month school year makes no sense at allThe June 15 letter, “Teaching profession must change with times,” suggests that we “establish a 12-month school year. Half the students January through June and the other half July through December.” Does the writer realize that he just decreased the teaching time by 40 percent? What about knowledge lost while not attending school…

New York can’t afford costly retiree benefitsSome years ago, my husband and I both retired, I as a part-time school office employee and my husband as a full-time worker for a well-respected local manufacturer. I recently discovered my part-time retirement benefits from the state retirement system now surpass my husband’s full-time benefits because of “cost of living” retir…

Buffalo General failed its psychiatric patientsOn June 6, Buffalo General Hospital disproved its interest in being a “Center for Excellence.” Contrary to a commitment to Erie County Medical Center and therefore to the mental health needs of our community, the emergency psychiatric services and psychiatric units were systematically closed for admissions, and on June 14, all…

We must strengthen SNAP, not decimate itThis week, Feeding America published data regarding food insecurity in the United States from 2011. Here in Erie County, 11.9 percent of our population is considered food insecure. However, the percentage balloons to 18.2 percent when you just consider children. In actual numbers that means one in five kids are at risk. These kids an…

Music and arts help improve test scoresI read with some dismay The News report of the gutting of music programs in Buffalo Public Schools. This really hit home on June 15 as I and several hundred other people were inspired by the festival of chorale music at St. Joseph’s Cathedral downtown. The festival brought together four of the area’s strongest musical choirs and organ…

New York must lift ban on liquefied natural gasThe Assembly needs to pass A4202 soon to bring New York up to speed with the rest of the country. This bill would lift the outdated ban on liquefied natural gas, allowing LNG fleets to operate and refuel in New York as well as equipment manufacturers and fueling station builders to do business here in our state.Last March, the…

Assault on Constitution has been under way for 12 yearsThose who express comfort with the National Security Agency’s broad surveillance sweep have, understandably, not taken into account the broad context of the agency’s snooping. The erosion of our sensitivities to this context has occurred in a long series of steps over a period of 12 years.With indefinite detention, ext…

Maid of the Mist owner being treated shamefullyThe world-famous Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co. carries the banner of Niagara Falls around the globe. It has been proudly and locally owned by James Glynn and his extended family for many distinguished years. An important fact is that 30 members of the Glynn clan live and work in Western New York. A charitable and benevolent f…

Education and business benefit from teamworkCheers to the work of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose transformative Tax-Free New York initiative blooms from the essence of Erie Community College’s strongest asset: collaboration between education and business.Students who attend classes at any of our three ECC campuses benefit from our institution’s regionwide supply of cultivated bu…

People need to stop ridiculing religionWe have season tickets to Shea’s and this season included the musical, “The Book of Mormon.” My husband and I knew little about it until friends started telling us we may not like it. We read reviews and quickly called Shea’s and explained that as Christians, we would be offended. Shea’s was very gracious and refunded our money.In the…

Let’s find better ways to raise vital fundingIt’s not that it’s not for a good cause, but isn’t there a healthier way to raise funds for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life? I’m referring to the lawn mower races on Grand Island this past weekend. About $6,000 was raised, which is commendable. But look at the photo on the picture page. At least half of the people a…

Schools must revise grade level conceptAs a retired educator, I appreciate Donn Esmonde’s recent column about the rankings of schools by a local business publication. He is right on the mark on so many levels. I find it interesting that the public seemingly accepts a business report on schools before listening to their districts.Part of the problem is that schools do not d…

IRS should apologize to the American publicPrior to the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012 and the midterm congressional elections of 2010, legislators and the media were concerned with the rights of voters, specifically the disenfranchised voter. I believe those elections were a fraud.Congress is investigating the Internal Revenue Service. Certain conservative and re…

Cutting music programs will hurt graduation ratesI am so dismayed at the Buffalo Board of Education’s decision to cut music programs in 14 of 28 schools for next year. Many students do not graduate from high school in the city of Buffalo due to increased rates of absenteeism on a daily basis.Music programs can stimulate a student to attend school and consequently be taught…

Howard is obliged to uphold the lawThis country is based on a social contract between its citizens and their government. Basically, in exchange for physical and legal protections from the government, the citizens agree to give that government their support. If the government fails to live up to its obligations, then the people choose a new one. This was the argument for ou…