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Elected officials need to focus on the growth of local firms

It's official, PCB Piezotronics is expanding. For a growing company, it's exciting to expand business in a new environment in the midst of a welcoming community. Unfortunately, that's not a reference to Western New York. The land of opportunity is actually North Carolina. It is incomprehensible that our elected officials would allow a locally owned and operated, well-established organization such as PCB Piezotronics to expand its employment resources outside of New York State. One question for our economic development officials comes to mind: What were you thinking? We may not be a casino, however, PCB and firms like it deserve the same, if not more, attention when it comes to economic growth.

For those relocating with the expansion, the wish is for success and prosperity. The way things are handled here, maybe we will all end up in the South. Although the spirit of local PCB employees may be bruised by the lack of support from New York State, we are proud to be able to expand operations in a community committed to growth and stability.

The PCB management team is to be applauded for its exhaustive efforts in achieving a direction for growth that will best serve the organization while recognizing the concerns of all current employees.

John P. Kessler

Calibration Technical Manager

PCB Piezotronics

Giambra should listen to common-sense advice

We all know it is close to election time as the media bombards us with political ads. I have heard many heated arguments that Erie County's fiscal problems are due mostly to outrageous Medicaid bills. I agree that it is a massive, poorly run system and New York State is the only state mandated to contribute 25 percent to the program.

But County Executive Joel Giambra never listened to some common-sense suggestions from advocates for the elderly, disabled and senior citizens. His solution was to consolidate a couple of county departments, yet keep all of his highly paid commissioners. Why not invite an open forum for our citizens on all levels to look at some numbers, how the money is dispersed and come up with some effective solutions that do not hurt the most vulnerable citizens of Erie County.

Marsha Mann


Catholics should not be directed how to vote

I am appalled and saddened at the message being sent out by an alarming number of Catholic bishops regarding the upcoming election. I am not being told who to vote for, but I would have to be as thick as a post not to understand that they, in effect, are doing just that. Not only are the bishops in question talking about refusing communion to candidates who are Catholics and pledge to respect and carry out the laws of the land, but I'm being informed that should I vote for one of these candidates, I am obliged to go to confession before I can receive communion again.

Since when are we, as citizens of this great land, taking orders from anyone about our right to vote our consciences? This election is not a one-issue contest. Where is the voice of these bishops about this unjust and deadly war that is robbing us of our precious youth, about the people on death row, about the poor, about the uninsured, all of which constitute the issues we should consider before casting a vote. Aren't these the real sins? Our future as a country depends not just upon one issue but on many.

Joseph P. Spina


Fix All-High Stadium for Harvard Cup games

In a recent article regarding the Harvard Cup alumni games held at Ralph Wilson Stadium, a comment was made about the disappointing crowd of 300 for the game. One of the problems was that the two games played in Orchard Park involved city teams. If it wasn't for buses from Hutch-Tech, I think the crowd would have been even smaller. To schedule games at the Ralph is very exciting for the players, but it is a huge inconvenience for the typical student fan.

Under normal circumstances, tickets for Harvard Cup games are $2 at the door and $1 presale. For this game, the tickets were $3, with no presale tickets. Though not expensive for some people, $3 plus the inconvenience of getting to the game made it unattractive for many.

I am extremely disappointed in the condition of All-High Stadium. Fans can no longer sit on the far side of the field. There are trees growing through the concrete seating. This is supposed to be the premier field for the Harvard Cup and it is in awful condition. The stadium needs to be renovated. Tear down the old seating and put up new seating, even if it is just metal bleachers. Anything would be better than what is there now.

It's time for the city to step up and make improvements. We don't need games down at the Ralph. We need a stadium to be proud of.

Tom Fish

East Amherst

Enforce cell phone law as a way to raise money

A sure way to help fill Buffalo's coffers is to enforce the cell phone law and traffic laws. One just has to stand on the corner of Elmwood Avenue at either North Street or Summer Street to see the blatant disregard of the law. This area of the city has a high concentration of senior citizens and disabled persons. It is not unusual to see two or three vehicles running the red light. Combine this with drivers talking on cell phones and you have a recipe for disaster.

Let's enforce the laws, keep all pedestrians safe and give the city needed revenue. Install traffic cameras at major intersections. The fines collected will more than pay for the cameras as they have done in other cities. Reducing the police force and firemen is not the answer.

Henry J. Donley


Bush stem cell rationale ignores Iraq situation

In the second debate, President Bush said he is against embryonic stem-cell research because he does not believe in "taking a life to save a life." Isn't that exactly what's happening in Iraq? The lives of our servicemen are being taken to save the lives of the people in Iraq.

Mildred Orrange


Bush defeat will not ensure terrorists win

Charles Krauthammer's column, "If Bush loses, the terrorists win," is further proof of the attempt by the president's supporters to spread fear in this election season to secure a second term. Krauthammer wrote that as a result of the Madrid train bombings, three days before Spain's elections, the sitting government was defeated, resulting in the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq.

The truth is that the Spanish government immediately blamed the attacks on the hated ETA, a total fabrication. It was a deliberate attempt to manipulate popular feelings for personal gain. When these lies soon became apparent, the government unraveled and was defeated.

The new government's victory did not result in any lessening of the fight against terrorism. Since Spain's withdrawal from Iraq, its personal war on terrorism has continued unabated, resulting in continued raids and arrests of terrorist cells within the country.

Our incursion in Iraq was and is wrong. It has not made the world or America safer. The policies of our president have played into the terrorists' hands and have aided their attempts to recruit more murderers to their side. It is no wonder that our government is almost universally disliked throughout the world. The column would better have been titled, "If Bush loses, America Wins."

David Aquino


Sinclair is flexing its corporate muscles

The right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of local TV stations reaching 24 percent of American households including Buffalo stations WUTV 29 and WNYO 49, has announced it will be forcing its local stations nationwide to pre-empt their regular programming during the last 10 days of the election campaign to air excerpts from an anti-Kerry documentary called "Stolen Honor: Wounds that Never Heal."

Certainly I am not the only person here in Buffalo who finds this unprecedented abuse of corporate power reprehensible. If I were a local business with advertising on either of these two stations, I would think twice about having my good name associated with Sinclair's blatantly partisan attempt to sway the presidential election.

Douglas A. Brooder


Bush attacks on Kerry's war record are shameful

I have a son who proudly served in the military for 14 years and a daughter-in-law who proudly served for seven. That said, I am so ashamed of our commander in chief and this administration for trying to destroy the military record of a gentleman who not only volunteered to serve his country in a war he did not fully believe in, but served above and beyond the call of duty. You don't get medals by asking for them -- you earn them.

Upon his return, John Kerry was asked to testify before Congress about the atrocities being committed during the war. He testified and told the truth, no matter how painful. This seems to be something this administration doesn't understand. And now, because he acted as a man of honor, we want to equate him with Jane Fonda. How absurd is this? And by a president who made sure someone else (like Kerry) fought his war.

If the enemy needs great propaganda to show its people, all it needs is our commander in chief destroying someone's honorable military service to suit his own re-election campaign. That should boost morale. Shame on the president! I will not be voting for him this time.

Penny Gorman


Products and services should be bought locally

I received a postcard advertising a local restaurant owned by someone who professes to be a supporter of Western New York. My interest turned to anger when I turned it over and discovered a postal indicia from Mentor, Ohio. As the owner of a local printing company that also provides direct mail services, I am offended that this job was sent to a company in Ohio. At a time when the local economy is struggling to move ahead, it is unconscionable for any local business to buy a product or service from out of the area when it could just as easily have been produced here.

Local printers have invested millions of dollars to better equip themselves in order to serve their customers. There is no justification for companies to look outside the area when they rely heavily on personal and corporate dollars to survive. These typically are the same business leaders who blame the stagnant economy for their own woes. Yet, when they can spend locally, they decide to take their money outside the Western New York area. That is both ridiculous and insulting to those of us who work hard every day to provide a service or product in this market.

How can any business sustain growth and offer employment if local companies continue to spend money out of the area? We must act in a way that bolsters our own collective futures.

John A. Polvino


Bush mistakes translate into re-election bid

I don't understand. President Bill Clinton had an extramarital affair and was almost impeached. Among other things, President Bush ignored the recommendations of the United Nations and invaded a sovereign nation under false pretenses, made the United States the most hated nation in the world, turned the largest surplus in history into the largest deficit, bankrupted the economy for future generations, cut health care benefits for military and veterans' families alike and sent more than 1,100 American soldiers to their deaths in an ill-conceived illusion with no end in sight. And he gets to run for re-election.

Michael Panzica


Giambra could save by cutting county cars

In this time of fiscal deficit, County Executive Joel Giambra is asking workers to sacrifice their pay raises. But I don't see him offering to sacrifice by lowering his salary or that of any of the other politicians in the county, or by relinquishing any of their "perks."

All of the people who are driving county-owned vehicles are earning enough money to purchase their own automobiles and buy their own gasoline. We, their constituents, whose salaries are much lower, have to buy our own cars and pay for our own fuel. Why should we be forced to pay for theirs? That would be a huge saving.

Mildred Kellner


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