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Everybody's Column

Claim that quality of cable TV justifies rate hike is laughable

I just had to write about Adelphia General Manager Jeanne Coleman, who defended the 6 percent increase in cable rates in the Dec. 10 News. She said that the value and quality have been getting better and most of us receive 68 channels. Well, big deal. At least six are news shows that do nothing but repeat the same news over and over all day.

As for quality, I don't think she watches TV. The same movies are repeated over and over, along with old programs from 20 or 30 years ago. A two-hour movie is only an hour and 35 minutes because of all the commercials. I spend so much time going from one channel to the next looking for something to watch and all I get are dumb commercials.

Coleman said the increase is due to escalating fuel cost. Well, Adelphia should do like everyone else has to and redo its budget. I believe this is another move by the CEO to get more money for the shareholders so he or she can get a nice fat bonus. I would like to go on, but anyone who watches TV knows what I'm talking about. Mayor-elect Byron Brown should be concerned about this. We do not get value for our money.

Claude J. Majchrowicz

Amherst

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Buffalo could sell a portion of excess water to distributor

In 2004, I proposed that Buffalo consider bottling water by using the large excess capacity from the city's Water Treatment Plant. While my intentions were to utilize the city's extra capacity to broaden the customer base and tap into the lucrative bottled water industry, my position has unfortunately been misunderstood. At no point was selling bottled water the main focus.

It is no secret that a declining customer base is responsible for driving up water rates. Bottled water is rapidly growing in the beverage industry and the city has more than enough water to tap into the market. Much of the bottled water we consume happens to be purified and not spring water. Also, there are numerous studies that illustrate that purified water is much cleaner and healthier than spring water. The Erie County Water Authority already sells water to Mayer Brothers, a local company that purifies, bottles and distributes under a private label.

I do not advocate the city getting into the business of selling bottled water. I am proposing that the city consider purifying a portion of its excess water and selling it to a prospective distributor. By first purifying the water, the board can justifiably charge more than what it charges property owners, which in turn can produce an additional revenue stream to the city and possibly reduce the burden on local ratepayers.

Marc A. Coppola

Delaware District Councilman

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New face needed to lead Erie County Legislature

Our new county legislators just don't get it. They are proposing a new chairperson from a list of old incumbents. Both George Holt and Lynn Marinelli were chairs who oversaw this past year's debacle, and incoming Legislator Thomas Mazur is just a recycled politician. Were these legislators not paying attention during this past election? The public wants reform.

Lisa Carver

Lancaster

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Medicare drug program was easy to understand

After reading the Dec. 11 News article on the complex prescription drug plan for seniors, I was angry. I am a 71-year-old who found the drug plan very simple to understand and to ascertain which was the best drug plan for us. My wife's plan is different.

To determine which plan is best, all a senior must know is your last name, date of birth, Social Security number, enrollment date on Medicare card, ZIP code and name/dosage of drugs. That's it. At the computer, go to www.medicare.gov. Type in your personal data where instructed. Click the boxes that move you through this process. A list of all 44 prescription drug plans appears on your computer screen in ascending order of annual cost for your specific drugs. Next to each plan is a button that says "enroll." Make your choice, click the button, enter your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and click "send." An enrolled confirmation number is sent back via e-mail.

Shamefully, some seniors don't have computers, or refuse to learn how to use one. Some seniors choose to live in the past. They should stop being selfish and blaming others for their own incompetence.

Richard L. Drew

Eden

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Politicians' actions speak louder than their words

In a Rolling Stone interview with Bono, I came across a very disturbing statement about our country. He said: "I think it's astonishing that, in the list of the 22 richest countries in the world, the United States is at the bottom in what it gives per capita, i.e. per person, to the poorest of the poor."

We can't hear a political speech in our country without a reference to God. We have heard by now what church our leaders attend, or how devout they are, but none of this Bible-thumping makes them a Christian. If our leaders think that balancing the budget is best done by cutting Medicare, Medicaid or any other programs for the poor to protect the tax cuts for the wealthy, they are in fact working for a supreme spirit -- but it's not God.

Don Randall

Williamsville
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End of president's term can't come soon enough

I watched President Bush wave goodbye today. I have watched him numerous times waving as he boarded Air Force One or a helicopter, or entered a limousine or the White House. And I thought: What a wonderful day it will be when Bush finally does wave goodbye. When he bundles up his bloody, inept administration and fades to Crawford, where, I am sure, he will chuck his failed administration records down one of the many dry holes he has drilled across Texas.

Concerning the aftermath of our incursion into Iraq: Has there ever been a more wrong-headed conclusion than that arrived at by Bush and his accomplices, Vice President Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz? And, of course, Karl Rove is there, lurking in the shadows. Has any political consensus ever been farther off target?

But chin up and cheer up, America. We are still a great nation. So great that we will survive the callous, profligate blunderers now occupying the Oval Office. One day, we will elect an able, responsible president who will put together the pieces of what once was one nation, indivisible.

George D. Poe

Williamsville

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It's no wonder Catholic Church is losing so many parishioners
I could not be any more frustrated by the Dec. 10 letter, "Vatican's pronouncement is good news for the world." The Catholic Church is not the official church of Christianity. The Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ, to name a couple, gratefully accept members of the gay, bisexual, lesbian and transvestite (GBLT) community to become clergy and active members. They welcome all to God's table. Perhaps if the Catholic Church was more open, honest and accepting, it wouldn't need to close 100 churches in the Diocese of Buffalo.

I remind the writer that God said he created us in his own image. Jesus lived with the meek, the poor and the lepers. He preached respect for all of God's creations. Read the parable of the Good Samaritan.

I attend services every Sunday, and I am a member of the GBLT community. I will make the writer a promise. I will not step forth in her precious church if she promises not to step forth in mine. I'll pray for her.

John Lauer

West Seneca

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