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Everybody's Column

Court overstepped its bounds in latest contraceptive ruling

I read with great disappointment in the Oct. 21 News of the New York State Supreme Court's decision which rules that Catholic institutions must provide contraceptive "so called" health coverage to its employees. If my employer's health plan does not provide for dental care or eyeglass coverage, would the Supreme Court force them to do so? Of course not!

For those who are not aware, many types of birth control pills are not contraceptives at all, but instead, abortifacient. Their chemical reaction does not occur until after a child is conceived and then it destroys the child, rather than prevent its life from beginning. It is appalling that the state would try to force Catholics to go against our moral beliefs.

I encourage all my beloved bishops and priests to defy this ridiculous mandate. If the state will take your tax-exempt status away, then let them do so. We the Catholics, Christians and people of good will must and will provide the means for your institutions to survive -- those great institutions that provide such a great service to all the people of New York State.

John S. Tomasello



Higgins should visit other parts of district

When Brian Higgins "reported" that FEMA was not aware that Buffalo was part of Erie County, couldn't we all just feel his sincere frustration. I sure could. After all, I had several large branches fall on my power line in front of my East Aurora Village home, and had lost power.

Somehow though, I never notice Higgins during his tour of the damage out here. Maybe he never got out of South Buffalo. Could it be he is not aware that East Aurora is part of his congressional district? He seems to think it ends at Buffalo, except, of course, when he comes looking for votes.

Donald Ruhland

East Aurora


Hevesi case must be put into proper perspective

Does it disturb me that a greater portion of my total tax dollar is not going into stem cell research and various other means of alleviating human suffering? Yes, it does.

Does it disturb me that a greater portion of my total tax dollar is not devoted to protecting the environment and attempting to curtail global warming? Yes, it does.

Does it disturb me that so much of my total tax dollar goes toward processing an unnecessary war and the shedding of blood that stains the hands of all who support it, even indirectly? Yes, most emphatically, it does.

Does it disturb me that a portion of my total tax dollar might have gone toward the transportation of the ailing wife of an extremely capable public official? Not in the least!

Peter A. Siedlecki



Adults set bad example in relation to littering

On a recent trip to Cheektowaga, I decided to stop at a fast food restaurant on Walden Avenue. While waiting for my turn at the drive-thru window, I witnessed some horrible, ignorant acts. The SUV in front of me was at the window and got a partial order and was waiting for the rest. He had his children with him.

While he waited, he proceeded to start his meal and was tossing his garbage out his window on the ground, right there at the drive-thru. When he got the rest of his order he pulled out, right into two handicapped parking spaces. I shared this event with the girl at the drive-thru window, and her only comment was; "Well, at least I don't have to pick it up, or park there."

One person was infected with idiocy and ego, while the other was infected with apathy. I shudder to think the lessons these folks' children may be learning from them.

While other people are cleaning up the mess from the October storm in their very town, these people could care less. Yet, I'll bet their voices were the loudest and whiniest when things didn't go their way during that same storm. What a sad example for children or others that have to see these people daily.

Rick Lange



Giambra should trim fat from his budget

It was interesting to read in The News about the budget projection for Erie County. It adds about 90 positions of employment for the county tax base. Why did County Executive Joel Giambra cut too many in last year's disaster budget? Well, why don't we pay for these new positions with some of the elected "fat" positions?

It's time for the Legislature to be downsized to a nine-member board. We could cut six district legislators and six offices that they are never in, except when it's an election year. And we, the taxpayers, pay for the campaign offices. Six elected officials, with about three staffers each -- with about 18 fewer people who are getting health insurance, we could save about $1.2 million.

While we are at it, how about the deputy county executive? We do not need that position.

Giambra stuck it to us, the taxpayers of Erie County, for years. He should pack his bags and take all the "fat" with him.

Michael P. Wutz



Volunteer firefighters have no place in city

I felt compelled to respond to the Oct. 25 letter concerning the under utilization of volunteer firemen in the city.

The City of Buffalo employs a full time, professional, union fire department. An agreement between the city and the union states that all available members will be called in and put to work prior to any calls for mutual aide from surrounding departments. This was not done. Volunteer departments were called in and immediately put to use doing non-emergency transports, EMS calls and even going to working fires. I agree these were extraordinary circumstances, but volunteers were not used as a last resort. There is no equivalent to volunteer firemen in any other profession. How would you feel if someone stepped into your workplace willing to volunteer to do your paying job for free?

Are there volunteers crossing pickets at Dunlop to make tires for free, are all the trucks picking up debris volunteering, how about a volunteer mayor and staff or a volunteer Common Council.

As far as myself and many of my colleagues, we are concerned one volunteer firemen in the city doing my job is one too many.

Scott Hayden

Buffalo Fire Dept. Ladder 2


Mohan had taxpayers in mind during crisis

Hurrah! Hurrah! We finally have an "elected public servant" who's concerned about the citizens' hard-earned money.

Is there any way the concerned citizens can draft Satish for county executive or governor?

Richard Powers


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