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Letters

>IDA insults residents with AES Corp. break

Niagara County residents elect the Legislature. The Legislature appoints the IDA board. IDA shafts the residents by giving AES Corp. a multimillion-dollar and multi-year tax reduction. The Legislature will now attempt to recoup the lost revenue by increasing the residents' taxes and dipping into the reserve surplus.

County Attorney [Claude A.] Joerg says the Legislature can't control the IDA "monster" it created. Hmmm, AES Corp. reported a $386 million profit for 2005 [according to the Washington Post]. With such a profit, why the tax break? If anything, why wasn't the "PILOT" tax break by the IDA made contingent upon the Albany selection of Somerset for the power plant?

I would like to add my name to the 443 signatures on Vicki LaRocque's petition to be hopefully resurrected at the next county election.

Louis T. DiLorenzo

Lyndonville

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>Hospice celebrates "faces of caring'

Most of us remember someone who helped us during difficult times: a grandparent, a special teacher, even a stranger who became a friend. The recollections of these "faces of caring" bring comfort and calm in the midst of crisis.

Yet when recalling end-of-life situations of those we love, many of us have different recollections. These memories may include the hurt on the face of a loved one in pain; the sorrow on the face of a family member who did not get the opportunity to say goodbye to a dying relative; the stress on the faces of those making difficult decisions about end-of-life choices without guidance.

Niagara Hospice is the only hospice provider in Niagara County providing support to individuals - and their families - during life's final journey. Quality end-of-life care isn't about how you die; it's about how you live. Hospice care focuses on how dying people and their loved ones live each day, providing comfort and guidance along the way.

November was National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Last month, Niagara Hospice celebrated the "faces of caring" who provide hospice and palliative care. These trained professionals and volunteers from our community offer pain and symptom control, dignity, and spiritual and emotional care for dying people and their loved ones when a cure is not possible. Hospice care puts a face on quality end-of-life care - the faces of nurses, doctors, social workers, spiritual caregivers, homecare aides and volunteers who provide services and support to families during one of life's most challenging times.

Facts you need to know:

* Hospice care can take place in a variety of settings, including private homes, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

* For 25 years, hospice has been a fully covered benefit under Medicare. Hospice is also covered by Medicaid, most private insurance plans, HMOs and other managed care organizations.

* Hospice care is an option for those with illnesses other than cancer, including HIV/AIDS, heart disease and dementia.

Studies have shown that hospice care directly addresses the concerns that many people have about dying, which include being in pain and being a burden on family. The majority of families whose loved one was cared for by hospice overwhelmingly support their decision to choose hospice care. The most common statement heard is, "We wish we had chosen hospice sooner."

Niagara Hospice provides bereavement services to family members and loved ones for 13 months following a loved one's death. National Hospice and Palliative Care Month is the perfect time to talk to your physician, friends and family, social workers, hospital discharge planner or nursing home staff about hospice. If you or someone you love is faced with a potentially terminal illness, call Niagara Hospice at 439-4417. More information can also be found on the organization's Web site at www.niagarahospice.org.

Patricia M. Degan, director of marketing and public relations

Lockport

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