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Everybody's column

Closing bars at 2 a.m. would be a positive step

Regarding the proposed change in Erie County to close local bars at 2 a.m. rather than 4 a.m., Pearl Street Grill & Brewery is in favor of it.

As part of our continuing efforts to serve alcohol responsibly, we encourage a good time, while also monitoring our patrons' actions and alcohol consumption. Pearl Street Grill & Brewery is a member of the GO SAFE program where free cab rides are distributed to customers in need.

A strict identification policy is always in effect. As a brewery, our reputation and continued operation are dependent on maintaining our liquor license. Speaking from personal experience, we lost a dear friend and valued employee to a drunk driver early New Year's morning when he was going home after work.

We feel that closing local bars at 2 a.m. will have a positive effect on the area and provide a safer and healthier environment for everyone. More than enough good business can be obtained before 2 a.m. A substantial benefit to bringing out patrons earlier would be a positive increase in food sales.

As a region, let's prioritize customer, public and law enforcement safety. Get some sleep Buffalo; we see it as a positive for everyone.

William Casale

General Manager

Earl Ketry

Managing Partner

Pearl Street Grill & Brewery

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Few Americans support troop increase in Iraq

One of the most important front-page stories in the Dec. 13 issue bore the misleading headline, "Support gaining for increase in troops." In fact, the headline referred only to advice being developed in the Pentagon. Buried far deeper in the story -- in the eighth paragraph, on the following page -- a reader could learn that only 12 percent of Americans would support a troop increase, according to a recent poll.

Even though the continuation headline did indicate this figure, the all-important first impression had been made. A more accurate headline on page one would have been, "Pentagon to propose increase in troops." A good headline reflects the totality of a story.

Claude Welch

Snyder

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Many nurses are forced to work overtime, too

I understand that our bridge officers are complaining about forced overtime and stress in their job. Well, I just want to put things into perspective.

As a registered nurse with Erie County Medical Center, I can tell you that many nurses are often forced to work mandatory overtime, sometimes more than once a week. This means that after eight hours of stress, both physical and mental, you will be told you must stay for another eight-hour shift.

Being tired or, as the bridge officer put it, "about as sharp as a cotton ball," does not count. You will still be expected to take care of patients and even make life-or-death decisions. I must also point out that nurses do not make $60,000 after 10 years, as bridge officers do. Base pay is considerably less than that.

While I sympathize with the Homeland Security officers and do not want to lessen the importance of their jobs, remember that many other people have very important jobs, make less money and are forced to work overtime under very stressful conditions.

Edward Wells, R.N.

Lancaster

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Amherst IDA is not as effective as it claims

The Amherst Industrial Development Agency's study of its effectiveness is misleading. Its alleged job growth is significantly less if questionable incentive awardees are removed. For a clear picture of the agency's success, one needs to omit job growth gained from neighboring municipalities and companies that didn't require incentives to locate in Amherst. Jobs already in Buffalo that move to Amherst should not be included.

Amherst gives incentives to businesses that don't deserve them. Enterprises that need to be located near their customers -- such as medical and law offices, apartments and hotels -- don't deserve incentive consideration. Taxpayer-financed incentive money needs to be saved for projects that add to our overall economy, not to development that would have occurred anyway.

IDAs, all over, are under fire for furthering taxpayer-financed projects that lack results, continually miss job projections and don't include meaningful penalties if companies leave or fail to meet goals.

The study indicates taxpayer-financed handouts are finally getting the proper evaluation they deserve. However, debate demands unbiased research as well.

James F. Waack

East Amherst

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Protecting children must be top priority

I am writing in response to The News article, "Sex offense parolees subject to lie-detector testing." Far too often, there is way too much concern about the rights of the perpetrators of crimes. ACLU-based logic should not enter into the discussion when it comes to child molesters.

When will the rights of innocent victims ever come to outweigh those that the American Civil Liberties Union purports to protect? Probably never. So it is up to us -- parents, grandparents, spouses, friends, children and survivors of these monsters -- to work for change in our laws, locally and across our country, for those who have been scarred for life.

As a society, we need to "give up the ghost" when it comes to equalizing rights for those who commit the acts that violate our children. For those individuals who continue to roam free or await parole for physically or emotionally maiming our children, the playing field should never be considered level. The question of whether or not to use a lie detector on convicted child molesters awaiting parole seems like a no-brainer. Let these child molesters incriminate themselves and then lock them up for life.

Maria Zwack

North Tonawanda

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We're reaping benefits of wireless technology

I am writing to congratulate the Buffalo Police Department for its just-in-time and high-tech response to reach a young man in trouble. After a college student's distraught call to his Ohio home, and the father's call to Buffalo police, the police acted quickly and creatively. They contacted the young man's cell phone carrier and obtained the GPS coordinates. From that information, they used online maps to find his location and dispatch a cruiser and an ambulance.

The Internet is already part of everyday life for businesses, education and prosperous families. Wireless-technology use is growing rapidly for a growing list of products and services. The more we can harness the positive benefits of the Internet and wireless technology across our community, the more we will all benefit.

Les Hoffman

Buffalo

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