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Everybody's Column

Pergament needs to get his priorities in order

I cannot believe the audacity Alan Pergament has to criticize Channel 4's use of an information crawler during the Amber Alert for Serenity Platts the other night. I did not care which channel carried what information, I felt they all should have been focused on it.

Lord knows if it were his child, he'd expect nothing less than that. When a child is abducted, every minute counts. Someone who just turned on his TV could be the one to remember seeing her and help bring her home. Nothing should be more important than that, and certainly not a basketball game.

Pergament is a perfect example of how we have let things like sports, movie stars and TV reality shows wrongly become the important things in our life. The life of that child should have been what he was concerned about, not how annoying the Amber Alert was during his basketball game. If our priorities were in the right place, doctors and teachers would be making $252 million for 10 years, not baseball players.

Kimberly L. Baker

Orchard Park

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President continues to manipulate public

Here we go yet again. President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other administration officials are back in full attack mode, assailing Congress for its attempt to introduce some measure of accountability into the Iraq War effort.

In spite of the clear message of war fatigue from the American electorate in the 2006 midterm elections, Bush and company plow blindly on, now threatening to veto our elected officials' measures to fund our troops. These are the same individuals who cherry-picked evidence, resorted to fear-mongering and flat-out lied to the world to get us into this jam in the first place.

This administration has proven over and over again that it has no idea how to succeed in Iraq, but it sure does know how to manipulate public opinion to keep the troops over there indefinitely. The question is, are we the American people dumb enough to fall for this sad, pathetic song and dance one more time?

David Goddard

Williamsville

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Keane has experience needed to lead county

It's reported that the leaders of Erie County's political parties are looking for a "fresh face" for county executive. If they needed brain surgery, would they look for an experienced surgeon or a fresh face?

We know Erie County needs brain surgery. James Keane is the only candidate with proven experience to do the job. As former deputy county executive during an administration cited as the most efficiently run county government in the nation, Keane's experience speaks volumes. Our new leadership under Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Rep. Brian Higgins and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown brings a level of excitement and promise that has been absent for years.

We must elect a county executive who will bring full circle a competent and experienced team that we can be proud of. Keane is the only candidate who can accomplish this. Spitzer, Higgins and Brown are not fresh faces -- they are proven leaders, as is Keane. With our support, he will complete the missing link in a chain of leadership that has already begun to move Erie County in the right direction. Party leaders should act now, endorse Keane and give this community the long-awaited leadership it deserves.

Karen A. Ellis

Boston

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County must act now to protect our beaches

Regarding the recent theft of copper from Wendt Mansion, I imagine the parks commissioner is thrilled that he is one step closer to rendering Wendt Park useless and ridding Erie County of the park. It is a wonder to me why the county just doesn't turn Wendt and Bennett beaches over to the Olmsted Parks Conservancy or to New York State so they can make the beaches fully functioning and restore them to their former glory. If the county doesn't want to be in the parks business, let someone do it who wants to.

The idea of losing these beautiful lakefront beaches is a travesty to our environment, and their development will affect our ecology with more building, more storm water drain off, more sewage, the loss of forest and the devastation of the last sand dunes in New York State. Are our politicians so shortsighted that they think the "waterfront" stops at the Skyway? The public needs to protect these parks and beaches for future generations.

Sharen Trembath

Save Our Shoreline

Angola

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Priestly celibacy is irrelevant to issue

A March 28 letter, "Time for the pope to lead by example," referred to Pope Benedict XVI's teaching of the faith as "giving abstract lectures." I assume the writer is either not Catholic or is woefully ignorant of the Catholic Church's teachings. He drags out all of the time-worn cliches on priestly celibacy to make his point, which to me sounds like he is trying to justify artificial contraception.

I know well a family that had 17 children. At the Mass I attend every Sunday, there are 11 families that have a combined total of 67 children. I have a son who has seven children. I know that priestly or papal celibacy had nothing to do with their decision to give life to these children. These families should be the example any sincere Catholic would need. They didn't need the pope or priests to give them examples to be open to life.

Bonnie Huntz

Tonawanda

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Renumber Thruway exits to conform with mileposts

When is New York State going to come into the 21st century on the matter of numbering the exits on the Thruway and other interstate highways? Virtually every other state has now renumbered its limited access highway exits to conform with mileposts. New York continues with the 1950s era concept of sequential numbering with occasional -A or -B suffixes thrown in to accommodate exits that were constructed later. Milepost-based numbering provides valuable information to travelers and is easily understood.

Richard C. Ehlers

Clarence

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End drug trafficking to reduce gang violence

When will society admit that the war on drugs is a failure, as well as morally wrong? In light of recent tragic violence, it is clear that Buffalo has a considerable gang problem. What makes the gangs profitable is largely drug trafficking.

I have long favored initiating a program of registering drug addicts and getting them their drug in a safe and sane manner. This could reduce the gang problem by robbing gangs of their profitability. It is wrong to lock up people just because they choose to use drugs. And it is wrong to deny even menial employment to someone who fails a drug test.

Michael Taylor

North Tonawanda

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