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Everybody's Column

>Dropping Pace will benefit a secretive administration

I was outraged to read Kathleen Parker's column on how Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was not being renominated to that post because of politics, gays in the military and Sen. Hillary Clinton. As first vice chairman and then chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Pace is intimately involved with the war in Iraq. Parker's depiction of Pace as "highly qualified, deeply respected" is her opinion and is not universally shared as she would imply. As the Iraq war has deteriorated, so has the opinion of the capability of Pace, particularly when it comes to disagreeing with the commander-in-chief.

Parker asked "Cui bono? Who benefits?" The answer is much more likely to be the Bush administration than Clinton. The last thing the administration needs is Pace appearing before Congress answering to what has happened in the last four years. Gays in the military might be a pleasant diversion from 3,400 dead since "Mission Accomplished!"

With members of the administration resigning, requesting immunity from prosecution or fighting subpoenas, Pace's ouster is just one more example of the administration's unwillingness or inability to answer for its actions. Cui bono? indeed!

David Kocak


>Chirping noise serves the visually impaired

Someone might want to share some information with the letter writer who has excellent hearing and is annoyed by the chirping of traffic signals at an intersection near her home. Perhaps she should instead be thankful for her wonderful ability to hear and to see. That chirping noise could be a lifesaver for someone who is blind or visually disabled. Trying to navigate across a big and busy intersection without the ability to see must be an unnerving experience. She is fortunate that it isn't one she must endure.

I agree there are many aspects of modern life with unnecessary and intrusive noise and I find that annoying, too. But traffic signals that chirp, tweet or make other sounds are a lifesaver for some of our fellow humans. It is one noise that is meaningful in our busy and too often self-absorbed world.

Maybe realizing how important that chirping can be will make it less bothersome. Perhaps she can focus on the motorcycles and revving engines instead.

Jan Conradi


>Giuliani gets undeserved credit for leadership

I was born in Buffalo and lived in New York City during the Rudy Giuliani regime and part of Michael Bloomberg's tenure. Giuliani is great at taking advantage of any situation for his own advancement. He's called the savior of New York. In reality, it was the New York Police Department and the people of New York who made it what it is today. Giuliani was too busy having an affair with his administrative assistant, the first of many.

Right before 9/1 1 he started a fling with his present wife, Judy. The man is so crass, he tried to move her into Gracie Mansion while his lawful wife and two children still lived there. Is it any wonder why his children want nothing to do with him? At that point the people of New York couldn't wait for him to leave office.

Then 9/1 1 hit, and the city was in confusion. He was the mayor, so people looked to him. But he was no hero; all he did was what he was elected to do. In fact, before 9/1 1 Giuliani had cut funding needed by the Fire Department to upgrade its communication systems. Many firefighters died because of that, but that never came out in the press.

Edward J. Lawrence


>Getting paid to donate blood is not heroic

A little over a week ago, there was a TV news segment on the Buffalo police blood "donor" program. It cost city taxpayers over $220,000 last year. For the two hours it takes to "donate" blood, these officers got eight hours pay. The police commissioner and the head of the police union called these officers "heroes" for "donating" blood. Yes, lives were saved with these "donations." Would the commissioner and the union president take a few moments to look in a dictionary and find the meaning of "donate" and "heroes"?

If you want to see real heroes, go to the Cheektowaga Blood Center on Dick Road. It displays the pictures of heroes who have donated 5, 10, 15 and 20 gallons of blood. That's 40, 80, 120 and 160 pints of blood, as many visits and as many needles in the arm. And surely, without financial compensation. Donation of their blood, time and even expenses makes those people true heroes.

Leonard Brooke
West Seneca


>Overzealous prosecution is happening right here

It appears to me and everyone I know that Western New York has its own Duke lacrosse fiasco. This statement becomes apparent after one reads the June 14 News article on the Erie County sheriff's deputy being persecuted by the district attorney.

A doctor's son gets arrested not once but twice in two days, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and then cries rape. The district attorney prosecutes the officer despite no DNA, no forensic evidence and a statement from a state trooper who assisted and clearly stated that it did not happen.

I simply do not see any difference between this case and the one in North Carolina involving District Attorney Mike Nifong. The attorney general should investigate this travesty.

Mary A. Brandt


>St. Agnes has delivered a quality education

On June 21, the last day at St. Agnes School, we read an article in The News that was quite disturbing. It was insinuated that we have been offering an inferior education to our students for the past years. Diane Vigrass, superintendent of Catholic schools, said she now feels that the students who have been displaced will receive an improved education at the new schools they will be attending.

As teachers at St. Agnes School, we take great offense to this statement. Our children have received an outstanding education at St. Agnes School. When Vigrass stated, "there could be more offerings. . ." what offerings was she referring to? Does this go back again to the almighty dollar?

We believed in our family school and that the religious and human factors played the most important part in their education. I wish Vigrass was at our school when the children reported for their last day at St. Agnes. She would have then recognized the spirit and love we have given our students as well as a quality education.

Janice Piontek


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