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Everybody's Column

>Letter about Dow got the facts wrong

It is sensational headlining to say that the GOP intended to ax Social Security, however, it does appear The News will allow people to ax facts to pitch Barack Obama, as evidenced by an error in an Oct. 5 letter. The Dow was around 1,000 in January 1981, not 10,800. To state the Dow is at the same level it was 27 years ago is so absurd you would hope the vast majority of the public would immediately grasp the ignorance behind the viewpoint. That the editor would print such ignorance is alarming and a disservice.

Instead of the zero gain claimed in the propaganda, the annual compound growth of the Dow is greater than 9 percent over the last 27 years. That such a rate of return may not be sustainable is debatable, but instead of allowing a component of personal savings and responsibility and investment in our country's economy, the current system perpetuates big government to address insecurities while passing costs to future generations. Bush has been a poor president, but Obama's message, positioning government spending as the solution for every insecurity, is no solution.

Barry Olson


>Pano's renovations give area a big boost

I applaud the Georgiadis family for their commitment to Buffalo and the Elmwood Avenue community. The recent completion of renovations to Pano's restaurant is a huge boost to the area. The expanded building and grounds are beautiful.

I am hoping that their example will encourage other property owners along Elmwood and elsewhere in the city to make improvements to their buildings and landscaping. This does not mean spending thousands of dollars. It could be as simple as keeping a building properly maintained, keeping tree beds free of weeds and keeping sidewalks clean and free of litter.

This is a quality-of-life issue that can have a lasting impact. People feel better about their surroundings when they are neat and clean. A cleaner, prettier Elmwood Avenue, and other areas throughout the city, will be an even bigger draw for business. We can all benefit from positive improvement to the area.

Judy Dean



>Natural gas is abundant in our offshore reserves

This is in response to the Another Voice written by Ben Lieberman on Sept. 29 concerning the rise of heating costs in the coming years, and his solution to the problem. As of Jan. 1, 2005, the United States is believed to have 173 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in reserves offshore. Of these 173 trillion cubic feet, 88 of them are considered to be in a deep drilling area. That leaves 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in shallow drilling areas.

These shallow reserves are believed to be only 50 to 100 meters below the sea floor. The deep reserves are about 500 meters below the sea floor. However, 85 trillion cubic feet appears to be a very significant amount, and a good reason to start drilling.

Just like Lieberman noted, this 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas just below the sea floor could power homes in the United States for 16 years. It seems to me this is the government's chance to show the people it cares about rising fuel prices and our significant dependence on foreign products.

Eric Manuszewski

Grand Island


>Requiring home sprinklers would save countless lives

Last month, the International Codes Council took a historic step and voted to approve a new building code standard, one that would require home builders to install sprinklers in newly constructed one- and two-family homes. Basically, this would result in two things: the sprinklers would help protect the residents of a home where fire breaks out, while also helping to control a fire before volunteer firefighters get to the scene.

Recent data from the National Fire Protection Association shows that when sprinklers are present, the chances of dying in a fire are reduced by 50 percent to 75 percent, compared to house fires where sprinklers are not present.

The Firemen's Association of the State of New York has long advocated for this sprinkler standard, and firmly believes sprinklers can save lives -- both those of the homeowner and of the firefighter. During National Fire Prevention Week, we call on local municipalities, cities and states to adopt this fire protection standard as law in their respective jurisdictions.

Paul Oehmler

Board of Directors, Firemen's

Association of the State of New York



>Democrats share blame for nation's problems

After the maddening political garbage last week, I took a double shot of bourbon and went to bed. Monday, I awoke to find things had gotten worse. I read in The News that Sarah Palin was involved in graft. Of all things, the Associated Press reports she took a free facial from one of her constituents and a dozen roses from another. Now I'm mad all over again!

Then I read the editorial, "Where were the alarms?" announcing the Wall Street mess; and where was George Bush? Now I'm getting madder. I dropped the paper, turned on the TV and learned Bill Clinton had appointed his friend Franklin Raines as head of Fannie Mae. Raines destroyed it, took a $90 million parachute and became Barack Obama's adviser. Now I'm really mad. Then I see that Chris Dodd got the highest political pay-off from Raines, and Obama got the second highest. It took Dodd years to accumulate his. Obama did it in just two.

Now I discover that John McCain and the Republicans tried to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 1996 but were defeated by the Democrats, helped by Charles Schumer and Barney Frank. Now I'm furious. If only my taxes were lower, I could afford another bourbon.

Richard Blake Sr.



>Time Warner Cable let customers down

Time Warner Cable has breached a contract with its subscribers. Many, like me, have Time Warner and signed up for an agreement of one year with this company. When I signed on, I was promised I would receive two channels that, as of Friday at midnight, I can no longer receive from this company.

Oh, sure, I can go get a pair of rabbit ear antennas or receive a rebate, but I didn't read that in the small print of my contract. This is not what I call viewing these stations through my Time Warner Cable subscription, which I pay for and was promised. How is this fair to the little guy who is paying his bill every month and just trying to view what he was promised? I am sure both Time Warner and LIN TV are at fault, but I don't have a contract with LIN TV.

Vinny Blasio

Lake View

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