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Everybody's Column

More education needed on teen dating violence

The vast majority view Valentine's Day as an excuse to demonstrate their devotion to their loved ones. This February I am dedicating my time to raising awareness about the relationships that may need the most help: those of children. This is Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Week, which helps bring attention to a national problem -- one that without help from parents, educators and policy makers may continue to grow.

A 2008 survey, sponsored by Liz Claiborne, demonstrated that nearly half of teen girls who have been in a relationship have been victims of verbal, physical or sexual abuse by their boyfriends. Further, this abuse is starting in the tweens.

Recognizing the need for education addressing teen dating abuse, Liz Claiborne, state attorneys general, members of the National Foundation of Women Legislators, government officials, Redbook magazine and citizens are launching a movement to promote education regarding teen dating violence.

Moms and Dads for Education to Stop Teen Dating Abuse (MADE) is a nationwide coalition of citizens who are advocating for legislation in every state to ensure that middle/high schools across the country are teaching curricula that enable students to identify and prevent dating relationship abuse. I am a MADE member, and I implore others to join.Visit www.loveisnotabuse.com/made.

Carla J. Miller Montroy

Buffalo

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Daschle's withdrawal is change we can believe in

It was gratifying to see former Sen. Tom Daschle withdraw his name from consideration for a post in the Obama administration.

Though surprising to many -- especially since fellow tax scammer and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner did not take the same cue -- we average citizens can now view "Tom's Turnabout" as the first real example of change in which we can believe.

Since I fall into the minority percentage of Americans who actually pays my tax bill and mortgage payments and supports charitable and community service organizations, perhaps our new president will seize this opportunity to sign legislation preventing tax scofflaws from remaining in, or being appointed to, any government position.

Oh wait! Who would draft that legislation? Perhaps we first need to establish integrity as a baseline for elected or appointed office. How many more elite Democrats will Obama expose on our behalf? Keep up the good work, Mr. President. Who's next?

James Gibbons

Buffalo

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Explore other ways to ease congestion at Peace Bridge

In the Feb. 1 edition, "To build or not to build" was revisited in light of declining traffic on the Peace Bridge. Here are some suggestions:

Another bridge won't decrease congestion; only opening more inspection booths will do that. Raise tolls 25 or 50 cents and use the funds to keep all booths open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. from May 1 to Sept. 30, and all weekends and holidays.

Get the trucks off of the bridges. Make increased use of the railroad bridge. Most trucks aren't stopping or starting in Western New York, they are just passing through.

Charge trucks $500 between 6 a.m. and midnight; $200 between midnight and 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.; and $1 between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Guess when they will use the bridge?

Finally, process the trucks in Canada. Having them wait on the bridge is ridiculous. It is totally inconsistent with increased security.

These suggestions can be implemented almost immediately, certainly before the summer season. Most of the congestion will be eliminated. We need to remember that we will never eliminate all congestion.

If these suggestions don't improve traffic flow, then maybe another bridge is needed. But it is important to keep in mind the massive congestion that will occur during the years that it will take to complete.

James M. Mulcahy

Grand Island

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It really doesn't matter which party is in power

The Feb. 1 News editorial, "Change Albany culture," brings to our attention what I think we already know. The politicians live in their own world, a world of secrets and back-door deals. It seems they can get away with anything. It's completely out of hand and there isn't much we the people can legally do to change it.

I have written to some of them ande-mailed some of them, but what does that really do? Mostly I don't even get an answer. Once they are in office, it's like they won the lottery, which is another issue I could write about.

The Republicans blame the Democrats and the Democrats blame the Republicans. There isn't any difference between them. That kind of us-versus-them thinking only hurts us all. The question is, what can we do about it? Sure people will say "vote them out of office." Well, folks, that just doesn't work, because no matter which party wins, the people of New York State lose.

Filip R. Caruso

Kenmore

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Stop punishing Delano for seeking the truth

Here it is in a nutshell. The prosecutor says, "You follow orders whether you like them or not. If you don't, you do it and then file a grievance." Let's see, Germany, 1945; My Lai, 1968; Abu Ghraib, 2007. Sound familiar? We needed more responsible people then, and we still need them. Dennis Delano did what he thought was best. Don't we wish others were as dedicated?

David R. Battaglia

Tonawanda

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Reject proposal to sell wine in grocery stores

Our legislators must stop Gov. David Paterson's proposal to legalize the sale of wine in grocery stores. If this becomes law, many small businesses will be forced to close their doors, costing the state thousands of valuable jobs. New York already leads the nation in job losses, and I can't imagine why the state would sanction a proposal that makes things worse.

Plus, this proposal would make it much easier for teenagers to get access to alcohol. New York wine sellers are small businesses whose licenses are revoked if they fail to prevent youth from purchasing alcohol. Grocery stores cannot manage this risk as effectively. New York would become like Florida, California and Texas, where wine is sold everywhere and where three times as many kids under 21 die each year from alcohol-related incidents.

Our state has felt enough pain. We must demand that the governor and Legislature kill this proposal before April 1.

Lesle Heubach

Buffalo

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