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Everybody's Column

>Hairston merits praise for sharing his story

Congratulations to Mylous Hairston for his candid recounting of his cardiac event. For a high-profile individual to come forward with such a personal story to educate the public is admirable.

Cardiovascular disease is often misdiagnosed. Men and women often have very different and sometimes, vague complaints when it comes to blocked coronary arteries. Symptoms can range from crushing, burning, heaviness in the chest with radiation into the arms and or jaw, shortness of breath, epigastric discomfort or upper back pain. Individuals can complain of any combination of these symptoms or none of them. Women often complain of nausea and extreme fatigue. Education and prevention are crucial in diagnosing and treating heart disease.

I was happy to see that Hairston began his recovery with Cardiac Rehab. This is a very safe way to begin an individual exercise routine after a cardiac event. Clients are monitored with telemetry for irregularities in heart rhythms while blood pressures and heart rates are observed. Individuals are counseled in risk factor identification/modification and support is given for smoking cessation, weight loss, blood sugar control and stress management.

Hairston has used his celebrity status to demonstrate that heart disease can happen to anyone, but that there is hope for recovery and good or better health to follow.

Eileen T. Fabiano, R.N.
Sisters Hospital, Cardiac Rehab
Snyder

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>Science and religion both have much value

A recent letter stated that many now realize "the Bible is no match for what science teaches us about the natural world."

Though there are those who believe that their religion has every answer to every question, there are also those who believe that their idea of science is the source of all wisdom. Neither viewpoint meets my needs.

Science and religious belief are not inherently in conflict. The Bible is a literary form meant to teach certain specific religious beliefs, morals and social behavior. Science is meant to explain natural phenomena and develop new insight based on evidence that can be verified. How about allowing science and religion to do what they are best designed to do?

Carlene Boisaubin
Amherst

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>Impose a moratorium on local charter schools

One doesn't have to oppose the concept of charter schools to support a moratorium on them in this community at this time. Five years ago, the Buffalo School District had already reached the percentage of students attending charter schools warranting concern for all the remaining students. The 16 charter schools now operating in Buffalo and nearby suburbs enroll 6,500 students.

In spite of the resulting heavy negative financial impact on the district, we have seen gradual improvement in the quality of its schools. Test scores are changing. Buildings are improved. Problems are tackled. Some charter school innovations, like lengthening the school day and using uniforms, are moving into the traditional schools.

In considering adding local charter schools, attention should be given to the first extensive national assessment of charter school performance. The study by the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes from Stanford University covers 70 percent of the students in U.S. charter schools. Shouldn't we be looking seriously into these results before continuing to issue additional charters?

Results show 17 percent of charter schools in the study are superior, 37 percent are significantly worse. All the rest are no different from local public school options.

A moratorium on charter schools would halt the siphoning of money from our overburdened Buffalo School District, as we await further research.

Lenore Tetkowski
Grand Island

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>Let judges, not juries decide malpractice cases

One effective way to lower health care costs is to eliminate juries in tort law and let judges judge. A panel of three judges (without juries) can hear more cases than can three separate judges (with juries). There would be no extensive voir dire process selecting members who might favor one position, fewer court maneuverings aimed to sway emotional jurors and court costs would be lower.

Excessive awards would be far fewer, lowering malpractice insurance (and premiums), and doctors would be far less inclined to overprescribe unnecessary tests and procedures.

Kenyon Riches
East Amherst

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>Enhanced interrogations help keep Americans safe

How fast we forget. Eight years after the worst attack on Americans in our history, Eugene Robinson is upset that medical personnel involved in enhanced interrogations are not being held accountable. He thinks stress positions, forced nudity, sleep deprivation and waterboarding are torture.

I wonder how those people caught in the towers after the planes hit felt before they jumped from windows? I wonder how those on Flight 93 felt when they knew that saving Washington from another attack meant they were giving up their lives? I wonder how rescue squads entering the towers to help victims felt risking their lives to save others as they climbed those many stairs?

Using severe forms of questioning should never be abandoned if it saves innocent lives. I am sick of whiny liberals wanting to prosecute CIA agents for doing their jobs. If this country continues on this path, we can probably expect something far worse than 9/1 1. Our enemies are always watching.

Patricia Comerford
Lewiston

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>Do road construction during evening hours

I cannot understand why road projects on the Niagara Thruway and the Kensington Expressway have waited until September to begin. Why did this major construction not occur during the summer months when schools and universities were on hiatus? A commute from the Southtowns into the city has taken an hour to an hour-and-a-half on some occasions. It would be much safer for construction to occur at night.

Besides creating overly excessive commutes, I have witnessed multiple accidents occur on our highways on an almost daily basis due to the roadwork. This construction during peak rush hours creates a bottleneck and unsafe driving situations.

Let's move the construction to the evening hours, and give the drivers back their highways.

Erika Julyan
West Seneca

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