>Fund housing for people with psychiatric disabilities
As most New Yorkers have already learned, New York State has been found to have discriminated against thousands of people with psychiatric disabilities by "warehousing" them in adult homes in New York City, according to a landmark ruling by Judge Nicolas Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Sept. 7.
In response to this historic ruling, we are urging Gov. David Paterson, New York's first governor with a disability, to direct the state to comply with the decision by producing a remedial plan that facilitates the prompt movement of the 4,300 residents named in the suit into supported housing as soon as possible.
The court showed in great detail that the state will actually save money in difficult fiscal times by redirecting funds currently used to keep individuals in the adult homes. We know that providing community-based supported housing and sustaining related services are less costly and more in keeping with our requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In keeping with growing editorial and public opinion, Paterson should seize this opportunity to accept and not appeal the court's decision and provide adult home residents with long-overdue support to take their rightful place in our communities.
Peter M. Rivera
Mental Health Committee
Shirley L. Huntley
Mental Health Committee
>Deficit is going to derail any economic recovery
Much has been discussed in the last year on the financial crisis and recently it has been said that economic recovery is on its way. Unfortunately, until we address the issues of a current account deficit -- which we have run since 1971 -- trade deficits and structural problems in our general economy, recovery is unsustainable. The poor financial stewardship in the executive branch over the last 28 years (20 of those years Republican) and which saw the growth in the national debt go from $1 trillion to $10 trillion as the Obama administration came in to power has not helped.
Deficits do matter, as former Reagan administration Budget Director David Stockman once advocated. He got fired for telling the truth. Regulation has to be restored totally to the system. And we need to look at one last thing: We cannot continue to outsource the neck of the economy and expect to have a system where 70 percent is based on consumer spending and 30 percent on production. It is unsustainable and shortsighted. If not reversed, we will head into oblivion as a nation.
>Keep government out of our personal lives
I am disappointed that yet another local business will be folding due to new state and federal regulations regarding tobacco and the selling of it. To my understanding, it is now illegal in the United States to sell and purchase flavored cigarettes. There are also new laws requiring merchants to pay up to $1,000 or more for a yearly license. New York State taxes on cigarettes continue to rise. For these reasons and more, McBurney's in East Aurora will be closing shop.
I am not a regular smoker. However, I am a U.S. citizen and demand my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Once again the Food and Drug Administration is in our living rooms and on our porches. We should be free to decide what is best for ourselves and our families. Do not make the masses suffer for those who neglect parental duty in demonstrating to our children the importance of not becoming addicted to any harmful substance.
I believe our fate has been decided long before acts and laws existed banning tobacco with the false illusion that children will no longer be enticed to smoke. Parents should parent and government should govern. When the distinction between the two becomes ambiguous, it is a scary day for America.
Karen Kuehmeier Rosolowski
>Stop throwing millions at Darwin Martin House
The ever-mushrooming budget to restore the Darwin Martin House now exceeds $50 million. Having already received $3 million from state taxpayers, the Martin House Restoration Corp. now hopes to acquire an additional $1 million from the City of Buffalo.
Given its "silver bullet" development mentality, which is riddled with failure, it is likely that the city will comply with this request. Indeed, Council Members David Franczyk and Michael LoCurto, perhaps having forgotten that their constituents struggle in the third poorest large U.S. city, have expressed support for the giveaway.
Even through the lens of economic development, it makes little sense to devote significant public resources to an extravagant restoration of a single house -- a house in which no resident will ever live!
No matter how many Darwin Martin houses we restore, no matter how many Bass Pro stores we finance and no matter how many waterfront projects we construct, the City of Buffalo will not witness lasting positive change until direct investment is dedicated to the most basic, fundamental concerns of its residents: education, employment and public safety.
>Paterson alone should decide whether to run
I think it is disgraceful that President Obama, through his staff, is telling Gov. David Paterson not to run for election for governor. The president is saying that Democrat Andrew Cuomo should run.
If Paterson wants to run, that is his business, not the president's. How would Obama have felt if some powerful Democrats had told him to back off running for the presidency in favor of Hillary Clinton? He would not have appreciated such a request. Why doesn't he just get down to the business of the presidency? God knows he has enough to keep him busy.
As far as I know, this still is a free country. Let individuals make their own decisions on their future.
John W. Orlowski
>Public workers need to help fund pension
There were indications in the paper recently that New York State is thinking of raising taxes to replenish the government employees pension fund badly hit by the stock market decline in the recent recession.
Who will replenish the decline in value of IRA and 401(k) funds, similarly impacted, for retirees without pensions (other than Social Security) who depend on them for their retirement income? Let the government employees pay more into their own plan or take less in benefits as non-government people have to.