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Everybody's column

Freeze pay for teachers to save jobs, programs

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt has given local residents a clear-eyed and realistic assessment of the fiscal crunch facing school districts throughout the region and the state. As noted in The Buffalo News article, "Schools eye closings, layoffs, tax hikes," on March 13, the State Legislature is in no position to ride to the rescue with a bailout. Cuts are, indeed, inevitable.

So what can districts do to minimize the pain? To his credit, Hoyt points out that a pay freeze for teachers "absolutely has to be part of the discussion." This would save the jobs of many school employees and protect some programs that now face elimination. Moreover, in the wake of a severe recession that has boosted unemployment while flattening both inflation and wage increases for private-sector workers, it would only be fair.

This is a severe fiscal crisis that will get worse if decisive action is not taken to rein in spending. The Legislature should be ready to impose a freeze if unions are unwilling to make the kind of voluntary givebacks Hoyt suggests.

Edmund J. McMahon

Director, Empire Center for New York State Policy

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Depression is difficult for sufferer, loved ones

Bravo to Matt Renninger who authored the March 14 My View, which discussed depression as a disease. I think it is important for people to realize how many people suffer from depression and how it can affect people in a multitude of ways. Although I've never suffered from the disease, I know people who do. It's a difficult disease, not just to those suffering from it but to those who are close to the people who have it. Sometimes it's recognizable; other times it is not.

Kudos to the people who get help for depression, whether meeting with therapists or taking medication. It is very hard to watch those you love going through their ups and downs without knowing how to really help them. All we can do as bystanders is support them, let them know we are there for them and continue to give them a reason to smile in their darkest of days. And hope that that is enough.

Lynn Lombard

Akron

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Leave Kenmore alone; residents like it as it is

This letter is in response to Kevin Gaughan's initiative to dissolve villages. I can visualize this occurring in suburbs that do not immediately border the city limits, or first-ring suburbs as they are called. As a 12-year resident of Kenmore, the push to dissolve our government concerns me greatly.

I bought my home here solely for the safety factor. The unofficial motto of Kenmore is "a cop and a stop sign on every corner." I like it that way.

Our village is a mile-and-a-half long. The response time for a police emergency is currently one-and-a-half minutes. Being a single parent, this gives me so much comfort knowing that my family is safe. To remove our police force would be detrimental and would increase the response time to seven to eight minutes.

I will make it my personal mission to rally support to oppose the dissolution. Also, I am aware of a situation where a village was dissolved and costs/taxes increased instead of decreasing as promised. I am not alone in my thinking. Please leave Kenmore alone and intact.

Carolyn Lynch

Kenmore

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Old First Ward Parade didn't need a new name

I have lived in the Old First Ward for 50 years and I'm very proud to say that. My family has always celebrated St. Patty's Day with friends and family and always enjoyed the Old First Ward Parade, generation after generation. I'm now wondering after all these years who changed the name to "Old Neighborhood Parade" and why? It has always been, and always will be, the Old First Ward Parade to me and everyone else in the neighborhood I have talked to. After listening to the director on a recent radio program, we in the Old First Ward have to wonder why the change was made. Leave well enough alone and put it back. Or at least, out of common courtesy, rename it the Old First Ward/Valley Parade.

Patty Scheu

Buffalo

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Johnny Wilson's served chicken wings in 1946

Contrary to what people believe, the Anchor Bar was not the creator of the original chicken wing. I remember in 1946 walking to Civic Stadium passing the corner of Southampton on Jefferson Avenue and stopping in Johnny Wilson's and checking out the chicken wings. The painted sign in the window of his establishment read "Wings and Things."

Anybody walking on Jefferson Avenue toward Civic Stadium back in 1946 will remember the store and the aroma coming from the cooking of chicken.

Walter Radt

Cheektowaga

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Arctic Circle has had open water in the past

This is in response to the letter, "Warming waters have drastic effect on weather." While I have never been to the North Pole, I have seen pictures. One of the most interesting is of an American submarine floating on the surface at the North Pole in 1959. There are many reports and photos of the USS Skate surfacing above the Arctic Circle from 1958 to 1962. In the photos, there is less ice than we currently have just miles offshore in Lake Erie. The boats are surrounded by large expanses of open water.

Climate change alarmists love to make their point by saying everything is "unprecedented." Things are "worse than ever." Well, at least when it comes to open water at the North Pole, it would appear that recent events are normal.

Paul Halsey

Elma

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It's nice to see Oates get some recognition

How wonderful to see an article written by Joyce Carol Oates on the front page of The News on March 14. Oates' work is often ignored while rubbish by Danielle Steel is a "best seller." Sad.

Nancy Sullivan

Buffalo

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Cost of health care hikes price of American cars

I have just returned from Europe, specifically Germany, where universal health care is the norm. In Munich I saw a number of beautiful German automobiles. None of the price tags included the cost of health insurance for workers or retirees of the factories that made them. Now that the U.S. government owns substantial interests in automobile producers, it might be more interested in the competitive marketing benefits of taking the cost of health insurance out of the price of cars.

Charles E. Wiles III, M.D.

Grand Island

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