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Everybody's column

Gaughan ought to keep out of villagers' business

After reading the article on dissolving villages, Kevin Gaughan makes no sense. If the citizens of these villages really wanted change, wouldn't they be going to Gaughan instead of him going to them? The forefathers he mentioned would likely say: Let the villagers decide their fate themselves; we don't live there.    

Why is Gaughan so hell-bent on telling others what type of government is best for them? It is amazing that Gaughan says he has all the answers to better government, but has no answers to the questions that really matter. Common sense says that some employees will lose their jobs. Taxes have to go up; the towns aren't going to provide services for free and any village debt needs to be paid by the villagers, no matter how long it takes. What a bargain! The heritage of our villages should not be a footnote of history.

Patty Morrison

Lake View

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GOP's continued fight should not surprise us

Does the Republican Party truly represent the best interests of its constituency? It doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to figure that one out for as he once said, "I have the advantage of knowing your habits, my dear Watson."

Habitually, over the past several decades while in power in Washington, Republicans have failed to substantially address the health care crisis and have allowed the free market free reign in health and other commercial arenas, which brought this country to its knees.

And now, after months of struggle under Democrats' rule, their attempt to foil any substantive health care reform has been lost. So how do Republicans intend to move forward? Perhaps sit down in a bipartisan effort and attempt to address the job situation? Look to the future and cooperatively work with their colleagues to address the issues of energy or creative initiatives to become and remain competitive in a global economy?

No, they are ready to rally their Republican counterparts throughout the 50 states to throw money ("whose?" you might well ask) at lawyers who will go to battle for them in an attempt to repeal the health care legislation.

I guess it shouldn't surprise us since we "have the advantage of knowing [their] habits."

Patricia Lynch

Youngstown

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Teachers always claim it's all about children

After reading the March 19 Another Voice, "Teachers formed union so they could do their jobs," I am astonished at the high regard some teachers have for themselves. The writer implies that being a union member will enable her to tell the administration how to run the school. She refers to a News article that credits unionized labor as a positive factor in keeping the General Motors Tonawanda plant viable. She fails to mention that the unions were the prime factor in GM's demise in the first place. The unions made major concessions to keep GM afloat, not to mention the huge financial support of taxpayers.

News Flash: A union cannot tell a company how to run its business. If there is union input, it is the company's choice.

The writer states that teachers are not factory workers, but are "highly educated." I guess that a mere factory worker must grovel at the teachers' feet. After all, teachers "hold the students' hands" and "give them mittens." Give me a break.

She also fails to mention that the students of unionized teachers in Buffalo have a dismal high school graduation rate of 53 percent. So much for teacher input. Of course she closes with: "We are standing up for our kids." After all, isn't it always about the children?

With the Buffalo Teachers Federation's sorry results in the Buffalo school system, I fear I can expect the same at Buffalo United Charter School.

Paul Weslow

Angola

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Voters will send officials a message in November

I'm not sure what world our federal elected officials are living in, but I do know it's not the real one. Top-of-the-line health care, raises they vote for themselves and pension benefits I can only dream about are just a few of the niceties we have allowed them to enjoy.

I am incensed that they passed a bill that bailed out the banks, yet did not ensure the miscreants would not receive perks and bonuses.

And now House members have passed a health care bill that is admittedly filled with pork so that they can keep their seats in the November election. Apparently they are out of their minds to think that the employed voters will countenance their incompetency and re-elect them. A warning for those who think we aren't paying attention to what they are doing in Washington: Wait for November to see.

Jo Anne Yuhnke

Elma

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Prohibiting drug ads would help cut prices

Here's a radical idea. Suppose all the prescription drug companies that spend millions of dollars on television ads stop their pandering to potential patients, and devote the money saved to lower prices on prescription drugs? The current practice of advertising contributes to the faulty concept that a prescription pill will cure all ills; real or imagined. Leave the distribution of prescription drugs to the doctors, not to the general public.

Jennifer Parsons

Glenwood

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Old Neighborhood Parade could not have been better

Every now and again it's important that we recognize the community leaders who toil behind the scenes to create some of our region's marquee special events. One of those individuals is Margaret "Peg" Overdorf, executive director of the Valley Community Association. Every spring for the last 17 years, Overdorf and her team at the VCA plan, organize and execute one of the most enjoyable public gatherings Western New York has to offer: the Old Neighborhood St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The Old Neighborhood Parade, which has operated under this name since its revival in 1994, is a wonderful celebration of Irish tradition and the classic neighborhoods bordering the historic industrial sections of the Buffalo River. Snaking through several proud old parishes, the procession includes boisterous and enthusiastic families and community members who proudly display their love for this famous section of our city.

This year's parade was once again a huge success, with an unprecedented number of entries and participants. Kudos to the organizers and volunteers for their hard work and dedication to making this area and the City of Good Neighbors a better place for us all. From my spot at the corner of O'Connell Avenue and Alabama Street, the parade couldn't have been better.

Matt Davison

Board Member, Valley Community

Association, Buffalo

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