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Everybody's Column

Tobacco Control Program vital to helping smokers quit

Health care providers meet many challenges treating patients with chronic conditions and having available resources to assist patients. One of the issues that we face is treating patients with tobacco dependence. Recently, our facilities, as federally qualified health centers, have received nicotine replacement therapy to dispense to our patients who are ready to quit.

The Tobacco Cessation Center at Roswell Park Cancer Institute has made this resource available to our health centers. With the federally qualified health centers initiative, the New York State Tobacco Control Program is providing nicotine replacement therapy assistance to facilitate health system changes that support tobacco cessation among low-income adult patients served by our health centers. The Tobacco Cessation Center has provided technical assistance and resources from the New York State Smokers' Quitline to better assist our patients with smoking cessation.

In order to provide this type of assistance and treatment to patients, proper funding must be maintained to the Tobacco Control Program. Maintaining this funding will ensure that clinicians will continue to have the resources and tools available to assist smokers wanting to quit and give them the help they deserve.

Joanne Haefner

Executive Director, Northwest Buffalo Community Health Care Center

Lavonne Ansari

CEO/Executive Officer, Community Health Care Center

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Take corporate money out of political system

BP, AIG, Massey Mining, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Merril Lynch and the list goes on and on. Multibillion-dollar transnational corporations make up the rules as they go, answer to no one and cause immeasurable suffering to ordinary, hard-working Americans.

And where are our so-called leaders? With their hands out, looking for that next "pay to play" political contribution from these companies. So, we are treated to a few photo ops on the beach and some tough-sounding statements while the cameras are rolling, but nothing is done to change the power relationships that foster these disasters.

We must take private corporate money out of politics, including by constitutional amendment if need be. As long as it remains legal for the corporations to bribe the political class, the rest of us don't stand a chance.

Richard Furlong

Dale

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Pearl Street isn't trying to block sale of brewery

In recent weeks, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery has been mentioned by individuals associated with Flying Bison Brewery, who have implied that we are trying to block the sale of the Flying Bison Brewery. This is far from the truth as we have no direct connection with these dealings other than that one of our employees used to work for them.

Our brewer at Pearl Street Grill, Phil Internicola, is an investor with and had been a working principal of Flying Bison until questioning its business practices three years ago. He was released by Flying Bison Brewery and subsequently hired by Pearl Street. Internicola has been an integral part of our growth and success over the past three years and created and developed our 175-tap system throughout our five-floor facility. He has grown our beer platform and is a major part of our renowned status as one of the largest brew pubs in the world.

During his tenure here, Internicola has maintained an appropriate separation between Pearl Street and his interest in Flying Bison. We have always been supportive of other local business growth and development and have no intention of contributing to the demise of Flying Bison Brewery.

Pearl Street Grill & Brewery has become a Buffalo icon and we hope that local beer enthusiasts will continue to realize our commitment to the renaissance of downtown and recognize our legitimate business practices as we continue to employ more than 145 people.

William Casale

General Manager, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, Buffalo

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Hoskins has provided great care for horses

In my years of knowing Beth Hoskins, I can state with confidence her care and devotion to her horses. Upon visits to her home, I witnessed installation of video equipment due to the ongoing domestic violence, trespass and harassment from individuals including neighbors. She has been unable to utilize her land due to such threats. There have been false claims and reports since 2004. The shame is that Web sites, chat rooms and publications have taken these allegations to print as fact.

Hoskins has no history of reports prior, and she tolerated multiple unannounced inspections, never with any findings. It is inconceivable that an agency would seize animals without attempting to work with an owner if indeed compliance issues are present. With no history of abuse, neglect or compliancy issues, I seriously question the motives involved. If there was an issue, recommendations and return appointments are protocol. Did it really warrant the removal of all horses? It seems very unreasonable that an agency that truly cares for protecting animals would not work with an owner to correct any alleged issues.

Jennifer Hartwell

Skyloft Morgans

Gorham, Maine

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Did race participant really need to smoke?

This was my first Race for the Cure. With mixed emotions, I joined my fellow survivors in an effort to raise awareness and needed funding. Hats off to the highly organized Susan B. Komen Association for a well-run event.

As a cancer survivor, I know the strength this disease demands of its victims. I have spent the last two years doing everything in my power to remain healthy and cancer free. Imagine then my shock when the man to my right lit up a cigarette while walking. Could his addiction to a known carcinogen have waited one more hour? Really, buddy? What an unfortunate display of narcissism on an otherwise glorious day.

Judith Masters

Snyder

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Parents of young sailor endangered her welfare

When the 16-year-old girl who attempted to sail around the world alone graduates, she'll probably have a graduation party. If beer is served, and some of her classmates sneak a couple of beers and the cops arrive, the girls' parents would be arrested for endangering the welfare of minors.

But it is OK with the authorities for the parents to encourage, and enable their 16-year-old minor to sail around the world alone. She probably didn't have any beer on the boat, that's why. Right?

Al Cerne

North Collins

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