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EVERYBODY'S COLUMN

Potential employers reject those who are overqualified

I congratulate the writer of the Jan. 17 letter, "Jobs are indeed available to those who want to work," on his new jobs and wish him well. However, I disagree with his premises that we who remain unemployed are this way because we haven't tried hard enough; are unwilling to take a job that doesn't pay enough; or won't take a job that is somehow beneath us.

In six months, I have applied for a variety of jobs, including some not related to the fields I have been educated or trained for. And I haven't been hired, despite the fact that I am capable of and willing to do any type of honest labor.

What he failed to take into consideration is that employers do the hiring; we can't make them give us a job. His letter stated that he had no advantage over any other job-seekers, but that is where my opinion differs from his. What likely made him so fortunate as to have two job offers is that his formal education ended with a high school diploma.

When those of us with college educations apply for jobs not specifically related to our education and experience, employers find it easy to toss our applications aside. Their reasoning is that when a job comes along in our "true field," we'll quit and they'll have to find a replacement. Applicants' eagerness to work doesn't matter. The employer makes a value judgment based on a piece of paper, without letting us interview and plead our cases in person.

Nancy-Pat Scanlon

Hamburg

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Bring repeal initiative to a vote in the Senate

I find the comments of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reprehensible in saying that a bill to repeal "Obamacare" will never reach the Senate floor. It is the responsibility of Congress to carefully consider proposed legislation and act on it, either tabling it for further investigation or bringing it to a vote. The House has already echoed the will of the people by voting to repeal Obamacare. For the Senate to take the position that it knows what is better for the American people than the people themselves is no better than what our ancestors faced when aristocrats considered themselves to know more than serfs and peasants.

Our government is supposed to be of, by and for the people, not at the people. I cannot further comprehend how any provisions of Obamacare are to be funded without cost to taxpayers. That would be very creative accounting. I urge Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to advise Reid that he needs to bring this repeal initiative to a vote in the Senate and to cease his arrogance toward the American people.

Fred Cox

Amherst

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Let's all work together to solve our problems

This letter is written in response to the writer who is considering canceling her News subscription due to the coverage of the Arizona shootings. I do not always agree with the coverage given events, local or national. The op-ed columns The News chooses to run are one of the main reasons I subscribe. At times like this, when the nation is going through yet another tragedy, columns such as that of Susan Estrich on Jan. 14 give me reason to keep reading the newspaper. When other news sources offer the vitriolic noise coming from those who divide us, The News offers columns such as Estrich's, which are a voice of informed reason and a call to civility. Her columns and those of Clarence Page and Mitch Albom are more than worth the cost of my subscription.

Many years ago, President Bill Clinton spoke at the University at Buffalo. When we meet people, he said, it is most important to consider whether we most see them as different from us or like us. At the time I thought he was talking about meeting others of different races, religions, cultures. At this time, I think his comment relates to Republican, Democrat; left, right; liberal, conservative. We are all using the resources we have been given or have attained to make a good life for ourselves and our loved ones. The divisive ramblings of so many national commentators do nothing to move us forward to address the problems we face. They are destructive and potentially dangerous to us as a nation and individuals.

Could we consider treating each other with the respect and consideration we want for ourselves? Could we consider what we have in common as individuals and try to work to solve the problems before us? I'll keep reading The News because some of the articles in it are examples of the change in political discourse our nation needs today.

Carolyn Kirsch

Tonawanda

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Move Broadway Market to Buffalo's waterfront

Since the late 1800s, the Broadway Market has provided fresh and unusual foods in an Old World atmosphere. Originally intended to preserve Eastern European traditions, heritage and foods from "home," the market also provided a place to keep up on news, to socialize and to try new things.

After the original market burned down, a new market was built. Then in 1956 the 90,000-square-foot current market was built. To date the Broadway Market provides not only delicious and exotic food, but has worked hard to preserve the heritage and cultures from around the world.

I strongly believe the Broadway Market would be a wonderful addition to the downtown waterfront development, along with a pictorial museum of its history. Buffalonians, as well as tourists, could enjoy the unique atmosphere and get a real taste of Polish sausage, sweet potato pie, cheeses, rare wines, meats and other exotics, all while enjoying activities and events showcasing and celebrating the different cultures that make up Buffalo's wonderful melting pot.

Laura Wright

Amherst

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Schools are overloaded with administrative staff

I read with interest The News article on the fiscal challenges facing our schools. Never mind that we spend more per pupil than most other states and yet have some of the lowest-scoring students. It seems to me our schools lost their way a long time ago. It's really a pretty simple fix. All we need to do is cut -- and I don't mean programs for the kids. How about we start with administration? Let's cut salaries and benefits by 20 percent and also staff. They have become top-heavy. It wasn't all that long ago all we had was a principal, a vice principal and a couple secretaries.

Also the teachers can help out, not so much with a cut in pay, but let them pay into their retirement and pay a bigger part of their health care. The teachers unions have done a good job in getting their members pay and benefit packages and tenure, and it's time they step up and show some leadership and help out in this time of need. They need only to look at the private sector and see the sacrifices we have made to keep our jobs. Teachers say it's about the kids. I say, prove it. We're tapped out.

Rick Fisher

East Aurora

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