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Voters are the ones to decide whether to re-elect Obama

A former boss once told me to never expect the company to do anything that is not in the company's best interest. He was, of course, correct. Companies are created to earn profits and increase the value of the shares owned by the shareholders. This is especially true of publicly traded corporations. So no one should expect the business community to start hiring people simply to reduce unemployment and improve the economy.

Companies hire employees when they anticipate or experience an increase in the demand for their products and/or services, and management decides it cannot meet the increased demand without additional employees. Right now, business in general is doing well without much need for additional employees. Companies are meeting whatever increase in demand they are experiencing with automation, outsourcing and the current employer-friendly job market.

Sadly, we cannot expect much, if any, help from the government. Thanks to the candor of Sen. Mitch McConnell, we know that the Republican Party's top priority is to "make President Obama a one-term president." Since improvement in the economy and/or reduction in the unemployment rate would only strengthen Obama's chances for re-election, there is no incentive for the Republicans in Congress to propose or support any measure that would improve the economy and increase employment. The Republicans' top priority is best served by high unemployment and a stagnant economy.

It should be the voters of this country who decide if Obama is to be re-elected, not the Congress. Those elected to the House and the Senate, regardless of political party, should be working to improve the lives of all citizens; otherwise, what is their motivation for serving in the federal government?

Joseph R. Riggie



Smaller events offer chance to fight cancer

I write in response to the Aug. 3 letter, "Ride for Roswell fee is too steep for some." We appreciate the writer's feedback and his past support, and I would like to share some thoughts that reinforce the importance of the event and its fundraising minimum.

The ride, a volunteer-driven event, is the largest source of unrestricted funds that support Roswell Park Cancer Institute's research and patient programs. With more of our loved ones and neighbors dying each and every day from this terrible disease, our fundraising minimums help us ensure we can raise the maximum amount of funds to defeat cancer as quickly as possible.

We recognize the need to provide more opportunities for people to join together in the fight against cancer. Therefore, we encourage everyone to join us at the Ride Grand Island event on Aug. 21 and the Ride Boston Hills on Oct. 1. These smaller events are great opportunities for cyclists to do their part for Roswell Park while meeting a lower fundraising minimum.

John Hannon

Co-chairman, Ride For Roswell



It's time to reach out a hand for neighbors

"City of Good Neighbors"? I could have used one last Sunday morning. I was walking along, on my way to church in South Buffalo, when I fell. No idea why. Suddenly I was lying on the sidewalk, one shoe off and my bags beside me. I must have lain there for a couple of minutes, and in that time at least three or four cars drove by. Not one person stopped to help, or even to ask if I was all right. I'm sure they must have seen me, but no one even slowed down as they went by. I managed to get back on my feet. My knee was wrenched. I had some nasty scrapes on my arms and legs. I was pretty shaken, but what distressed me the most was the fact that no one bothered to stop.

I know: "That's how it is today. Everyone's afraid to get involved. They're all worried about getting sued." I'm weary of hearing that tired old excuse. It's time for us to ask ourselves: Do we want our actions to be guided by our fears? Or by the conviction that one person who cares can help to change the world for the better?

We like to think of ourselves as a city of good neighbors. If that motto means anything to us, we need to take it to heart, and ask ourselves, "How does a good neighbor behave?" Every day places all sorts of opportunities in our path to give those words "good neighbor" real meaning. In a world that often seems so callous and uncaring, as good neighbors we are called to live differently, think differently, do differently. One good neighbor can help to make the world a better place. Imagine what a whole city of good neighbors can do.

The Rev. Linda Malia



Regulating now saves future government cost

"We all want clean air, but we cannot afford to over-regulate for the sake of regulation at the expense of our small farms and small business." That's how Rep. Tom Reed explained his vote to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. But greenhouse gases aren't dirty pollutants -- no dirtier, in fact, than the congressman's own breath. Unlike soot or mercury or ozone, which injure animals or plants directly, greenhouse gases damage indirectly, by altering climate and acidifying oceans.

One can't claim that the profits from polluting outweigh the costs of injuries, because the changes and their associated costs are largely incalculable. From Lake Erie (predicted to drop several feet) to Long Island Sound (predicted to rise), New Yorkers will adjust in countless ways, and will turn to their elected officials for relief. The enormous expense of adapting infrastructure will be borne at all levels of government. If the congressman truly seeks to cut the cost of government, then he'd be advocating regulation now, rather than funding vastly more expensive remediation later.

Sam Beer



Column on simple rules follows the right path

Bravo, Bruce Andriatch for reminding us how a few rules on our bike paths make for a safe and pleasant activity. The Amherst bike path on Maple and Hopkins is a jewel; it's beautiful, very well tended and heavily utilized. Rules for its use are simple and reasonable: Keep right, protect your kids, control your dogs and don't walk three abreast. Bikers, who are usually careful, need to monitor their speed.

I have personally seen behavior that could have resulted in accidents and/or altercations. It's too bad that there is no one authorized to remind or admonish those 1 percent who refuse to follow the rules or who really don't understand them.

All of these rules may not be written; they are common sense. But you know what they say about common sense.

Gordon Bianchi


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