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New nursing rules won't improve care

It's a great sales pitch for universities' wealth that extra education will mean better-quality health care. Requiring all new registered nurses to get their bachelor's degree, with the anticipation several nurses will continue on for advanced degrees to perform physician duties, is unreasonable. The need for nurses is numerous in non-glamorous positions and requires an orientation for a B.S.N. as well as an R.N.

I recently received inadequate nursing care at a local hospital that is adding this requirement. In its state-of-the-art emergency department, I would not have given a darn if the person taking care of me had a B.S.N., M.B.A. or R.N. A volunteer would have been suitable to reassure me; by reading important papers the nurse sprinted by me, or by answering my call light. With loss of consciousness, monitors were not employed until I asked. The hassled nurse presented me an unknown medication twice, handed me a cup of warm water and walked out. I was lying flat on my back in a neck brace! When inquiring about her mother, my daughter was greeted with a yawn.

Passing medicines is basic nursing. You don't need a four-year degree. New York State trains non-nurses to pass medications in our state institutions. It's cheaper than a nurse. Furthermore, my broken ribs were diagnosed at another hospital, a month later.

The state already has an approved stringent test for nurses. It takes lot of hard work and commitment to become an L.P.N. or R.N. The B.S.N. advantage usually opens more doors, but disappointingly, does not always bring higher pay. Requiring more paperwork from nurses is going to weigh in negatively on patients. The nursing field needs to invite compassionate people who are more than what is on a piece of paper.

Linda Ann George

North Java


Take swift action now, get Iran under control

Iran is acting like a child who needs a good spanking. It is threatening the world with its nuclear ambitions, talking about shutting down the Strait of Hormuz and disrupting the crude oil supply to almost half of the world, saying it might target U.S. military bases within reach of its missiles and harassing a U.S. aircraft carrier with patrol boats and low-flying helicopters. In this particular instance, political diplomacy is a waste of time. We need to act swiftly to provide the necessary discipline to correct this brat before things get out of control and many lives are lost. Action must be taken now to protect the rest of the world from this wayward child.

William J. Belz Jr.



Wind power is waste of money, resources

I get furious at the waste of our money and resources on the Steel Winds project. First Wind's claim that it can generate enough power for 9,000 homes is total nonsense. Wind is intermittent, variable and out of phase with demand. To describe the nameplate capability as capacity is an outright lie. Industrial-scale wind turbines have no capacity value because they have no capacity to generate power on demand. Wind turbines can produce only intermittent power; they must be backed 100 percent by conventional sources. The term capacity in regard to electric power is defined as the ability to produce power on demand. Wind energy cannot promise to deliver.

Power is another loosely used term when discussing wind energy. Just because the turbine has the nameplate capability to produce 2.5 megawatts does not mean that over time it will. Wind energy is notorious worldwide for coming up well short of nameplate capability. Wind produces in the neighborhood of 25 percent of the time.

The tax breaks that First Wind is getting and the tax revenues to the county and towns are nothing more than a shell game with our money. We paid out a lot more to get this token tax returned. The power Steel Winds does generate is uncompetitive on the open market so the New York Power Authority buys it regardless of the cost to us. We pay higher electric rates and subsidize wind energy by the RPS charge on every electric bill. If the wind zealots are serious about stopping global climate change, then develop energy sources that do not waste our money, resources or time.

Thomas Marks

Executive Director

Great Lakes Wind Truth, Derby


Both parties mislead public on 'tax cuts

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are misleading the public. They both tout their actions in extending the payroll tax cuts as beneficial to the American taxpayers. Yet in reality they are again avoiding the real issues. These are not tax cuts; they are cuts in contributions to Social Security.

If they funded these cuts by increasing the contribution level (now set at $110,100) so everyone would pay Social Security on all or most of his wages, the cut would be no "hit" to Social Security. But again, that would overburden the wealthy. Or they could address the issues of increasing taxes on the wealthy and giving "real" tax relief to the middle class.

As it stands now, eventually Social Security will have less to pay future benefits. Way to go, Congress and President Obama!

Michael K. Reilly



Churches shouldn't impose their beliefs on employees

I have another point to add to the controversy over employer churches being required to fund health care insurance that allows coverage for birth control. When churches choose to become employers, why should they not be required to provide all the benefits that are required of other employers?

I don't object to a waiver for the church secretary, sexton, organist or other paid person who works directly in and for the church. I do object to churches owning schools, apartment buildings, publishing houses and a wide variety of businesses while claiming religious exemptions for property taxes and, now, objecting to providing their employees what every other business must provide.

Our taxes have always helped provide streets, sanitation, firefighting, police and many other services to church properties, whether we, individually, believe in the churches' teachings or not. If churches want to employ people, other than to conduct and facilitate worship, they should be prepared to offer them everything that has been instituted by law to be of benefit to such employees.

Furthermore, legislatures and courts protect individual privacy in family planning decisions. How can churches be allowed to impose their own beliefs on their employees? Should an employer church be allowed to force decisions on an employee where even our government cannot? Just as no one is forced to use birth control, no one should ever be denied that option by her employer.

Lucy Ryan