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Everybody's Column

Greatbatch relocation ?is bad news for region

It's a sad day in Mudville, as Wilson Greatbatch executives announced they are moving corporate headquarters to the heart (no pun intended) of the medical device action, and it isn't the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus but rather the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. Give my pacemaker a kick, Maw, I think it might have stopped.

When the smokestack economy ceased billowing in the 1980s, it was fledgling firms like Wilson Greatbatch that offered us a ray of sunshine by daring to say that manufacturing in Western New York was far from dead. While thousands of dispirited steelworkers punched the time clock for the last time in Lackawanna, something special was brewing at 10000 Wehrle Drive.

But alas, business is business. CEO Thomas Hook says no manufacturing jobs will be affected, and we believe him. I am not a betting man, and have no crystal ball, but 10 years from now if tumbleweeds blow across the weed-strewn lots of a once thriving plant in a tiny burg east of Buffalo, I, nor you, will be all that surprised.

In closing, I would just like to say, thank you, Mr. Greatbatch. You were truly one of our all-time greatest human resources.

Joe Sullivan



Vatican is not waging ?war against Catholic nuns

I object to The News' publishing of an inaccurate and abusive editorial cartoon by Stuart Carlson on May 8 against the Vatican and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith relating to the Reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). The beginning of the document explains what the reform is all about, and states that "The Holy See acknowledges with gratitude the great contribution of women religious in the church in the United States."

There is no war on sisters, nor are the men in the Vatican out of touch and unfairly criticizing many sisters who are the most faithful and hard-working members of the church.

But there are problems with the LCWR and its leaders, mostly in the doctrinal area of the Catholic Church. The LCWR represents most but not all of the women religious in the United States. There are problems in the matters of abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination, homosexual behavior and some other areas. It is important to recognize also that many and perhaps most of these sisters, whose leaders belong to the LCWR, do not agree with these deviations from the teaching of the church.

The Catholic Church has been reforming itself for the past 2,000 years, when needed, but it has never changed its teaching on the faith. One can refer to the Catholic Catechism published in 1994 to confirm this. "This Catechism will thus contain both the new and the old, because the faith is always the same, yet the source of ever new light."

Deacon Frank Shaughnessy



Most teens are unaware? of risks tanning poses

I support the bill to ban teens from tanning at salons in New York. I do so out of personal experience. I grew up in California and tanned in salons when I was in high school. I had no idea then that my frying sessions would contribute to my getting malignant melanoma. I had no idea that a surgeon would excise a diamond-shaped piece of skin so large that he could not stretch the remaining skin and close the wound properly.

I had no idea that every trip to the dermatologist would involve snipping and slicing bits of my flesh. And I had no idea that I would be hounded by thoughts of metastasized cancers every time I get a headache or a twinge.

I had no idea that a month ago, after being diagnosed with blood clots in my lungs, the doctors would spend three days searching for cancer in every node, vessel and organ of my body.

I had no idea that studies would eventually show that UVB rays from tanning lamps are four times more powerful than the sun at high noon. And I had no idea that one day I would speak to my State Senator, Michael Ranzenhofer, and that he would not give me clear support for pending legislation to ban teen tanning.

I do have an idea of what needs to be done now, though. Ranzenhofer and his colleagues in the State Senate need to step up to the plate and do what the State Assembly has already done to protect our youth. Let's stem the flow of "I had no idea."

Scott Matheny



Killing feral cats ?is not the solution

The May 22 News published a letter regarding feral cats and birds. I would like to make a few counter-points:

1. The DEC Conservationist article that the writer references makes the major point that domesticated cats should be kept inside, both for their own safety and to protect wildlife from cats' natural hunting instincts. This is great advice.

2. Cats that are kept outdoors "employed" for rodent control do not know that wildlife other than rodents is "off-limits," any more than a hawk or other predator knows that our favorite songbirds and other animals should be left in peace.

3. Bird populations are greatly threatened by our human activities. Many are killed by collisions with motor vehicles and buildings, by pesticides and other chemicals, and by loss of habitat due to our encroachment (building and other land-use activities). This does not even count the deaths of birds that we humans view as prey or food.

4. The killing of feral cats, which the writer recommends, is not only inhumane and distasteful, it is also ineffective due to the "vacuum effect" (more cats move in to replace those who have been killed).

5. The best option for feral/free-roaming/community cats is Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return. To the extent that free-roaming cat overpopulation exists, it is the fault of those of us who have failed to neuter their pets or who have abandoned intact pets and left them to reproduce and to fend for themselves. Locally, there are great resources to help with educating us in free-roaming cat issues, including Feral Cat Focus ( Your veterinarian or Operation PETS ( can help with spay/neuter/vaccination and treatment for parasites.

6. I would invite the previous writer and others interested in this issue to visit as a starting point, in order to be exposed to much more data and information than I can provide on this subject.

Karen Waible



People quickly forget ?all of Bush's mistakes

I am writing to definitely agree with the letter in The News, "Bush was far worse than Obama in office." I totally agree with what she stated in her letter. How soon these Republicans forget all of President George W. Bush's lies and failures.

President Obama is still picking up the pieces and trying to run the country and bring it back to some order after the disgrace of Bush. The Republicans in Congress are purposely voting against bills brought before the Senate and House, just out of spite. Such pettiness.

Nancy White