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Letter: Similarly spelled names can lead to unfair attacks

If your name is Joe Smith, you know what it is like to be confused with someone else. A letter to the editor described receiving misdirected hate mail, just because her name is one letter off from someone who criticized Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. I can sympathize with her.

All my life I have gone by the name of Larry BeaNan. I have been criticized because I have been mistaken for a frequent writer to The News. I have never received hate mail or threats. I have gotten comments such as “YOU wrote that?”

I generally took these comments lightheartedly. I may not have always agreed 100% with the writer. Sometimes the difference of opinion was substantial. Sometimes the difference was splitting hairs. But I always felt honored to be mistaken for someone who wrote well-reasoned, well written opinion pieces.

I make the following appeals to readers.

Please make sure you know who you are responding to,

More importantly, please respect honest differences of opinion. Not one of us has a monopoly on truth. There is no place for threats and verbal abuse in a civilized society.

Lawrence R. Beanan

Tonawanda

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