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Management, unions working together can regain top spot

For years we the people of this once great country have been forgotten by our leaders, who have no proper priorities or sense of direction.

Now our Social Security and disability benefits are threatened while foreign aid is at an all-time high. Foreign aid is nothing less than blackmail to our so-called allies and to countries that actually despise and detest us.

Meanwhile, Congress and top government officials give themselves overly generous wage increases while our unemployment continues to get worse. We are no longer a production nation because we are an import nation. We need jobs here that will put people back to well-paying work.

Both management and unions have to work together to bring about cost-effective operations. The cost of doing business here will be offset by putting people to work and paying taxes.

In many cases items coming from China, Vietnam, Pakistan and other countries are imported for a few dollars and then marked up with retail prices that are as high or higher if they had been made here. Our economy is already in desperate straits and will only get worse unless we once again become a productive nation.

Don Weimer

Williamsville

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More women should be considered as leaders

Without question, the status quo in Albany for too long has been "three men in a room." New York lags behind most other states in female representation and, far too often, local party insiders don't look to nominate the talented women among them. I've witnessed women passed over who had more experience and bigger campaign coffers than the chosen male candidate. Too often, women are simply sidelined.

The long-held attitudes of party bosses need to change, but one sure-fire way to inject fairness into the electoral process for women candidates is the creation of an independent commission to draw district lines. ReShapeNY, a statewide coalition formed to end partisan gerrymandering and reform the redistricting process, aims to do just that.

With Governor Cuomo's pledge to veto lines not drawn by an independent commission, the legislature must come back in a special session to address redistricting reform before the 2012 elections. Just as 1992 after the last redistricting cycle was the "year of the woman," 2012 could be another historic moment for women in New York State if redistricting reform is achieved.

Sonia Ossorio

Executive Director

National Organization for Women

New York City

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Doctor deserves another chance

I am extremely tired of all the bashing about Dr. James G. Corasanti. Did he make a mistake? Sure he did! How about all the lives he has saved? I happen to be one of them. If he had not caught my cancer in the early stage, I would be dead by now. He can never take back his actions, but let him do some humanitarian work and try to help other people.

Linda Landsman

Williamsville

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Going after seniors is not the right move

Why is it that the first, dominant argument/threat for solving the debt crisis is to put it on the backs of senior citizens? Citizens who have contributed to both Social Security and Medicare over their lifetime. Why is it that the president states that Social Security checks may not be sent to them on Aug. 3?

Why is it that seniors are told that their Medicare benefits will be reduced should a deal not be reached? Scare tactics? Or, are we senior citizens considered to be easy targets for the president to get his way? Does he think that we will cower and sit back while he takes away our benefits?

I am confident that all senior citizens will not put up with such manipulation and will express their displeasure of the president's tactics now to their congressional representatives and later at the polls in 2012.

Stella L. Ryndak

North Tonawanda

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Options for couples exist among churches

Same-sex couples choosing to marry in New York State and in a church have more options than suggested in a recent letter. Seven United Church of Christ (UCC) congregations in Western New York are identified as Open and Affirming (ONA) to all persons regardless of sexual orientation. Those congregations and their ministers are the ones most likely -- among nearly 900 others in the denomination -- to offer and celebrate same-sex weddings, although others may as well.

The ONA program developed out of a resolution passed by the UCC's General Synod in 1985. More recently (2005) the same body passed a resolution supporting same-sex marriage, and this past month while meeting in Tampa, Fla., elected delegates voted to support human rights internationally for LGBT persons. The ONA Program, which does not receive financial support from the denomination, is administered by the United Church of Christ Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns. It is part of the interfaith welcoming movement as well, joining 10 similar programs associated with other judicatories. The UCC has a long history of advocacy and support of persons regardless of sexual orientation (and more lately, of gender identification and expression).

Samuel E. Loliger

Buffalo

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Concentrate efforts on legal U.S. citizens

A battle rages in Washington over the question of whether to raise the debt ceiling. One would ask why any rational government would want to increase its country's indebtedness to others.

Look what is happening in Europe. Greece and Ireland, Italy and Spain are in precarious financial situations. Only Germany can claim a strong, robust economy. Why does their economy flourish? Perhaps it is due to the attitude of their government. Its primary concern is the German people.

Several months ago, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that the "multikulti" concept, or multiculturalism, does not work for the German people. Perhaps it is time for our country to adopt a similar attitude. Does it not appear that our liberal-leaning government focuses more on helping those who are here illegally?

Yes, America traces its roots back to colonialism. Most of us can trace our roots back to immigrants who came to this country looking for better opportunities. But we are no longer a colony; we are a sovereign nation, whose people expect their government to provide an economic atmosphere that benefits them. America will always be the land of opportunity. Should not these opportunities first be given to its own citizens?

Peter Pawlowski

Clarence Center