Post Office is unfairly painted as inefficient and draining
The anti-Postal Service propaganda continues to appear in the media declaring that the USPS is broke and the only answer is to dismantle this public service mandated by our national constitution. Close post offices, cut 100,000 employees, reduce service to the public; that's their solution to this manufactured crisis. The American people are being bamboozled. The right-wing keeps repeating The Big Lie over and over, hoping they can continue to hoodwink the public into believing the Postal Service is terminally ill.
The truth is that no federal tax dollars fund the Postal Service; however the federal government is skimming the Post Office's money right off the top. The USPS has been set up to fail, and when the trouble starts, they blame the employees and the unions. The USPS has overpaid $75 billion into the federal retirement fund. This has been confirmed by the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Office of Inspector General. We are also forced to pay over $5 billion per year to prefund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance, something no other agency or company has to do. The USPS is not asking for any kind of "bailout" and doesn't need a bailout! If it were not for this financial scam, the USPS would have made money in three of the past four years.
Legislation has been introduced to correct this discrepancy, HR 1351, and it has already been co-sponsored by Reps. Brian Higgins, Louise Slaughter and Kathleen Hochul. The USPS will remain the most efficient and least expensive postal service in the world if we can stop carrying the federal government on our backs.
Robert J. McLennan
President, Branch 3
National Association of Letter Carriers
Pool attendants were aboveboard
I take exception with a July 31 My View concerning Bob O'Connor's unfounded remarks referring to the attendants he entrusted with his clothing, sneakers and "valuables" at the Cazenovia pool.
I worked as an attendant many years back (1955), and I can attest to the fact that there was no thievery and also to a person the attendants were good working, courteous and friendly, not only to one another, but to the public that utilized the facilities.
Shame on O'Connor for casting aspersions on the attendants. How much of a killing could you possibly make going through the pockets of a 12-year-old child?
George D. Weimer
Letters are wrong on how thermite works
Reading the recent letters concerning thermite being used to drop Building Seven at the World Trade Center, I wonder just how many of these conspiracy theorists have ever used thermite. I have, and military grade thermite at that. One writer states that the site is covered with "unexploded thermite," which is not possible because thermite is not an explosive. Thermite is a powder that burns white hot. Once ignited, it is virtually impossible to put it out as it creates its own oxygen as it burns. Thermite will cut an I-beam very easily but will not cut it sideways on an angle like the beam the "truthers" hold up as proof.
To cut the beam it would have to be in a horizontal position and one would set the thermite on top, ignite it and it would burn straight down, leaving a very jagged cut. It would not look like a beam cut with a plasma cutter, which is somewhat uniform. It would be impossible to cut any I-beam of the size shown on a sideways angle using thermite. Thermite would melt the beam from the top down like a candle with the iron dripping and the melt following the force of gravity. You cannot stick thermite on the side of a steel beam as anything used to try to affix the thermite would melt long before the beam.
As for the building owner using the term "pull," the owner has made it clear that he was talking about pulling out the firemen before the building collapsed to prevent more loss of life when it was obvious the building could not be saved. Why did it collapse? Likely because of the heat of the fire melting its steel beams combined with the weight of the 47 stories above them, along with the fact that falling debris from one tower collapse caused a 20-story gash in one side of Building Seven, slicing through many supporting beams.
Area's grain elevators could be repurposed
In response to the Aug. 23 letter, "Grain elevators require some creative solutions," it's a wonderful suggestion to paint Buffalo's historic grain elevators as books by local authors on a shelf.
In Akron, Ohio, the historic Quaker Oats grain elevators were converted in the mid-1970s to a hotel and boutique-type shopping mall. All the hotel rooms are round (of course) and the 9-inch reinforced walls are visible. The facility is now owned by the University of Akron.
I would also think that some grain elevators on the waterfront could be unique and attractive condos. After staying at the Quaker Inn in Akron I was taken aback at the inside diameter of the elevators. In Europe (I've been told) Buffalo is well respected as the birthplace of grain elevators. They are also significant to Buffalo's historical past -- and would be nice to resurrect for Buffalo's future.
Sex offender residency tends to be ineffective
I noted with interest The News' Aug. 22 article describing the legal challenge of the sex offender residency law in North Tonawanda.
While such laws are popular, they are of no more use than a law that would prevent those convicted of DWI from living within a quarter mile of an establishment that sells alcohol.
It also is worth nothing that 95 percent of those arrested for sex crimes in New York State have never previously been convicted of a sex crime and thus are not listed on any registry, nor would any residency law apply. The chief effect of such laws is to give a false sense of security, or conversely, to raise hysteria. What is worse, such laws tend to increase the danger to communities.
Such laws put up barriers to stable housing and employment for former offenders, which experts in corrections have long known increase the likelihood of recidivism. It is also worth noting that sex offender recidivism is much lower than popular perception, even for Level 3, "high risk," offenders.
According to New York State, 11 percent of Level 3 sex offenders are arrested for another sex offense within eight years of the date of their initial registration. The vast majority do not reoffend.
New York Representative
SOhopeful of New York