Kmiec deserves praise for doing what's needed

I am disgusted and outraged at the ongoing criticism and disrespect that is being directed toward our good shepherd and bishop, Edward Kmiec. He is to be lauded and admired for having the courage and determination to undertake the difficult process of addressing the very real problems that are occurring as a result of the priest shortage and declining church attendance in our Buffalo Catholic Diocese.

Instead of doing the easy thing and allowing the problems that need resolving to get totally out of hand, he has the guts to make the unpopular decisions and take the accompanying heat that inevitably result from doing what is unpleasant but absolutely necessary in terms of closing and merging parishes.

Kmiec's example of leadership could serve as a worthy model for our local and national elected officials, so many of whom take the easy way out by avoiding the difficult, unpopular measures that are needed to cut spending and promote recovery for our troubled nation.

Shame on those who insult our outstanding bishop with their "What Would Jesus Do" signs and such. I suggest they take a good look in the mirror and evaluate their own example of Christianity.

Michael Scully



Parental involvement makes schools better

The Buffalo Public Schools have a wonderful success story in the Tapestry Charter School. Not only do its test scores rank it among the nation's best, but its parent involvement is even more impressive.

As a retired Buffalo teacher, I can attest to the importance of parental involvement. My old school, Performing Arts, has always had loving and caring parents and grandparents. So does Tapestry.

One of those parents, Adrienne (Redden) Romanowicz, personifies that kind of commitment. She and others collected enough Pepsi bottle caps and cash donations to fund a state-of-the-art playground for a city school that struggles to provide what suburban schools take for granted. Pepsi has kicked in $50,000.

Romanowicz and her cohorts have once again proven that Buffalo Public Schools are more than the media projects.

Frank Austin

Orchard Park


Citizens in Third World should use birth control

The recent famine in Somalia is truly a tragedy. Over the past seven months, more than 70,000 people have died, many of them children. To see human beings, especially children, die simply because of a lack of food is something that should haunt any of us who have an ounce of compassion, especially those of us with children of our own.

One possible solution that will likely offend the religious conservatives, but that could at the very least limit the amount of deaths of children in these Third World countries, would be to educate their citizens about the use of birth control. The most obvious reasons for the lack of birth control in these countries is of course lack of funding, and virtual non-existence of proper health education. The larger problem, in my opinion, is the strong, albeit misguided religious beliefs that are instilled in these countries' citizens by a religious establishment that inexcusably demonizes birth control.

I feel that religious leaders of all faiths around the world should consider changing their stance on the "sin" that they associate with the practice of birth control among their followers, especially in the poorest countries where religious teachings are the only education most people receive. If these people were not taught that using condoms and taking birth control pills will land them in hell in the afterlife because birth control goes against "God's will," maybe it would reduce the number of children brought into the world only to face the agonizing existence of starvation, disease and a slow, inevitable death. I truly believe that preventing the needless deaths of thousands of children by preventing their births by those who cannot even fend for themselves is really what "God's will" should be.

James Vickers



It's impossible to lead without compromise

I was deeply disappointed when I read the recent News editorial titled, "Can Obama succeed?" It is a fair question, however, what followed was a condemnation of his administration. This president was handed enormous problems that have been created and ignored by the past administration.

President Obama has managed to get more legislation passed in the past two years than previously, including a health care bill -- a historic accomplishment that has long been talked about but avoided. However, that was achieved before the tea party Republicans were elected to the House. Their strategy is to refuse to compromise; instead they just say "no." No mention of this was made.

I question what The News is accomplishing by presenting a one-sided view. It gets to join in with the extremists who think that a democracy can continue to survive with extreme positions, rather than coming together as we usually have in governing this country. It's easy to say that the president should be leading, however, when we have members in Congress who will not negotiate with the opposing view, it becomes impossible.

I may not agree with the president on some points, but to say that he is not aware of the suffering that Americans are going through is just not true. This has been a consistent theme in his presidency. As far as the criticism of him taking a vacation with his family, no one has worked harder than he has as president.

Did it ever occur to the editorial board that after the raising of the debt ceiling, which the newly elected House members turned into a crisis, there needed to be a break for everyone? Besides, hopefully our "so-called leaders" are getting an earful from their constituents. Isn't that what it's all about?

Judy Fitzgerald



We must act to rein in corrupt government

I wonder if we U.S. citizens have the will, moral courage and strength to mobilize a mass American movement to compel the House and Senate to effectively legislate against corruption in government and the practice of lobbying to benefit special interests against the interest of the people. People across India just did it the other day.

Kailash Saxena, M.D.



Andriatch's column about totes on target

Bruce Andriatch, in his Aug. 23 column on garbage totes, convinced me that he should not run for political office. He is too humorous and way too intelligent.

Fred Yellen