Thomas has nobody but herself to blame

For a woman who got a $91,000-a-year patronage job, Karla Thomas sure likes to cast the blame on others. Should we really have pity on her? She was completely unqualified with her political background for such an important job. She said, "Bryon has gone from being in office for a purpose to being in office for power." Wake up, Karla, Brown's purpose was always power. He still has it and will keep it for a while longer. She also said she is proud of her accomplishments. Talk about self-delusional.

No more unemployment checks for Thomas. She said she wanted to clear the air and her name, but she has no one to blame but herself.

Paul J. DiVito



Cheney has forgotten what U.S. stands for

How ironic that the two issues to surface first in the news of former Vice President Dick Cheney's memoir (Aug. 25 News) are his heart trouble and his defense of the use of torture in the interrogation of suspected terrorists. He does indeed have heart trouble, of the kind that the Bible calls "hardness of heart" and for which the remedy is repentance. Yet he shows no remorse for employing methods of interrogation that are morally wrong as well as now seen to be ineffective in checking terrorism.

As a supporter of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, I agree with its position that the United States must establish a Commission of Inquiry that fully investigates all aspects of the use of torture by the United States to ensure that U.S.-sponsored torture never happens again.

I grieve the loss of national honor and moral stature that came from our officials mistreating those already imprisoned and under our power. Have we forgotten who we are and what we stand for?

Patricia K. Townsend



Law will ensure patients can access cancer care

I wanted to address a couple of points in an Aug. 30 letter from the CEO of a state trade association for insurers -- "New York's taxes, fees drive up health care cost."

While a number of good points were made, the writer mentions legislation passed by the New York State Legislature in June that would impose the same cost-sharing requirements on patients using pill-form oral chemotherapy as they would see for intravenously administered, or IV, cancer therapies, mischaracterizing the bill's provisions as one of many new "coverage requirements that must be included in every basic policy sold in New York."

To clarify, this bill is not a mandate; it applies only to policies that already provide coverage for both chemotherapy and prescription drugs. Moreover, 14 other states and the District of Columbia have already enacted similar laws and have seen only a slight increase in premiums -- if any -- as a result.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute is part of a broad coalition of cancer centers, cancer-patient groups and health care providers that strongly support this coverage-parity legislation. When the measure becomes law, it will ensure that cancer patients in New York will have affordable access to the treatments that will most effectively save and extend their lives, as determined by their cancer treatment providers.

The writer is understandably concerned about the rising costs of providing and paying for health care. But arbitrarily restricting access to a class of medication that is the best and, often, only viable treatment option for many Americans with cancer is a costly practice that makes sense neither medically nor financially. Both houses of the Legislature recognized this when they approved a bill correcting this inequity in coverage, and we're confident that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will go on record with his support by signing the legislation into law in the near future.

Alex Adjei, M.D.

Sr. Vice President, Clinical Research

Chairman, Department of Medicine

Roswell Park Cancer Institute


Move Broadway Market into a grain elevator

Now that Aldi's plan to build a store across from the Broadway Market has been approved, moving the market will not leave the neighborhood without a food shopping venue. My proposal is to move the Broadway Market down to the waterfront area and house it in the ground floor of one of the unused grain elevators.

Most elevators seem to have sufficient space for parking. The large columns on the ground floor would provide organization to vendor spaces while still allowing circulation space for shoppers. Leaving the silos undisturbed, since they are so perfectly designed for their original use, would enhance the historic quality of the space. A restaurant on the top of the elevators would provide a wonderful viewing platform for the river, lake and city, even (or especially) in the winter.

Laird Pylkas

West Falls


It's time to crack down on noisy motorcycles

I can appreciate how motorcyclists want to be heard so that other drivers know they are there. I am also aware that if they buy a new bike, many illegally replace the muffler with pipes that greatly increase exhaust noise. Now it has gone too far. Today's motorcycles are so loud that even when bikers are merely cruising, you can hear them for miles. But no matter how loud they are, this is not an effective means of getting noticed in traffic. Drivers don't hear motorcycles as they approach because all the noise is directed behind the bike. So let's drop the facade and call it for what it is: self-gratification.

If only the police would stand up for us citizens, who are the victims of this noise pollution. Trucks and cars get pulled over if they have noisy exhausts, but motorcyclists get a free pass; a total betrayal of the law! As our civil society continues to break down, the quality of life for the good citizens gets trashed.

The motorcycle organizations nationwide have done their homework and know what works. They peddle influence among politicians through contributions and participation in charity events. And while some good may come of that, and most motorcyclists seem to be good, down-to-earth people, this does not give them the right to ruin the quality of life for everyone. I'm tired from losing sleep all summer because of them. I've run out of patience.

Written laws are created because some people don't know enough to live within the unwritten laws of society. Laws pertaining to altering your vehicle, such as the Federal Noise Control Act, and local noise ordinances have long been established. It's high time that our local leaders equip police departments to enforce those laws as they are written.

John Swigonski

North Tonawanda