ECC should be expanding health science downtown

I applaud the completion of the new Health Science Charter School near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. This is a clear sign that the region is making a shift to the health science industry in downtown Buffalo. However, it is a shame that an institution such as Erie Community College has not joined in the momentum.

ECC's archaic idea of expanding at its North Campus, with a health science-dominated facility, is sheer ignorance in the face of hundreds of millions of dollars spent downtown on health science. The Health Science Charter School has not only moved closer to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, but it also helped to preserve St. Vincent's Orphanage. I would think a community college can jump leaps and bounds over the progress of one charter school to expand its health science opportunities.

And it is not just a charter school that sees the benefits of the medical campus. It is Gov. Andrew Cuomo, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and the Western New York state delegation. I would not rate these people as incompetent, so why does ECC disagree? The college should expand its health science programs in the best place to connect education to jobs. What it is doing now is not best serving the community.

Gregory Conley



Last thing nation needs is a president like Perry

I don't believe that Texas Gov. Rick Perry's anti-science beliefs and self-confidence are an expression of strong leadership; rather they show us a man with little or no self-awareness, with no appetite for scientific inquiry and a convenient blindness to his lack of vision. If this country is to continue to be a world leader in science and technology, the last thing we need is a president who does not believe in evolution or in human contributions to climate change. His macho pronouncements hide a cunning but intellectually mediocre mind. His vision, while clearly appealing to tea party extremists, will hopefully fail to convince the rest of us.

As for his claims of job creation, the truth is that most of these jobs have been governmental ones, from a government he wants to secede, or have been minimum wage. Try living on that. Should he be elected president, God forbid, one could wonder as to who will be his Dick Cheney, whose job will be to guide him in the direction that Republicans' corporate sponsors will map out for him: elimination of trade unions, reduction or elimination of that "Ponzi" scheme, Social Security, cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and further tax reductions for those who least need them.

Andre Toth



IDAs dole out money at taxpayers' expense

A Sept. 13 letter crediting the Amherst Industrial Development Agency for the increase in the financial success of the writer's business, which enabled him to create additional local jobs, reminds me of the following quote attributed to Elbert Hubbard: "To make mistakes is human, but to profit from them is divine." With a wry twist on the intended meaning of this quote, I have no doubt that the writer profited "divinely" from our collective "mistakes" in allowing all these local IDAs to exist.

His assertion that the Amherst IDA is a catalyst for creating meaningful net new job growth because his company benefited from receiving this assistance is highly suspect. The tax abatements and other subsidies handed out by a local IDA because of the supposed overall net job creation of these projects are very doubtful and cannot be verified, given the lack of reliable qualitative documentation to support such claims. If his business in 2006 was bursting at the seams and needed to expand, as he stated, then let his need for funds rest solely upon the merits of his business plan to the various lending institutions available to him.

Today, we have far too many businesses and private interest groups that, all too easily, can appear before our town boards and other appointed dispensers of our hard-earned tax dollars to negotiate their little tax deals independently. This comes at the expense of the economically stressed individual taxpayer and mom-and-pop businesses that stand on their own feet and obtain financing on the individual merits of their credit worthiness and business plans.

Edward F. McKee

East Amherst


Abstinence is best way to prevent pregnancy

In response to Planned Parenthood CEO Karen Nelson, I agree completely that women deserve preventative health care. They deserve advice and treatments that will prevent disease and aliments. However, pregnancy is not a disease. There is a method to prevent pregnancy that is 100 percent effective not only in the prevention of pregnancy but also sexually transmitted diseases. It is natural and safe. It has been used through the centuries. It is abstinence. If that method is rejected, then there are fairly inexpensive over-the-counter methods that are very effective when used together.

All of the other services Nelson mentioned are offered already and should be offered, but there is no reason for agencies that object to contraception to be forced to cover it. If anyone reading this is using one of the more sophisticated methods of contraception, please read the information that comes with it. There are health risks associated with all of these methods.

Nelson is right in saying that birth control has a financial impact on society. First, we will be paying for the increased use of contraceptives if the Department of Health and Human Services has its way. Then we will be paying for the effects that these contraceptives will have on some women. It is possible that, by not covering birth control, agencies might encourage women to consider adapting a healthier lifestyle. That sounds like preventative health care to me.

Mary Roaldi



New Sunday design of paper is excellent

From my perspective, the new, revised Sunday edition of The News has raised the bar to a new level of excellence in print reporting. I savored each and every section as I read them through new eyes. The look and palpable feel of the Sept. 11 edition almost sizzled with the interesting way the many news stories, features, etc. are now fleshed out in ways we haven't experienced in that edition before. I love it!

In addition, the confidence The News exhibited with its decision to unveil these changes on the 10th anniversary of a day our nation, and so many others, will never forget, literally exemplified the conviction it had with its new format. The complete and concise coverage of the tragedy that touched us all on Sept. 11, 2001, was presented with dignity and honor, yet the new format segued into a good, solid read on many other subjects.

Audrey M. Mangan