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Scoring judges is unfair; every case is different

I have tried civil and criminal cases in courts all over New York State. I represent major corporations, insurance companies and ordinary folks with major and minor problems. I have personally appeared in the Appellate Division, Supreme Court in Rochester and Albany 12 times in the last three years. I was the district attorney of Erie County.

I have personally tried criminal cases before Judges John L. Michalski, Larry M. Himelein and John T. Ward. Each of these gentlemen is kind, even-tempered and knowledgeable with all persons in his courtroom. Each is particularly concerned with the rights of those charged with crime, as he is with the rights of the state of New York. I can't fault any of these gentlemen as being better or worse than the other judges I have appeared before over my many years. Each case is so different from the other, and the many difficult decisions that have to be made by a judge to ensure justice for all can never be scored.

Edward C. Cosgrove, Esq.

Buffalo

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Covering contraception saves money in long run

The recent letter about abstinence was written from the heart, not from well-researched data. Pregnancy is not a disease, but teens are at a much higher risk of having serious medical complications, placenta previa, hypertension and premature labor, to mention a few.

All medical agencies that deal with women's and men's reproductive health care, especially sexually active teens, should be required to cover the cost of contraception and all medical care covering sexually transmitted diseases. Younger adolescents are more likely to have unplanned sexual intercourse and more likely to be coerced into sex.

It is estimated that teen childbearing in the United States cost taxpayers (federal, state and local) more than $10.9 billion a year. These costs to taxpayers include health care, foster care and lost wages. The teen birth rate in New York State declined significantly in the last 10 years and saved taxpayers an estimated $511 million each year. We owe thanks to all health care agencies, including Planned Parenthood, that make it their mission to assist our adolescents in making responsible reproductive health care decisions as part of their healthier lifestyle choices.

Linda Ulrich-Hagner

East Aurora

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Compromise is essential in order to move forward

I believe our elected officials in Washington, D.C. -- Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike -- desperately need to take a refresher course in American history. If our country is to have any reasonable chance to acquire long-term stability, today's elected leaders must heed the crucial lesson regarding the art of compromise, which our Founding Fathers discovered during their well-documented struggle to form "a more perfect union."

What most elementary school children learn in their civics classes, many in our nation's Capitol have simply forgotten. Fortunately for our country, representatives of the 13 original colonies learned the critical importance of compromise while crafting the Declaration of Independence, as well as the Constitution. These American patriots realized that, especially after their heated debates regarding fundamental principles, comprise is required from all sides.

I trust most of us agree that the members of the Continental Congress faced far more challenging and complicated issues when compared to the recent efforts in Washington to extend the national debt ceiling. Rather than the disheartening and perhaps dysfunctional behavior of some on Capitol Hill, America's history is replete with examples of our Founding Fathers ultimately finding common ground, even among their detractors. It is our country's very good fortune that their decisions were based on what was in the best interest of our young country, rather than the wishes and ambitions of individual colonies.

Given this historic perspective, our government leaders might realize that the Founding Fathers were successful in their efforts because of, and not despite, their willingness to compromise. We should all pray that today's elected officials will conclude that their willingness to compromise will determine whether our government has the willpower to provide "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for all.

Eli Mundy

Williamsville

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Consolidation plan will slow mail delivery

Postal workers take pride in providing prompt, dependable mail service to the residents of Western New York, which is why I am concerned about the Postal Service's planned study to shift mail-sorting operations from Buffalo to Rochester. The Postal Service "consolidation" plan will result in slower, less reliable mail service for the citizens of Western New York. Mail will be collected earlier in the day and arrive later, possibly after dark. Checks will be delayed, bills may not get paid on time and medication delivered by mail will take longer to arrive.

Sending our mail to Rochester for processing also will hurt local businesses and will drain more jobs from our area. Previous consolidations around the country have not saved the Postal Service money and the level of service has declined. Officials are trying to take the "service" out of the Postal Service.

I encourage citizens and community leaders to take a stand against the consolidation. You can start by contacting your representatives in Congress and urging them to support keeping the the processing of our mail where it belongs, here in Buffalo.

Dan West

Financial Secretary

American Postal Workers Union

Buffalo, Local 374

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GEICO would be wise to invest in community

Despite the excess of entertainment at last Saturday's Music is Art Festival, it was difficult to ignore the small plane towing a GEICO banner as it circled Delaware Park. The GEICO name may have been in the skies Saturday, but it was not a listed sponsor in either the festival program or on the Music is Art website.

I would hate to think the real reason GEICO saves people money on insurance is because it skips out on financially supporting local not-for-profit organizations like Music is Art.

Music is Art is able to contribute to music programs in our local schools because of special events like the festival. Now 9 years old, the festival cannot operate without the generous donations from local businesses. My advice to GEICO's marketing department is: Save your money on cheap advertising moves. Invest in your community.

Kelsey Dewey

Buffalo