If you witness abuse, report it to the police

How sad it is to read about the alleged sexual assaults on young males by an assistant football coach at Penn State. Having had much experience with the coverups of individuals by their superiors during my career in law enforcement, you would think that these institutions would protect the children first!

It is the same old story. An employee abuses a child and the institutions do everything possible to ignore the allegations. They don't report to the police for fear of the stigma it may place on their precious reputation. We arrested teachers who were transferred from a school district where they abused children. We arrested many caretakers at a children's psychiatric center who sexually abused male and female children and found that their superiors had knowledge and did nothing to rescue these children. We arrested youth directors at a church who sexually abused children and the church attempted to hide its knowledge. We arrested adult males who sexually assaulted young males placed in their custody by Social Services. We arrested Boy Scout leaders who sexually assaulted young males in another state and were not incarcerated but returned to Western New York to assault many more young males.

I could go on, but my question is, when will this end? These perpetrators and all superiors who had knowledge should be arrested. Kudos to the Pennsylvania law enforcement authorities who not only arrested the suspect but also the university officials who had knowledge of his activities. Let every church leader, school superintendent and all others who have children in their charge be put on notice. When a crime is committed, report it to the police.

Allen F. Scioli



Name new courthouse for 'We the People'

Much is being made of a name for our new federal courthouse in downtown Buffalo. Should it honor war hero Matt Urban, CIA founder "Wild Bill" Donovan or brilliant Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson? All are local boys deserving of acclaim.

The words of the U.S. Constitution are etched into the wall entrance of this magnificent new building. The United States has grown into one of the greatest democracies in the world. I suggest we name this architectural gem "We the People Federal Courthouse." Honor the amazing nation of citizens (and many immigrants wanting to become American citizens) that is the United States of America.

Joyce L. Wilson



Occupy demonstrators protest a stacked deck

A recent letter writer asked why the Occupy Wall Street protesters vented only at Wall Street -- why not movie stars and professional athletes? I believe the writer missed the point, and it's an important one.

The protesters are not protesting salaries; they are protesting financial malfeasance. This wrecking of our economy wasn't bad luck, or some twist of fate that couldn't have been predicted or prevented. It was intentionally created by individuals who demonstrated callous disregard for the consequences of their actions. They were making so much money it simply didn't matter what it did to anyone else. In fact, they made more money betting on failure caused by their actions. Occupy Wall Street is protesting a stacked deck; nobody's protesting the pot you win when you're lucky enough to win a fair game of cards.

It's not class warfare -- at least not on the part of the protesters. It has nothing to do with being mad that someone else has more than you, which for most of us has always been the case. It has everything to do with seeing a few individuals knowingly blow up the world's economy for huge personal gain, and then walk away scott-free. This was an old-fashioned bank robbery; the perpetrators just didn't wear masks and carry guns.

Laura Wallingford

Clarence Center


Many teachers opposed to union membership

Thanks to The News for highlighting Issue 2 in Ohio and its clear national impact. While the unions would have you believe that this vote is a statement of support for big labor, it's clear that with a multimillion-dollar war chest, union interests can silence the cry for individual teacher freedoms.

Sadly, Ohio will once again be categorized as a compulsory union state where teachers are forced to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment. There's nothing fair, transparent or democratic about the current system, especially not when that union takes political positions that clearly conflict with many teachers' personal views and beliefs. There are thousands of teachers in the 22 states with forced unionism who would rather not be represented by a union and do not want to pay exorbitant dues.

While the interests of teacher union leadership won in this particular election, Ohio and the nation at large have ultimately changed for the better. Regardless of astronomical special-interest spending, voters are beginning to understand the very need for not only common-sense reform but holding unions accountable to their membership and the taxpayer.

Gary Beckner

Executive Director

Association of American Educators


Poloncarz should keep using Six Sigma program

Congratulations to Mark Poloncarz on his election. While I did not vote for him, I wish him success and look forward to seeing what he will do as county executive. All newly elected officials make changes to suit their policies and philosophy. I only hope that Poloncarz will not eliminate the Six Sigma efficiency program. An article in The News indicated that he is ready to scrap it. I certainly hope that Six Sigma will be given a thorough review so that Poloncarz sees that it is effective in government as well as in business. It would be a huge mistake to eliminate an efficiency program and go back to wasteful ways. Just because the incoming executive did not get along with the outgoing executive is not a reason to scrap efficient operations.

Barbara Campagna



Secondhand smoke puts others in peril

To the smoker who said, "Smokers should have stood their ground." Yes, smoking is legal, so is drinking alcohol. But, like drinking alcohol, you cannot endanger another's life while doing it. His secondhand smoke causes as much health damage to those around him as driving while intoxicated does to others on the road. He can smoke and drink all he wants at home. But don't smoke around people who don't want it or need it, because you are inflicting damage on their well-being. Please realize that you are addicted, and you are hurting yourself, too. Just because an activity is legal, doesn't make it healthy.

David R. Battaglia