Old enough to serve, but not to sit at bar

My 20-year-old son, who just graduated from Marine Corps boot camp as a third-generation Marine, was recently home on leave and due to return to Infantry School. We attended the Nov. 8 Sabres game. Before the game, we proceeded to a bar one block from the arena. After waiting about five minutes, we noticed two seats open at the corner of the bar. We sat down and then waited about 10 more minutes for service.

I, not wanting to wait again, ordered two drinks for myself. As I attempted to pay for the drinks, the bartender asked me who the other drink was for. I stated, "for myself," and she stated, "I cannot give you two drinks because your son is under 21 years old."

I told her he was home on leave and that I would drink both drinks in full view of her and then we would leave. The bartender again said no. So I said fine and paid for one drink and planned on relaxing for one drink and going to the game. The bartender then stated, "your son cannot sit at the bar because he is under 21."

So we left our bar seats and stood in the crowded aisle, and I thought: he serves his country, but he cannot sit at the bar like an adult and a proud young Marine. Then we went to the game and listened to how thankful this country is to those men and women who have served or are serving. I realize there are laws, but is it me or is something wrong with this picture?

Matthew Trala Jr.



2 percent tax cap has too many loopholes

I recently attended a Town Hall meeting hosted by Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak. The need for tax relief came up, and the 2 percent cap was explained. I was dismayed to hear that the taxpayers do not get to directly vote to override the 2 percent cap, the governing bodies do. We do get to vote to override school limits. We were advised that the powers that be feel our pain, and would not dare to override. Good luck with that.

Once again our representatives pat themselves on the back for a job well done and then leave a number of loopholes to allow the locals to decide how to spend our hard-earned money.

Chester Okonczak



Paul has the courage to take needed steps

Thomas Jefferson once said, "The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our Constitution. I am an enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but coin. If the American people allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Currently, we seem to be reaping the rotten fruits of not heeding Jefferson's admonition. Moreover, it was recently revealed by the Government Accountability Office that the Federal Reserve gave out a staggering $16.1 trillion in loans between Dec. 1, 2007, and July 21, 2010. More than $3 trillion went to foreign banks. Money printed out of thin air.

Currently, H.R. 2990 is in Congress and would abolish Federal Reserve notes and replace them with U.S. money. If passed, it would most likely need to be veto-proof since it is highly unlikely that President Obama or any of the Republican presidential candidates would sign it except for one. The only candidate with the courage to end the Federal Reserve's stranglehold on the American people is Ron Paul.

I believe if the tea party, the Occupy Wall Street Movement and all Americans support a Paul presidency, we will see a return to peace, prosperity and liberty to the country we all love.

David P. Jager



More should register to be organ donors

As we approach the holiday season, we are all considering what gifts to give. One of the most significant gifts you can give is to sign up to save lives by registering to become an organ and tissue donor. I am a strong supporter of organ transplants. With 111,000 people currently waiting for organs nationally, and only 6,000 people donating annually, too many people are left without a lifeline.

The New York statistics are among the worst in the nation. Only 17 percent of New Yorkers 18 and over are on the donor lists, as compared to 42 percent on average nationwide. Fighting myths regarding donations and publicizing the positive effects of donating organs are two key steps to bringing organ donation into the mainstream.

There are many false assumptions people make about organ donation limitations by age, race or health conditions. In fact, the medical field has made rapid progress with transplants in recent years so that more organs can be utilized, with a wider range of possible matches at a larger number of hospitals, and a vastly increased expectation of how long organ transplants will last. Astonishingly, one donor can donate up to eight organs and save 22 lives.

It is heart-wrenching to hear from family members who have lost loved ones due to the lack of a donor, and a very moving experience to hear real-life stories from organ transplant recipients. These stories bring home how gratifying it can be to become a donor. All you need to do is put your name on a donor list when applying for a driver's license. Or you can sign up on the Internet by going to It is important to tell your doctor and family of your willingness to donate as well.

Sandy Galef

Assemblywoman, 90th District


Some websites offer cheaper event tickets

I agree with a previous letter writer that the Andre Riue concert had low attendance due to the high price of tickets. I also believe that other reasons for low attendance were the concert taking place on a Monday evening, as well as many people not being familiar with Rieu's wonderful music (if they haven't watched his concerts on PBS).

I was also going to pass on attending this concert due to the high price. However, I was glad to see that the week before his concert, tickets were offered on for $35 each. These tickets were great seats in the 100 level, and no extra fees were charged. I attended his wonderful concert and had better seats than my co-worker, who paid more than $100 per ticket.

Karen Yan