Poor voters in Carolina would get free state ID

I am writing in response to "S.C. wages war on the poor" by Leonard Pitts. In his article, he never mentioned the one point that disproves his entire column. The state of South Carolina, as part of this law, is issuing the required state ID for free. Rather than a "war on the poor," which rhymes nicely I admit, the column should be titled "war on the lazy." The poor are not hurt by this measure because they have only to go to the State Office Building and get a free ID.

This is typical of the slant we have come to expect from Pitts. If he had incorporated the information about the free ID near the begining, the rest of the article would make no sense. As for there being "no problem" with voter fraud, I would like to mention that JFK never would have been president without voter fraud in Illinois. It seems the race card is the only one left in Pitts' deck.

Jim Sullivan



Use some Bills' money to keep bus routes open

Ralph Wilson wants $100 million from the state for "improvements" at the stadium bearing his name; the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority needs to fill in the budget shortfall to stave off route/service eliminations.

Here's an answer: Take one quarter or so of that money and apply it to the NFTA. That way, at least some of that money will be applied toward a product that actually does good for those who partake of it.

Lloyd Marshall Jr.



Let independent party review autopsy reports

On Jan. 6, the headline on the front page of the City and Region section proclaimed, "Wienckowski ruling to stand, lawyer says." Dr. Diane Vertes wrote the original autopsy report concluding that Wienckowski's death was the result of an accidental drug overdose. In the belief that this report was flawed, the family requested a second autopsy report, which was prepared by Dr. Silvia O. Comparini, a West Coast pathologist. Her report concluded that Wienckowski's death was a homicide.

To my amazement, the task of reviewing these conflicting reports was assigned to Vertes, author of the original report. In 25 years of practice as an educational psychologist, I performed more than 3,000 psychological evaluations with conclusions and recommendations for children's educational programs and placements. If the parents objected to my findings and disagreed with my recommendations, they always had the option of seeking a second evaluation. If the second evaluation resulted in different findings and recommendations, I would not have reviewed it. To have done so would have been unprofessional, if not unethical. I would have requested that a qualified and unbiased third party review both reports and make an independent determination as to the respective merits of each report.

In the interest of justice for the Wienckowski family and the people of Erie County, it seems that a similar procedure should be followed in this case.

William J. Russell

Orchard Park


Nation must preserve Medicare for seniors

I am writing to express my deep concern about House Republicans' vote to end Medicare as we know it and cut benefits that hardworking seniors have earned.

This reckless privatization scheme is an insult to every hardworking American who has paid into Medicare. Especially in these challenging times, when retired Americans rely on their Medicare benefits, Congress must do whatever it takes to protect this critical safety net.

Medicare belongs to people who worked their whole life to pay into the system. It's not the government's piggy bank to balance the budget on the backs of seniors.

Why should we ask our seniors to choose between paying the heating bill and seeing a doctor while big oil companies are free to keep their huge taxpayer funding?

Seniors, our children and grandchildren deserve better than an extreme plan that will take away seniors' basic benefits. As voters, we must urge Congress to find a common-sense solution to ensure that Medicare is viable in the years and decades to come.

Ronald Czajkowski

West Seneca


Crooks on Wall Street were never punished

The News recently reported the federal prosecution of a Western New Yorker for a $69,000 mortgage fraud. Conviction on the charges could result in a 30-year prison sentence and/or a $1 million fine. This is the first prosecution that I have read about in the entire banking, Wall Street, politically created recession that has hurt so many Americans.

The crooks in the banking industry, the crooks on Wall Street and the crooks in Washington go free! They are free to continue the same practices that caused our current economic suffering. Justice is blind to the corruption and evil ways of bankers, Wall Street executives and our Washington politicians.

Fred Schrantz



Residents of Buffalo should welcome ideas

Over the years on these pages, I have read many Buffalo residents' letters telling non-residents to mind their own business and keep their opinions to themselves. "We don't need your advice or comments, you don't live here, you don't use our schools," etc.

These people seem to think that because we don't reside in their city, our opinions are valueless. Nothing could be further from the truth. What about folks like me, who have children and grandchildren living there? What about folks who own property and pay taxes there? What about people who shop and pay sales taxes there? What about people who come to their city for sporting and cultural events, or attend college? How about people who come there to dine, or for doctor and hospital visits?

The indignant attitude of some of these writers borders on anger and ignorance, as in not thinking things through or not knowing any better. Many of us have opinions or ideas, and can be involved in many different ways, without living in a certain area. Some letter writers may do well to consider this when telling others to shut up.

Rick Lange