How can legislators? ask for a pay raise?

I can't believe the audacity of our New York State legislators preparing to give themselves a raise. All state unions were forced to take 0 percent raises in their contracts, and the state is taking 9 days pay from some workers, promising to give four back at a later date. Gov. Andrew Cuomo repeatedly stated that any state employee who wanted a raise would have to make concessions to pay for it.

Aren't legislators state employees? They are considered "part time," yet they pay nothing for full health insurance and nothing for retirement. They have sat quietly on the sideline as Cuomo is allowed free rein in return for allowing them their raises. What concessions are they making?

Now Sheldon Silver wants to give tuition assistance to illegal immigrants. What does illegal mean to you? Meanwhile, I am married with two children and don't qualify for tuition assistance because I make too much. Really? It is my taxes that Silver wants to use to give to people who, by his own admission, are in this country illegally. Why are we being asked to support criminals? What we have to do is stop re-electing criminals. They are stealing our money and supporting people who are here illegally and contribute nothing to our tax base except more debt. This will only open the floodgates even more than they are now to more illegals coming to New York. In November it is time for a change in Albany!

Michael Kaempf



More thought needed? on veterinary school

I don't think this veterinary school idea has been well thought out. A fully accredited vet school needs to teach skills with large animals as well as small. Where are they going to put the cows and horses? If they tear down the parking ramp, where are people going to park? And if they do have a plan for locating large animals in downtown Buffalo, have they ever tried to negotiate a horse trailer around Gates Circle?

I hope this project will not be funded by drug companies, which are trying to buy new veterinarians to increase their profits. Think this out more carefully.

Susan M. Persico, D.V.M.



Get the facts straight? before criticizing CSEA

I am writing in response to the letter, "Spoiled CSEA workers are gouging taxpayers." I work for ECMC as a nurse. We don't fix roads and bridges, nor do we cut grass and weeds on county roads. The writer has his unions confused; AFSME maintains the county parks and roads. The majority of CSEA workers are health care related. We take care of your mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. And we take excellent care of them. Along with at times being hit, spit at and called every vile name you could think of. We worry every day about being exposed to deadly pathogens that could, if contracted, kill us. Do you put your life on the line every day you go to work?

As far as a one-hour paid lunch, if you consider a 10-minute break sitting at the desk eating a tuna fish sandwich while trying to chart to be a paid lunch hour, then you are sadly mistaken. An early quit? Never happens. We are lucky to walk out 30 minutes after our shift ends.

If your sons and daughters are leaving the Buffalo area for jobs, tell them to stay and become nurses. Guaranteed they will find a nursing position here. What, you say? Back-breaking work, swollen feet and I have to work weekends and holidays? And you're going to pay me how much?

I drive a 1999 Chevy Cavalier. Why? Because I live paycheck to paycheck. Why can't I afford a new car? Because I have not had a raise in six years! Everything has risen in life but my paycheck. I have missed birthdays, Christmases and many other get-togethers because we are a 24-hour facility. So I say to the writer: Get your facts straight before you open your mouth. Better yet, why don't you volunteer to help cut the grass and clean up the parks that you use and enjoy. Even better, come visit some of the residents who don't get any family visits.

Lori Becker



Dismissal of coach? was handled poorly

With the latest article regarding the dismissal of Al Monaco from his coaching position at Williamsville South, I wanted to put my two cents in as not only an alumnus, but a former student of Monaco as well. I want to be heard as someone who knew Monaco from my first class with him at Mill Middle School, where he previously taught, until the day I graduated from Williamsville South. To be frank, I'm absolutely peeved at how little the overwhelmingly positive testimonies of current and former students and athletes mean to the district and superintendent regarding this rash decision, but I'm not surprised that our voices aren't being heard.

When I first heard the news of his dismissal, I was outraged. We weren't being provided with any hard evidence of this alleged "harassment," and it was hard to believe that a man like Monaco, who was known across the entire community for his dedication to the basketball team and Williamsville South in general, would do anything to jeopardize his position as a revered and respected coach.

My initial reaction still stands after reading the article published on Sept. 2.

Speaking as someone who is overweight and has dealt with many unnecessary and hurtful comments from a wide range of people, I do sympathize with the student who was affected by whatever was said to him – but having said that, the events described don't correlate with the outcome. If there was an ethical issue, Monaco should have been directly and immediately confronted. It all seems a bit immature to me that an entire "investigation" was launched behind his back. In addition, I'd like to add that adults didn't grow up in the noncritical and hypersensitive society that our generation has grown used to. I am confident that my peers and I know this man well enough to know that he was not malicious in any sense.

Alyssa Maraszek



Our cashless society? is costing us money

Once upon a time, to facilitate trade, currency was born. In the intervening years, banks and other financial institutions invented bearer bonds, stock certificates, checking accounts, plus myriad other tools. Then credit and debit cards were introduced with their attendant fees, to further promote the cashless society.

We now have direct deposit of pay checks, Social Security, dividend checks, etc., into our checking accounts, making it nigh impossible to manipulate your personal accounts for your own benefit. With this formula, credit and debit cards have supposedly become too expensive for merchants to process. Therefore, they will be adding a surcharge at the point of purchase to the many charges we already have.

Our cashless society is actually costing the public a lot of cash! We could always revert to paper currency, lower our individual operating costs and the merchants' expenses and spend less.

Sandra Vanich