Developmentally disabled?children need our support

It is discouraging to read of neighborhood opposition to a residential home in the Town of Tonawanda that will be used to serve developmentally disabled children. Thanks to Bruce Andriatch for the enlightened and compassionate viewpoint expressed in his Oct. 9 column. Rather than dwelling on the negative aspects of this situation, it offers an opportunity to highlight the pressing needs of the developmentally disabled population in our community.

Until you have walked in the shoes of a parent of a developmentally disabled child, as I have, you have no idea of the overwhelming need for housing and services for this large and special population of people who cannot advocate or care for themselves. Our sweet and loving daughter, Elena, is 25 and thanks to incredible organizations like People Inc. and many others, she has enjoyed a robust quality of life. At a time when her age peers are attending graduate school, getting jobs and preparing for marriage, our angel revels in the simple joys of life and spreads love and compassion wherever she goes. She is not atypical, nor are the other five girls in her group home whose neighbors in Getzville welcomed them with open arms.

Elena is just one example of thousands of individuals in our community whose families face the unrelenting burden of caring for loved ones who will never "grow up." The needs have never been greater, yet the funding and support from the public sector have never been so threatened.

Bill Collins



Romney seems to think?rules don't apply to him

Am I the only one who thought Mitt Romney to be rude, tactless and overbearing during his first debate with President Obama? He interrupted the president and the moderator relentlessly. Perhaps his backers applaud his aggressive behavior, but would that attitude go over well during an international gathering of leaders? Is it possible that Romney thinks that rules do not apply to him?

Dorothy Tocin



Congress needs to cap?credit card interest rates

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Freedom from Fear," author David Kennedy quotes Herbert Hoover, the champion of laissez-faire capitalism, as stating on the eve of the Great Depression, "The trouble with capitalists is that they are too damn greedy." Nowhere is that better exemplified than in the usurious interest rates that currently are being charged on retail credit. The American economy, dependent on consumer spending for 75 percent of its success, is suffering from the sin of usury.

Congress must act to ban usury because the power of the states to do so was removed by a misguided Supreme Court decision. In the 1980s and 1990s, before that decision took effect, the economy boomed because consumers were able to pay for products and services at low interest. In New York, interest was capped at 16 percent and most people could pay for purchases over time at 8 percent. In fact, the economy was so robust that, to control inflation, Congress in 1986 repealed the deductibility of retail interest.

Today, however, there are no caps on interest. New cards are issued at 22 percent. A late payment causes rates to soar above 30 percent. Payday loans trap people into paying interest as high as 400 percent. Usury has created a debtor class that is unable to buy products because its money is spent paying high interest. Those who historically were able to buy on time are intimidated from doing so. As a result, the economy languishes. If people don't buy, people who provide products and services don't work.

To restore a robust economy, Congress must cap interest rates on credit cards at the level rates were when the economy was robust. It's that simple. All you need is a sense of history. Ending the sin of usury should be a campaign promise by candidates on both sides of the aisle.

Gabriel J. Ferber



Spend extra money?and build a tunnel

I wanted to comment on the recent article and comments about the Skyway. It isn't functionally obsolete, as many people write in The News. The bridge crosses two federally maintained, navigable waterways over the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal that both see substantial commercial shipping traffic. The bridge must remain standing or be replaced with a tunnel to allow for continued use of these two channels and the industrial jobs that they support.

At this time, there are five active bulk product docks, at least three inactive docks that occasionally see traffic, the Power Authority ice boom storage facility, the Great Lakes Towing tugboat dock, a sailboat marina and the fireboat slip all up above the bridge. A lift span in place of the Skyway is not a good idea since any vessel transit through the bridge would back up car traffic downtown and along Route 5 anytime the bridge was put up.

In my opinion, the only viable option for a complete replacement without losing any vehicle capacity, while also keeping the roadway impact on the waterfront to a minimum, is to spend the extra money and build a tunnel.

Wendy Wroblewski



Grisanti won't fool?most voters again

So, Mark Grisanti is at it again, offering himself for re-election to the State Senate. I'm sure he has views he is expounding and promises he is making. I can't say for sure what his campaign is about this time, because I see no use in listening to him anymore.

The last time he ran for office, he made promises, too. People voted for him because he promised to vote a certain way on a particular issue. Most people were in favor of his views, so they voted him into office to carry out their wishes. Once in office, however, when the issue came up for a vote, instead of supporting the people who elected him, he sold them out for his own personal gain.

He realized he was controlling a pivotal vote. Apparently the Democrats came up with the best deal, so he sided with them against the people who elected him. Because of this, there are some people who think his career could be ended. As it appears now that looks doubtful, but either way things play out it will be no problem for Grisanti. If by some chance he isn't re-elected, I believe he will turn up in some high-paying, no-show job with lifetime benefits you can't even imagine.

If you think this sounds unreasonable, someone please explain to me why a liberal Democrat (Gov. Andrew Cuomo) of a liberal Democratic state (New York) is doing political ads to support the re-election of a supposed Republican candidate.

He burns you once, shame on him. He burns you twice, shame on you.

Robert N. Czora