Let's open our hearts ?to kids who need help

I was saddened but not shocked to read that Town of Tonawanda residents are fighting the opening of a respite facility by Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled. Neighbors are concerned with the amount of traffic it will generate in the area. This is the same excuse that was given when Southeast Works tried to acquire the Depew library when it was closed several years ago. The residents there were afraid it would bring more traffic than the bustling library. So Southeast Works lost out on a great site that was seconds from its main location.

But we all know that traffic is just the excuse we hear. What is really being said is "not in my back yard." Tonawanda residents don't want the disabled in their neighborhood. If traffic isn't the reason, the other convenient excuse is it will lower property values. We know the truth behind all the excuses.

As a parent of two developmentally disabled children, I cannot even convey how vital respite is for families. Being a parent or caregiver is stressful enough. Add autism and the most basic tasks can be daunting. You have no idea the toll it takes on the entire family. Respite allows my other two children and me to have a few hours without the worry of what might happen because of my son. It is a godsend. The demand for this service, and all services for the disabled, is so high that we could open 20 new respite homes and still need more.

I ask all Western New Yorkers to open their hearts and their neighborhoods to the many agencies and their clients who need these services. They truly are making a difference in many lives.

Kathleen A. Warsocki



Remember, pedestrians ?should be facing traffic

I can't believe the number of times that I, as a driver, pass pedestrians walking with the traffic rather than against it – probably 80 percent of the time. I am a senior citizen and it has been impressed upon me for years that when walking in traffic, you should always walk facing it.

Two reasons are obvious. One, if a driver becomes distracted (texting, etc.) and goes into the pedestrian's lane, the walker can see it and quickly move out of the way. Two, it is not as easy for a driver to see people walking with their backs to you, especially if they are wearing dark clothes, as it is to see people walking into your line of vision.

Please, teachers and parents, tell your children to walk on the side of the road where they are facing oncoming traffic. It wouldn't hurt to suggest they wear light-colored clothing as well. It could be a lesson that will save their life.

Margaret McMillen

East Amherst


How does Romney plan? to create 12 million jobs?

Mitt Romney has claimed he will create 12 million new jobs if elected. I hope he has a magic wand, because that's the only way it will happen. First he must bring back the millions of jobs we have lost to Asia and other parts of the world. Not likely.

Energy in America is doing well. Recent published information is that gasoline sold in the United States is 84 percent made in the United States. In addition, we export gasoline. Natural gas is plentiful, and the only place Romney did indicate improvements could be made is coal use. Corporations' earnings have been enormous and they have more than enough money to create more jobs.

The Bush tax cuts were a help to small businesses and consumers. President Obama has led the way to suggest keeping the cuts in place for those earning up to $200,000 (single) and $250,000 (married). This represents 90 percent-plus of American consumers.

How is Romney going to create 12 million jobs? I am sure he will create some, but Obama is doing that slow and steady.

I also object to the misleading Republican ads stating the Democrats are cutting $716 billion out of Medicare funding. This is a $716 billion reduction in the growth of future Medicare spending, which will affect hospitals and other providers, not a cut in its funding. It merely is cost control.

Harold Meyers

East Amherst


Presidential debates? could use new format

It was not that Jim Lehrer, the moderator in the first presidential debate, was too meek, too easy or too old that he lost control of the debate, it was that each debater knew that regardless of who the moderator was, the time frame allotted for each response would not be taken seriously by either participant. Whether the time to answer a question was one, two or five minutes, the debaters, especially one who was more aggressive or arrogant, would simply keep talking over the stated time.

In my opinion, any future debate would benefit by a few changes. First, allow at least three minutes in duration for each question rather than two minutes. This way it would give more time for a debater to provide a more in-depth or quality answer. It would appear that two minutes was not enough time.

Secondly, and much more important, another person at the moderator's table is needed to be in charge of the time. This person would push a button to turn off the debater's microphone as soon as that person was five seconds over. With this procedure, the moderator would not have to worry about time. Instead, the moderator could better decide on the next question.

With the above changes, the debater would no longer be in charge, but now would have to provide precise responses or else his message would fall short.

Joseph Borzellier

East Amherst


IDV courts provide ?meaningful benefits

We applaud The Buffalo News for recognizing the value of integrated domestic violence courts. ("Handling of domestic violence cases needs to be improved, not abandoned," Oct. 1 editorial.) IDV courts were created to address the legal complexities of domestic violence cases by streamlining the process and tailoring it to meet the needs of individual families. Though all cases are heard before one judge, the evidentiary and procedural rules of each case remain the same.

A study by the Center for Court Innovation examined the IDV court in Erie County and revealed meaningful benefits with the model. IDV litigants made significantly fewer trips to court and fewer court appearances. In criminal cases, defendants were subject to stricter monitoring requirements, leading to greater offender accountability and safety for families.

In our experience, visitation orders coming from the integrated parts are more protective of children because the judge hears all the facts. Additionally, the ability for the civil attorney to share victims' wishes regarding sentencing, as well as facts and potential evidence with the prosecutor (or the defense), enhances both the criminal and civil proceedings.

Kim Susser, Esq.

Director, Matrimonial & Family Law Unit, New York Legal Assistance Group