Beloved priest brought ?comfort to many people

The Oct. 28 News article about the Rev. Joseph F. Moreno both shocked and appalled me. With all the efforts the Catholic Church has gone through over several decades to cover up sexual abuse of children by its priests, a few "unnamed" priests could not wait until Father Joe was cold in his grave to reveal the "troubling incidents" that plagued his life.

Father Joe was a saintly priest. I don't believe he saw himself as a model priest because nobody understood his troubles more clearly than he did himself. He was a priest who worked in the trenches. With all his troubles, he saw clearly where and when he was needed in the community. He was there reaching out to the poor, the troubled people of the street and the people who protect us. He went places where other priests wouldn't give a second thought to go. He served a church in one of the poorest districts of Buffalo, a congregation that loved and trusted him.

Where was the church when this troubled soul needed help? I hope the "unnamed priests" who offered information for the article feel relieved that they got this information off their chests, especially since Father Joe is not here to defend himself – not to say that he would.
Let's all keep in mind that men and women of the cloth are first and foremost human. May Father Joe rest in peace.

Marian LaMacchia



Parents, not teachers,? are failing children

The headline on Rod Watson's Nov. 1 column is "Parents need trigger law to help kids win." That may be true, but the trigger is being pulled in the wrong direction. Instead of parents having the power to close a "failing" Buffalo school and open a charter school, the parents should be held accountable for being failing parents.

Only a failing parent would send a child to school without manners, without breakfast, without having been exposed to books and without supporting teacher discipline. Only a failing parent would allow a child to be truant without consequences. You can't close down a failing parent and bring in a charter parent.

The Buffalo Teachers Federation, teachers who live in the suburbs and teachers who may not be part of a minority group cannot provide the upbringing that failing parents do not provide, to make it easier for their children to succeed.

Larry Finkelstein

East Amherst


Bike lane sorely needed ?on Millersport near UB

Many University at Buffalo students ride bicycles between the North and South Campuses. Unfortunately riding a bicycle down Millersport Highway is dangerous. The Town of Amherst needs to put a bicycle lane or path on Millersport, or at least have sidewalks on both sides of the street, to prevent cars from colliding with bicyclists. Millersport Highway's speed limit is 45. There are several highway ramps on Millersport just two blocks from UB, where all of the bicycles on one side are stuck without a sidewalk or bike lane, right next to people entering and exiting the highway.

The town could easily remedy the dangers by putting a path or sidewalk on each side of the road. It should also create sidewalks on Flint Road where it connects Millersport to UB. There, the road narrows to one lane in each direction, congested with traffic and there is no shoulder or sidewalk on either side.

UB has been promoting bicycle transportation for several years now, to help the environment and solve the school's parking problems, but how can the university expect students to ride bicycles to school on such dangerous streets? If even 1 percent of the 28,000 students ride bicycles down Millersport each day in fair weather, that is still too many to be without a safe place to ride.

Amherst should get to work on this project immediately. It would make my life and the lives of many other town residents and taxpayers much easier and safer.

Justine Miller



Use of drones brings? serious consequences

Thanks to Douglas Turner for his Oct. 29 column. These drone attacks trouble me. In addition to the reasons he stated, this type of war is not good for our country. Think of the drone operator who goes home to a wife and children after killing "enemy combatants" who may be thousands of miles away.

The price we pay to wage war goes far beyond the money we spend and the lives we lose. Loss of limbs, PTSD, loss of reproductive capacity, wives without husbands, kids without dads, guns/butter opportunity cost, our status in the world – and that's the case if we win!
It's a losing proposition. A tragedy. A last resort. We need to re-evaluate this violence and look for better ways. I'm all for a strong defense. A sane, well-thought-out defense. Bring 'em home.

Paul Steffan



Birth control is free, ?it's called abstinence

Because it was narrow-minded, Froma Harrop's column on access to birth control and the conclusion that we have to assure that those who want it can get it was equally a waste of time for readers as it was a waste of paper by printing it.

Like her, I believe that all women should have equal access to birth control regardless of education level and/or economic class. But don't they already – or is it only the educated and the rich who can grasp the understanding of abstinence? Perhaps Harrop failed to mention this avenue because she finds it to be unrealistic. Fine, but to write that the opposite to abstaining is somehow virtuous is very troubling.

Meanwhile, not much ink needs to be spilled over explaining the cost to abstain because everyone already knows it doesn't cost a dime. So then, what is the real issue here: birth control or self control?

Give me a break with the so-called issue of the availability to birth control. The biggest obstacle that gets in our way and stops us every time is ourselves – not others, or events, circumstance, and the world around us. Isn't it time that we accept responsibility and accountability? And wouldn't then the application of prudence and temperance be the real virtues here?

Until she is prepared to present the entire story, Harrop should never again write on this subject. Meanwhile, her regard for the well-being of others is noble, yet her neglecting to mention abstinence or to include how natural family planning is also already widely available, likewise free, and a very effective means to control births is as one-sided and careless as it is astonishing.

Ricky J. Warnes