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Let's include women in birth control debate

Recently, congressional hearings were held on birth control. Missing from the panel and committee were women. None! For the second session, two women -- who were of the same mindset -- did take part, but no one with any dissenting opinion was heard. Doesn't this reek of a partisan hearing, with only "old, white men" deciding women's health issues? Not having the appropriate anatomy and no firsthand knowledge of women's health issues, isn't having only men involved a self-serving exercise?

And by the way, what about vasectomies? They certainly are a birth control procedure. Birth control pills are prescribed and taken by women for various health problems, yet vasectomies are basically for one purpose -- family planning. Will they be banned?

I am troubled and angered by this, as many women are. In most civilized countries, this isn't even an issue. But it appears there is a "war on women" today in our country. Don't we have enough critical issues here? Why are we spending precious time debating what should have been settled long ago? Speak up, women!

Joyce Schroeder

Wheatfield

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Pass bill to ensure safe patient handling

It is very disturbing to know that something that is good for workers, good for patients and good for the bottom line would be so difficult to legislate. I am referring to the Safe Patient Handling bill.

This bill would create a Safe Patient Handling task force, within the Department of Health, and work with the commissioner of health to create policies governing safe patient handling. It would specify the techniques and equipment for health care workers to use when patients need to be lifted or supported. It would require all health care facilities to establish committees and follow the established policies regarding the safe handling of patients.

The discussion over this mandate has been going on for a decade. A decade! When manually moving or lifting patients, nursing personnel continue to injure their backs, patients may be injured and money is being wasted.

This is the same discussion that ensued many years ago about safe needle devices. It was said that if health care facilities were merely educated about safe needle devices, they would "do the right thing" and buy them for the safety of the workers and the patients. Wrong. To ensure safety from needle sticks, a law had to be passed that mandated safe needle devices. Yesterday's safe needle devices are today's safe handling equipment.

Pass this bill and help save our backs, our patients and your money.

Peggy Chadwick-Ledwon, R.N.

Secretary/Treasurer, CWA District 1

Healthcare Coordinating Council

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We didn't learn lesson from '08 market crash

The front-page topic, "School districts stretched thin," is of major concern to fixed-income, limited-means homeowners. It is not new, but to be taken in combination with numerous other topics covered in The News -- the excesses of the IDAs, the poor prospects of the New York State Retirement Fund, Douglas Turner's column "Entitlement label puts Social Security at risk," the funding/decision controversy at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and many more.

School boards and other administrators seem to have failed to learn the real lesson from the subprime market crash of 2008. Financier Jim Rickards describes it by writing, "I hear these Wall Street guys and they say they have these catastrophic so-called black swan type events. And they say, well, you know, I need to go back and fix my models. And my answer is no, your models are fine. Your paradigm is wrong. In other words, you have correctly modeled a false reality. And until you understand how things actually work, you are never going to get it right."

I explained to my friends that liquidity is the new monetary system. Need money? Just print/create more money. There is plenty of liquidity if you are considered the right sort to qualify for it, like "too big to fail" institutions. At the end of Andrew Ross Sorkin's book, he has the Fed chairman plunging ahead on the wrong paradigm, wondering aloud, "Will they lend it?" If you follow the reality paradigm, you know the answer to that.

David R. Conners

Eggertsville

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Facts of case support Truscio's innocence

There were certain facts left out of a recent News article that we feel need to be addressed so the public has an understanding of what led, in part, to our daughter Ann's wrongful conviction in 1995. The death certificate of Edwin Klein underwent five changes. Four of the five changes made by Coroner James Joyce were unauthorized, therefore, illegal. Dr. Erik Mitchell testified he never authorized any of them and that only a duly licensed New York State medical doctor can make or authorize such changes.

"Evidence" used to convict Ann was inconclusive or non-existent. In four convictions of assault there was no blood work drawn, therefore, no evidence of assault. The other nine convictions were based on inconclusive results because the tests were not done in the manner prescribed to give conclusive results if the patients were injected with insulin or not.

Finally, evidence that was crucial in getting Ann indicted was based on a book that she read. The book, "The Death Shift," was presented to the grand jury by then Assistant District Attorney Thomas Franczyk to show motive and "mindset." The only problem: the paperback edition (which Ann read) was published in 1990, two years after the deaths at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Although Franczyk tried to get the book into trial, it was ruled too prejudicial. However, the headline in the next day's edition of the Niagara Falls Gazette read "Truscio Trial Turns Bizarre" and referred to the book and comparisons to Ann. Despite the fact that the jury was told not to read anything about the case, how could they not with headlines like that?

These are just some of the facts that led to our daughter's wrongful conviction. The fight ends when her name is cleared.

Larry Truscio

Lockport

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Board should not stifle public input

It's contemptible that the Buffalo School Board is considering limiting the number of residents who can comment on any particular topic at its business meetings. (That's dissimilar to most Erie County school boards' policies.)

Currently, there is an overall speakers' quota that curtails public input. With more than 30,000 students in the system, a further restriction to only five members of the public having opportunity to air same-subject concerns is obviously inadequate.

The breadth of public discourse should not be confined and tailored for the board's self-interest. It should be student-centric and not discounting to the parents and citizens-at-large.

Katherine Massey

Buffalo