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Domestic violence is not? caused by mental illness

I share in the grief expressed by everyone following the story of the tragic murder of Jackie Wisniewski, and my heart goes out to her son. I understand the confusion, the outrage, the need for a logical explanation and the desire to lay blame. The reality is there are no easy answers. But here are some facts:

While there are many things a domestic violence victim can do to increase her safety, what works for one victim may not work for another. Calling the police or getting an order of protection may be great options for many victims. Other victims know these steps can actually increase their danger. It is never wrong if victims don't pursue these avenues, and suggesting otherwise may further blame and isolate victims. Regardless of victims' actions, no one can guarantee their safety except the abuser.

Domestic violence is about power and control. It is not caused by stress, mental illness or substance abuse. Some people are clinging to the belief that Timothy Jorden was under emotional distress or had mental health issues in order to make sense of what happened. But implying Wisniewski was killed because of any other reason unfairly removes the responsibility from Jorden, and belittles the issue faced by millions daily, including the 28 people killed by their intimate partner over the past four years in Erie and Niagara counties.

If you are a victim of domestic violence or stalking, call a 24-hour hot line: 884-6000 or 862-HELP. You are not alone.

Remla Parthasarathy

Community Relations Chairwoman

Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence

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We can't let money elect next president

We have been hearing so much about the money being poured into the campaigns that it has made me angry. So these rich people think we are stupid? We have a lot of ways to find out facts. Those who believe everything they see in these TV ads are being used by this medium to have us form our opinions.

Read the news, go to the library, use the computer to find out the facts and the truth about legislation. The people have the power, through the voting booth, to elect the next president, although the Republican governors in some states are trying to take away our voting rights through recent legislation.

How many people write to their senators? Let's show them we are not as stupid as they think we are. They should put all this money into paying down the national debt instead of wasting it on garbage ads!

Connie Rudes

East Amherst

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State workers have ?made big sacrifices

In a recent News article, "Spending growth has slowed in state; Ranks in lower 25 for 2 budget years," E.J. McMahon, a representative of a pro-business, conservative think tank, stated that New York State employees have done well over this period and that they have had a "very non-stressful recession." Nothing could be further from the truth.

Under the latest contract, state employees pay more for their health insurance while at the same time have had their pay decreased nine days worth over the first 24 months of their contract, to be followed by no raises for the third year. State workers have also seen jobs eliminated due to closure and consolidations of services and facilities. More of the same is expected when Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Sage Commission releases its recommendations.

Newly hired state workers are also contributing more to their retirements while having to work until age 65 for a lesser pension. State workers have done their share, and more, during the difficult economic times they had no role in creating. The financiers responsible for the Great Recession are the very ones that fund McMahon's think tank and pay him to talk.

Kevin R. Hintz

Region 1 Coordinator

NYS Public Employees Federation

Buffalo

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Visit to Central Terminal ?triggers many memories

I spent June 16 taking a trip down memory lane and visited the Buffalo Central Terminal. The last time I was there was Jan. 11, 1963. That was the day I joined the Army, left Niagara Falls and boarded a train that left Buffalo heading to Fort Dix, N.J.

Walking into the terminal after almost 50 years was the coolest. I didn't remember the terminal, but I did remember the train. Now I had time to just walk around and reflect. Reflect on how many veterans, like myself, just kids, left home for the first time not knowing what to expect. Also setting aside a somber moment and thinking of those who never made it back.

But Saturday was a great, fun day because it was "A Musical Night of Swing." Those who attended were treated to great music, food, drinks and a great group of dancers to entertain them. There also was a free spin on a wheel to win a prize. My friend won a free swing dance lesson, my wife a free ticket to watch and I won a candy bar. Does life get any better than that? And of course I spent the rest of the day telling anyone who would listen about my trip down memory lane. It was great.

None of this would have happened had it not been for the people determined to try to restore the terminal as it was. I am grateful to them. The restoration has just begun. They have a long way to go. Think of them if you have a couple bucks or time to donate. There are more events coming down the pipe. So look it up, keep an open mind when going there and maybe, like me, you'll come back with memories to make your day.

John Struzik

Niagara Falls

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Wallenda should donate? funds to help the needy

I would like to comment on the Wallenda walk. If this was Nik Wallenda's wish, I understand the human interest for entertainment. However, I lost interest and did not watch the walk as soon as I heard he was asking for donations.

Sports events never ask for donations. This is for people to view as their enjoyment or entertainment; a personal choice. This area is overpopulated with the poor, homeless and people just having a hard time making ends meet. The City Mission and Friends of the Night People, just to name two, are always in need to help the less fortunate. When you donate to such organizations, you are helping others.

Every dollar Wallenda made should go to help someone hurting, hungry, in need of medical care, clothing or just a hot meal daily. The walk made money and also made history. It was a wonderful event for Western New York. The promoters should take a chunk of that cash and write a check to the above organizations, or organizations like them. That would be the true blessing of this event.

Susan R. Marinoi-Dobmeier

Amherst