Let's support research ?to prevent bullying

It was truly heartening to see a half million dollars raised in little more than two days for the Rochester bus monitor who was so terribly bullied by the middle school children on her bus. It turns out that the average donation was about $20. Clearly this incident touched a national nerve and tapped into the collective caring of the nation.

While I am eager to see how Karen Klein enjoys her new gift from the national community, I'd also like to know if those same people would be willing to give $20 to tackle bullying on a larger scale. While appropriate and necessary to draw attention to bullying through the gifts given to Klein, should we not be asking ourselves if it is equally as important to support the mission of developing nationwide bullying prevention research, like that being developed at the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at UB? Would gifting this type of money to research not benefit every child, teacher, bus monitor and parent, rather than only one person (however much it may be deserved)?

Michael F. Lewis

School Psychologist

Niagara Falls


Pope Paul VI ignored?his appointed experts

Thanks to The News for its editorial on religious freedom. Surely our bishops know the history of Pope Paul VI's 1968 edict on contraception. He assembled 72 Catholic leaders – seven cardinals, nine bishops, 16 theologians, 13 physicians and 27 lay men and women – to help sort out this complicated issue. Of these leaders, 65 (or 90 percent) concluded that artificial contraception was not morally evil.

Ignoring the decision of his appointed group of experts, Paul proclaimed in his encyclical "Humanae Vitae" that birth control is morally evil. What occurred and continues to occur behind closed doors at the Vatican? At that time, hundreds of U.S. priests signed a full-page ad in the New York Times protesting this decision. In Buffalo, four seminary professors also signed. Three were fired for their participation. The fourth, a moral philosopher, was retained because "they need me here." When the facts proved otherwise 44 years ago, what is it that the U.S. bishops are not getting?

@Everybody's name:Mary Brennan

@Body copy rag:Amherst


Bishops are trying?to defend our faith

I am appalled by the bias The News shows toward the Catholic Church. The Fortnight for Freedom article focuses only on disgruntled "Catholics" who disagree with the bishops' attempt to defend our faith. The distorted definition of health care threatens our religious freedom, as well as the lives of the unborn. The bishops' response to the Health and Human Services mandate is to reject the government attack on the tenets of our church. And to those "Catholics" who are not happy with what the church teaches, they are free to join another faith.

Mike Mombrea Sr.



Obama should uphold?our immigration laws

The recent directive by President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security to not pursue removal proceedings against aliens brought to the United States illegally by their parents runs contrary to our nation's laws. The laws regarding immigration are to be made by Congress, as per the Constitution, not the president. Also, the president keeps vilifying deportation proceedings. In a deportation hearing, an alien can be represented by an attorney, if he chooses, and there are several organizations that provide free legal assistance to aliens. Such organizations exist in Western New York.

Furthermore, the deportation hearing is overseen by an immigration judge. These judges have many years of experience in immigration matters and are well versed in the law. Some judges have prior experience working with aliens' rights groups. Upon hearing both sides of the case, the judge makes a decision based on the law. If an alien does not agree with the decision, he can appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. These aliens, illegally in the United States, are afforded their day in court, just as any U.S. citizen or legal alien is afforded if charged with a crime. Some aliens come from countries that don't have due process or do not grant hearings to defendants.

Our immigration system is always said to be broken, but the problem is that nobody wants to follow the law. Our president swore to uphold the laws of the United States and he needs to do just that, but I guess I'm the one who is "dreaming."

Gary Roussie


Reagan's personnel growth?was mostly in the military

As I read the letter about it being wrong to depict President Obama as the king of big government, I was reminded of Mark Twain's comment that there are "lies, damn lies and statistics." I believe that President Ronald Reagan's personnel growth was mostly, if not totally, new military members. This growth helped lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The collapse of the Soviet Union allowed the United States to reap the "peace dividend" and now, almost 25 years later, the military has less than one half the members it did in Reagan's time. So Reagan's policy saved billions in the long run, while Obama is filling the government payrolls with more and more bureaucrats.

Lastly, while Congress may struggle with cutting the military, it seemingly never cuts out any bureaucrats! So kudos to cartoonist Lisa Benson for an astute political commentary.

Eric Hillebrand



Having two primary days?wastes taxpayers' money

This year the voters of New York State will be called to the polls to vote in separate primaries for federal legislative offices (June 26) and state and local offices (Sept. 13). The provisions of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act) required the movement of the federal primary away from September. The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that accurate absentee ballots are available to the men and women serving in the military overseas.

Most states were able to set an appropriate primary date through the legislative process. In New York, however, after numerous delays, the federal court had to step in and set a date in June for the federal primary in order to comply with the MOVE Act. The state and local primaries remain in September, however, so the taxpayers will be saddled with the expense of two separate primaries. Voters will be called to the polls twice. Campaign workers will be sent out for two rounds of petitioning.

All of this could have been avoided had the Legislature voted to move the state and local primaries to June 26. The Assembly did vote to unify the primary days, however, similar legislation died in the Senate. Those senators who failed to support the unification should be called on to explain why they opposed this legislation and thereby needlessly squandered the taxpayers' money.

Patrick Bannister