Consider all factors ?in domestic violence

I am writing in response to a June 26 letter by the chairwoman for the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence in regards to the horrific murder of Jackie Wisniewski.

This organization plays a vital role for victims in our community, and I agree wholeheartedly with the writer that domestic violence, or any violence for that matter, is primarily about power and control.

Furthermore, no one, no matter what the circumstances, should be subject to and tolerate violence and abuse. However, the writer's claim that domestic violence is not caused by stress, mental illness or substance abuse ignores the complexity of this behavior.

It may be far-reaching to say these factors cause domestic violence, but all of them, as well as a family history of violence, are often associated with violent behavior and can profoundly shape and influence one's perception of power and control.

Investigating the state of an individual's mental health is not intended to find excuse, but to pursue reason and understanding.

I believe we all have some control of our actions and bear responsibility for consequences, no matter what our mental state (except for those who suffer severe psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations).

I am in no position to judge the mental health of Timothy Jorden and its impact on his horrific acts, but judging from media reports it appeared that he was showing significant warning signs over a lengthy period of time that he was not mentally well.

For the safety and health of this community, we should not dismiss these signs and simplify violence and abuse, and instead should educate the public on its intricacies, so that in the future we may prevent some of these horrific acts from occurring.

Larry Scott

School psychologist



Job loss was the correct? punishment for infraction

I as a taxpayer do not agree with Richard E. Dobson's July 2 Another Voice, "Job loss too severe a punishment for the infraction," which dealt with the account of the sheriff's jail management superintendent, Bob Koch, and his misuse of a county vehicle.

As a law enforcement officer, paid by the taxpayers, Koch is held to a higher standard. It was not a "lapse in judgment." He lied to another law enforcement officer about what happened to the taxpayer-owned car with insurance paid for by the taxpayers. It is the same thing that people are in jail for that he watches over. Lying and filing a false report are not something a person with a long career in law enforcement does, unless he thinks he is above the law he is supposed to uphold.

This is wrong. With a long career in law enforcement, Koch definitely knew better!

Timothy C. Mahaney

West Seneca


Solar energy is a viable? alternative energy source

In his July 1 Viewpoints piece, David A. Bassett is correct when he states that there are massive thermal losses when we generate electricity.

These losses occur because a conventional electric power plant operates by burning a fuel to create heat energy. This is then converted into electrical energy.

This conversion process is achieved using the steam cycle, and the laws of thermodynamics determine the thermal efficiency of this cycle. These massive thermal losses warm our environment but are negligible compared to the warming created by our sun.

There is an alternative to the steam cycle – use solar cells to generate electricity. For example, all of America's electrical energy could be supplied from photovoltaics located in Arizona.

These would be connected to the nation's electric grid to distribute electricity to major population centers.

Electrical energy generated during the day would need to be stored to produce electricity at night. If Americans are willing to pay more for their electricity we can make this happen.

Environmentalist groups like the Sierra Club need to provide the public with cost comparisons. Until that happens we will continue to burn low-cost fossil fuels to create heat. However, the exhaust gas contains products that can cause global warming. We could also choose to use nuclear fuels rather than fossil fuels.

Michael F. Patterson

Clarence Center


Single-payer option? is already available

A recent letter in The News warns us of the pitfalls of a "single-payer, government- only health care system."

The writer insists that such a single-payer system would be considered an entitlement and be overused, bankrupting the system. Health care would eventually be rationed, necessitating long waits for treatment.

What the writer obviously doesn't understand is that such a system is in place in the United States and has been for many years.

Anyone, legal or illegal, without insurance or means to pay can go to an emergency room anywhere in the United States and get free care.

It has been terribly overused, the care is mediocre and it is very expensive for the system. It is a "single- payer" system, a form of socialism, and it is apparently what the Republican Party deems appropriate.

By contrast, "Obamacare" or The Affordable Care Act, is just the opposite.

It requires everyone, young, old, healthy, and ill to purchase health insurance from the private sector.

It allows everyone to choose new or keep his own policy and provides exchanges where we can find the best policies for the lowest price.

By adding millions of healthy policy holders to the pool, costs should go down and those who are ill will be covered for the duration of their illness. Pre-existing conditions would not disqualify anyone from coverage.

Hopefully, such a system would reduce emergency room visits by the uninsured and provide the opportunity for better health care for everyone through regular visits to a health care professional.

"But there aren't enough health care professionals to do that," I hear you cry. Correct; such a system would create jobs. Better health care and more jobs. Imagine that.

Henry R. Danielson



Republicans should ?emulate Ike and Abe

I think government should be run like a business. I am a Republican of the Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln stripe. They paid their government bills, held the nation together and took in revenue so they could pay their bills.

The Republicans in the House and Senate are certainly not conservatives like Ike, because he balanced all his budgets and warned Americans against the control of the economy by the military industrial complex.

So, let's think like true Republicans and conservatives and run the country like a business.

Richard Czarnecki