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No reason to involve? police on coach issue

I'm flabbergasted to realize that the coach Al Monaco debacle reached such a level of "criminal" activity that it necessitated police involvement. I am not condoning the coach calling a player "fat," if this accusation has merit. The claim that the player did not see enough playing time is absurd beyond belief. No coach ought to be fired simply because he did not let a player participate more. Should a coach be fired because a quarterback on the football field did not throw the ball to a wide-open receiver? If that is the case, no coach is safe from such triviality.

My concern is that a complaint was made to the Williamsville police that a coach called a student/player "fat." Pardon me for being overly simplistic, but I was under the impression the police's major function in our society is to protect life and property. The time necessary to investigate this incident should not have exceeded a nanosecond.

If this episode is a trend, then we should call the police if someone steps on a crack in the sidewalk. Wait, I'm not done. How about the police investigating a charge by a parent who said a teacher looked at a student "wrong" or is "picking on" a student. This actually happened to me. While teaching in a nearby district years ago, I was brought to the office to answer the charge from a parent claiming that I called his son "stupid." Upon questioning by the principal, the kid claimed that I used that term in class and I "looked" at him. The solution was that I wore sunglasses to class for a few days and the accusations ceased.

Philip Fanone

West Seneca

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Democratic Party? shows its true colors

The Democratic Party has shown which side it has chosen. The name of God was originally left out of its platform, along with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, only to be reinserted despite much protest from many members at the convention. However, the issues of unrestricted taxpayer-funded abortion and contraception were never in jeopardy and remain unscathed. I am glad to be on the other side.

Barbara Pelosi

Williamsville

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Americans have a duty? to make informed choice

For anyone paying attention to the respective political campaigns, the operative word is "choice." Wrapping themselves in the hallowed words about our inalienable rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," each party affirms that it is the right choice. Most of us realize, however, that the exercising of our rights, especially our right to choose, cannot be reduced to the few simple arguments, selective statistics and anecdotal solutions that each camp has served up. Or do we?

Life, liberty and happiness are not mere words; they enshrine complex national values and responsibilities. Whereas we should be free to choose for ourselves that which we believe will enhance our personal lives, liberty and happiness, we must not exercise that freedom unreflectively or, worse yet, carelessly. My freedom of speech does not mean I can shout out "fire" in a crowded theater because I want to laugh out loud at the ensuing panic that one little word can produce in others.

It follows that for an American to make a choice based exclusively upon her or his own rights without having measured the impact that decision might have upon others is antithetical to the values and responsibilities that gave birth to this country. Furthermore, from today's hot-topic issues of the economy and war to health care and abortion, reliance upon a singular argument, solution or demand of personal right betrays a willingness to disregard the same inalienable rights others have to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This is as true of political candidates as it is of those who will exercise their right to vote. As Americans, we have a twofold responsibility toward one another when we make our choice: to be as fully informed as possible, and to be considerate of everyone's rights, not just our own.

Michael J. Sherry

Orchard Park

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State authorities do? not answer to voters

As we approach another election, it is disconcerting to think that it won't make a bit of difference to many people in New York State who are under the not-so-benevolent "governance" of "shadow state agencies" unelected cesspools of political patronage that do not answer to the voters!

On Grand Island, none of our elected officials is able to intervene with the Thruway Authority in resolving issues with E-ZPass; ditto for our elected county officials. Now I have tried to get assistance from our state senator, but it appears his office is stymied as well.

Something as simple as dispensing the little plastic strips to affix your E-ZPass to the windshield of a new car is beyond the intellectual ability of these overpaid political appointees. Oh, you can get a new E-ZPass on the island, and if you get a new tag it has the strips attached, but if you buy a new car and want to affix your existing tag, forget it. Apparently finding a business on Grand Island that the Thruway Authority "trusts" to dispense these 10-cent items is an insurmountable objective, along with numerous other problems with E-ZPass.

There is one other possibility beyond that of the incompetence of these people, and that would be that the citizens of Grand Island are being punished for voting for a Republican state senator, so perhaps the blame lies further up the chain of command! Something to consider in November.

Patrick Kelly

Grand Island

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Career DJs need? to master many skills

After reading the article, "Bar DJ passionate about his playlist," I gathered nothing about the DJ/nightlife culture in Buffalo. I felt the work was insulting to the DJ community. I failed to see the relevance in asking Miles DiPaola Jr, a.k.a. Bear Skin Rug, if he "felt old," has groupies, or implying he made a poor life decision DJing by asking him his future plans.

To be successful in the industry, you have to offer more than a laptop full of MP3s. Being a career DJ involves mastering many skills, such as marketing/branding, advertising, audio recording, producing original music and a strong sense of entrepreneurship. A month ago, Forbes published an article showing top-level DJ salaries topping out at $22 million per year.

It's common for Buffalonians to misunderstand DJ performances to the point where people will even try to converse with artists while performing. It's comparable to talking to a guitar player during a solo. It's unacceptable to approach a DJ in other cities, and generally results in getting ejected for distracting the main entertainment for the audience.

This attitude is accepted here, and it doesn't help us if our local media don't even attempt to understand what our job actually consists of. As someone who makes a living DJing on an international touring level, it's insulting to be stereotyped like this.

Don Skotnicki

Buffalo