Appropriate sex ed? is only the first step

I have been following the discussion about the inadequate and antiquated sex education that, in some cases, is being "taught" in local school systems. It seems that this is the only reason being offered as the cause of high and early teen sexual activity, and multiple sexually transmitted infections and pregnancies.

I would offer several other, more pertinent, reasons:

This is the 21st century – a time of immediate information via the Internet, YouTube, etc. To claim kids don't know about "the birds and the bees" is naive and unproductive.

A 2004 study conducted by Motivational Education Entertainment stated that teens involved in the study "… view sex as a transaction, harbor little trust for members of the opposite sex and believe adults contribute to the problem of early, casual sex and pregnancy."

"How is my mother going to tell me not to have sex outside of marriage? She had four children by four different men and she wasn't married." (The Louisiana Weekly, May 10, 2004.) Let's look at role models in the world of sports and entertainment, as well.

When one can learn to make meth or a bomb online, kids can get accurate sex education there, too.

Of course, the best place for kids to get information, and values, is from their parents, but we know that is an ideal. In my work in the maternal/child arena, I have observed that teens use sex, multiple partners and children with different partners as status in their peer groups, as a way to "keep their man," etc. Often, pregnancy is used as a way to leave home where abuse may be taking place.

I am not against appropriate and accurate sex education; but that is only a start. The problem is more far-reaching: poor, inadequate parenting, lack of self-esteem and little respect for life.

Kathleen M. Rog, LCSW-R



Nepotism harms? county government

If the Erie County comptroller audits the Erie County Water Authority, it would be the auditor/C.P.A. equivalent of the fox guarding the chicken coop.

John C. Travers Jr.



Visit to Larkinville? was worth the trip

I'm a Buffalo native and currently live and work in our state's capital region as an architect. My family still lives in Buffalo and I come home every chance I get. For years, I have watched a confused look cross people's face when they ask where I'm going on vacation and I proudly proclaim, "Buffalo!" With every trip home, I come with a list that must be accomplished – places to eat, a festival or event, or a destination to explore that I read about in The Buffalo News online.

Most recently, I was looking forward to planning a trip home to see Larkinville. I had read articles about Howard Zemsky's transformative project and hoped it was everything I envisioned. I knew this project was on the map when one of my urban-planner friends in Schenectady asked if I happened to know what "pickleball" was.

Last weekend I came home, and early on a Sunday morning, my mom and I went on an adventure to Larkinville. As we turned the corner of the Larkin Building, one thing was immediately clear – this post-industrial city is not beyond innovation. The urban blend of indoor-outdoor space, vibrant pops of color and perfectly placed furniture amid a backdrop of historic architecture is truly something to see. It was just population two at Larkinville early that morning, but it was easy to imagine the merchants open, bands playing and the smell of the grills going. My mom and I sat on the couches and admired how clean and beautiful it was. Around every corner was another surprise – all well-designed and well-maintained.

It reinvigorated a passion in me – how architects and developers can breathe new life into old places and, above all, that it can and will happen in and around Buffalo. I left happy that I was able to bring back news that "it's happening" – the dedication and indomitable spirit of partnerships in Buffalo are paying off. There's a buzz about my hometown that's traveling across New York State. This Buffalo native is talking proud.

Sara Stein



Israel is overstepping? its bounds with demands

This in answer to the Sept. 25 letter writer who took The News to task for condemning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his advocacy of a "red line" against Iranian transgressions. Israel sounds to me like a bully in a schoolyard picking out two kids and saying, "let's you and him fight." Since when does Israel call the shots on what the United States is supposed to do? Israel is the biggest recipient of U.S. aid, but this does not give it the right to set our policies.

I am in no way defending Iran or approving of its policies. However, the statement that it is "common knowledge" that Iran is close to perfecting a nuclear weapon begs an explanation of the same situation some years ago – that Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction." When we invaded Iraq, no weapons were found.

The writer also made the argument that both the ayatollah and president of Iran said Israel was a scourge and should be wiped from the face of the earth. Isn't this the same attitude that Israel is taking toward Palestine? Let's present both sides of the argument.

Bob Adner



Require use of PIN? for all credit cards

Recently there was an article in The Buffalo News about a restaurant patron whose credit card was used by another person in an unauthorized manner.

The patron allowed the bar to "hold" his credit card while he was in the establishment – then someone used the patron's credit card to make several purchases. The perpetrator claims the patron's credit card looked like his own credit card, and it was an honest mistake.

Apparently it is very easy to use someone else's credit card even though it is illegal and dishonest! While the financial institution may hold the credit card holder "harmless," this type of activity is a substantial loss to the credit card company.

Therefore, I would like to suggest all credit card transactions require every person making a purchase to include a secret PIN (personal identification number) in order to consummate the transaction. Then, if you accidently lost or misplaced your credit card you could relax and not experience a panic attack.

Without the correct PIN, all credit cards would become worthless plastic.

David F. Quagliana