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NFTA service is? an embarrassment

It is dismaying to read that the board members of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority lack even the basic competence to sit in a room in order to form a quorum. For the past four months, the escalator at the University Station has been out of service, but NFTA Commissioners James J. Eagan and Adam W. Perry are more concerned with squabbling than they are with addressing this important issue.

I have long thought that it should be required of NFTA commissioners that they commute to work on public transportation at least once a week. Now I'd like to propose a further requirement: once a month each commissioner should have to go from his home to a randomly assigned location within the NFTA's service area and arrive within 10 minutes of a predetermined time. (Good luck getting to or from the NFTA's airport.) Perhaps if they had some sense of what it is like to use the system occasionally, they would be more sympathetic to the people who use it all the time.

In the meanwhile, the NFTA is the single worst mass transportation system I have encountered anywhere in the country, and anywhere in the world. It is an embarrassment.

William C. Altreuter

Buffalo

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Bring our troops home? from Afghanistan now

Finally, our government is getting the message that Afghanistan is not worth another American dying for a corrupt and incompetent regime.

The United States is spending $92 million to build a high-tech command center in Afghanistan so that the generals can link with the troops fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida. Are they serious?

We trained 425,000 police and military personnel in 12 years, plus 100,000 coalition forces, and can't get a handle to control the enemy forces. (How many do they have?)

We know where the Taliban strongholds are and we still can't defeat them. Apparently the Taliban and al-Qaida got the cream of the crop because they don't seem to have a problem recruiting fighters for their cause.

It's time to leave and bring our forces home.

Delphin J. Bogdan

Cheektowaga

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Let's fully implement? Affordable Care Act

A recent News editorial is critical of penalties under the Affordable Care Act for those who refuse health insurance. If those who decline affordable insurance were to become gravely ill, would they refuse emergency treatment because they made an informed choice to be uninsured? I doubt it. It is likely that their treatment would be paid for by the rest of us. Is this sensible or fair policy?

Cost-control measures in the act were also questioned. CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation have online lists of the cost-containment measures in Obamacare. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has determined that the savings in Obamacare will reduce costs for the federal government and keep Medicare financially stable for 12 additional years.

About 25,000 Americans (a low estimate) die prematurely each year for lack of health insurance. About 50,000 were killed in the Vietnam War. Without health insurance for all, every two years we lose as many as died in Vietnam. Christian teachings place a high value on healing the sick. Full implementation of the Affordable Care Act is a moral imperative and sound policy.

William G. Lisk

Amherst

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Obama may be nice guy,? but he's a poor president

It is time for the American people to wake up and vote with their heads and not their hearts. Face it, Americans, this country is in rough shape. We need to put in elected office people who are qualified and determined to lead our country in the right direction. President Obama may be a nice guy. If you think so then invite him over for a cookout or ask him to join your bowling team. But we have to get him out of the White House before he puts us all in the poor house and we lose what little respect we have left in the world.

What we need leading this country at all levels of government are people who know how to cut spending, cut taxes, eliminate waste, downsize government, minimize government regulations and run this country efficiently like a business. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand and know how to do these things. They will immediately begin to lead this country back in the right direction as soon as we vote them into office.

Chris Collins also is desperately needed in Congress to do all of these things. I also believe New York State would be in much better shape today if Carl Paladino was our governor. We would not be talking about raising taxes and increasing Thruway tolls. Instead we would be working on lowering school taxes, sales taxes and gasoline taxes. We would also see less government spending and waste and this would result in a smaller, more-efficient government.

Richard L. Burzynski

North Tonawanda

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Why can't people give? pedestrians a break?

This letter is in regard to the My View column in the Sept. 29 News. I would like to compliment the writer, Lynn Magdol, for giving a solid view of the "endangered species" that pedestrians are. Being a lifelong pedestrian, I can relate to the examples she gives when she travels about on two feet meeting obstacles such as blocked driveways and icy, unshoveled sidewalks.

Pedestrians are also not respected by a majority of drivers since they think we are part of the 47 percent (which Mitt Romney made us aware of recently) and are dropouts of society because we don't drive like everyone else does. Pedestrians are not given any thought on the road when drivers don't use their turn signals or speed up, deliberately, on right/left turns making it difficult to cross at crosswalks or signals. I applaud Magdol for making this point that we pedestrians are human and indeed an "endangered species."

Judith L. Stocker

Cheektowaga

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West Seneca should? focus on real issues

As a West Seneca resident, I concur completely with the writer to this column about the supposed feral cat problem we are experiencing in our town. I am also a responsible owner to multiple indoor cats and have never witnessed hordes of strays on anyone's property.

I must take umbrage with Town Supervisor Sheila Meegan for making this her platform concern at this time. Whether isolated or exaggerated, I am astounded by this displaced focus on a non-issue.

In lieu of trying to abate the cat population, I have a few proposals. Tend to the high unsightly weeds growing out of the sidewalks, paint the rusty guardrails along every bridge, keep vacant lots mowed, lure businesses to occupy vacated stores and gas stations, and please do something with the old Seneca Mall site. All of these are an embarrassing eyesore!

Elizabeth D. Sikorski

West Seneca