There is no quick fix? for cat overpopulation

Let's do the right thing – not just look for an easy way out. It's not a fast fix. It's a long-range solution. We must get educated, then make wise and humane decisions. The problems of cat overpopulation are initially caused by people being irresponsible. Some don't spay or neuter their cats, some allow them to roam the neighborhood. Some abandon them when they are no longer convenient.

We are fortunate in Western New York to have organizations like Feral Cat Focus and Operation Pets to guide us, advise us and assist us with overpopulation, strays in the neighborhood and those being a nuisance. Why would we not explore their expertise? The Alley Cat Allies website is also a valuable resource of information and education.

Most of the people in our communities are responsible and law-abiding citizens. They may have many cats in their household, and no one would ever know. The cats are neutered, vaccinated, healthy and not a problem to anyone.

Let's focus our attention on those who don't take responsible care of their cats, and not punish those who do. Let's not pursue licensing cats or limiting the household numbers – it's just not smart. Instead, we can focus on TNVR (trap, neuter, vaccinate, return) to control overpopulation.

We can help with individual complaints, those not taking proper care of their cats and hoarders who may need assistance. There are many caring individuals in the community. I think people will volunteer to help with TNVR projects. Intelligent and humane solutions are available. We can happily co-exist!

Sue Jolls



Free market won't? save middle class

Wednesday's presidential debate was an enactment of chapter one of the 2012 self-help book, "Pomp and Circumstance for Idiots." It was written especially for the uninformed electorate. Such time-long subtleties as having the Republican wear a red tie while the Democrat's tie is blue may seem irrelevant to some; but if so, why is it a staple of partisan political theater? You rarely see a politician point an extended digit toward his crowd; it's less offensive if the finger is bent at the knuckle. As a baby boomer, I've seen too many of these scripted plays. It's embarrassing to my intellect – however much intellect I have been able to salvage.

Buzzwords and bumper sticker philosophies have more of an effect on the uninformed electorate than any seriously structured presidential debate ever will. However, since Mitt Romney hails the free market as the panacea for what ails all the problems faced by the middle class of America, I beg the reader's attention and seek his wise counsel.

The free market; it sounds pretty cool. Everybody likes to shop, and what sounds better to a shopper than "free"? Here is where the actual experience of being a boomer comes in: I grew up in Sloan, a small and proud community only one square mile in area. Near the St. Andrew's Lyceum stood two competing mom-and-pop stores. The best examples of both the free market and the American Dream, they co-existed even though one's profit was the other's loss. Long story short – free-market capitalism swallowed those guys up; they are long gone.

The free market's appetite is voracious. Left unchecked, the free market will become a massive monopoly acquired pretty much in the same manner as the winner in the game of the same name.

I will fight to the death for the right of Americans to engage in the free market; but please don't insult us by claiming that it's a "fair market" as well.

Robert J. Wegrzynowski



Both candidates playing? fast and loose with facts

Being a history and political junkie, I watched with interest the first debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama. This was, without a doubt, the worst and least informative debate I ever watched. The moderator was terrible. He allowed both candidates to walk all over him and just ramble on, ignoring his feeble attempts to bring some order to the so-called debate. The candidates offered little true information to assist voters in making up their minds. They played fast and loose with the facts and the moderator did not challenge them when they made outrageous claims.

Something must be done to change our procedure for electing public officials at every level. The entrance of hundreds of millions of dollars by super PACs that air ridiculous ads just compromises the information delivered to potential voters. The average citizen is being fed false or misleading information and has difficulty interpreting these ads. Our elections are becoming a farce, with money becoming the determining factor. We wind up with poor representation because those elected are beholden to the corporations and billionaires who are now controlling our elections.

For our government to truly represent the people, we must shorten the election season to several months, hold several true debates and somehow take the money coming from anonymous donors out of the equation. If we do less, we will no longer have a government that represents the people!

Allen F. Scioli



Breast cancer survivors? thrive because of support

How refreshing to read the recent article in the Women's Voices section of The News detailing the accomplishments of women dedicated to making a difference. This particular group gathers in the name of sisterhood to race through mud-soaked hills supporting breast cancer research and awareness. It's refreshing to see fund-raisers that emphasize exercise, a lifestyle proven to help prevent recurrence.

As we enter this month of pink support, I applaud their efforts. Lisa Wiley speaks of a sisterhood brought together by strength, determination and common ground. Like runners, breast cancer survivors learn to thrive with the support of a community that reaches out and offers their hand.

I never thought I would belong to such a group, but four years ago a routine mammogram began my journey. Like these women who make the best of a muddy run, I, too, searched for ways to make this challenge easier. I have been blessed and surrounded by women fighting the same battle, my role models as we learn to live each day with new appreciation.

We are very lucky to have resources such as the Breast Cancer Network of Western New York and other groups dedicated to raising awareness, promoting research and paving the way to recovery.

Surviving any cancer involves thriving as we embrace the new normal. Rock on, mud sisters! I appreciate all you do in making the way easier for those who may follow.

Judith Masters