Steel plant building could? honor all factory workers

With reference to the recent letter about preserving the Bethlehem Steel Administration Building, my view is quite different. Her letter referred to the dangerous and soul-destroying labor the workers had to endure, and she could see no reason for preserving a building that brought back so many bad memories. I sympathize with that point of view and can completely understand it.

My own father was a factory worker for 43 years, fortunately not tending a blast furnace or in a dangerous position. But he was a part of the 20th century industrial force that saved this country, indeed the world, during World War II and that created the vast middle class that was America of that time. Because of my father's hard work, his children and grandchildren were able to go to college and get advanced degrees. From poor farm boy to factory worker to professional in two generations, that was his accomplishment and for that I will remember him with my undying thanks and respect.

His was the story of millions of factory workers, including those at Bethlehem Steel. Yes, the corporate executives and owners profited greatly; that's the story of capitalism. But those who worked so hard in the factories should be honored for their accomplishments and toil.

The blast furnaces, tall chimneys and grimy buildings are gone, and some would say good riddance. But the elegant and dignified Administration Building, which has stood since the earliest days of the company, should be seen as a symbol honoring all those generations of men and women who worked so hard to support their families and to raise their children to find their own successes and accomplishments. There could be no more beautiful reminder and memorial.

Mary Horowitz

East Amherst


Let's hope Biden? can tell it like it is

According to Douglas Turner's Oct. 8 column, Vice President Biden needs to expose GOP "reforms" as a sham. Roger that. As Turner aptly points out, "The plain-speaking Biden has a chance to put the substance of the campaign back where it belongs." For the good of the country, the good of those under age 55, those with pre-existing conditions, the working poor, veterans, those in danger of losing health insurance coverage and for the good of the Democratic Party, let us hope he does just that.

Barbara Woodworth



Pushing abstinence only ?ignores reality of teen sex

I read the Sept. 29 letter, "Teaching abstinence is the only solution" and have come to the conclusion that the writer has had no contact at all with teenagers. Oh, I agree teen pregnancy does go with poverty, but forbidding behavior? Ask a few actual parents how "forbidding behavior" works with their kids. Most will laugh at you and say, "not very well." When I was a kid nobody approved of teen smoking, but outside of most schools were groups of teenagers puffing away. The only thing that put a dent in that was that it became very expensive.

In the 1980s, during the "just say no" era, there were plenty of testimonials by recovering drug addicts relating horrible stories of their experience with drugs. Those testimonials stopped when studies showed that what kids were getting out of those ads was: "It won't happen to me."

The writer claims that "contraception and condoms consistently fail." If that were true, the companies that make both would be bankrupt due to lawsuits.
In states where abstinence only has been in practice, it has been an absolute failure. It has not only failed to reduce teen pregnancy and STDs, but in most cases both have gone up when abstinence only is the only practice.

"Hope for the best but prepare for the worst," an insurance man once told me. Abstinence only is just hoping for the best.

Larry Schultz



Skyway moves traffic? quickly and efficiently

Hooray for Michael Kearns – the first voice of sanity in the drumbeat to tear down the Skyway. Make no mistake, I am not a fan of the span. It's a little nerve-wracking to drive over when it's windy, or during a snowstorm. However, for the most part, it is what makes my commute so easy. According to a 2008 study published on the Department of Transportation website, nearly 4,500 vehicles pass over the span each hour during the morning commute – nearly 50,000 vehicles every day.

We need to hear more about what the alternative to the Skyway will be before there is any further talk of demolition. A viable alternative must be constructed or we risk traffic gridlock in downtown Buffalo every day. I currently enjoy a 25-minute commute that includes a fabulous view of the lake every morning and an equally breathtaking view of the city on my way home.

Please don't allow this project to move forward without careful consideration of the impact on commuters.

Donna Hagerty



Debater who is loudest,? rudest is dubbed winner

The "pundigital" response to the first debate might be titled, "Media truth serum or let opinion become fact." Before the big screens could cool, the folks I call the "pundigits" (pseudo-wise finger pointers) pronounced a winner and a no-show in the recent debate. Of course, they are entitled to their opinions. However, by the next news cycle, CNN, MSNBC, Fox and the rest of the bunch were perseverating on analysis of the reasons why the president did so abysmally. An opinion had instantly become a fact.

Why did they think the president had lost? My guess is they have been hoisted with their own petard. Reality TV and news analysis shows like "Hard Ball" valorize the debater who is loudest, rudely interrupts with the most dogged determination and, often, lies in the tradition of "the bigger the better."

I must admit, the challenger won the prize for irony when he said (and I paraphrase) "you're not entitled to your own facts."

Thus, it is not surprising that news peddlers should conclude that the challenger's bluster was worthy of high praise. For me, I prefer quiet truths to loud lies. Of course, that's only my opinion.

John Marvin



Drive-through window s?ought to be eliminated

I've noticed lately, primarily at the two main coffee shops in our area, accidents as a result of the drive-through windows. I realize they are a convenience and may save patrons a few minutes, but for safety sake I think they should be eliminated. This would prevent the flow of traffic from being restricted on the main streets and prevent further accidents. It's not going to kill customers to park and walk a few precious yards for their morning fix.

Marty Farrell

West Seneca