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Respite facilities ?are sorely needed

Amherst, Williamsville, Cheektowaga and nearly every community within Erie County, but not the Town of Tonawanda? I am appalled by the reactions of some citizens within my community who oppose the existence of a respite facility in their neighborhood. I think their accusations come from ignorance more than anything. Are they afraid it will bring harm to their "perfect" area? After researching the number of respite facilities in Erie County available to children, it is obvious that such a facility is needed. There are children already waiting to participate in this program, many more than what the facility will allow.

Although I am a teenager, I am aware of how difficult raising a child with a disability could be. Parents could easily become physically and mentally exhausted from providing constant care to their child. Every parent needs a break every now and then. In most cases, asking a neighbor to watch your child would be easy enough. However, children with special needs often require more skilled or trained professionals to take care of them.

I live in a residential area within the Town of Tonawanda that not only has a group home for developmentally challenged adults, but a home day care as well. I am not aware of any incidences from their existence of more than 10 years. I wouldn't even classify their traffic a nuisance.

These residents on Dixon Drive should be grateful that their families are not affected by any type of disability. They lack compassion for the families that could benefit from this respite facility. I feel they are setting a poor example to their own children for their bias.

Please, just have respect for everyone. We are all human beings.

Kevin Weigel

Town of Tonawanda

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One who set dog afire ?must be apprehended

Like everyone who read about or saw the puppy, Phoenix, and the treatment he received at the hands of a demented persons or persons, I was appalled, sickened and unbelieving that anyone could treat a living creature in such a violent manner. Jack Russell terriers are high-energy and rambunctious little creatures, but there is no possible excuse for the treatment he received.

It is a known fact that people who will abuse animals may turn to torture or murder of human beings. In light of that, it is my fervent belief that the time or money spent to find the perpetrator of such a heinous crime would be well spent. We do not need monsters walking our streets.

Yvonne T. McNallie

Jamestown

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Most people on disability ?are truly unable to work

As a recipient of disability benefits, I was angered by George Will's Oct. 29 column in which he decries the growth of disability entitlements in recent decades. He blames the growth on a "celebration of dependency" and an escalation of false disability claims. Will implies that most recipients are able but unwilling to work.

I strongly feel that most individuals receiving disability benefits are truly unable to work. We certainly do not enjoy being dependent. Disability payments barely cover expenses for many people. We would gladly trade our benefits for the dignity of work and a higher income, if only our health permitted.

In my view, the growth of disability entitlements is related to improved understanding of disabling conditions such as mental illness. Years ago, many persons with disabilities were denied benefits because their conditions were not recognized. They either became impoverished or were forced to keep working, thereby exacerbating their disability.

While Will decries the growth in entitlement programs, I am thankful that our country provides a safety net for all who need it.

Robert A. Krohn

Amherst

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Why can't people let ?priest rest in peace?

Why can't the media and others leave Father Joe Moreno to rest in peace? He is gone; he cannot defend himself against the vicious attacks. These people must be without sin because a lot of stones are being thrown.

My family and my parish family of St. Lawrence Church loved Father Joe. Did he have faults? Of course he did; we all do.

If people did not like him for some reason, they should keep it to themselves because the negative comments can only be adding to the hurt the family already is going through.

Look in the mirror: What do you see? A saint? I think not.

Pat Zimmer

West Seneca

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Cultural groups boost? quality of life, economy

County Executive Mark Poloncarz has included $3,000 for Community Music School in his 2013 budget. If the funding is approved, it will represent less than 1 percent of our entire annual budget, but it will help us to create new programs that reach a wider array of people across Erie County. That, in turn, will contribute to the quality of life that taxpayers insist upon.

But this is more than a quality-of-life issue. Arts and cultural organizations are engines of economic activity. Although based in Buffalo, we also have five satellite locations across Erie County, and we draw people from neighboring counties. We patronize businesses and we pay user fees. We employ more than 40 people. The county's modest investment gives us the impetus to attract more private funding and hire more people, generating real economic impact. And we're the tip of the iceberg. The county executive is looking to invest in 57 other cultural organizations, too.

Poloncarz understands that cultural organizations boost both our quality of life and our economy. He should be commended for seeing the whole picture.

Jeff Paterson

Executive Director

Community Music School

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Taxpayers will foot ?bill for storm damage

The Nov. 1 headline, "How much will Sandy cost the state?" should more correctly read, "How much will Sandy cost the taxpayers?"

The state has no money itself, it exists to administer the taxpayers' money, sometimes doing it well, other times, not so much.

Anthony C. Street

Amherst