Frivolous lawsuits ?no laughing matter

It is becoming clear that our legal system has lost its way. Consider the recent case of Custodi v. Amherst; in this case, which was recently decided by the highest court in the state, a roller blader injured herself after she caught her skate on the lip between a driveway and the street and fell. She promptly sued the homeowners, the Town of Amherst, the Highway Department, Erie County, the Village of Williamsville and the Department of Public Works for her injuries.

The Supreme Court of New York initially rejected her claim, agreeing with the defendants that roller blading is an inherently risky activity and that roller bladers knowingly accept this risk. Sadly, the Court of Appeals overturned that decision, holding the Town of Amherst and the private homeowners liable for her injuries. Her lawyers successfully argued that the risk of her activity was not inherent because she, an experienced roller blader, had never encountered the hazard of a two-inch differential before. It defies belief.

In New York, municipalities are often sued because of their deep pockets, thanks to a New York law that can force them to pay 100 percent of a judgment even if they are only 1 percent responsible. Custodi's lawyers probably expected an easy settlement from the town just to make the case go away. Imagine their surprise when the town stepped up to fight the case. And as ridiculous as this lawsuit is, the fact that we're all paying for it is no laughing matter.

Thomas B. Stebbins

Executive Director

Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York


11 embassies attacked,? yet Bush got free pass

Regarding a letter that appeared here on Nov. 8, I would like to remind everyone that during the George W. Bush administration, there were 11 attacks on U.S. embassies, resulting in 53 deaths and 90 injuries.

On each of those occasions, we were harshly admonished that criticizing or questioning the president about the event was giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and was treasonous.

Alan D. Delmar

Town of Tonawanda


Don't blame employees? for early Christmas sales

"Christmas in July" is not only a phrase we seem to know all too well, but a reality for most competitive retail industries in our society. You will see stores lining their shelves as early as midsummer with what they call "early Christmas." Most, however, kick off the full holiday season right after Labor Day weekend. This catches many consumers off guard and angers more than half of them, resulting in nasty comments, usually to the employees.

People always seem to be surprised at what they think is an untimely fashion for retail businesses to try pushing their products. However, the harsh reality is that for every dollar we are trying to save, a business is trying to gain. Stores will open their doors extra hours, have door-busting sales and some will even bring back layaway to help increase sales. Forty-two percent of holiday shoppers planned on doing some sort of shopping before Halloween, and Americans will spend $450 billion on the holiday season, which stimulates the economy.

In our economic time of hardship, with the price of almost everything rising, except our paychecks, catching a deal and shopping earlier will help eliminate some of the holiday season's stress. To all the "Scrooges" out there, there is a simple solution to your problem, stay home! Nobody forces you into these establishments. Some of us like the Christmas season and don't need your negative thoughts and opinions bringing us down. And shame on those who indicate that it's the employees' fault because they are stocking the shelves, instead of directing their anger at the company, where it belongs.

Katrina Luce



Romney, Ryan must keep? fighting for our country

Thanks to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for believing in the values and ideals on which this great country was founded. I, too, believe and weep at the road my countrymen have chosen. I believe in Romney and Ryan and our shared ideals and hope that, like other great leaders, after a well-deserved rest they, too, will find the strength to rise up to continue to help us fight for a nation that faces debilitating issues: the sanctity of life, family values, national and personal debt, the economy and energy. I pray we look to the Almighty to help us work together for a life and a future based on what he's taught us.

Lynda Hauser

North Tonawanda


No reason for adults ?to drink cow's milk

Milk is indeed a miracle food. Cow's milk contains 15 percent protein, primarily casein, which is 20 times the amount in (human) mother's milk. Cow's milk is high in cholesterol, fat and calcium, nutrients needed for a calf to double its birth weight in 45 days. It also contains hormones, including recombinant bovine growth hormone, a genetically engineered hormone injected into the cow to increase milk production, and which has been linked to certain cancers in humans.

Cow and human milk is made up of milk sugar called lactose. The enzyme lactase is required to digest lactose, however, this enzyme's activity in the small intestine is greatly reduced after the age of 4. In essence, milk-drinking is for infants and toddlers only. As cited in a recent Buffalo News article, lactose-intolerance is a major cause for abdominal distress in children. Humans are the only species that drinks milk from another and that continues to drink milk into adulthood. Milk is "the perfect food" – for calves. Perhaps it's time for our society to grow up and wean ourselves from cow's milk and dairy products.

Frances Ostempowski



There is no escape? from ads of all kinds

The sky is blue. It snows in Buffalo. Water is wet. The media get bombarded during election season with political ads. To complain about something like political advertisement is both a waste of breath and paper. The "disgraceful behavior" that is American political outreach has lasted the test of time in this country, and won't ever change.

There's all this complaint about how candidates for government offices this year were excessive on the usage of media to promote themselves and the massive amount they spent on it. The donors of this money are, I'm sure, very well aware that their money is going toward repeating their favored candidate's message over and over again while you're trying to enjoy watching your good old American sitcom.

Experiencing something like this should be expected this time of year. Even so, this happens almost every day anyway. Just try to look closely at how many snack food, soda or lawyer commercials and ads you see every day, and not just on TV, but on billboards, magazines and the Internet. It's all the same as political advertisement, except that it's every day of the year and it's everywhere you look. It's called culture.

Angelo C. Hurley

East Concord