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Letters to the Editor for the Week of Feb. 7, 2013

We all have a civic responsibility to maintain

Editor, The Sun

The American Heritage Dictionary defines democracy as “government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives; social and political equality and respect for the individual within the community.” Webster’s defines ogligarchy as “government controlled by a small group for corrupt and selfish purposes.” American citizens who value democracy recognize that we have an inherent right to fair elections, and that fair elections are the path to governing bodies that act, with integrity, for the common good.

However, we must not take the right to vote for granted, and we must recognize and accept responsibilities this right imposes on us. These responsibilities include registering to vote, gathering the knowledge necessary to make informed choices, actually voting, and requiring that the whole process is done with integrity. Therefore, if anything is to be done about the toxic atmosphere that permeates politics from grassroots levels to Washington, D.C., it is up to us to do it. Instead of bemoaning the lack of integrity, we must demand it from all our elected officials at every level government.

I have a suggestion for a New Year’s resolution for my fellow Town of Hamburg residents: resolve to attend a minimum of three town board work sessions and general meetings during the year. Generally, the board meets twice a month on alternative Mondays. Work sessions precede the general meetings at 6 p.m.; the publc may attend but not make comments unless specifically requested to do so. The general meeting follows at 7 p.m. and concludes with a public forum. Details about dates are available from town hall or its website. In a town with a population of nearly 57,000, we should do much better than a handful of citizens in attendance. Furthermore, with town elections ahead of us, it’s time to get serious about our responsbility to gather the knowledge necessary to make good decisions on election day. It’s also time to evaluate whether “downsizing” was in our best interests. In my humble opinion, it is not working, but you should form your own opinion based on your own observations.

Hope to see you at 6100 South Park Ave. Our community is worth the effort.

Barbara A. Rogers


Thank you given to Woodway

Editor, The Sun

The Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Company would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Woodway Neighbors Association, of Woodstream Estates, for their generous donation of food and deserts for Lake Shore’s installation ceremony on Jan. 17, 2013 – there was plenty of food left over for the company meeting the next day.

Thank you again and we look forward to serving you, and the rest of our community, during the upcoming year. If you know any friends and family that would like to volunteer, please have them stop at the fire hall on Monday evenings or give us a call. We would be honored to have great neighbors such as you join the ranks.

David Rodrigues


Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Co.

Not so affordable health care act is offered through Congress

Editor, The Sun

Former Speaker of the House Representative Nancy Pelozi (D.) of California displayed some of her finite wisdom while telling Congress: “Just pass this bill so we can see what’s in it.” As we now know she was referring to the massive Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare.”). With the House’s appearance of little or no conscience for the nation’s welfare, and with an equal level of knowledge of the bill’s contents, we are struck (time and again) with the disregard and outright ignorance with which our Congress does its business.

Those who have studied the Care Act and have emerged as its critics, alert us that this so-called “reform act” will prove to be prohibitively expensive. And beyond the issue of cost, they caution Americans that its effect on the rights of individuals may be painful – and irrevocable. Critics warn that the Care Act is another example of progressivism’s purposeful extension of federal authority over every aspect of individuals’ lives. Of the 435 members of the House, thirty-four (34) of them voted against its passage. Should we assume that they actually read its provisions and were scared off by its likely effects? Given the miniscule split on the vote, and the large number of “yes” votes, such would indicate that the Act, having received overwhelming acceptance on both sides of the aisle, that only a tiny minority of the House – as Pelosi’s comment implied – took the time to peruse the Care Act.

Thanks to at least two provisions of Affordable Care, (A) there is good reason to believe that millions of persons who do not have the mandated health insurance coverage will face sizable fines; and (B) that the idea of a national database would see “the light of day.” The government intends to include each American in an archive of medical histories and, which from about everyone’s) personal experience with computers, we know would be clearly vulnerable to resourceful hackers. (The New York Times is a recent, stunning example.) Given the “creative uses” which such (a database) would offer to federal agencies, (i.e., the IRS and others) we must never underestimate its usefulness for increased privacy invasion, already an unstable American value of this cyber-era. The possibilities for abuse of individual rights and Constitutional liberties require our vigilance – before the Care Act’s provisions get rooted in practice and procedure. For now, we all need to pay close attention as if the future depended on it. After all, we are only limited by the threats of our own naïve imaginations and American’s collective short-sightedness.

Jim Thoman


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