Serious Business
Low Standard
No Slack

Serious Business

When I was appointed to my town's plumbing board in 1996, it seemed to me that those in charge of code enforcement were not aware of the state-required plumbing laws and the previous plumbing inspectors did not have a lot of support enforcing plumbing codes.

At one plumbing board meeting, a code enforcement official even accused the board of trying to create a monopoly because we suggested that the laws be followed and enforced.

Today, things are much better. Olean’s Code Enforcement Office is cognizant of plumbing codes, and advises contractors and homeowners to contact its office or the plumbing inspector with any questions. Also, a list of licensed plumbing contractors can be obtained from the office.

Plumbing contractors need to protect plumbing codes and make sure they’re enforced. If we have to challenge fire departments or civilian code enforcement, we should.

This is serious business with serious consequences. The World Health Organization recently proved that SARS was spread by improper plumbing installations. Other plumbing-related diseases are dysentery, cholera, typhus, typhoid fever, etc. Most of us have never seen or maybe even heard of these diseases.
Dan Shembeda
Olean Plumbing Board
Olean, N.Y.

Low Standard

I read the news article about American Standard selling its B&K business. I used to work in B&K Asia Pacific and saw continuous mistakes in product, logistics, pricing, customer service and market strategy.

The innocent, new senior mismanagement from different industries had no clue about the sanitary ware business. They thought they could sell toilets like selling Coke or Clorox in hypermarkets. Most customers always laughed at American Standard’s awkward policy and business movement. Morale was very low, and good people who knew the business kept leaving.
Name withheld upon request

No Slack

I’ve just finished reading Jim Olsztynski’s editorial (“Those Illegals We Can’t Live Without,” November, 2006) and felt compelled to respond. Speaking just for me, I feel that those who take Jim’s position on the illegal immigrant issue are as large a problem as the illegals themselves. Stand up for America for a change.

I live in an area with a large immigrant population. I see the harm done to my country every day. I see it in the graffiti from the Latin gangs. I see it in my tax dollars being spent by the pregnant Hispanic mother of three using her WIC checks at the grocery store while she chats on her cell phone, in Spanish no less. I see it in the newspaper reports of undocumented criminals being slapped on the wrist and being released back into my country, not forcibly returned to their own. I see it in the instruction time my children miss in school while the entire education community caters to the ESL population.

Cut them some slack? I say cut the services and stop the molly coddling. When they enter the country legally and live legally, I’ll be willing to integrate them. Until then they are simply uninvited, unwelcome and un-American.
Allen Baker
Harrisonburg, Va.