SCHOOL'S OUT FOR WINTER: Friday morning forecasts were dire and turned out as exaggerated as usual. Winds whipped, flurries flew, sun shined. And practically every school from Ripley to Wilson closed. Is it just us, or were we actually much tougher 20 or 30 years ago, when we all walked to school and back, uphill and against the wind both ways? But, let's see, it was the Friday before Presidents Day. Hmm, closing offered a four-day weekend. For schools with February breaks next week, it meant 10 days without school. But really, it was the wind, the bitter cold and the panicked TV weather forecasters.
WHERE HAVE YOU GONE JIM McKAY?: In the halcyon days of "Wide World of Sports," Jim McKay taught viewers about winter sports as much as narrated competitions. With the late-great Roone Arledge scoping Olympic coverage, ABC and McKay set the gold-medal standard. NBC, before it's too late, should review those old tapes from Innsbruck, Lake Placid, Sarajevo and Calgary. Coverage of the Turin Olympics is random, rushed and confusing. ABC described the rules and objectives for the uninitiated or hazy. It toured the host city. It revealed the lives of people who didn't have U.S. ZIP codes. It's hard to mess up Olympic coverage, but NBC is succeeding. "Dancing With the Stars" Friday, "American Idol" by 2-to-1 Wednesday and "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives" Sunday drew more viewers here, a hotbed of winter.
STOP GAROTTING GARRETT: Symbolism counts. Buffalo's new administration has an easy call early in its tenure to stop City Hall from harassing West Side activist Harvey A. Garrett and start supporting him and people like him. Garrett's case has been well documented. He's not a media favorite because he calls weekly press conferences, but because he does things others just talk about. He moved into this community and committed to improving his part of it. Yet it seems all he gets from official Buffalo is nuisance charges. He's someone this city needs to support. At least apply common sense.