It seems to us: Walmart’s hot dog flap, Sasquatch Jr. and the right place to talk education - The Buffalo News
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It seems to us: Walmart’s hot dog flap, Sasquatch Jr. and the right place to talk education

It was the scandal – well, brouhaha – that didn’t have to happen. The local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind has held its annual hot dog sale for 10 years at either the old Walmart on Niagara Falls Boulevard or the new one on Sheridan Drive. It’s important to the group, accounting for well over half of its annual $2,500 budget.

But the store has an agreement with a Subway restaurant inside to limit the number of hot dog sales annually, and the limit had already been reached. So, only a week and a half before the event, Walmart killed the sale. Bad move.

It worked out in the end. The store backed off – wisely – but the federation in the meantime received several other invitations and decided to turn down Walmart’s offer.

All well and good, but it was terrible public relations. Walmart and Subway together should have presented the federation with a $1,500 check and made the most of it.

It’s very interesting – from a scientific standpoint, anyway – that a new species of mammal has been identified. The olinguito is the smallest member of the raccoon family and was discovered in 2006 in the Andean cloud forests, but announced only this week, after years of research.

The olinguito – it translates as “little, adorable olingo” – is the first new carnivore species found in the Western Hemisphere since back when Jimmy Carter was president.

OK, that’s all fine, but there is a downside to this discovery – a social cost that is not insignificant. Most people know someone – or know someone who knows someone – who insists that the sasquatch is real, lurking in the forests but never seen except in suspiciously grainy photographs.

And what do we tell them? “If the sasquatch was real, we’d have turned one up, somewhere. At this point in human history, there are no undiscovered animals, you silly person.”

Great. Now what?

How about this: We hereby declare the olinguito, weighing in at a full 2 pounds, to be the sasquatch revealed. End of discussion.

It’s good news that President Obama is stopping here next week to talk about the importance of education. The timing couldn’t be better.

While Obama is focusing on higher education, including the cost of college, education is on the minds of many people in Buffalo today. If he wants to do high school students a favor – those who could soon populate the colleges – he might want to expand his agenda to cover America’s colleges and the Buffalo School District.

Just a thought.

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