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Editorial: Science marches on, high-tech parking and trying to chip away at our heritage

Good to see the $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to assist the summer science program for some lower-performing Buffalo schools. It focuses on teaching students about geospatial information systems (that’s mapping, for most of us). The grant amounts to three more years of funding for a project to be included in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership.

The News wrote about the impending expiration of a five-year, $9.8 million grant for the partnership headed by Joseph A. Gardella Jr., a chemistry professor at the University at Buffalo. Buffalo School Superintendent Kriner Cash wants to someday expand the program to all schools.

The latest funding is part of a new strategy to keep the program going by applying for more, but smaller, grants.

The City of Buffalo is pressing on with plans to upgrade its parking meter system with an eye toward allowing payment by smartphone, set to begin in the spring. It will operate alongside the standard meters.

Drivers would use a free parking application connected to a credit card and pay for parking without leaving the car.

Motorists would pay a 10-cent surcharge for this convenience, probably well worth the splurge on these especially cold winter days.

Hands off the national parks. That needs to be the message Americans deliver to congressmen like Rep. Paul A. Gosar – of Arizona, of all places – who haven’t gotten the message that these are special places that Americans have chosen to protect for their descendants, including Gosar’s.

Even though Arizona is home to one of America’s greatest and most popular national parks – Grand Canyon – the Republican congressman wants to do away with the National Park Service’s authority to manage private drilling for oil, gas and minerals at 40 parks. Imagine Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, Yosemite or Acadia despoiled by commercial activity that is contradictory to the protection of such unique American places.

The national parks are already money-makers for their regions, drawing millions of Americans from across the 50 states. A year after the National Park Service’s centennial, Gosar’s dirty maneuver demonstrates again that our parks need continual protection.

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