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Editorial: On Franczyk's chanting, rat control and the inability to behave decently

We’re pretty sure Buffalo Fillmore Councilman David A. Franczyk had no intention of becoming the de facto chant leader at the special legislative committee Tuesday night but … well, it happened. If, reluctantly.

The meeting centered on inclusionary zoning and a proposed law requiring new apartment developments to set aside a certain percentage of units for affordable housing.

Franczyk, chairman of the committee, offered the more than 100 in attendance a reminder on decorum when he announced that he had just been handed a piece of paper, titled “Chants.” Then he began reading ever so slowly and, we assume, strictly for the record: “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho” to which protestors quickly took their cue and shouted: “Gentrification has got to go!”

To his credit, Franczyk read the rest of the “chants,” to the delight of the audience, which took the opportunity to chant along. Good sport, that councilman.

You’d hope there might be a better way to control rats than to poison them, especially if you’re an owl.

A 2-year-old female great horned owl died last month in Forest Lawn, likely after ingesting rat poison via a rodent it had snagged as prey. Thus, the grand creature that helps to control rats was done in by one that humans had poisoned in an effort to do the same.

Perhaps there’s nothing to be done about it, given the need to check the population of rats in densely populated areas. But it would be worth reviewing.

It’s remarkable how long it takes some people – in this case, abusive men – to learn a lesson. With all that has occurred in recent years to detail the consequences of sexually harassing women, it still goes on, in the most recent case, at Uber.

Susan Fowler, 25, who worked at Uber for a year, recently detailed in her personal blog the rank sexism she endured at the company. The immediate price was for many consumers to delete the Uber app from their mobile devices. Was it worth it?

But Uber is hardly alone. The entire tech industry has been tarred by such allegations. Tesla is among them. Donald Trump bragged on secretly recorded audio about groping women without permission. And Bill Cosby thought rules didn’t apply to him.

Uber, at least, has acknowledged its failures. But what will it take to get the message through that sexual abuse and harassment is not just wrong, but damaging – to everyone involved?

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