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When Joseph D. McDonald came to Buffalo 15 years ago, Catholic Health consisted of a collection of hospitals. He turned it into an integrated medical system. As president and chief executive, the affable transplanted Tennessean oversaw the transformation of the hospitals into a $1.2 billion health care system. McDonald, soon to be 65, recently announced plans to retire i…

Pulling the rug out from under millions of Americans, as the latest Republican effort would do, is not the way to fix health care. There were hints last month of a bipartisan attempt to revamp health care. That is the only practical way forward, one that can win the support of the greatest number of Americans. Republicans just can’t give up on the notion of repealing …

The case of Richard A. Metcalf Jr., the inmate who suffered fatal injuries while in the custody of Erie County jail deputies, has taken a disturbing turn with a judge’s decision to seal the testimony of Sheriff Timothy B. Howard. The deposition should be unsealed. The public has a right to know what is happening in its institutions, especially ones as troubled as the …

When opponents are ready to make peace, they can do it. It’s a lesson that history has taught over and over again. It’s a shame it took so long to do that in the Williamsville School District, but peace appears to be in the offing as the superintendent and teachers union work to resolve their differences. Good for them. It’s been three years of acrimony for whi…

We’re not exactly sure what the $50,000 fine will accomplish – or, more to the point, who will actually end up paying it – but, regardless, it’s all to the good that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo came to Niagara Falls last week to vent his anger over July’s black sediment discharge into the world-famous river. The governor not only lit into the Niagara Falls Water Boar…

If anyone needed proof that the issues surrounding DACA involve simple humanity, and neither conservative nor liberal politics, consider that all three Western New York congressmen support action to make the “Dreamers” legal in this country. It would have surprised no one that Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, is on board with putting legislative muscle behind the Defe…

The New York Court of Appeals has dealt a blow to the aid-in-dying movement by determining that state law is clear and prohibits anyone, including doctors, from assisting in ending a life. That leaves it up to the State Legislature and governor to act. They should examine the issue, consider how aid in dying has operated in other states, then craft a law to provide reli…

And, they’re back. The airline industry is trying once again to weaken safety rules adopted after the 2009 crash that killed 50 people in Clarence Center. This time, it is working through an advisory panel associated with the Federal Aviation Administration. This needs to be a nonstarter – another in a series. The regulations are the law of the land, passed by Co…

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” – Retired NHL great Wayne Gretzky … Yes, of course Buffalo should try to secure the new Amazon headquarters and the tens of thousands of jobs that come with it. We would be crazy not to make the best case possible. That doesn’t require anyone to wear rose-colored glasses or otherwise to abandon common…

Lockport’s good news is a reminder of what Niagara Falls should be doing and isn’t. At least, not enough of it. It’s crazy that both Lockport and Niagara Falls, Ont., are able to move ahead on tourism development, but that on this bank of the international river, things can’t seem to happen very quickly. It’s not that there haven’t been developments in Niaga…

Mayor Byron W. Brown won a convincing, though not overwhelming, victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election. By claiming 51 percent of the vote in a three-way race, the mayor can draw a couple of conclusions: One is that lots of people wanted him to continue as their mayor, and for a good reason: Buffalo is on the rise. That’s not all due to the mayor, of cours…

File this one under “no good deed goes unpunished.” The antidepressants that have helped millions of Americans lead happier, more productive lives are polluting our waterways and finding their way into the fish that inhabit them. There, they are shredding the ecological web that supports life in our lakes and rivers, threatening long-term disruptions. The problem wa…

The test begins this month and, if Buffalo police learn from the experience of other departments around the country, then we already know the result: Police here will adopt body cameras as standard equipment. The cameras will be a valuable tool for everyone except for trouble-making citizens and bad cops. Many other cities have already implemented body cameras in their …

Public officials made two good decisions Monday regarding Buffalo schools: First, a judge denied an effort by Carl Paladino to block the appointment of a board member and, second, the School Board unanimously appointed someone with the qualifications to serve admirably. The question now is how Catherine Flanagan-Priore will use her new position as the Park District memb…

It’s Election Day. Really. If you’re a Democrat in the City of Buffalo, this is the day you determine who will be mayor for the next four years and which of four candidates will be elected to a city seat on the Erie County Legislature. If you’re a Republican, forget about it. You have no voice in selecting the mayor. That’s how your party wants it. Today is a…