By Bob O’Connor My 5-year-old granddaughter had been attending kindergarten for about three weeks when she announced to her mother that she was done going to school. My daughter patiently explained that everyone goes to school: “Daddy, Grandma, your aunts and uncles, even the president had to go to school.” “But,” said my granddaughter, “Grandpa O’Conno…

By Matthew K. Pelkey SPECIAL TO THE NEWS On Wednesday, the New York State Department of Transportation will hold what is likely its final public meeting on design changes to the Scajaquada Expressway – a project that has no doubt garnered controversy and heated discussions between officials and community stakeholders. But those pushing for further traffic calming me…

By Sean Kirst SPECIAL TO THE NEWS Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had shared the story before. In a State of the State speech earlier this month at the University at Buffalo, a speech in which the governor promised another $500 million in state investment in Western New York, Cuomo spoke of the late Tim Russert as “the first person who used to bring me out to Buffalo.” T…

The 2017 election year is beginning to take shape. Here are some new developments: • Hormoz Mansouri has loomed as a major behind-the-scenes force in Democratic politics since around 2000. Never shy about writing checks to political candidates, he also served on a number of local boards. A few years ago, Mansouri’s name entered county comptroller speculation. N…

Buffalo needed a turnaround, economically and socially, and it got it. What it needed even more, though, was to become attractive to young people, without whom the city would become progressively older and unable to support its revival. Happily, Buffalo got that, too; it was part of the package. As Buffalo became more economically progressive and socially interesting, m…

By Kevin McCue It’s as if she never really left. I refer to a lofty “she,” to Gram, my maternal grandmother. Gram lived with our family of 13 – yes, 13, including my parents – for the last 20 years of her life from 1960 to 1980. She was born Clara Kaiser on Jan. 30, 1877. An authentic Victorian age representative, available to paint a vivid picture of a byg…

If Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to develop prime Niagara Falls land succeeds, it may prove his biggest victory yet. Albany lawmakers would have to cooperate and allocate the money. And, of course, property owners, some intractable, would have to agree to sell. The winners would be a city and region too long held captive by landholders who have categorically refused …

By Beth Kwiatek Donald Trump is our new president. I don’t know why he has the support of so many Americans. I have some questions for them. I do not mean to be insulting. This is not about Hillary Clinton. Take Trump out of the political platform and ask yourself: Would you want him for your boss? Would you want him as your friend? Neighbor? Or, sitting next to you …

Trump will not help middle-class familiesGreed in America is destroying this country. The Electoral College just elected the greediest person in America to be our president. Although Donald Trump and his mouthpieces say that he won the election in a landslide, Trump lost the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes.Trump has benefited from $885 million in tax breaks fro…

Debased SUNY program facing serious problemsThe problem with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to make SUNY undergraduate tuition free for individuals whose family makes less than $125,000 is not that such a cutoff is too high, but that it is too low.The continued squeezing of the SUNY program – by cutting state funding while at the same time moving tuition costs to students an…

Paladino is unworthy of holding public officeI believe that every private citizen is entitled to freedom of speech. Every civilian should be able to say what he feels without fear of retribution. Carl Paladino is not a private citizen but a public servant and, like it or not, he was elected to be the voice of the people he represents. I can assure you his ugly and racist w…

Collins has earned title of ‘worst representative’In view of The News article about Rep. Chris Collins’ boast, “Do you know how many millionaires I’ve made in Buffalo the past few months?” regarding his lobbying for a bill that may help a stock he and his associates are heavily invested in, I’d like to say, “I’m still waiting for my call, Chris. Any stock…

Free press is essential to a healthy democracyThomas Jefferson said, “The only security of all is in a free press.”Our founders wrote the First Amendment understanding its primacy in protecting our liberty. A free press is essential to our democracy. The press is our eyes and ears.A free press asks the questions and investigates the issues we care about. Then we can re…

Collins continues to be embarrassment to WNYRep. John Lewis of Georgia, a hero of the civil rights movement and longtime public servant, recently said that Donald Trump’s presidency was “illegitimate.” He didn’t say the election itself was illegitimate, just that Russian interference was so intense in the lead-up to the election that it brought the campaign process…