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ALBANY – It’s been more than two years since the Politics Column was last dispatched to the State Capitol to chronicle the proceedings of New York State government. Could it have proven too long an absence, especially when the yellowed electronic card granting access to the Capitol started beeping against the monitor, and attracting the attention of a very serious-l…

Why is the administration of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown continuing to conceal video of the vicious beating of a city jail inmate? There is no longer even the pretense of an excuse for refusing to allow the public to see what went on inside the jail. The explanation up to now has been that the city was refusing to release the video at the request of the federal prosecu…

Once again, Western New York voters are being denied their right to decide who wears the robes in the courtrooms that their taxes support. Party leaders, as is their anti-democratic custom, have made the decisions for them. Continuing their long-standing practice, the leaders of Erie County’s Republican and Democratic parties have cross-endorsed two candidates for two…

By Kevin M. Gibas In June of 1981 the Centers for Disease Control detected a cluster of rare infections in a group of gay men in California. Although unknown at the time, this would mark the beginning of the AIDS epidemic that would plague the United States for decades. By 1983, it was discovered that AIDS was a syndrome caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)…

By Cathy Tallady I’ve been appearing in this column for the past 10 years, so perhaps some faithful readers feel they know me. And obviously I’ve grown older, though I like the phrase “I’ve matured” better. And I’m thinking it may be time to share my new way of looking at life. My body is giving out, my back hurts and I lose my balance easily, so I need t…

Military maintenance could use more fundingThe June 19 front-page article about the accident involving a Navy destroyer and a Japanese merchant ship (“ ‘Traumatic’ sea collision almost sank U.S. warship”) is worrisome. Destroyers nowadays cost more than a billion dollars, yet merely running into a freighter almost sank one.Maybe we should focus more attention on …

Developer is misleading the public on ElmwoodMark Chason’s June 19 Another Voice is meant to lull people into thinking the developers just need a few minor variances in order to push their project through. But the devil is in the details. They aren’t seeking width variance of just 10 or 15 feet, but a variance of 200 feet! The current rule is combining no more than two…

The study of Shakespeare offers lessons for todayIt’s good to be reminded what we are grateful for. The June 14 letter writer has done me this service when it comes to the plays of William Shakespeare. While the writer urges teachers to ignore Shakespeare when teaching literature due to the playwright’s “bigotry” and “religious hate,” I feel nothing but gladnes…

Republican push to oust special counsel is wrongThe Republican right-wing drumbeat is beginning to sound in regard to dismissing special counsel Bob Mueller. I believe President Trump is arrogant enough to do so without hesitation, and with alt-right GOP support and encouragement will do so.Many in the GOP put party interest ahead of what is best for the country. As a life…

Paladino was exercising his right to free speechWhether you agree or disagree, Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino is not the issue. Freedom of speech is the issue. Lately, it would seem that unless you are a liberal Democrat, your right to free speech has limitations imposed by those with sensitive feelings and a self-appointed censorship of ideas. Ideas that, if no…

The headline was both disturbing and, in an odd way, reassuring: “Secrecy surrounding Senate health bill alarms lawmakers.” It’s good to know that something in the public interest is still of concern to members of Congress, and this certainly merits it. The United States Senate has been meeting secretly to craft legislation meant to overturn and, in some way, repl…

By Dan Habermehl It had been a long time since my last visit. Perhaps 35 years or more. It was maybe 10 years more, the first time my family went out to Uncle Bob’s land. We were just kids then, sledding down the hill in the front field in what was always deep snow when we were still so small. When I was in Scouts, my dad and I camped out with the others one weeken…

By Frank J. Dinan The rejection of widely accepted scientific theories that clash with political ideology is nothing new. Donald Trump’s claim that human-induced climate change, a concept widely accepted within the scientific community, is just a “scam” is but another example of a time-honored method used to refute inconvenient scientific truths. Trump’s reje…