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Question: When is a private transaction not a private transaction? Answer: When the deal has important public ramifications that affect other people’s lives. And, with that, the case should be closed. The issue comes up periodically, and most recently with the $7 million purchase of a building at the corner of Perry and Illinois streets. Terry and Kim Pegula, whose…

There was much to like in Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz’s fifth State of the County address, especially a number of programs to help the poor and protect the elderly. Without spending huge sums of money, his initiatives could end up helping significant numbers of residents in the coming years. Such things as: • “Help Me Grow,” which will screen ch…

By Brian Sampson Two steps forward and one back describes the state’s economic development efforts in Buffalo. The reporting on the federal investigation reveals that someone in state government is very interested in picking winners and losers on projects that receive state funding. This reality makes it clear that any state funding for Buffalo Billion II must incl…

By Peter Simon Certainly, if grudgingly, spring is on its way. It’s that magical time of year when birds sing, barren trees come alive with color and the sun reappears. But for the guys I grew up with more than 50 years ago in North Buffalo, spring marked the renewal of our mutual obsession: baseball. We were blessed with extraordinarily good fortune by the basebal…

New York should approve Medical Aid in Dying ActRecently, Bishop Richard Malone of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese expressed reasons why he is opposed to the Medical Aid in Dying Act. The bill would allow terminally ill, adult patients to end their lives, if they choose, with prescribed medicines. I understand his concerns, but based on 19 years of evidence, they do not have …

Does Trump’s son have to embarrass U.S., too?Just when we wondered what other allies would be offended by Trump tweets, we can now add England to the list. It seems that Donald Trump Jr., during the ISIS terror attack in London, criticized the mayor in a tweet that was not well received by the British. In fact, a member of Parliament accused the son of the president of t…

Allen does a terrific job singing national anthemsI’m a senior citizen and I have watched almost every Buffalo Sabres game this year, home and away. Every time I listen to the Canadian and American anthems being sung, I can’t help but think how fortunate we are to have Doug Allen singing for us. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it over and over again this season: …

Direct care workers deserve a living wageWith the New York State budget due on April 1, supporters of the #bFair2DirectCare campaign are holding their breaths for a chance to finally provide a living wage for direct care workers. Both the Assembly and State Senate realize their significance and included $45 million in their budgets for direct care workers to hopefully get …

Reviving Central Terminal will spur East Side’s rebirthThe discussions surrounding the decision on where to place the new train terminal in Buffalo got me thinking where we have been and where we are going. The renaissance of downtown Buffalo can clearly be traced to the late Mayor Jimmy Griffin’s vision and commitment to revitalizing the theater and waterfront distric…

It is unconscionable that New York State moved a dangerous Level 3 sex offender into a nursing home in Western New York and, worse, that it did so without ensuring that administrators in the home knew about it. Who was looking out for Thomas Moore’s alleged victims, most of whom were suffering from dementia? It’s true that state officials had no good options under t…

Western New York is home to five of the unhealthiest counties in the state, a complex problem that can best be addressed in parts, with those many pieces eventually becoming a solution. An annual ranking of health outcomes by the nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked Cattaraugus County 60 out of 62 in the state, Niagara County 58 and Chautauqua County 54. Erie…

By Kathleen Cashin and Catherine Collins The recent editorial, “Restore the literacy test,” misses the true intent of the state Board of Regents’ actions earlier this month to change teacher certification requirements. Literacy is an important skill that all New York’s teachers should possess, but a deeply flawed test will not properly assess literacy skills. …

By Robin Raphael Have you dreaded taking on the task of cleaning out a basement or attic? Here I was, a new retiree, asked to do just that for a not-for-profit organization called the Network of Religious Communities (NRC). I did not know what I was getting into. It turns out that a job that was presumed to take six months is now still going strong after more than tw…