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Canadian health model would work in AmericaFifty years ago, Canada replaced its private health insurance morass with single payer, universal, tax-funded basic health care insurance without deductibles or copays. At that time, insurance interests fought using the same arguments we’re hearing: Socialism is bad; overwhelming costs will destroy the economy; quality of care w…

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…

By Darlene Schrantz My hospital sits on a well-traveled country road in rural Erie County. It draws patients from Arcade to Gowanda and everywhere in between. They visit to get healthy, to stay healthy and to heal what ails them. I call Bertrand Chaffee Hospital “my hospital” with good reason. I started my first and only nursing job there 45 years ago and spent m…

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…

By Brian Smith We have a prescription drug disposal problem. The lack of options to easily and safely dispose of unwanted pharmaceutical drugs is not only contributing to the drug abuse epidemic in Erie County, but also to the pollution of our Great Lakes. Many people stockpile unused drugs in household medicine cabinets, which are then accessible to abusers or lead …

Plans for Elmwood will enhance neighborhoodWe fortunately live in a free country and have the right to speak freely, protest and take legal action against anyone we disagree with. That being said, I wonder if the plaintiffs in the latest stonewalling lawsuit, who may or may not even live in the subject area, have ever taken a long hard look at the properties being replaced…

Some voters would like old lever machines backAfter another low Primary Day election turnout, some people have raised the issue of extending voting over several days instead of just one in an effort to combat voter apathy.As an election inspector who helps people cast their vote, I can attest to the fact that if there were a huge increase in voter turnout, the voting proce…

Many from both parties aiding hurricane victimsA recent letter writer feels that liberals need to donate more to the hurricane relief efforts. He gave the impression that liberals were not doing their part. He stated that President Trump has offered a million dollars to aid the disaster, claiming he did this with only nine months of political experience, while career polit…

Goodell, NFL can’t allow players to make own rulesRoger Goodell is really responsible for the whole NFL national anthem controversy. If he had set down a policy instead of lecturing football fans on how they should “respect all opinions, as the NFL will be doing,” there would have been no problem.The NFL is a business. If Colin Kaepernick was sitting in the stands, o…

Trump’s press secretary could use a history lessonThe Sedition Act of 1798 signed by President John Adams made it an imprisonable offense to criticize the government.Fortunately, when Thomas Jefferson became president in 1800 he let the Sedition Act as well as the Aliens Act lapse.Recently, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, President Trump’s press secretary, called for the firin…

Italian-Americans can pick another role model to admireMuch of what we know about Christopher Columbus is fake news that was written by Washington Irving in 1828. Irving, in his introduction, says he wants to present Columbus as an American hero and an exemplar of “human genius and laudable enterprise,” to “vindicate great names” rather than “casting down its mon…

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…