The report was two years in the making, but well worth the effort. With the support of Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and at the direction of the County Legislature, the Erie County Community Coordinating Council on Children and Families has produced a series of valuable recommendations meant to strengthen services, especially as they apply to neglected or abused …

By Gloria Duran I have never been able to understand the “theme” Christmas tree. Occasionally a friend will announce that she is decorating her tree with gold ornaments, or blue and silver bows. For me, the Christmas ornaments I touch speak to me of people and events that have enriched my life. This year, as I once again enjoyed trimming my tree, I tried to put the …

Village of Lancaster economic development officials should make a commitment to transparency as they try to revive the village’s business district. Instead, they continue to keep secret the only proposal submitted for the purchase of a nearly 5-acre parcel on West Main Street. Officials have refused to provide what should be public information to The Buffalo News, off…

By Elinor Weiss I ran as a proud Democrat for the 142nd State Assembly District seat in 1992, when Bill Clinton campaigned for president. The Democratic Party fit my worldview: it was centrist then. How times have changed. I don’t recognize much of the Democratic Party anymore. Today, the fringe elements of the party are as troubling as the fringes of the Republica…

By Carol Preisler My little man and I were on a quest to find the one and only Santa. The mall was crowded, just the way I liked it during the holidays. Not so much now. My little man was 4 and so excited about the coming holiday.  Santa, without a doubt, was his superhero. I walked up to the line and pushed his stroller into place. A few folks stared, but that w…

The oceans are rising and a warming Earth is the reason. The debate over causes continues to rage, though most scientists agree humans are a key driver. But it’s happening. Even businesses are taking account of it, because they see it’s going to cost them money. Consider real estate. As buyers become more concerned about waterfront property, builders are taking note…

John Glenn didn’t much like being called a hero, so in his honor, we won’t call him that. But a great American died on Thursday at the age of 95, after what was a long and surely a satisfying life. He was the bolt from the blue that America needed after falling behind the Soviet Union in the space race. He wasn’t the first American to enter space – that distinct…

By Melanie Blow As unfortunate as it is that Matthew Kuzdzal is likely to receive a new trial in the 2013 killing of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son, Eain Brooks, no one is questioning the wisdom of having that trial. When a child is killed, we respond. When a child is abused, we have a federally mandated system that responds to keep further instances of abuse from…

By Frank J. Dinan SPECIAL TO THE NEWS For me, baseball and education, two things dear to my heart, have something surprising in common. As a devout Yankees fan, here are my thoughts on that subject. Baseball’s dead-ball era ended in 1909 when machine-made, cork-centered baseballs replaced the dead balls used since Abner Doubleday’s time. The new, livelier balls …

By Tom O’Malley There are 12 inches in every foot, and 5,280 feet in every mile. As I looked at the moon last night, I was sure we were separated by 240,000 miles and Neil Armstrong’s footprints are still sitting right where he left them. These are the facts, and facts are the bricks in the walls of reason. They are strong, sure and comforting. I have always relied …

By Marshall Rhinehart It was two years after the blizzard. The real one. Dan had an idea to get a tattoo. As he flipped through the Yellow Pages, I realized it was becoming more than an idea. He found a shop on Elmwood Avenue, in a place called Allentown. Too young to drive, we boarded a Metro Bus in front of Daemen College, a yellow and brown stripe on the side. (Th…

Tax break for Carrier is really nothing newAfter listening to the Sunday pundits, Sen. Bernie Sanders and the Democratic National Committee, I find it hard to understand how the Carrier deal is precedent-setting. States have been offering tax credits to keep companies and jobs for years, certainly New York has.The state of Indiana offered a very reasonable $7 million tax c…

Trump’s appointees bode ill for AmericaAfter President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet-level appointments are approved and his team finally gathers for dinner at the White House, the meeting will represent the most extraordinary collection of paranoia, bizarre thinking and outright malevolence since the night Richard Nixon dined alone.To date, the cast of characters will …