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There has been so much in the news lately about public officials shirking their responsibilities to open government that it comes as a refreshing surprise when someone follows the rules. It happened last week in Amherst. The someone, in this case, is actually the Amherst Ethics Board, a once somnambulant panel that has started lately to flex its muscle. The board is rec…

With police officers turning on each other in Buffalo, residents have been given reason to worry about whether their safety and that of six recently promoted officers is being compromised. The pettiness on display cannot help but call into question the union’s commitment to public safety, as well as its level of common sense. The issue is tinged with questions of raci…

And, again, innocent people die as ISIS lashes out in a wild and vain effort to accomplish … what? Is it hoping to intimidate the West into backing off its role in defeating the terror organization in Syria and Iraq? If anything, murderous attacks on young people will only steel Westerners to the urgency of the task. Or is it as straightforward as the story of the scorpi…

It’s time to rethink the need for New Yorkers to vote on their school budgets. The practice has never made much sense, but in light of the state tax cap, it has lost whatever justification anyone ever imagined. In last week’s voting, in which school district residents voted on budgets and board members, turnout was worse than abysmal. That’s both the bad news and …

The breakup of a business partnership may not be the most important thing on the public agenda, but when a public official violated important public rules to accommodate the principals in that dispute – and especially when that public official is a judge – the matter takes on greater significance. That’s what is happening with the fracturing of the relationship be…

Say this much about the move to pad the paychecks of a handful of state lawmakers: It’s not at all in the category of legislative leaders who desecrate the law in order to line their own pockets. That’s a special category of arrogance that richly deserved the attention of a federal prosecutor. Nevertheless, when Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan quietly gave extr…

Good for Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in deciding to crack down on uncivilized student behavior in University Heights. Stories in The Buffalo News have detailed how out-of-control student parties have made life miserable for University Heights residents. Schneiderman this week ordered Jeremy Dunn, a landlord whose more than 50 properties have become “notoriou…

Some things ought to go without saying for leaders of government institutions, and one of them is that the taxpayers who fund your paychecks have a right to know what you are doing. In that regard it was heartening, in a way, that most of 16 municipal leaders responded quickly and affirmatively to a Freedom of Information Law request for their 2016 calendars. That’s t…

The Central Terminal and the people who want to see it revived have suffered enough. Its board is making a smart move in deciding to swap out its sputtering engine. It can’t have been an easy decision. After 12 months of hoping that Harry Stinson would make good on plans to restore the deteriorating art deco wonder, the Central Terminal Restoration Corp. voted earlier…

As horrific as Erie County’s opioid crisis is, there is no reason to believe it has peaked or that its severity and consequences have sufficiently sunk in. This is a burgeoning calamity that is ruining lives, punishing children, driving up public costs and that shows no sign of abating. It requires new and innovative approaches. Erie County and the rest of New York ar…

The question, rocketing around Washington and other parts of the country, is both fundamental and disturbing: Did President Trump commit – or attempt to commit – obstruction of justice? The fallout from a series of damaging episodes threatens to leave the country and the government punch-drunk, inattentive to the grave dangers unfolding daily in North Korea, the Mid…

As talk of a new convention center ramps up again in Erie County, it will be useful to consider two issues that could influence a decision on whether and where to build. First is cost, which will run at least into the tens of millions of dollars and perhaps more than $100 million. The expense may well be worth it, given the significant economic impact a modern, function…

If backers of a “national park” designation for Buffalo’s Silo City are referring to a national historical park, or a place of interest within another federal (or even state) recreation area, they may be onto something. Buffalo’s cluster of six grain elevators is certainly interesting and important. It is evocative of a particular time in American history, espec…

School district elections, for budgets and board members, are on tap around Western New York today, and this is what voters who care about education and their taxes must do: Go vote. And, if you live in Williamsville, be especially careful about how you vote. There, in a district suffering from long-term conflict between the teachers union and the superintendent, the un…

It’s a serious question, and one that deserves serious consideration: With the proliferation of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, and the isolated and unsupervised environments in which they do business, what should be the policy on sex offenders as drivers? The question is especially relevant to upstate New York, where ride-hailing is about to become legal…