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Editorials

What do you know? The water authority that hires unqualified leaders and frolics in a sewer of patronage is viewed by its own customers as one of the nation’s worst. Sometimes, there is justice in the world. The annual service by J.D. Power ranks the Erie County Water Authority eighth worst among the largest 88 water providers in the country and third worst among those …

Editorials

It’s long past time for Amherst and other municipalities to move against the zombie properties that blight their streets and neighborhoods. If the owners of these plots don’t care enough about their responsibilities to their neighbors, then it’s the town’s responsibility to explain things to them. Eminent domain might make for a good explainer. We’re mainly talking here…

Editorials

Approving school budgets is getting to be a habit with voters in Erie and Niagara counties. An exception in Tuesday’s election was Eden Central, which was seeking to go over the tax cap. Eden voted down the budget, 57 percent to 43 percent. Remind us again: Why is it necessary for voters to approve school budgets at the polls? New York is one of a handful of states that…

Editorials

Today concludes national Police Week, a time to honor the memories of the men and women who have lost their lives while doing their best to protect our communities. About 30 Buffalo police officers traveled to Washington to salute the short life and career of Officer Craig E. Lehner, their 34-year-old colleague who died in the Niagara River while on a training exercise …

Now it all makes sense. It’s not that the country is hopelessly divided, it’s that things are getting lost in translation. The question isn’t just whether it’s Laurel or Yanny – you surely know what we’re talking about – it’s the startling revelation that our ears hear different things. Take gun control. It’s obvious now that a large contingent of Americans thinks so…

Editorials

In the film “The Godfather,” Vito Corleone explains to a fellow gangster that the politicians on his payroll would turn against him if he went into the narcotics business and got out of gambling, “which they regard as a harmless vice.” The U.S. Supreme Court this week came to a similar conclusion about gaming, striking down a 1992 federal law that prohibited all states …

Editorials

Maybe, in the end, it won’t seem like such a reckless decision. Maybe, despite the decision to cut down 70 mature trees in Niagara Falls State Park, the state will create a different beautiful setting worthy of the nation’s oldest state park. But even if it does, the reason it gave for this sudden, unpopular decision makes no sense. The state Office of Parks, Recreation…

Editorials

Buffalo Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder last week released a critique of Mayor Byron W. Brown’s 2018-19 budget proposal. The comptroller says the budget is based on overly optimistic assumptions about revenues the city is counting on. The mayor responded by saying he stands by his budget. “We don’t submit budgets that are not balanced, that are not sound,” Brown said. …

Editorials

Sheldon Silver and his legal team still say the former Assembly Speaker is not a crook. For the second time in three years, a jury in a Manhattan federal court wisely concluded otherwise. To recap: Silver was tried on corruption charges and found guilty in November 2015. U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni sentenced him then to 12 years in prison. However, an appeals…

Turns out, a shrinking enrollment among the student body in Buffalo Public Schools does not equate to shrinking numbers of teachers and staff. It may be that this seemingly odd, inverse ratio is appropriate, but given the district’s strained finances, it is critical to examine that staffing. A recent News story reports that enrollment in the city school district is down…

The so-called national conversation about guns gets revived whenever there is another mass shooting in this country, with instant amplification from social media. It’s a subject worthy of serious discussion and debate. However, the discussion takes a sharp downturn when advocates of gun control focus on the trivial. That may be the case on Grand Island, where there i…

Editorials

The state Labor Department is holding public hearings on a proposal from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to get rid of the subminimum wage for tipped workers, such as restaurant servers. The change would require employers to pay their people full minimum wage, which in upstate New York is $10.40 per hour. The fact is, this is a change that many workers, as well as many employers w…

Editorials

The Buffalo Police Department’s Strike Force initiative was well-intentioned, but it didn’t work out as planned. Now, the department is shifting its emphasis to community policing – a smart and welcome development. The department’s Strike Force was formed in 2012 to work with state troopers and Erie County Sheriff’s investigators, focusing on crime enforcement and traff…

It’s not a secret that cheerleading plays on sexual fantasies. Everything about the practice –more or less, depending on the team – screams it. The teams, it is safe to say, understand this and play it to their economic advantage. But The New York Times recent report on what happened to the Washington Redskins’ squad reveals a level of sexual coercion that should not go…