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Editorials

Something new for Buffalo: Following the examples of other urban centers, including New York City, a well connected group of advocates is planning to transform an abandoned railway into Buffalo’s newest park. It’s a wonderful idea. Like Manhattan’s popular and charming “High Line” along the island’s west side, Buffalo’s park will be built on an abandoned, elevated rail …

Western New Yorkers used social media – and good old-fashioned letters and phone calls – to support a local business. And won. Weber’s Mustard has been around for 96 years. Folks around here are loyal to the South Buffalo company’s product. They love it. That’s why they started writing BJ’s Wholesale Club when they noticed it had gone missing from store shelves. The ca…

Editorials

It wasn’t an easy start for Daniel Derenda when he was named Buffalo police commissioner in 2010. Critics complained he lacked a college degree. But with his retirement eight years later, it’s clear that this former street cop was up to the task. He leaves the department better than he found it. Derenda, 58, called it a career on Tuesday after 32 years as a policeman in…

Editorials

In presenting a $168 billion spending plan on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo eschewed the usual bells and whistles and just used the whistle to signal trouble ahead, much of it, in his estimation, brought on by Washington. He’s not wrong. But he needs to make sure that he is not adding to the problem by raising $1 billion in the coming year in tax increases, “shifts” o…

Editorials

Sergeant Schultz would have been proud. In August, Sheriff Timothy B. Howard finally faced lawyers in the case of an inmate death at the Erie County Holding Center. At his deposition, he answered “I don’t know” 68 times, evoking the memory of Schultz, the fictional "Hogan’s Heroes" character, whose regular punchline was that he knew nothing. Except Howard is the s…

Editorials

The law, if it is enacted, might not be aggressively enforced. In practice, it would surely be too difficult to cite every driver smoking with a child inside the vehicle. But Erie County should adopt this legislation, anyway. It will send the right message about a pernicious habit that risks the health of the helpless. Erie County Legislator Patrick B. Burke proposed th…

Today is the day the nation celebrates the birth of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who is regarded as the leader of the Civil Rights movement. Yet, were he alive, he might be at a loss as to why some key initiatives for which he and his contemporaries had marched and even died are still being debated. Both black and white supporters fought for change, placing their …

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s roughly formulated plan to alleviate the pain of state taxpayers who might otherwise suffer under the new federal tax scheme is – so far, at least – a classic example of “it’s the thought that counts.” The question now is whether the thought will translate into action. The governor has been battered over his response to the new tax law, which l…

Niagara Falls Housing Authority board members decided – though public sentiment would side with the two no votes – to grant a remarkable request by former housing chief Stephanie W. Cowart. And that means 18 months of authority-paid dental insurance. Cowart pleaded guilty last month to stealing money from the agency and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 …

Should Erie County release details of all harassment settlements paid by taxpayers because of the misconduct of government employees? Should motorists stop at red lights? The answer to each question is equally obvious. That a county legislator even has to ask for the information demonstrates government’s disrespect for taxpayers and an unserious attitude toward miscondu…

The knock on the 43North business competition has been that winning companies often spent the required one year in Buffalo and then promptly left when their time was up. The problem is, the main purpose of the competition, funded by the state’s “Buffalo Billion,” is to keep those companies in Western New York. Without that, its value is diminished. So organizers swit…

While new Amherst Town Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa’s recent announcement that he plans to share an employee with the Village of Williamsville is encouraging, it does not negate his troubling decision to hire his campaign manager as an $81,800 chief of staff. Both are new positions. One makes practical sense. The other political sense. The political optics should have m…

Turns out the great Scajaquada Expressway debate is not over and state transportation officials really won’t pick up their money ball and go home they don't get their way. That was what the DOT threatened in August, after concluding – reasonably – that a plan to unify the park would have created a traffic nightmare on Delaware Avenue. But facing broad opposition to its …

It really doesn’t matter why the HUD inspector general decided to conduct a wide-ranging audit into how Buffalo’s public housing agency spent tens of millions of dollars over the last couple of years. What matters is that the audit is being done – and that it produces action.. The results, although not expected for several weeks, cannot come quick enough for taxpayer…