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Editorials

It’s a grab bag of election-year goodies that cuts taxes, offers universal, full-day prekindergarten, and makes good on the remaining $680 million of the “Buffalo Billion.” It does all that while keeping the increase in spending under 2 percent, in part by putting some spending commitments off into the future, as one critic noted.But if Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposed 2014…

Editorials

The horrific list of child beating deaths has grown again. While those responsible must be held accountable, we also need to make sure we’re doing all we can to protect children.An autopsy on the 3-year-old Amherst girl who died Saturday showed the child succumbed to injuries from blunt force trauma, according to police. Little Mayouna Smith of Allenhurst Road died from tr…

Editorials

And the Grammy goes to … Kent Knappenberger of Westfield Academy in Chautauqua County.That’s right. Mr. K won! And not only is the small town of Westfield beaming with pride, but so should all of Chautauqua County and Western New York.This was the first year the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation honored the finest of the country’s music educators.Knappenberger, w…

Editorials

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposed state budget is a robust plan that, if it holds together, anticipates a surplus in two years while cutting business taxes, freezing property taxes, increasing aid to education, establishing state-paid, full-day prekindergarten statewide and holding spending growth to less than 2 percent.As ambitious as it is, though, the heart of Cuomo’s pro…

Editorials

Maybe this will be the straw that breaks the IDAs’ backs. The Amherst Industrial Development Agency last week granted nearly $550,000 worth of tax breaks to personal injury attorney William Mattar for a $4 million expansion adjacent to his current office in the town.The nature of the expansion seems mysterious and is definitely relevant. While Mattar’s original request was…

After months of studying the issue, President Obama is making changes to the mass surveillance program and offered a plausible explanation as to why such methods are necessary to safeguard America. But he should have gone much further in protecting privacy rights and guaranteeing transparency going forward.The revelation that American citizens’ telephone metadata had been …

Editorials

Each year as the nation celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a time to reflect on how far the nation has come in reducing racial inequality. When King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, many things we take for granted today were just a dream.Two months before the speech, Gov. George Wallace attempted to stop the first black students from e…

New York City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo need to get on the same page when it comes to prekindergarten.If they both believe that it is an important way to jump-start young lives, and they do, then they should work together for the greater good.So far, that isn’t happening. Instead, as reported in the New York Times, de Blasio and Cuomo seem to be…

What should a student know? This question is currently being addressed in the context of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, an educational program being adopted in most states designed to codify what students from kindergarten to grade 12 should know in English and math at each grade level.The Common Core standards mandate that 50 percent of reading carried out by…

A couple of senators are doing the right thing by trying to make sure vehicle owners get more say over what happens to information collected on the “black boxes” about to become mandatory in all cars and small trucks sold in the United States.The Driver Privacy Act would make it clear that the owner of a vehicle is also the owner of any information collected by the devices…

Editorials

Many details have yet to be filled in, but Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s newest foray into the battle of the Buffalo economy looks like a winner. There are no guarantees, obviously, but the $105 million plan for a genomic medicine and supercomputer development brings together enough of the region’s existing strengths to make it well worth the funding.Cuomo announced the project d…

Editorials

There may have been no intention to make it harder for veterans to receive disability compensation, but an Obama administration proposal to change the way veterans apply for benefits is doing just that.The shameful backlog in veterans disability claims that has been documented in the past is at the root of the problem. Currently, there are about 400,000 veterans who have b…

The strained relationship between Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has apparently reached a new low with squabbling over whether the AG wears eyeliner. That “guyliner” accusation is part of the fight over which man will control a $613 million settlement Schneiderman’s office negotiated with JPMorgan Chase.According to the New York Times,…

Washington has issued yet another stinging report on the killing of American ambassador J. Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, Libya, and while it breaks little new ground, it reaffirms the conclusions of last year’s report that found security lapses for which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took responsibility and promised reforms.The bipartisan report does add new d…

Editorials

It was, no doubt, a painful day for teachers, parents and students in Catholic education as the diocese announced the closure of 10 schools in Erie County, affecting 1,154 students and 195 teachers and staff.The decision will have many radiating consequences, yet it seems undeniable that the decision had to be made in order to forestall even worse consequences. Indeed, the…