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Editorials

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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…

This week we learned that the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation and its namesake NFL team are going their separate ways. The foundation, an independent organization, will no longer be allowed to use the team’s logo on its website or in its communications. The foundation, which raises significant money for charity, will continue its work and still get financial support fro…

Editorials

A couple of years ago the public was tantalized by a proposal to build a downtown grocery store rising out of a vacant parking lot on Ellicott Street, along with a high-rise building with apartments, offices and real estate space. Then, nothing. The silence became deafening, as downtown dwellers and workers wondered if the plan would ever come to fruition. In those mome…

Common sense in the world of politics is as welcome as the flowers in May. And that’s what broke out this week when Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced he would support the nomination of Buffalo attorney John L. Sinatra to the federal bench. Sinatra, a partner in Hodgson Russ, is widely respected in Buffalo’s legal community, praised by lawyers who ident…

Editorials

Did Buffalo school officials really disqualify Kaleida Health from continuing to provide nurses for students because its bid arrived 16 minutes late – by hand delivery? The email sent on time didn’t count because electronic proposals are not allowed. What is this, 1968? Someone call Ernestine the telephone operator – aka comedian Lily Tomlin – and tell her to patch u…

It’s not the kind of bragging rights New Yorkers want, but their state government has established a dubious distinction over the past dozen years: Every top elected official in state government has been run out of office in that time, either charged with serious crimes related to their positions or for other unsavory conduct. Excelsior. This week it was former Attorn…

Editorials

Entering into a fight is sometimes the only way to get what you want. Other times, it just leaves you with a black eye. That’s what is happening to the Catholic Church as it fights to keep some victims of sexual abuse from seeking redress. A story in Monday’s Buffalo News detailed how the New York State Catholic Conference spent $1.8 million over six years on lobbying i…

Editorials

It seems, in some ways, like an old, familiar story. A preacher who rails against homosexuality is caught in a gay relationship. Politicians who carry on about “family values” are caught cheating on their spouses. Too often among humans – especially those in positions of influence – hypocrisy is the coin of the realm. That seems to be the case with Eric Schneiderman, Ne…

Editorials

Rep. Brian Higgins wants the state waterfront agency to get moving on several potential projects that will maximize New York Power Authority money he helped obtain about a decade ago. It is a reasonable request that falls somewhere between interested advocacy and out-and-out goading. The 20-year agreement with the Power Authority is nearing its halfway mark. As the c…

The Assembly did no favors to parents, taxpayers or students last week when it overwhelmingly voted to undermine the system of teacher evaluations without first coming up with some other way to do the crucial job. According to 131 members of the legislative chamber – only one voted against – New Yorkers don’t need to assess the work of public employees performing one of…

Editorials

As the old saying goes, it’s who you know. Stephanie W. Cowart seems to know enough influential people for a get-out-of-jail free card. Many others without those connections will have to cross their fingers and hope for some measure of mercy. Cowart just needed friends and admirers to come to her defense. In one of the more unusual – at least, we hope – court stories…

Editorials

City of Buffalo residents had to know that taxes would eventually go up. It’s never fun but – with an important asterisk – it’s time. Mayor Byron W. Brown recently released his proposed 2018-19 budget. It recommends increasing residential property taxes by 3.4 percent and commercial property taxes by 5.5 percent. All in all, not too bad, especially given Brown’s record …

Was anyone shocked that the new chairman of the Erie County Water Authority is a political boss? There surely was no cause for astonishment, since the authority is set up to be a kind of human resources slush fund for the parties. The new leader is Jerome Schad, who also happens to be the Democratic Party chairman in Amherst. And so it continues at the Water Authority, …