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Editorials

How bad is the leadership of the Buffalo Public Schools? The answer is plainly spelled out in state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.’s recent statements.And Monday’s lengthy School Board meeting, in which the board approved a school transfer plan clearly at odds with state requirements, was just more evidence of that leadership vacuum.King said last week that w…

The Village of Hamburg may be on to something other municipalities will want to copy.The village’s public works employees have agreed to major concessions in these tight economic times. While much of the impact will be felt in the future, the short-term peace of mind that comes with this cost savings has to be priceless.The Village Board, of course, unanimously approved …

Editorials

The notion that the City of Buffalo might be intending to use federal money to enhance and extend an existing trail path a mere 1,600 feet is shortsighted. Buffalo could wind up missing out on the economic benefits that following through with an original plan could bring.As reported, the discussion for years has centered on building 2.6 miles of trail along a former railro…

Childhood obesity has been – and remains – a threat to the nation’s wellbeing. From the costs of lifelong medical care to an inability to staff the military services, the crisis of childhood obesity is a gun waiting to go off.But, unexpectedly and hopefully, signs of improvement have appeared. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that at least 18 st…

I have six siblings. If in a room with each of us, you would undoubtedly spot the resemblance: freckled face, thin lips to varying degrees. Where our likeness completely diverges is the perception of our respective childhoods. Unexpected perhaps, considering we did all live under the same roof. Yet how each sibling views the years spent in that four-bedroom, dirty-carpeted…

Editorials

Whatever anyone may think of the rulings made by Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the nation’s top jurist clearly understands the issues. Asked last fall about the biggest constitutional challenges the court faced, Roberts was categorical: The issue, he said, is privacy.He’s right. The question of privacy has grown more wrinkles than a shar-pei since th…

Taxpaying citizens should approve of a new state program in this year’s budget that took effect on Monday and is designed to snag tax scofflaws.New York State is now able to suspend driver’s licenses of those delinquent by more than $10,000 on their state taxes.Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has it right when he says “…tax scofflaws who don’t abide by the same rules as eve…

Editorials

Poor statewide results showing low levels of elementary student proficiency in English and math should be viewed as a window into what students have truly learned. Or, in this case, have not learned.Many students are not hitting their educational target, and that is unacceptable and dangerous for society. Aging baby boomers should be the most concerned about poor test resu…

Editorials

Two problems that have recently made the news in the Buffalo Public Schools actually have one key component in common. They demand cooperation between district officials and the union.So, what else is new? Only the issue of the day. This time, it is how to move more than 2,200 students to schools in good standing and how to administer a classroom breakfast program to a lar…

The solution to Major League Baseball’s drug problem is clear, even if it isn’t simple. Hall of Fame player Joe Morgan put it succinctly. “It’s very simple: The risk has to outweigh the reward.” Even with the significant suspensions announced Monday in the Biogenesis scandal – 12 players gone for 50 games, Alex Rodriguez slammed with a 211-game suspension – b…

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III did nothing illegal in raising more than $70,000 in campaign donations from his staff. But it still doesn’t make it right.As News reporter Lou Michel wrote, the D.A. raised more than $80,000 at a recent political fund-raiser, with most of the money – $70,050 – coming from 85 of his 90 assistant district attorneys and …

Congress continues to prove it can’t – or won’t – get much done, but the notion that lawmakers are about to embark on vacation before hammering out an end to the awful sequestration is unconscionable and, if not resolved, could result in a government shutdown.So far, efforts by a bloc of Senate Republicans and White House officials haven’t done the trick.Failure …

Editorials

Call it sticking to tradition, or political shenanigans, but the nonsensical and yet unshakable practice of asking permission from the governor to sign off on so-called “temporary” sales tax increases has got to stop.For that to happen, though, state legislators will need to let go of whatever political leverage the current process of reissuing these “temporary” ta…

Could Superintendent Pamela C. Brown really be about to heed public reaction and restore some money to the band and orchestra programs to be cut in 14 city schools? Or is this wishful thinking on the part of anyone who cares about the enriching aspect of music when trying to set high educational standards?We’re hoping we won’t see the day the music dies in Buffalo scho…

The Hamburg Central School District must be taking lessons from administrators in Buffalo.The way the city’s suburban neighbor let $472,000 in state aid slip through its hands because it did not have a teacher evaluation plan in place by Jan. 17 nearly mirrors the urban district’s woes. And, just as in the city, Hamburg’s students are the ones losing out in the end b…