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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 everyone else…

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 – baseball still …

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 14 of …

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 to reach a…

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” taxes offe…

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 schools.…

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 because…

A local real estate developer was recently quoted in The Buffalo News suggesting that Clarence’s open space and farmland preservation program, known as the Greenprint, has contributed to Clarence’s recent school budget debate. His premise is that limiting growth reduces revenues and forces tax increases. That idea, however sincerely held, is contradicted by both logic and …

Editorials

It is certainly unusual, at least in recent memory, for a New York governor to visit Western New York as often as Andrew M. Cuomo has in the past several weeks.But one reason it’s so unusual is that governors have been ignoring Western New York for decades, so the recent interest – nine trips since mid-June – by the current guv comes as a welcome change.As a recent News ar…

Residents of Ardmore Place on Buffalo’s West Side have developed a new twist on an old theme about following brick roads. Unlike Dorothy’s yellow brick road in “The Wizard of Oz,” theirs is red. And their magic road is underneath their feet. They just needed to chip away at all the asphalt to get to it.As News staff reporter Gene Warner wrote in Wednesday morning’s paper, …

Talk about missing the point, or shooting the messenger or however you want to put it, the outrage being directed at State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. is sorely misplaced.King’s spokesman had it right when he said the other day that the loud complaints by teachers and politicians at King’s unprecedented mandate regarding Lafayette and East high schools is “just…

Editorials

The FBI, law enforcement agencies across the country and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children deserve high praise for rescuing 105 young people forced into prostitution. The three-day sweep in 76 cities across 47 FBI divisions nationwide resulted in the arrest of 159 alleged pimps.It was the seventh such sweep in a decade, and emphasizes the need for Cong…

The themes of President Obama’s campaign-style push to strengthen the economy are hardly new. But what’s needed are not new ideas, it’s the political will to agree on something.Tens of millions of Americans struggling to regain a financial foothold can only watch in disgust as Washington refuses to act.Obama started his outreach at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., last wee…