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Someday, sanity has to prevail. When reports show that taxpayers are coughing up millions of dollars to create jobs that never appear, somebody sooner or later is going to say “Enough!” Today wouldn’t be too soon.The industrial development agencies in Erie County are back in the news because a state report said their projects produced only a handful of the promised 450 job…

I am, in the most general definition, a social worker. If I were to get specific, I am a “service coordinator” defined by Medicaid, the government system that pays for the services I provide. My role is to help people with developmental disabilities and their families navigate the twists and turns of a complicated service system called the Office for People with Developmen…

Editorials

On a recent night, Loretta Jones slept five hours before thoughts of Hawk Creek Wildlife Center accelerated her mind to the point that sleep became impossible. And so she stands before the bathroom window in the gray predawn light, with a forgotten mug of tea in her hands, her mind already down the long driveway with the animals.The renaissance festival this weekend and ne…

Editorials

Although her husband generated most of the headlines during the first family’s trip to Africa, Michelle Obama recently generated some of her own. On July 2, she joined her predecessor, Laura Bush, at a Summit for African First Ladies, hosted by the George W. Bush Foundation. Obama’s remarks there stirred some controversy when she likened life in the first lady fishbowl to …

Editorials

As disturbing as it is, the report that Buffalo has the nation’s third-highest rate of childhood poverty should have come as no surprise. After all, the city had already been tagged as the nation’s third-poorest after the 2010 census; it would have been odd if its childhood poverty rate were substantially different.Still, the impact of that report remains troubling. Povert…

Editorials

Something had to happen eventually at Lafayette and East high schools, and on Thursday, it did. State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. effectively ordered the Buffalo School District to surrender management of those schools.Many questions are unanswered at this point – including the role of Johns Hopkins University – but if the issue is whom to trust in the argument…

This election season will test the forgiveness of New York City voters, with Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner both hoping that outrage sparked by the sex scandals that cost them their jobs has faded. Weiner, who resigned his congressional seat after tweeted photos of his crotch went viral, is running for mayor. Spitzer, who resigned as governor in 2008 after he was reveale…

Editorials

Perhaps it is mere coincidence that the Federal Aviation Administration published its new rules on pilot qualifications less than a week after a fatal crash in San Francisco. After all, even in February, the FAA was saying it hoped to have those rules completed in July and new training rules ready by October.Still, the coincidence – if it is one – is startling. Saturday’s …

Editorials

Most Western New Yorkers lack the conviction that Kelly Cline showed in celebrating the state’s summer crackdown on distracted driving. Then again, most Western New Yorkers haven’t lost a child to that 21st century scourge of the roadways. Nevertheless, most drivers, we suspect, would echo the West Seneca woman’s reaction to news of the crackdown: “Isn’t is awesome?”The st…

The first thing to note about the effort to change foreclosure rules in the City of Buffalo is that those rules are desperately wrong. The notion that families can lose their homes for being delinquent on garbage user fees is something out of Charles Dickens.That’s the rule that Common Council Majority Leader Demone A. Smith wants to change. That kind of foreclosure happen…

Editorials

Maybe this will get the FAA moving. If the 50 lives lost in a commuter plane crash in Clarence weren’t enough to light a fire under the Federal Aviation Administration, perhaps the additional two lives lost in Saturday’s crash of a Boeing 777 in San Francisco will jolt it into action, fast-tracking the pilot training rules enacted after the 2009 crash of Flight 3407.Both c…

Editorials

Ronald Reagan said it best: Trust, but verify. He was referring to the former Soviet Union, but the axiom well applies to the statements of any public bureaucracy, in this case the Buffalo School District and its claims to have saved a million dollars.Superintendent Pamela C. Brown says the administrative changes she has made in the district’s central office have already s…

Editorials

One of the most preposterous expenses that Western New York taxpayers are forced to bear is the cosmetic surgery rider included in some public union contracts, including that of Buffalo teachers, where the cost has become particularly onerous.Facing elimination of nearly half the Buffalo School District’s band and orchestra programs, the School Board is targeting superfici…

Editorials

Could Erie County finally come around and realize that underfunding its tourism agency is costing millions of dollars in missed opportunities? We hope so.The county is exploring ways to increase and stabilize funding for Visit Buffalo Niagara. This effort could include a dedicated stream of revenue, according to what county officials recently told the Buffalo Place board …

It was probably around Easter time. War was eating its fill of lives and arms and legs and minds along the Western Front.Far from those horrific scenes and sounds, along a remote dirt road in southern Erie County, quiet repose settled at last on a tiny farm that sat in lonely isolation in the rural darkness. The day’s wash still hung hopefully on a line strung nearby – the…