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Editorials

The rate at which technology is crowding in on American privacy is not only breathtaking, but almost certainly not fully comprehended. Calling and emailing are no longer private. Advertisers know what we want almost before we do. What is private, we give away via Facebook, GPS, E-ZPass and online shopping. Now the FBI, apparently without oversight, is using drones.As with …

It’s not often we take the time to remark on the passing of actors, musicians and other artists, but the unexpected death this week of James Gandolfini gives pause. It’s not just that he was a terrific actor, though he was certainly that. His depiction of the tortured mobster Tony Soprano offered a six-season master class in acting. He could convey an emotion – often enoug…

Editorials

There have been some recent positive developments in the effort to advance this area’s transportation options. The momentum must continue.Most recently, Sen. Charles E. Schumer successfully urged the federal government to modify a $1.2 million grant he previously secured for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. The change allows the agency to streamline its study…

Peace talks with the Taliban hardly seem possible while American soldiers are dying on the Afghan battlefield, but they are a necessary step in what will certainly be a very long and difficult process.On the one hand, the Taliban say they want to “open dialogue between the Taliban and the world.” On the other hand, they continue to launch deadly attacks.Hours after Washing…

Sometimes cleaning up crime in a troubled district takes ingenuity and, in the case of the South District, the creativity to take a page from an old book.The result is criminals are being evicted from one apartment and then another and another, forcing them to hopscotch across town until they tire of the game and leave the area. With the nuisance gone, certain crimes go wi…

Editorials

The statistics are already a year old, but they demonstrate cause for alarm. Buffalo’s high school graduation rate for 2012 fell to 47 percent from 2011’s 54 percent. It posted the second-lowest rate of the state’s Big 5 school districts and the biggest year-to-year drop, at 7 percent. The other four districts were relatively stable.Of course, things have changed since 201…

GEICO Corp. has been good for Western New York, and it just keeps getting better. Think back to December 2003, when the company announced its entrée into this area. The goal a decade ago was to create a regional headquarters and hire at least 650 employees in the first three years, and employ 1,800 by 2012.Despite a disastrous economic downturn, GEICO has far exceeded its …

Editorials

The American calendar is sprinkled with dates that are fused with the country’s history and its self-image. Independence Day, barely two weeks away, is one of those. So are Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Labor Day and the birth dates of great leaders such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.So is today another landmark – Juneteenth, a date that acknowledges one of the mo…

Editorials

In life, there are turning points – opportunities to embark on new and more productive paths. We can choose to take those paths or not, but if no one is paying attention, the opportunity may not even be recognized. Niagara Falls is at one of those crossroads today. Its leaders need to see it and to act on it.The big news in the past week is that the State of New York and t…

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has proposed an economic development initiative that might be very useful in helping to improve the county’s economy – or not. Some of the proposals, while certainly worth pursuing, are largely unmeasurable, meaning their impact will be difficult to determine.Nevertheless, they amount to an appropriate, if preliminary, expenditure of…

President Obama is taking a prudent step in deciding to send military support to Syrian rebels after a two-month investigation produced near certainty that the regime of President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons in its fight for survival. Nevertheless, no one should doubt the significant risks to the Middle East and potentially the United States as this country lend…

Editorials

It should have been surprising when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would require 60 votes for his house of Congress to approve immigration reform. After all, the Constitution requires only a majority of votes in each chamber of Congress to pass legislation.That it wasn’t surprising opens a window on how far Congress has strayed from the form of go…

Editorials

And, once again, the students in Buffalo take it on the chin. The city’s schoolchildren continue to be denied the educations they deserve and to which they are legally entitled.Bad becomes worse as the district makes deep cuts to its music program which, for many students, doesn’t lag far behind reading, writing and arithmetic in its role in producing well-rounded students…

Editorials

And just like that, it’s over. Years of acrimonious accusation, nonpayment of revenues and stubborn refusal came to a sudden and fair end on Thursday when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder settled their differences over casino gaming in Western New York.With their agreement, the financial gun aimed in Niagara Falls was lowered and the threat to …

Here’s a top 10 list we’re glad to have avoided. The FBI has released its newest crime statistics and based on it, 24/7 Wall St. identified the nation’s 10 most dangerous cities with populations of 100,000 or more. Three of the 10 are Great Lakes cities and two others are East Coast cities. The list appeared in USA Today. In descending order they are: Cleveland, Ohio; Balt…