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Editorials

Western New Yorkers don’t have to look far to find reasons to support an environmental upgrade plan such as the one proposed last week by State Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, R-Buffalo.On Wednesday, The Buffalo News reported that the cost of repairing Niagara Falls’ damaged sewage treatment plant is blowing past last month’s estimate of $2 million. The plant was damaged in July af…

A favorite gambit by governors needing cash to balance budgets is to raid the fund balances in various state authorities and agencies. If some of that money is declared surplus, it’s fair game for being swept into the general fund as one of the state’s notorious one-shot budget gimmicks.Raiding one such pot – the dedicated fund that supports the state’s public transit syst…

Editorials

No good options are available to the United States in dealing with Syria’s criminal regime. There seems little doubt that Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people, and it is clearly in the U.S. interest to deter that behavior in Syria or elsewhere.But, as military analysts noted in Wednesday’s Buffalo News, limited military attacks at other times have done …

Editorials

If President Obama wants to leave behind a second-term legacy – a difficult task given the fact of a self-devouring Congress – he has an obvious target. The Department of Veterans Affairs has become the Inspector Clouseau of the federal government. Obama should begin the work of overhauling a department that stumbles at every turn.The latest disgrace is a bonus system that…

It seems the State Education Department could learn a little about careful management, too. Acting swiftly after court decisions in its favor, the state is moving to close Pinnacle Charter School in Buffalo. Classes were to begin a week from Wednesday. School officials got their notice only last Friday.The state has good reason to worry about Pinnacle’s performance, althou…

Editorials

There are a couple of ways to look at last week’s humiliating trip to Albany by Buffalo school officials, who had been ordered there by State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.Like recalcitrant students summoned to the principal’s office, Superintendent Pamela C. Brown and her staff traveled to the state capital on Friday to be tutored on how to properly complete a tu…

The Cheektowaga Town Board’s approval the other day of an agreement to share an assessor with the Town of Evans is indicative of what has been taking place across towns and villages over the past several years. We need more of this low-level form of regionalism in municipalities and school districts.The unanimous decision appoints Jeneen Lomando-McSkimming as assessor for …

Editorials

The improbability of rehabilitating the historic Richardson Olmsted Complex is fast fading away as reports of progress continue to flow in. Architect Henry Hobson Richardson would be proud. So, too, would landscape designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.The massive complex, dating back to 1870, served as a state psychiatric hospital until the mid-1970s, when it b…

Editorials

Fifty years after the March on Washington, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, is an appropriate time to reflect on progress the nation has made toward racial equality.The nation’s first black president has just been re-elected, but opinion polls and our own observations show that King’s dream remains just that … a dream.The …

Editorials

Last winter, a delegation of high-profile nutritionists made the rounds of Washington lawmakers to discuss ways to improve the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps. One of their proposals: Could SNAP explore limiting the types of food that recipients can buy with their federal benefits?A state or city might ban chips or cookies, or, as New York Mayor …

Editorials

They have been called shrinking cities, weak market cities and gateway cities. But by any label – our preferred term is legacy cities – small and medium-sized cities in many parts of the country are struggling with manufacturing decline and population loss. One of these cities is Buffalo, which – after a rich history as a rail and grain hub – is seeking the economic engine…

Maybe the chicken wings President Obama had during his last visit here in 2010 didn’t agree with him. But with an opportunity to sample our other culinary delight at lunchtime Thursday, he spurned beef on weck and headed his bus toward Rochester, where he visited Magnolia’s Deli and Cafe and tied into a grilled cheese sandwich, of all things.Obama was in Buffalo to stress …

Editorials

If initial indications are accurate, federal prosecutors are on the right track in the sentence they will recommend be levied against Tonawanda Coke. They want the company to clean up the mess it made.The company was found guilty on 14 of 19 criminal charges after a four-week trial. A company executive was convicted on 15 of 19 charges.The jury ruled that Tonawanda Coke ha…

Editorials

Wednesday’s Buffalo School Board meeting in which Superintendent Pamela C. Brown presented broad details of her strategic turnaround plan lasted six hours and managed to accomplish very little. The meeting was an exercise in how to present a lot of material with layers and layers of detail while, in the end, signifying nothing. There was one positive – the public was allo…

Editorials

If leaders of the Buffalo School District know how to spell “transparency,” they certainly don’t know how to practice it.It’s impossible to believe that school leaders really think that they are inviting public access when their actions and attitudes are those of a members-only private club.Members of the public accurately use such unflattering words as “secretive,” “close…