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Among the many wonderful things about the Sunday newspaper, other than the expanded sections, are the color comics. It’s nice to know when you want a chuckle, no matter what’s going on in the world, the comics are always there to cheer you up. This makes me reflect on the power of humor in life.Growing up in a large family, it was difficult to get what every child want…

By Thomas C. RosenthalWith the introduction of online health insurance exchanges comes great attention to increasing access to care, particularly for the uninsured. While access to care is critically important, equally important is how care is provided. How do we make the system sustainable? Medicare spending in Miami is two times that of Medicare spending in Western New Y…

Editorials

The last-minute deal to reopen the government and raise the debt limit apparently concludes a reckless episode that has been bad for the country and worse for Republicans.That’s the good news. The bad is that the deal appears to set the country up for a replay early in the new year. The agreement, reached by Senate leaders, would reopen the government only until Jan. 15 …

Legislature shuts out publicThe political make up of the Niagara County Legislature has become more one sided over the last several terms. When one regime remains in place overly long, they tend to assume ownership of power to exclusion of the people.Prior to a December 2009 resolution, there had been provision for general public input early in 7 p.m. legislative sessions.…

WASHINGTON — When geophysicist H. Jay Melosh attended a meeting of U.S. and ex-Soviet nuclear weapons designers in May 1995, he was surprised by how eager the Cold Warriors were to work together against an unlikely but dangerous extraterrestrial threat: asteroids on a collision course with Earth.After Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, urged others meeting a…

By Rita YeldaWhat will it take for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to come out with an unequivocal stand against fracking before New York suffers the dismal fate of Pennsylvania and other states that have let the gas industry frack with abandon? While maintaining New York’s current moratorium is important, banning fracking in New York is the only way to protect our air and water fr…

Editorials

The proposed 2014 budget presented by Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz appears – on first glance, at least – to combine toughness, opportunity and an understanding of what county residents want from their government.The $1.39 billion spending plan is 1.1 percent higher than this year’s budget but would cause no increase in the property tax rate. Some property …

Build a privacy wall behind Snyder hotelI am a resident of the Town of Amherst, but not Snyder. I do not know the neighbors involved in the matter, and I have no connection with Iskalo Development. I would like to suggest a compromise.Iskalo should be forced to build a privacy wall the height of the motel. Since it did get many variances from the town, one more should be n…

New technology reveals truths about the unbornIt was amusing to read the Oct. 12 letter, “Pro-lifers need to stop forcing beliefs on others.” The writer, a physician, utilizes the pro-choice semantical magical wand to change the nature of a thing. Does he know that in Latin, “fetus” means “young one” or “offspring,” a category that can be used quite far int…

President must not give in to extremistsPresident Obama must not give in to the tea party extremists, who have not respected him as president since the day he took office. And not just because of the shutdown or the debt ceiling. If the president caves in and allows a law – the Affordable Care Act, which has been legally enacted in a process defined for 200-plus years by…

Nobody is a winner if we default on debtThe discussion of the nation’s debt ceiling and talk of a potential default on U.S. debt obligations is not just an issue for Wall Street. In fact, it will have serious implications for those of us on Main Street. As a community banker in Little Valley, I am keenly aware of how changes in interest rates and cost of capital affect l…

Some parents and teachers in Poughkeepsie apparently aren’t familiar with the concept of a town hall meeting, which allows a free exchange of often-controverisal ideas. That’s exactly what didn’t happen when many of them disrupted a meeting with State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. over what they believe is the overtesting of their children.The newly impleme…

Praise goes to Pope Francis for his refreshingly humble and warm-hearted remarks about treating gay people as children of God. What a breath of fresh air. How inspiring to Catholics such as me. I am the mother of a married gay son with two children. It has pained me greatly to hear the constant drumbeat of demeaning words for my beloved family from the leaders of the Catho…

Officials should pay for own health careAmidst the struggle between both the Democrats and Republicans and the new health care law, it’s become clear that both the House of Representatives and the Senate are occupied by part-time workers who should be denied health care. Given the weeks of vacation they take each year and then the time spent campaigning, they are not ful…

Farmers work carefully to protect environmentRecent media articles have focused on concerns about blue green algae events and other water body pollution. The insinuation seems to be that agriculture plays a large role. When a study was done several years ago of the Buffalo Creek watershed that my farm is in, the greatest pollution culprit was out-of-date sewer systems.Farm…