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By Julie MarletteIn just a few short weeks, another school year will begin, but this year will start off differently. As students enter their classrooms, their teachers, principals and district leaders will be armed with a new tool for the new year: the first results from state assessments that are aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards.We can now confirm what man…

It is easy to understand why New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is upset that the police stop-and-frisk policy has been declared unconstitutional, and easy, too, to understand his concern for the impact on crime in the city.What is more difficult, though, is understanding how anyone – especially a mayor – could delude himself into believing that a policy disproporti…

Even Mitt Romney thinks Republicans have gone too far.The former Republican presidential nominee found himself at center stage for the first time in such a public manner since his November election loss to President Obama.He addressed more than 200 donors at a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party. The media got a peek at his prepared remarks – since gone vir…

Outside factors key to success in schoolBuffalo schools have plenty of room for improvement, there’s no question about that. But recent comments by Commissioner of Education John B. King Jr. are off-target. I’m not connected to the district in any way, but I pay attention. King claims Buffalo educational leaders say students impacted by poverty or language barriers can…

NFTA should invest in current employeesThe Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is replacing worn-out buses, which is a very good thing. It is also investing in new computer software in all departments and creating a new position that will pay between $95,000 and $140,000 per year plus benefits to an individual who will coordinate all this new technology.However, des…

Health care data does not accurately reflect careIn a recent News article, a report card puts the region’s hospitals near “average.” It’s important for the public to know that the data used to arrive at the Niagara Health Quality Coalition’s (NHQC) star ratings is nearly two years old. While we don’t dispute the data for the time period under review, we think h…

I retired last month after serving 36 years in public education in New York State. I think I surprised my friends, relatives and colleagues.I made up my mind about five months before I actually retired, and once word leaked out, I was constantly asked – usually several times a day by well-meaning colleagues – “are you counting down the days?” I wasn’t until it go…

Oprah’s ego outweighs the price of a handbagOne of the most powerful and richest women in the world is offended because a shop girl in a foreign country didn’t recognize her as such. This, of course, is racist. Really? I wonder if Oprah ever considered that the shop girl legitimately thought the hand bag was out of Oprah’s price range. Could it be that Oprah was dres…

Train firefighters to handle medical services emergenciesThe City of Buffalo should consider training selected firefighters as paramedics with the goal of at least one paramedic on board every unit responding to an emergency medical services call. An appropriate salary differential should induce sufficient personnel to volunteer for the requisite training. Since in many ca…

By Judith A. ManessAs I watch the news, it is becoming ever more disturbing to see the decisions that today’s youth are making, specifically young girls. Risky behaviors, bullying, self-objectification and fighting are growing among girls.Girl Scouting can offer young girls a model for action, with experiences and achievement they need to counterbalance the negative infl…

The problem, it is clear, comes down to the question of competence and, more specifically, the lack of it. The leadership of the Buffalo School District needs to be spoon-fed in order to accomplish required tasks that other big districts manage to complete on their own – and even with that help, Buffalo comes up short.Something has to change.This week’s failures center…

America is headed for economic chaosIn 1975, our politicians decided to win votes by creating jobs using economic stimulus handouts. Their accomplice has been our Federal Reserve. The handouts have included easy federal debt, easy bank loan debt, easy printed money, easy tax credits and easy student loan debt.Our politicians and Federal Reserve claim that economic stimulus…

I live on Ardmore Place. Ardmore is a little one-block street on Buffalo’s West Side. Until recently, it was unknown to most. Lately, our little street has received a lot of publicity. You may have read about Ardmore in the newspaper or seen feature stories on your local news stations. Crews removing asphalt unearthed the original brick pavement laid over 100 years ago. …

Congress must repair the Voting Rights ActAs the summer heat began to build in Washington D.C., the U.S. Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision that gutted key components of the monumental Voting Rights Act of 1965. The decision in the case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been ef…

Investment will help grow an industry hereIn July, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the award of $4.5 million in Buffalo Billion dollars to create a unique visual effects/post-production/animation “hub” in Buffalo’s Tri-Main Center. Facilitating a joint initiative between Daemen College and a new post-production company, Empire Visual Effects, this funding is proof that a…