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Ramirez’s cartoon stoops to a new lowMichael Ramirez’s caricature on Thanksgiving of a Pilgrim thankful he doesn’t have the Affordable Care Act, pejoratively called “Obamacare,” (I have “Johnsoncare” myself) reached a new low in his usual vitriol. Never mind that 50 percent of Pilgrims died the first winter. Does he infer that death is preferable to health insurance? The p…

Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, New York State Police are mounting a heightened campaign against texting drivers. That’s heightened in the literal sense: Troopers are being equipped with 32 tall, unmarked SUVs that make it easier to see if a driver, cellphone in his lap, is texting.It’s working. Drivers don’t even know when a trooper is watching them texti…

State must carefully craft mental health care planIt made the news recently when Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds was stabbed numerous times by his 24-year-old son, Gus, who then killed himself. Less than 24 hours before the family tragedy occurred, Gus had been turned away from a hospital in Virginia because there were no psychiatric beds available. Sadly, what happened t…

Local person should lead Buffalo Niagara tourismIn response to a recent News article written, shame on Buffalo for hiring someone from the hills of Virginia to run the Buffalo Niagara tourism agency. Why not hire someone who was born and raised here, who knows Buffalo and the Niagara region in and out, and all the unknown and interesting places in the region, not just the …

Abandon ‘Obamacare’ and restore free choiceDebate over the Affordable Care Act has divided this country like never before, but what about the law could possibly cause such a divide? Since its inception in 2009, the Affordable Care Act, frequently called “Obamacare,” has caused social upheaval, a government shutdown and a Supreme Court judicial review. But do Americans have…

By Theresa L. GrayHow do you know when a movement begins? It may be as simple as a Post-it Note.When students in the fifth grade read “Esperanza Rising,” a novel that examines the plight of Mexican farm workers as they struggle to adapt and survive in the United States, one teacher noticed that her students were so engaged that they loaded their texts with Post-it Notes. S…

Editorials

Increasing the number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents should be a matter of dollars and cents. More agents equal more sales.The more agents to question drivers and inspect vehicles, the faster the crossing times and the better we can attract Canadian visitors coming here to patronize our stores, concerts and sporting events.Simple. Right?But this is the Peace …

Don’t let Israelis, Saudis derail accord with IranIsrael and Saudi Arabia have denounced the tentative deal to freeze Iran’s nuclear program. Benjamin Netanyahu calls it a historic mistake. The Saudis, who financed Pakistan’s nuclear program and whose ruling royal family members supported Osama bin Laden, are deeply suspicious of the proposed agreement.If there has been a …

Why is post office hiding religious Christmas stamp?This isn’t about the SAFE Act, fracking or immigration. Instead, I write about the mailing I received recently from the U.S. Postal Service promoting its holiday stamps. I am the first to appreciate a desire for equality at the holidays and I welcome a promotion of all faiths and celebrations. “All” is the operative word …

WASHINGTON – In a random counterpoint to the grossness of our Black Friday urges, Pope Francis I is pleading with his bishops to come out of their mansions and side with the working poor.Francis’ appeal, part of an “exhortation” for spiritual renewal, contains the most passionate and detailed attack on the world’s “economic system,” meaning unrestrained capitalism, in Vati…

Raise public awareness to end domestic violenceDomestic violence affects people of any age, gender, race, socioeconomic class, education level and marital status. In 2012, there were more than 11,000 reported incidents of domestic violence in Erie County, with only one in seven cases being reported. Many calls to 911 are made by children calling on behalf of their mother. …

Board should reject Teach for AmericaOn Nov. 6, Katie Campos presented to the Buffalo Board of Education on using graduates from Teach for America to educate some of our most challenging children. TFA, a corporate-funded organization, recruits young and enthusiastic individuals to teach in poor urban schools, after being provided only brief training, sometimes limited to j…

It’s hard to blame prekindergarten teacher Sharon D. Perry Dunnigan for being concerned about the hygiene of some of her students. It’s an issue that requires attention. But it’s also a matter that demands care and sensitivity in handling, and Dunnigan could hardly have done a worse job of that.The veteran teacher at BUILD Academy, disturbed by an unknown number of childre…

By David ChiazzaMuch has been made of recent development projects across Buffalo Niagara that are creating jobs, driving economic growth and, in many cases, restoring properties to their former glory after years of neglect, along with a renewed emphasis on “smart growth.”That is what our firm has done throughout its history of developing projects that include the restorati…

Editorials

They’re getting nervous in Albany. Soon, the knives may come out.Leaders of the State Legislature and at least two law firms that employ lawmakers are suing to quash subpoenas seeking information on their outside income. They dress up their opposition in legal armor, but the truth is – at least in part – they just don’t want their constituents to know how they are making m…