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Niagara Falls needed a way around a crackpot City Council that blocks downtown tourist development, and maybe two new ideas will help.On Thursday, city and state officials announced a joint project to help provide tourists with reasons to stay longer than it takes to marvel at the falls. Together, they are funding $40 million in public incentives as part of a competition c…

Brown has no clue how to fix schoolsSuperintendent Pamela Brown has crossed the line. In a failing school district, Brown adds more and more administrators, and their related expenses, to do what – improve the district? That’s not going to happen. She also wants to pay her administrators at wages that are competitive with other local districts. Has she forgotten about the …

By William T. Gettman Jr.The heartbreaking life and death of 5-year-old Eain Brooks, detailed in The Buffalo News, is a sobering reminder that good intentions – and a system designed to protect vulnerable children – cannot always prevent tragedy.During his brief life, Eain was the subject of calls to the state’s child abuse hotline and investigations by the Erie County chi…

Mother shares blame for boy’s tragic deathBesides the fact that Child Protective Services took no action regarding the abuse reports for Eain Brooks, I am just as shocked that I am not hearing anything about the mother. She should be charged with the same crimes as her live-in boyfriend. Don’t tell me that she knew nothing. She may not have been at home the night of the ki…

Accountability needed in death of 5-year-oldI didn’t need to see the burns on little Eain Brooks’ cheek to confirm my heartbreak and outrage at this tragic story.The focal point of this investigation is centered on the culpability of Child Protective Services for allowing this case to slip through the cracks. The person or persons involved must be held accountable, as we h…

Tea party is afraid Obamacare will workWhy would the Republican House shut down the U.S. government and lay off 800,000 government workers and then refuse to pay the nation’s debt – debt that has already been racked up – and risk a recession (or depression) across the nation and perhaps the world? Why would these tea party members use extortion to thrust their country onto…

Republicans need to put country firstFor once I agreed with a Michael Ramirez editorial cartoon in The News. In the Sept. 29 issue, he states that the president will negotiate with Iran, North Korea and Syria, but not with the Republicans, “who are a threat to our nation.” Ramirez finally got it right. In fact, my brother and his wife (lifelong Republicans) recently change…

Inch by inch, the historic Richardson Olmsted Complex is coming back to life. Only a few years ago, this architectural treasure was crumbling into ruins at the hands of a neglectful state. Today, a chastened state government is funding the renewal of one of Buffalo’s gems, and last week the public was invited to have a look.The event was the public unveiling of the re-land…

Matos is one of the best in Western New YorkI am a retired teacher/coach who worked in Buffalo schools for 32 years. I am also one of Coach Deborah Matos’ mentors. Matos is a master teacher. She is prepared, involved, committed, current and far and away one of the best teachers in Western New York. She individualizes her lessons to meet the needs of all students.It is sadl…

If you’re like most parents, you don’t look forward to the day that your child first tries marijuana. But I do. My daughter Anna is not like most 8-year-olds. Before her first birthday, she was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, an intractable form of epilepsy, and after years of battling the condition together we think medical marijuana may be one of our last hopes to allevi…

Coach’s treatment is certainly not ‘abusive’I am a board-certified emergency medicine physician. I am trained to look for signs of physical and emotional abuse. I am legally responsible for reporting my suspicions to police or child/adult protective services. I am trained to treat injuries of abuse, both physical and psychological. I find it extraordinarily irresponsible t…

We must act to stop these gun tragediesBill Maher said on his HBO show: “America is the gun country!” Because of this, I think, it will be a long, hard road to adequate gun-control laws. The Navy shipyard shooting was perpetrated by a sick individual who spent endless hours mowing down “virtual people” with a “gun” in violent computer games. Is it such a leap to conclude i…

How could workers ignore big red flags?I am saddened by the alleged murder of little Eain Brooks by his mother’s boyfriend, and wish to express my condolences to his family. However, I am appalled that red flags were ignored by the Erie County Department of Social Services and the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse.Is it not abuse to stick a child’s head in the…

Extend visa program to aid Iraqi translatorsWith nearly 17,000 spots remaining, the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa program expired on Sept. 30, removing the opportunity for Iraqi citizens who worked as translators to move to the United States in appreciation of service to our military during the Iraq War.While it is common knowledge that Buffalo is home to many refugees, the…

Some food for thought on government shutdownImagine a situation in which polls show most Americans want a change to current law that could have an impact on their health, but the Senate refuses to act. Brave members of Congress, respecting the public’s desire for action, attach the issue to a routine budget bill and threaten to shut down the government and throw the countr…