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Clarence could use a balanced approachThis solution for the Clarence schools financial problems proposed by Roger Showalter might work if approached slowly. Many years ago, I worked as a music teacher in a private school where 33 out of 22 teachers were replaced in a period of three years. It was disastrous! The children became extremely anxious, asking me each June, “A…

By Anthony GrassoConstruction work nearly took my life. Now, insurance companies and corporate interests want to weaken safety laws in place to protect workers like me.Two years ago, I was working on a commercial building in Buffalo. I stepped on what I thought was plywood, but turned out to be flimsy particleboard. I fell through it almost headfirst and went down 14 feet,…

By Dennis J. BrawdyAs a vegetable grower and member of the Eden Valley Growers Cooperative, I took exception to what was stated in the editorial promoting the Farmworker Fair Practices Act, sponsored by Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo.Stating the law would affect only “big business” is not true. Our cooperative, which ships 600,000 cases of produce seasonally, is all famil…

Church doctrine changes along with the timesA recent letter that criticized pro-choice Catholics spoke about Catholic Church doctrine as if it was a static set of absolute rulings that have remained unchanged since the beginning of time. Nothing could be further from the truth!Church doctrine is a continually evolving (some say not fast enough) 2000-year progression of und…

Focus on teacher wages entirely misses the pointAt the same time taxpayers were rejecting the school budget in Clarence, we also find out that Apple has legally not paid billions of dollars in taxes that could have gone to support, among other things, education in our country. But instead, we myopically focus on teacher wages and benefits, preferring to go after the workin…

Editorials

It should have been surprising when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would require 60 votes for his house of Congress to approve immigration reform. After all, the Constitution requires only a majority of votes in each chamber of Congress to pass legislation.That it wasn’t surprising opens a window on how far Congress has strayed from the form of …

Fairness for farmworkers has been long overdueIt is time for all New Yorkers to think about the food they eat and the nutritional produce that they and their families too often take for granted. The farmworkers who tend and harvest these crops have long suffered and toiled without fundamental protections, protections that most of us take for granted. Their plight is so ba…

President Obama is taking a prudent step in deciding to send military support to Syrian rebels after a two-month investigation produced near certainty that the regime of President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons in its fight for survival. Nevertheless, no one should doubt the significant risks to the Middle East and potentially the United States as this country lend…

By Gary A. OlsonThere are a number of reasons to support Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s recently announced “Tax-Free New York” program as a catalyst to stimulate the connection between public and private institutions of higher education and new jobs and businesses in New York.The governor’s bold measure to grant tax relief to startups, and to outside businesses that partne…

Patriot Act is used to infringe on our rightsGovernment snooping on millions of United States citizens by collection of Verizon communications metadata, Associated Press professional/personal phone records and server information from Internet giants like Google is outrageous.While the president speaks soothing words, we sink into repression with government knowing our rela…

Students’ prom will be a night they rememberHats off to the parents who organized the BOCES special education prom. This was a special night for the special education students who may not have had the opportunity somewhere else. That is, to enjoy a prom of their own while interacting with their social skills as other high school students do. The parents should be commend…

State money is misspent on Buffalo Public SchoolsThe continued failure of the Buffalo Public Schools to turn out educated and functional youth is an ongoing problem, compounded by often disruptive home lives, fathers missing from the home, inadequate nutrition and mothers living in poverty. This feeds the depressing statistic showing that half of our publicly educated stud…

Clarence tax base plays a large roleIn reading the articles and letters in regard to the recent Clarence school budget vote, there has been no mention of the Clarence tax base. The cost of schools is only one side of the equation. The other side is how that cost is divided between the properties in the school district. For many years the citizens in the Clarence School Dis…

Church should join the 21st centuryIf Bishop Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo wishes to politicize and strong-arm the laity from the pulpit of Catholic churches, then let the church relinquish its tax-exempt status.This past Sunday’s edict from the bishop, read from the pulpit to parishioners, urged political action against Governor Cuomo’s rights for women bill. At is…

Not everyone in Clarence is a wealthy residentI am tired of reading about the “McMansions” in Clarence full of wealthy people willing to pay any amount proposed to fund our “great schools.” An overwhelming majority of Clarence voters resoundingly said “no” to this concept. Most residents do not own luxury homes or earn hundreds of thousands of dollars. Clarence…