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Short Skyway commute isn’t worth the high costI couldn’t care less that Hamburg residents want to keep the Skyway so that a minute or two is not added to their commute to Buffalo. Sen. Mark Grisanti shouldn’t care either. Buffalo citizens already gave Hamburg commuters 80 more acres of land for their superhighway Route 5 than would have been required for the boulevard alte…

IRS should apologize to the American publicPrior to the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012 and the midterm congressional elections of 2010, legislators and the media were concerned with the rights of voters, specifically the disenfranchised voter. I believe those elections were a fraud.Congress is investigating the Internal Revenue Service. Certain conservative and re…

GEICO Corp. has been good for Western New York, and it just keeps getting better. Think back to December 2003, when the company announced its entrée into this area. The goal a decade ago was to create a regional headquarters and hire at least 650 employees in the first three years, and employ 1,800 by 2012.Despite a disastrous economic downturn, GEICO has far exceeded its …

I stepped onto the plane in Fort Myers, Fla., my tears barely dry. I had been dreading this moment ever since New Year’s Day, when I found out my sister was moving away. I could sense that something was amiss when I joined our family gathering at our parents’ house. Dad immediately took me into his bedroom and closed the door.“Your sister bought a house in Florida,” he sai…

By Maureen A. HardingRecently, Texas Gov. Rick Perry came to poach New York State jobs. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo responded that his own Tax-Free New York is far superior.In 2012, New York State ranked third for gross domestic product and ranked fourth-highest in per capita income, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The two economic indicators are lost on critics com…

Editorials

The American calendar is sprinkled with dates that are fused with the country’s history and its self-image. Independence Day, barely two weeks away, is one of those. So are Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Labor Day and the birth dates of great leaders such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.So is today another landmark – Juneteenth, a date that acknowledges one of the mo…

Editorials

In life, there are turning points – opportunities to embark on new and more productive paths. We can choose to take those paths or not, but if no one is paying attention, the opportunity may not even be recognized. Niagara Falls is at one of those crossroads today. Its leaders need to see it and to act on it.The big news in the past week is that the State of New York and t…

At age 65, I discovered that my kidneys were failing. I have been on hemodialysis for five years. This has not been a pleasant five years, but there is much I have learned during this period. I have learned that it is extremely important to select the right doctor. My first nephrologist on my first appointment talked into a recording device and did not address me at all. H…

News’ stand on Holder is a pleasant surpriseI am glad, no, let’s make that overjoyed, to see The News has declared Eric Holder unfit to hold the office of attorney general. My question is, why did it take so long?I would have thought his refusal in 2009 to prosecute a group charged with intimidating voters in Philadelphia would have been sufficient cause. Or any of the str…

Farmworker bill harms local farmsIt was with great frustration that I read The News editorial expressing support for the farm labor bill that could decimate New York agriculture as we know it. The bill would mandate many things, including overtime beyond eight hours and collective bargaining. We are farms, not factories, and are entirely weather dependent. With the rain w…

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has proposed an economic development initiative that might be very useful in helping to improve the county’s economy – or not. Some of the proposals, while certainly worth pursuing, are largely unmeasurable, meaning their impact will be difficult to determine.Nevertheless, they amount to an appropriate, if preliminary, expenditure of…

Women’s bar group seems to show a gender biasMy eyebrows were raised when reviewing the Western New York Chapter of the State Women’s Bar Association’s ratings of candidates for Erie County Family Court. Of four candidates, the two female candidates received highly qualified recommendations while the two male candidates received only qualified recommendations.I can’t speak…

Good schools are not always denoted on a listThe lists are out again, the list of the best elementary, middle and high schools in Western New York. The schools, districts and teachers that accomplished the illustrious lofty top 10 ranking celebrate the news. Parents buzz about their school’s place on the list. School administrators wonder how to move up in the ranks, to ge…

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, “Are…