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By William T. Gettman Jr. It’s heartening to see that for the first time in years, reports of opioid overdoses declined in Buffalo. However, in Western New York, opioids continue to force large numbers of children into foster care and we don’t have enough families to care for them. This trend is consistent with a recent Brookings Institution report. This situation is de…

Perhaps you can’t put a price tag on the value of restoring the Hotel Niagara to new iterations of its past glory, but the tax breaks the developer is requesting seem like a worthy down payment. Brine Wells Development is seeking a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes arrangement from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency. The company is also asking for an exempt…

By Deborah Kelly Kloepfer Having taught college writing for decades, I have become aware of a disturbing trend obvious in my recent classes of freshmen, who are pathologically attached to their cellphones. Their lives are defined by 3-by-5-inch screens displaying photos and memes and text messages fraught with abbreviations, acronyms, misspellings and emoji, a grammatic…

By Karen Andolina Scott June 20 is World Refugee Day, when we celebrate the many contributions of refugees to the societies where they were given sanctuary. Google, video games, Sriracha hot sauce, the theory of relativity – all contributions made in whole or in part by refugees. While the future of the U.S. refugee resettlement program remains in flux and a hot topic o…

Columns

Back when state Comptroller Carl McCall was running for governor in 2002, he used to joke about treading carefully through the land mines of Erie County’s Democratic politics. “I have to make five different stops every time I come to Erie County, so one or another warring faction doesn’t get offended,” he said back then. They were the “glory days” for the Politics Co…

Editorials

Firing Earl L. Jann Jr. was the smartest thing the Erie County Water Authority has done in years, but it’s only a start. It’s time to put the Erie County Water Authority out of its misery – and of everyone else’s, too. This grossly underhanded agency needs to be dissolved in favor of a county department and, happily enough, state law lays out a process for doing it. It …

How far have we fallen? In light of the juvenile video President Trump made for Kim Jong Un, one must ask: Is this pathetic offering the best our president can do to bring North Korea to the bargaining table? Fifty-five years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a speech at American University so compelling that it brought the Soviet Union to the bargaining table, resulting…

It’s about time someone called out Democratic leaders.There are thousands of Democrats in our county and millions more nationally who have lost faith in the leadership of their local and national party. Hence, a Republican Senate, House and president.It’s time to remember the core values of the Democratic Party. Values that protect the rights of the less fortunate. Values …

I would like to commend The Buffalo News for its continued support of the Editorial Cartoon Contest.At a time when the entire newspaper industry has had to make cutbacks, it’s encouraging that The News still considers this contest an important and worthwhile event.As a teacher of one of this year’s contest winners, I had the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony held a…

Can we continue to accept what is happening to people at our Southern border? Where are the voices of those who freely attend the church of their choice, shop where they choose, place food on their table every day and experience so many other freedoms?I can’t imagine the pain of those mothers who are seeking asylum to protect their children from violence. They arrive in th…

In my skiing days, we slalomed down the slopes. Today, we need to slalom on Buffalo streets to avoid potholes. Cars often swerve from one lane to another and, I would assume, this has led to more accidents. It is almost impossible to see cars move in a straight line, thereby endangering all of us.Any solution in the works?Ginger B. MaimanBuffalo

The Catholic Charities appeal had been at risk of falling way short of its goal. I believe much of this has to do with people taking their anger about pedophile priests out on this valuable nonsectarian counseling agency. It is important to know that the Catholic Church and the Catholic Charities of Buffalo are two separate entities.No one would argue that the sexual abuse…

Editorials

It’s all fun and games until someone sets himself on fire. The Buffalo Bills last week announced new steps aimed at cutting down on the knucklehead behavior shown by some of the team’s customers, whose alcohol-fueled antics can turn game-day tailgating into ghastly adventures in babysitting. The team is raising the price by $40 for buses parking in the bus lot at New…

So, there are professional courtesies and then there are “professional courtesies.” Good for the unnamed Hamburg cop who understood the difference. According to a police report, Erie County jail deputy Raymond J. Pollak, 57, of Orchard Park was ticketed for shoplifting from the Walmart on Southwestern Boulevard. According to the report, he took a knife from a shelf and …