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Where we stand . . .

Over the last week, the editorial board of The Buffalo News met with policy-makers and leaders and researched, analyzed and debated issues affecting this community. Here's a summary of the week's editorials:

Sunday: The day known to Catholics as "Passion Sunday" marked the start of parish appeal week for Appeal 2010, this year's chapter in the annual Catholic Charities/Bishop's Fund drive. Our editorial urged support of that effort, examining the wide range of programs offered without regard to recipients' religion and especially noting the fund drive's high ratings for efficiently putting donations to use on needed services.

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Monday: The families of Flight 3407 victims won a major victory in Congress, and our lead editorial applauded Senate passage of new air-safety rules. Requirements for more co-pilot training hours and more Federal Aviation Administration attention to National Transportation Safety Board recommendations will help air travelers. A second editorial approved new state health care proxy rules, but urged readers to make their own decisions known.

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Tuesday: Given the depth of New York's fiscal crisis, pain is inevitable for school districts facing cuts in financial aid. Wise districts are acting already to minimize the damage, we noted in the top editorial. A second editorial voiced support for the Federal Communications Commission's plan for universal broadband Internet access, but cautioned that much will depend on the details.

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Wednesday: The day's top editorial waded into sugary beverages, or at least into the issue of a proposed penny-per-ounce state excise tax. New York needs the revenue to avoid deeper health care cuts, but we still would be reluctant to support a new tax if it weren't for the health and anti-obesity impacts this one could have. Our second editorial acknowledged that Buffalo may have to wait for state aid on returning traffic to more of Main Street, but urged government to stay behind that goal.

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Thursday: With the health care reform bill signed into law, the day's lead editorial paused to take a look at some of its provisions and to highlight its uncertain future -- one of legislative cleanup, courts, regulation-writing and elections. That look ahead was paired with a shorter editorial looking back at the arm-twisting and a legacy of rancor and hyperpartisanship.

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Friday: Local Assemblyman Sam Hoyt touched off a firestorm of union criticism with a letter asking the state's top teachers union to help ease the fiscal crisis by agreeing to a wage freeze. Our top editorial contended that teachers owe this serious consideration because the taxpayers who pay their salaries haven't been spared fiscal pain in this recession, and the alternative is teacher layoffs. A second editorial said the debate over village government dissolutions is needed and is right where it belongs -- at the village and town level.

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Saturday: The day's editorial applauded Google for walking out -- virtually speaking -- on China, because of that government's censorship demands. That took courage, considering the size of the China market, but it reflects both the free nature of the Internet and a willingness to put principle before profit.

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