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It seems to us: Change of heart in Texas, a boomer icon is back and applause for Judge Scott

President Obama this week promised fast help for Texas as it confronts disastrous flooding that is the worst in many people’s memories. At least 19 people have died in Texas, seven of them in the Houston area. More have perished in other states. Federal aid is the right thing to do, and Washington should move quickly.

It’s hard not to notice, though, that Gov. Greg Abbott has raised no objection to the assistance offered by the big, bad federal government. That wasn’t the case a few weeks ago when he climbed on the nutcase bandwagon, declaring that military exercises to take place in Texas might be the opening move of a federal invasion.

Even worse, perhaps, Sen. Ted Cruz – a presidential candidate – abetted the craziness. Predictably, while Cruz opposed federal efforts to aid victims of superstorm Sandy three years ago, he’s all for big government stepping in to help Texans.

OK, baby boomers, here’s a test: Who had 28 flavors of ice cream? Where did you beg your parents to stop on a long road trip? Who had the garish roof?

Right. Howard Johnson’s, the restaurant that, for some mysterious reason, made kids’ heart skip a beat in the back seat.

Now, one is coming back. A Lake George businessman, Jon LaRock, is reopening the country’s last orange-roofed Howard Johnson’s, hoping to attract nostalgic boomers traveling with their own kids – or, more likely at this late date, their grandchildren.

There were already many good reasons to visit the Adirondacks, but now, who can resist?

Another long-serving member of Buffalo’s federal judiciary is about to hang up his robes after a long and distinguished career. U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott is stepping down after 30 years on the bench.

Scott had a career of leading the way for other African-Americans into the judiciary, and set a goal of improving access to the courts. He is the first African-American to serve as a federal judge in Buffalo. He was also the first African-American to head the local office of the state attorney general, the first African-American to be an assistant U.S. attorney, assistant corporation counsel in Buffalo and assistant Erie County attorney.

Scott’s resume describes a career leveraged to its most useful proportions. He will continue to hear some cases, but on a more limited basis, and that’s fine. If he wants more time for himself and his family, he’s earned the right.