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Editorial: Bits and pieces from the news

Not every family can afford bicycles for their children. So Recycle-A-Bicycle has stepped in to fill the void.

As reported in The News, 20 sixth-grade students at International School 45 on the West Side have been spending five days a week after school upgrading and personalizing donated bikes. Sponsor GObike Buffalo gives the kids helmets, locks, lights and lessons on safety and rules of the road.

It’s a worthwhile program that needs more sponsors to enable it to expand from its 15 locations, including 10 city schools. Potential donors should consider the upside of helping to foster responsible lifelong bicyclists. If nothing else, consider the smiles.

Signs that spring has sprung: the ice boom is long gone, the Buffalo Bisons have played their opening game at Coca-Cola Field, couples are walking in the sunshine along the boardwalk at Canalside and bicycles are being digitally checked out from the Reddy Bikeshare racks dotting city streets.

Buffalo Pedal Tours, described by our own Mary Kunz Goldman as a “happy hour on wheels,” can’t be far behind. We can almost hear them now. Cheers!

The nation’s Founding Fathers, bless them, knew a thing or two about good and evil and the impulses of human nature. Without their foresight, Americans would have lost many of their rights long ago, as elected officeholders maneuver to protect their own interests at the expense of the public they are elected to serve.

It happens periodically, and it’s happening again right now in Texas, where a committee of the state House is considering two bills specifically designed to erode press freedom. One bill attacks the reporter’s shield law, while the other seeks to undo long-standing precedents that require public figures who sue for defamation to prove that false information was disseminated with “actual malice.”

Both these laws protect the ability of the news media to perform the essential job that the founders envisioned when they guaranteed – not suggested, but guaranteed – freedom of the press in the Bill of Rights.

Democracy requires a free and active press. For what good and patriotic reason would a politician want to undermine that guarantee? Thanks to the First Amendment, Texas’ likelihood of success is dramatically and appropriately reduced.

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