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Editorial: Volunteers who make a difference here and an attorney general who gets it wrong

Two recent News articles serve as a reminder why volunteerism and giving back to the community is such a critical dynamic. One story described how Dennis Roberson, a waiter from Tennessee, got his vision back thanks to an Amherst ophthalmologist’s foundation and a Cheektowaga surgeon.

Dr. Kenneth Anthone’s nonprofit Eyes on America launched in 2009. Board member Dr. Ephraim Atwal performed cataract surgery on Roberson, who is uninsured, free of charge at Atwal Eye Care in Cheektowaga.

At the end of the surgery Roberson, 46, and a father of four, “could see.”

Daisy Estelle Anderson would be fascinated to learn how the procedure was done and the manner in which these doctors give back to their local and national community. At 95, Anderson is a lifelong learner and community-giver. She is also a mother of four who has been named the national Volunteer of the Year by Catholic Charities USA “for her work giving mothers and newborns a start,” as The News reported.

Anderson has volunteered with Ladies of Charity for about 20 years, working with others assembling baby layettes for new mothers. Defining the word “tireless,” she has “touched the lives of 10,000 people over the years” through her volunteer efforts.

Both stories serve as inspiration for learning and giving.

With all due respect to the nation’s attorney general, we’re not sure what he is thinking about when he declared New York City to be soft on crime.

The Justice Department led by Jeff Sessions threatened to withhold millions of dollars in grants from the New York Police Department, saying in a news release that the city “continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s ‘soft on crime’ stance.”

Not only the city’s Democratic mayor, Bill de Blasio, but its police commissioner, James O’Neill, blasted the Justice Department, and for good reason. New York is among the nation’s safest big cities, with crime rates that have been falling since the 1990s.

The criticism was wrapped up in the Trump administration’s opposition to “sanctuary cities,” which is its own complicated subject. Those differences are fine, but don’t insult a great city where crime isn’t among the big problems.

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