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Editorial: Bits and pieces from the news

Western New Yorkers are a giving lot. Just when reaching a successful conclusion of the Catholic Charities Appeal seemed in peril, the organization managed to exceed its $11 million goal with a total of $11,069,168, down only slightly from last year’s $11.1 million total.

The drive has met its target in 91 of its 93 years, with the exceptions during the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009.

Thanks, Western New York.

Blame it on Plan 2014.

Sure, Western New York was inundated by record rainfall on Thursday and, yes, floodwaters rose, making some roads impassable. Motorists had to be rescued. Buildings flooded. Children swam in the streets.

But just don’t go thinking that all happened because of the 2.29 inches of rain that fell in less than three hours. That was just coincidence, as Western New Yorkers have learned from the Collins-Cuomo Elucidation on Water that Rises.

Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo have declared that catastrophic flooding along Lake Ontario occurred not because of torrential rainfall this spring, but solely because of Plan 2014, a new, binational approach to managing the lake’s water levels. Never mind that flooding occurred downstream from Lake Ontario and along other Great Lakes, as well. That, too, was just a coincidence.


Further undermining the declining self-image of the human race, scientists in Sweden have now documented that ravens have complex reasoning skills that include self-control, advanced reasoning and planning.

Maybe we should put them in charge of health care reform, or elect them to the Buffalo School Board.

Then again, birds don’t often come to the rescue of humans. That generally works the other way around, as demonstrated last week in Buffalo when a police officer found an injured peregrine falcon fledgling on the ground near the corner of Pearl and Swan streets.

Franklin, as the bird was named, had suffered a broken shoulder and was taken to the SPCA, where he is undergoing a rehab program and being fed a diet of “gourmet mouse” and quail meat. His prognosis is uncertain but hopeful.

But here’s the thing: People don’t have to go to all that trouble. It’s work that takes time, effort and money. That people do speaks volumes of our better nature.

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