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Editorial: a gently used hovercraft; a foxy coyote; and stacking the ... cups?

Anybody need a hovercraft? You might be able to get one cheap from the people who bought one seven years ago.

The people were officials of the Town of Cheektowaga who, caving to their inner James Bond, decided they just had to have a hovercraft – a groovy gadget that could travel on land, water, mud or ice. $70,000 later, they had one.

And never got much use from it.

The amphibious craft – that sounds so cool – got about 31 hours of use. The Secret Service used it in 2010 to search the drainage system below Buffalo Niagara International Airport when President Obama visited. Super keen.

But the town couldn’t find a good place to launch its whiz-bang wonder, and now it can hardly give the craft away. It’s still trying to find a buyer.

To be clear, there is absolutely no reason – none at all – to think the town also has unused jet packs it wants to unload.

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Did you hear the one about the coyote who loves newspapers? Earlier this year, a deliverer in San Francisco was getting complaints that he hadn’t delivered papers he knew he had dropped off. With a little sleuthing, he discovered the thief: an urban coyote that was swiping newspapers from doorsteps and then playing with them: “tossing the paper up in the air, sliding down the hillside on it, and running around with pages flapping from her mouth,” according to Mother Nature Network.

He solved the problem by giving the critter its own subscription, thus putting an end to her intolerable assault on the First Amendment. And there’s a lesson for Western New Yorkers who have had to get used to unusual animal encounters: Be kind to wildlife; keep two subscriptions to the newspaper. Just a thought.

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Given the existence of far stranger sports – wife-carrying, toe-wrestling and extreme ironing, to name just a few – perhaps it’s not so surprising that cup-stacking is a thing. And area residents can be proud that 15-year-old Michael Vanner of East Aurora is one of the best. He’s competing this weekend in the AAU Junior Olympic Games, to which we can only say good luck – and down the hatch.

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