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Jodie Foster was 10 years old in 1972. She was already a seasoned actress. She started playing roles in commercials and episodic television at the grand old age of 7 ("The Doris Day Show"). Nevertheless, "Napoleon and Samantha" was her first starring role in a theatrical movie. She co-starred with Michael Douglas and Johnny Whitaker in the Disney animal tale of a couple…

Columns

In nine years of classes at Our Lady of Hope Home School in Buffalo, Kayla Hall never missed a single day. Her mother, Tabetha Hall, remembers only one close call. In kindergarten, Kayla went to the dentist and had a tooth pulled. When Tabetha offered the option of going home to rest, Kayla preferred to go to school. "She wanted to be there," Tabetha said, a commitment …

Buffalo

What difference will it really make if Buffalo moves its school board elections from May to November, as a broad community coalition proposes? Research from California, where nearly all school elections already are held in November, suggests it could matter a great deal in some years – or not much in others – depending on which November you’re talking about. And it could…

Local News

Marie Barnett Snodgrass apologized in advance. The Flag Day decision that made her a living part of American history occurred 75 years ago this week, when Snodgrass, now 85, was just a little girl. "Your memory can get kind of dim," she said. There was no need to worry. When she spoke of those days – and the role a U.S. Supreme Court justice from Chautauqua County pl…

Weather

My last article focused on the best way to measure heat discomfort, comparing dew point and relative humidity. Let’s go past the comfort issue and move on to heat illness. Nationally, heat is one of the leading weather-related killers, with hundreds of victims annually. Fortunately, Western New York experiences fewer episodes of dangerous heat than most other parts of t…

Gusto

His story is not unlike that of countless other music-obsessives of a certain age. In the early 1970s, as a wee brat, Greg Sterlace heard the Beatles, and his world changed, his imagination expanded, and in many ways, his future course was set. Several decades after that first brush with the Beatles, Sterlace is the author of two books about the band – "The Beatles: Hav…

Columns

On June 13, 2008, I was on a golf course when my phone rang. It was my daughter asking, "Did you hear about Tim Russert?" Then she said the unimaginable: Russert was dead at 58. The shocking death of the South Buffalo legend remains one of those "I remember where I was" moments. A decade later, it is time to reflect on what Russert meant to Buffalo and what it mig…

Columns

The latest encounter burning up Facebook happened at Walmart in North Tonawanda. A mom was shopping when two strange women invited her to come outside with them for a free Bible. When she declined, they followed her around the store without buying anything. She was “saved” by a friend who walked her out to her car and waited until she, her family and her groceries were loc…

It's Bruce Springsteen I feel sorry for, not the president of the United States. The president's way of courting hostility is known everywhere -- along with his success in doing so. So when Robert De Niro took the stage on Sunday evening's Tony Awards on CBS and dropped a couple of F-bombs on Trump while the president and Dennis Rodman were otherwise occupied courting N…

Weather

It’s not a matter of “You like tomato and I like tomahto" from “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” Dew point and humidity are not identical. They are both used to measure moisture content in the air, and they are both very useful and accurate. But when it comes to measuring human comfort as we more frequently encounter sticky conditions in the summer, dew point is more accur…

Columns

WASHINGTON – Rudy Giuliani has become a rocket that keeps on sputtering – now on a worldwide trajectory. In Israel last week, the former mayor of New York questioned the morals of Stormy Daniels, President Trump’s putative porn star girlfriend of 2006. Back home in New York, Giuliani claimed to know the heart and mind of the president’s wife, the reclusive Melania Trump…

Buffalo

The way Fidele Menavanza saw it, he had one choice. About four years ago, he and his wife Liliane, a skilled seamstress, returned to their West Side home in Buffalo to discover someone had broken in and ransacked the place. Liliane's jewelry was gone, including some beloved heirlooms. The thieves had taken Fidele's laptop, which included research papers and family ph…

Buffalo

This week's wave of American reflection about the life and death of Robert F. Kennedy caused Patty Wolfangle to go to her jewelry box  in Colorado, where she gently picked up a tie clip in the shape of a World War II PT boat. For Patty and her husband Glenn, it is an intimate symbol of their wedding day in Buffalo, of a moment just after they said their vows when Kenned…

Gusto

Anthony Bourdain was a lot of things to the millions his life and works influenced. He was an ambassador to foreign lands and under-appreciated America, spending so many years with his viewers that he felt almost like family, that uncle who travels for work. He backed authors for a line of books, and wrote his own, starting with the memoir “Kitchen Confidential,” a culi…

Columns

On one side of the argument, we've got Roseanne Barr who was just thrown off the ABC network for racist tweets that all the atom-smashing sitcom ratings in the world couldn't fix. It's her pre-Trump self that caused the greatest trouble of her early career. On the other side, we have the president of the United States who wants nothing but institutionalized contempt for…