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The 3-year-old Haitian boy who was able to leave his earthquake-ravaged country last week for his adoptive parents in West Seneca got to meet a man who helped him get to the United States this morning. U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer met Geoffrey Lancer in the downtown Buffalo law office where his father, Michael, works. "This is what makes a job like this worthwhile, h…

As Toyota prepares to announce how it plans to address its problem of sticking accelerators, we want to know how Toyota owners in Western New York are handling the situation.Are you taking your vehicle off the road until you can get repairs made? How concerned are you for your safety?The auto maker will begin production again on Feb. 8, according to Reuters.NBC's Toda…

February's here, and it's starting off quickly. With one day before the National Transportation Safety Board meets to discuss their final report on the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407, check out today's front page story by Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski on text messages sent by the co-pilot. It's Super Bowl week down in Miami. See what Bills beat reporte…

The sign outside Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church reads, "We proclaim hope."That spiritual message could serve as a metaphor for a bricks-and-mortar plan now unfolding to save the 169-year-old congregation, in the imposing Romanesque edifice that has anchored the northeast corner of the Lafayette-Elmwood Avenue intersection since 1895.The plan would convert 21,000 squa…

   You get a whole different picture of how people feel about things when they don't have to tell you who they are.    That's partly what makes internet message boards and blogs both interesting and a little frightening. Unburdened by the need to hide behind politeness and civility, people can anonymously spew all kinds of hate.  …

Following a kindergartener through her first year of school was a way to find out what goes on in the classroom, how lofty legislation like No Child Left Behind affects 5- and 6-year-olds, how the budget that residents vote on provides construction paper and paper clips. It didn't quite go as planned, but we did learn a few things: You still clean your desk on the last day…

   I'm not sure how I feel about putting cameras at intersections to catch people not stopping at red lights. The concerns that opponents have about privacy and about this being nothing more than a money grab by revenue-starved municipalities are legitimate.    What I do know is that it strains credulity to believe that Buffalo is the place where s…

   Voters in West Seneca and Evans on Wednesday will decide whether to trim their town boards to three members, down from five.    If the measure passes, taxpayers will send a clear message to their elected officials, supporters say, and the people will begin to take back their government. Another plus: Taxes will go down.    Sure, taxes will …

     I probably was in the Oranges on the locker room side 90 percent of the times I went to the Aud for anything, but for some reason, on this night, I remember sitting lower and closer to the center.    Clay Schroeder took the shot at the basket to my left. I saw it go in and I cheered as loud as anyone.    I drive past the …

   Many local municipalities require that their employees be residents of their town or city. As taxpayer-supported positions, officials argue, these employees should have a vested interest in the communities they serve.    But while these rules are on the books, they aren't often enforced. This year marks the first year Amherst has actually termin…

   Write-in votes usually are wasted votes. That's why I was so interested in what happened last week in the Amherst School Board race.    As I wrote in my column today, two people whose names were not on the ballot won seats. It's hard enough to win an election, but to do it by getting people to forgo the ballot levers in favor of writing down a name on a piece of paper h…

   Jordan Maliken and his supporters lost one at the wire Tuesday.       State Education Commissioner Richard Mills decided he had to let a decision stand: Maliken, 20, who is diagnosed with mental retardation, cannot race with the track team during the final two weeks of his last year at Amherst High School.    Although stat…

   It seems like every year, someone is coming up with a new way to tell young people how to be better, safer drivers.    The latest example was far from planned. The parents of a woman who died in a crash on Easter morning agreed to have the car placed on the lawn at Eden High School.    Maybe it will have an impact. But as I wrote in my colu…

   They have been country cats, but soon you can call them mall rats, when the Erie County SPCA closes its Southtowns shelter and opens an adoption center in Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga.    A pilot program last fall at the mall was wildly successful, with 499 cats adopted in about four months. That's compared to 559 cats adopted in a year'…

   I wasn't really sure how community service worked until I talked to Clarence Justice Michael Powers about his idea to make it more Clarence-specific.    It turns out he didn't know a whole lot about it either, until he became a judge.    His idea, which was the subject of my column today, struck me as a decent idea. As he put…