State lawmakers promise that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s followup plan to the Buffalo Billion will be in for closer scrutiny than its first iteration. That’s fine. It’s even appropriate, given the circumstances – as long as it’s about how contracts are let and not whether the program should go forward. It must go forward if Buffalo and the state are to get maximum …

General Motors’ recent commitment to manufacturing in the United States, coupled with an earlier announcement affecting this region, are good news for factory workers, regardless of the political winds blowing. GM says it will spend $1 billion to expand vehicle production in the United States, allowing the company to add or keep 1,500 jobs. The announcement was act…

By Anthony Figliola This year, one of the most important legislative issues that will confront Albany legislators will be whether to approve a ballot proposition slated for Nov. 7 to hold a constitutional convention. On its face, a convention makes sense given the many issues that have stalled in Albany’s black hole of bureaucracy over the years. The problem with t…

Forget whether Rep. Chris Collins did anything legally or institutionally wrong regarding his relationship with Innate Immunotherapeutics. That’s not the point – at least, not yet – and, as his spokesman said, there can be perfectly legal explanations for his role in helping moneyed Western New Yorkers to capitalize on the company’s growth. Certainly, there are …

The closing of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus signals the end of an era. Many of us have happy childhood memories of the circus, with its elephants and big cats, aerialists and, especially, the clowns. That was before attitudes against animal acts began to harden. The elephants were phased out last year, and ticket sales have slumped. After standing t…

By Steve Barnhoorn On Nov. 8, as we watched the election returns come in, my mom was stunned by the results of one of the most unpredictable election cycles in American history – a Rust Belt revolt from working-class folks, displaced or threatened by free trade. It was a realignment election on par with Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1980. My family can identify with…

By Doug Routt As a young teen, I was vertically challenged yet more than adequate horizontally. Consequently, I decided upon a course of strength training and weight lifting. I knew from the back of comic books that if I didn’t want sand kicked in my face and my girlfriend (who was in a very demure single piece, black bathing suit) stolen, I would have to build my …

By Marge McMillen When I was a child, I could barely wait to reach the age of my elder cousin in the hopes that I, too, might possess her beauty and musical talent. But that would be an eternity. I mean, she was 12 and I was 8. Four long years later, I was disappointed to find I hadn’t reached that goal. I managed to get through puberty and most of my teens before …

March for Life promotes peaceful end to abortionSunday is the 44th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. Next Friday, people will gather in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life to peacefully witness for an end to abortion. Think how many millions of preborn babies’ lives have been terminated in these 44 years. Isn’t it sad? They could have been productive citize…

Single-party rule is not good for AmericaAs an independent, I have no allegiance to any party but I do not believe that single-party rule is good for the country. The Republicans play hardball while the Democrats play Wiffle ball. Both parties have their pluses and minuses. The Democrats want to give away everything while the Republicans don’t want to share anything.Sen.…

As one circus ends, another is beginningLike many people, I was somewhat saddened to learn of the news that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus would end its 146-year run later this year. Not to worry, however, as a new circus came to Washington, D.C., on Friday.It features a variety of brand-new scary and amusing clowns, sideshows and even talking elephants and …

Refugees’ performance gives us reason to cheerAmid all the rancor and hate-filled racist rhetoric we hear today, nationally (President Trump) and locally (Rep. Chris Collins and Carl Paladino), Colin Dabkowski’s story in Tuesday’s paper was a welcome and inspiring one. It was about the cast of refugees at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church on Lafayette Avenue performin…

County’s property tax chief needs to check his numbersIt happens to me every year. Even as the doctor is taking my blood pressure, I worry not only that the results may not fall within the statistically healthy range, but that my apprehension may actually drive the numbers up. It happens again when we turn to reviewing my blood work. What will all those figures reveal ab…