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Editorials

Victims of the child sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church were hoping for some action on reforms this week when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Baltimore. They got thoughts and prayers instead. The Vatican directed the U.S. bishops to delay their votes on two reform measures until a special council of bishops worldwide convenes on Feb. 8. Cardinal…

Just as they did about a decade ago in voting to downsize town boards in Erie County, citizens are exercising their right to reshape local governments. This time, they are moving in the opposite direction. It’s not unreasonable. It is a refreshing reminder to elected officials that the power rests in the hands of the electorate. Anyone who lost track of that fact got a …

Editorials

We are told that we live in an age of high anxiety. And as winter weather sets in, seasonal affective disorder can turn even the best of us into something resembling a hibernation-deprived bear. One of the best-known aids to better mental health is to heed the advice your mother or grandmother probably dispensed: Go outside. Time spent outdoors has been linked to reduce…

Editorials

New Yorkers – those who have been paying attention – always knew that things were working backwards in the state’s election process. Their politicians were choosing them before they ever got to choose their politicians. It’s called gerrymandering and, last week, despite years of practice, it failed for Republicans who have long controlled the New York State Senate. Come…

Editorials

Imagine this, if you can: Somewhere in America, there exists a chief law enforcement officer so incompetent and unsuited to his job that it takes a citizens lawsuit to force him to obey the rules. Actually, and sadly, it doesn’t take any imagination at all. The only thing necessary is to digest the ruling in a lawsuit filed by four Erie County citizens. They asked a cou…

Editorials

First of an occasional series of editorials. With his election to a third term last week, and with his party about to dominate the State Legislature, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo faces a test that all of New York, including this western region, needs him to pass. The test includes a number of questions, but they add up to this: Over the next four years, Cuomo needs put his t…

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York now has more than one way to promote the health of the region’s citizens. In addition to offering health insurance, and beyond its other community efforts, the company has now launched the “Blue Fund.” This week, in its inaugural donations, the fund awarded $2.7 million to nine health-based projects around the area. They will ben…

Editorials

Sunday, Nov. 11, marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The guns fell silent in Europe at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year. As word spread that the Great War was over, spontaneous celebrations broke out. New Yorkers awoke to sirens and factory whistles announcing war’s end. The British press reported that women in London “wore the…

Editorials

Bishop Richard J. Malone embarked on a media tour recently, doing interviews with print and broadcast media and last Monday holding a news conference in Cheektowaga to discuss the clergy sex abuse scandal. Malone vowed to do a better job of being open about the diocese’s handling of the issue, saying that transparency begins with him. The prelate’s steps toward openness…

Editorials

The whirlwind that was Tuesday’s elections reshaped the landscape of Western New York’s congressional representation. It’s the same cast of characters, but its members have new assignments: For starters, Democrat Brian Higgins will be in the majority, magnifying his influence on two committees. Meanwhile, Republicans Chris Collins and Tom Reed will be cast into the mino…

It’s no fun being in the minority party in the state Legislature. Fewer of your phone calls are returned and you don’t always get the best seats at restaurants. But that’s the future for Western New York’s four Republican senators, who will also have trouble finding a seat in the conference rooms of Albany after the chamber flipped to Democratic control with Tuesday’s e…

Perhaps the new conflict between Buffalo’s top two elected Democrats is one of definitions: What, exactly, constitutes an emergency? Until that is better understood – and given the yellow flag the city comptroller waved last year – a pause in emergency borrowing for demolitions is the right approach. Borrowing is what the administration of Mayor Byron W. Brown wanted to…

Editorials

Bak USA’s road to defeat was paved with good intentions. J.P. and Ulla Bak called their company, which opened in 2015, a social enterprise. They employed workers from disadvantaged backgrounds to make affordable electronic devices. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2014 announced Bak USA was one of eight companies accepted into the state’s Start-Up NY tax-free zone program. B.…

Editorials

It’s Election Day in America. You know what to do. Western New Yorkers Tuesday will help to choose leaders at local, state and federal levels of government. Generally speaking, they can expect to cast their ballots with efficiency. It’s not that way everywhere. In other states, voters encounter barriers whose only real purpose is to discourage them from exercising th…