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The recent report showing that Erie County Child Protective Services caseworkers often performed only the minimum amount of work required to investigate child abuse and neglect cases is both heartbreaking and infuriating.Heartbreaking to think of the children left in the hands of abusers. And infuriating because the system that was set up to protect children was willfully …

Editorials

Today is Thanksgiving Day, a time originally set aside to thank God “for his kind care and protection of the People of this country.” Today the meaning has expanded so that we pause with family and friends to give thanks for the benefits we have received and to appreciate those who help others. Here, some random thoughts on thankfulness:…“When you rise in the morning, give…

Editorials

Recognition must be given to Christopher S. Weber, a senior investigator for the State Police who refused to give up on solving a brutal murder committed 34 years ago.Praise is also due to New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman for stepping in to prosecute the case. Demerits, however, go to Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III for declining to go…

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has once again demonstrated that he is committed to helping improve the economic vitality of Western New York. This time he’s vetoed a bill that would have undercut a program of state tax breaks designed to lure movie industry work away from Manhattan to upstate regions.Lawmakers tried to add 14 counties close to New York City to the 40 upstate countie…

The accord that would temporarily freeze much of Iran’s nuclear program in return for limited sanctions relief is an unavoidable step in a process that has a long way to go.It is a six-month deal with the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany, world powers that must be willing to react appropriately if Iran breaks, or even bends, its promise.…

Editorials

Here is the rock and the hard place. Roswell Park Cancer Institute needs to improve its operations to become more self-reliant. The state is weary of sending it $100 million a year and the hospital is under pressure to produce an alternative.At the same time, though, the hospital urgently needs to preserve its standing as a comprehensive cancer center and to lead the natio…

Editorials

The U.S. Postal Service lost $5 billion over the past year, which is more or less what it predicted, but near accuracy in prognostication does nothing to help with the long-term problem of survival. For that, the agency desperately needs Congress.Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe continually finds himself in the unenviable position of trying to extract legislation out of …

Score one for the cardiovascular system. With the Food and Drug Administration’s plan to ban trans fats, arteries will be less clogged and hearts will beat longer. It’s a win not only for the health of the nation but for that increasingly scarce commodity, common sense.Trans fats are evil concoctions whose main purpose is to provide texture and stability to foods, especial…

When it comes to the new health insurance plans, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is right to leave well enough alone.Cuomo, perhaps sounding boastful, pointed out that this state hasn’t had the kind of issues on its health exchange that have been seen nationwide.“Our program has actually been working well. The website has been working well …,” the governor said in response to a quest…

Editorials

Does the Town of Tonawanda Police Department have a problem with African-Americans? Some residents think so, and there’s enough of an issue that town and police leaders need to take the question seriously.The issue burst into public view earlier this month, when a town resident, Robert A. Harris Sr., reported that police stopped the bus he was on in order to question him a…

Editorials

The Nov. 15 transformation of San Francisco into Gotham City, all in service of a 5-year-old with leukemia who wanted to play out a superhero fantasy, was a testament to the power of social media. Thousands of people, including President Obama, joined the Make-A-Wish Foundation to ensure that Miles Scott’s big day would be unforgettable.In a curious way, the attention lavi…

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is, well, quite a character.So far, he has admitted that he has smoked crack, purchased illegal drugs after being elected mayor, might even have been “hammered” in public and partied in the mayor’s office. He wrapped it all up with an incident in which he knocked down a female lawmaker after racing across a crowded chamber, bruising the 60-something-…

Editorials

The historic vote by Senate Democrats on Thursday to limit filibusters is unfortunate because it will likely come back to haunt both parties. But there really wasn’t another choice.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., managed to eke out a victory in a 52-48 vote. The decision to go this far was made under duress and the realization that the constant political bickeri…

Editorials

By Patrick Reddy / SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Fri, Nov 22, 2013

“So many things will be said about Kennedy in the future, and the myths are already so thick, that without doubt the man himself will soon be lost in the myth … his particular style was such to captivate myth-makers, who will find in his love of children and in the beauty of his wife much to work with.” – Theodore White, “The Making of the President”Today marks the 50th an…

If you’re under the illusion that your airline pilot actually knows how to fly the plane without using the computerized automation system, you may be disappointed.In yet another startling revelation, a report commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration found that airline pilots have lost flying skills as they come to rely upon automation. Passengers may not agree t…