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Editorials

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Editorials

In olden, less-enlightened times, some of the cool teachers would reach back, grab an eraser from the chalk tray, and fire it at some misbehaver. I tried it. Once. By mistake I hit the nicest kid in the class square, ’er rectangular, in the face. I’ll never forget his “What did I do?” expression. Heck, he could have lost an eyeball.I used to know an otherwise excellent ind…

Editorials

For more than 12,000 years, the international Niagara River has flowed its 35 descending miles from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It’s ecological, cultural, historic and economic significance is world class.This river, the Great Lakes and the biodiversity that they mutually sustain are important to the whole earth’s ecological life-support system. This includes habitats suppo…

Editorials

Whether or not anyone holds stock in the latest international testing results that show American teenagers just maintaining or struggling when it comes to reading, science and math, it is hard to argue the need to ensure our children are prepared to compete on a global scale.The 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA results have recently been released …

Editorials

President Obama put it best when referring to the death of Nelson Mandela: “Today he’s gone home, and we have lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth.”Borrowing appropriately from a famous quote by Edwin M. Stanton at President Abraham Lincoln’s death, one first black president said of …

Editorials

When municipalities insist on flouting the law by refusing to turn over public information, or by holding illegally closed meetings, they are obstructing the public’s rights. They are, flat-out, undemocratic.West Seneca is the latest to disrespect the public by categorically refusing to turn over basic police blotter records regarding Robert J. Styn Jr., who was charged wi…

A center for high-tech innovation in the tourism industry focused in Niagara Falls seems like such a natural fit that it’s a wonder no one thought of it sooner.Niagara University plans to establish the Niagara Global Tourism Institute – which would be the second institution of higher learning established in downtown, following Niagara County Community College’s Niagara Fal…

Editorials

Some state legislators don’t know why they’re being painted with the broad brush of corruption by the Moreland Commission. We know why. It is because of the history of self-serving laws, anti-democratic rules, election trickery, bribery, kickbacks, tax evasion and embezzlement. And that’s the short list.Albany has built a well-earned reputation of politicians using their o…

Who’d have thought it? The House of Representatives has voted to extend the soon-to-expire ban on undetectable plastic guns. In doing so it did two favors for Americans, protecting them against a real threat to safety and also demonstrating that gun control is possible, despite the howling of those who think the Second Amendment offers blanket immunity from any effort to r…

The United States should teach Afghanistan’s lame-duck leader a lesson and pull all of its troops out of the country in 2014, when most foreign troops are scheduled to withdraw.Only if President Hamid Karzai sheds his outsized ego and signs the pending Bilateral Status Agreement before the end of the year should our troops remain there.The agreement would allow the United …

Editorials

Wherever anyone falls in the debate over relaxing laws on marijuana, the discussion has to acknowledge people such as Wendy Conte’s daughter, Anna. The 8-year-old from Orchard Park has suffered regular, severe epileptic seizures since she was 2 months old. As her mother has learned, a child in Colorado has gained significant relief from her epileptic seizures by mixing int…

Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, New York State Police are mounting a heightened campaign against texting drivers. That’s heightened in the literal sense: Troopers are being equipped with 32 tall, unmarked SUVs that make it easier to see if a driver, cellphone in his lap, is texting.It’s working. Drivers don’t even know when a trooper is watching them texti…

Editorials

Increasing the number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents should be a matter of dollars and cents. More agents equal more sales.The more agents to question drivers and inspect vehicles, the faster the crossing times and the better we can attract Canadian visitors coming here to patronize our stores, concerts and sporting events.Simple. Right?But this is the Peace …

It’s hard to blame prekindergarten teacher Sharon D. Perry Dunnigan for being concerned about the hygiene of some of her students. It’s an issue that requires attention. But it’s also a matter that demands care and sensitivity in handling, and Dunnigan could hardly have done a worse job of that.The veteran teacher at BUILD Academy, disturbed by an unknown number of childre…

Editorials

They’re getting nervous in Albany. Soon, the knives may come out.Leaders of the State Legislature and at least two law firms that employ lawmakers are suing to quash subpoenas seeking information on their outside income. They dress up their opposition in legal armor, but the truth is – at least in part – they just don’t want their constituents to know how they are making m…

Editorials

It has been two months since Damon Janes, a 16-year-old with his whole life ahead of him, tragically died after suffering a head injury in a high school football game in Western New York.Damon died after playing a game that millions of Americans watch religiously every weekend, but until recently, were unaware of the high cost to participants. The question we find ourselve…