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Editorials

President Obama’s 16-minute speech Tuesday on the explosive problem of Syria’s chemical weapons offered a smart way to deal with the problem presented by Bashar Assad. The question now is how it will play out.Obama’s speech reminded the public of the awful images of children writhing on the floors of hospitals in pain from the effects of the Aug. 21 chemical attack in a Da…

Editorials

Twelve years later, the impact of the 9/11 terror attacks continues to shake the nation and the world. It’s less today about terror – about the looming fear of another devastating attack, though that remains a possibility – as it is about political and social upheaval that could send the United States into a war in Syria.Those events are connected. The deaths at the World …

The recent ruling by a federal judge rejecting the release of information about how Erie County’s troubled jails are faring continues to keep the public in the dark on an important issue that should get as much light as possible.U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny turned down demands by the New York Civil Liberties Union to make public the reports of two independent exp…

Today is primary day in New York State, and an opportunity for party voters in Western New York to choose nominees to represent their party in the November general elections. Members of the Democratic, Conservative, Working Families and Independence parties should make sure they get out today and exert their influence. Far and away, the most significant race is in the Demo…

Editorials

Barring some dramatic and credible revelation before this evening’s address by President Obama, his administration has not made the case for launching an attack on Syria, the president’s red line notwithstanding.The problems with an attack are multiple and compounding and, despite the belief of many that Obama must act to maintain U.S. credibility, other options are availa…

Editorials

Give this to the governor: He doesn’t shrink from difficult tasks, and none that he has taken on is more challenging than fixing the state’s failing public schools.Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared last month that there needed to be a “death penalty” for schools that don’t quickly fix their deficiencies. In a meeting Thursday with The News’ editorial board, he made it clear th…

It is only through good fortune that a 5-year-old boy returned home safely and was not injured or worse last week on the first day of school. But even though a tragedy was avoided, there are lessons to be learned from the mistakes that happened.The kindergartner, who lives in Blasdell, attends Community Charter School in Buffalo. The West Seneca School District is responsi…

Editorials

Twelve years ago, I was one of the chosen few ordered to recovery and cleanup duty with the New York Army National Guard at what was once the World Trade Center. In 1970, 31 years before the twin towers fell, I stood on the deck of a U.S. Naval destroyer in Brooklyn Navy Yard and photographed the half-complete towers.After a 20-year absence from military service, I found m…

Editorials

Change is often difficult, and never more so than when it is being implemented by a huge bureaucracy that touches the lives of millions of adults and, more significantly, their children.So it is around New York and most of the nation as school districts roll out the new Common Core standards, meant to ensure that students are learning the things they need to know in a worl…

The National Football League reached a settlement last month in the combined lawsuits of 4,500 former players: The NFL will pay out up to $766 million to help retirees whose brains were damaged by concussions. That’s a good deal for league officials, who will not admit any liability or negligence. If the case had moved ahead, they might have faced several billion dollars’ …

Editorials

It’s hard to know exactly what happened in Niagara Falls Thursday that caused a suicidal faction of the City Council to back away from its efforts to block a promising development, but this much is certain: It involved Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has demonstrated a useful ability to make things happen.The story is as frustrating as it is typical in Niagara Falls, where fooli…

Is this a good thing? The use of electronic cigarettes is ballooning among middle and high school students. These are nicotine-delivery devices, just as tobacco cigarettes are, and while they lack the tar and other carcinogens found in cigarettes, nicotine is a fiercely addictive substance.An e-cigarette may be a step forward to a smoker trying to make better decisions, bu…

The problem with the revelation that the United States failed to quickly process key intelligence about Syria’s gas attack is less about what happened in Syria – although that is horrifying – as it is about the state of U.S. intelligence capacity 12 years after the 9/11 terror attacks. We are still not where we need to be.The story in the weeks after the 2001 attacks was t…

Editorials

To the surprise of no one, the State Education Department has rejected the Buffalo School District’s plan to transfer more than 2,200 students out of under-performing schools. It’s the third such failure for the school district, which seems intent on following its pattern of not complying with other state directives. When will this district start to take its responsibiliti…

Editorials

When entertainer Bette Midler last performed here nine years ago, she noticed what the rest of us knew. “I haven’t been here since 1978,” she told an adoring audience. “I love what you’ve done to the waterfront.”Ouch.She should come back in a year or two.A number of questions have yet to be answered, but there is a beautiful bottom line to word that Gallagher Beach and the…