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You practically need a scorecard to keep track of who’s being promoted in the Buffalo Fire Department and which of those people donated how much to what candidate. The Brown administration denies any quid pro quo, but it certainly is odd that for the past three years, not one of the top three leaders of the department had sufficient civil service rank to oversee even a fir…

Editorials

A new agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Buffalo Sewer Authority will keep billions of gallons of raw sewage from flowing directly into the Niagara River.It is disconcerting that 42 years after Congress passed the Clean Water Act, 1.75 billion gallons of untreated water from storm and sanitary sewers dumps into the Niagara River every year.T…

Editorials

It may seem as though progress at the city’s Canalside project has been painfully slow and, in traditional terms, it has been.The $20.5 million project to build replica canals at the historic western terminus of the Erie Canal has been bedeviled by construction delays that included a legal dispute involving one of the contractors and Albany’s normal foot-dragging ways in p…

The line between determination and delusion can be obscure. Sometimes, the distinction emerges only in retrospect, like a Polaroid image slowly appearing. In other instances, the difference between productive grit and self-defeating obsession is an artifact of chance, like the lucky bounce of a tennis ball at match point.Sometimes, perhaps in the hardest cases, both phenom…

Editorials

In January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Energy Planning Board released the Draft New York State Energy Plan. The stated purpose of the plan is “to set forth a vision for New York’s energy future that connects a vibrant public sector market with communities and individual customers to create a dynamic clean energy economy.”The plan’s website – http://energyplan.ny.gov/ – says, “New…

It’s a shame when you have to shame someone out of trying to keep the office he dishonored.Charlie Markel thought he could keep his Cheektowaga Town Council seat despite pleading guilty in State Supreme Court to second-degree offering a false instrument for filing.The charge involved $7,136 in unemployment benefits that he improperly received after the 2011 closure of the …

Editorials

Artpark has become a crown jewel for the Town of Lewiston, which is why it is important that both entities come to a reasonable solution to their financial squabble.Supervisor Dennis J. Brochey recently presented the Town Board with a set of numbers that added up to nearly $2 million of town money that has been used to help fund Artpark over the past 11 years.Brochey’s obl…

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz needed to respond forcefully to the deaths of children who were under – or should have been under – the supervision of county Child Protective Services. The evidence of mismanagement was both glaring and tragic.To his credit, Poloncarz has acted, proposing a package of legislative reforms to deal with child abuse issues. We’re not su…

Editorials

We should have seen it coming. Two high-profile projects that had the potential to make a difference in Buffalo schools were rejected or delayed by the State Education Department, which complained of inadequate, poorly planned programs that lacked detail. It’s the same old song for a district that is profoundly and relentlessly unable to produce.And the kids pay the price.…

Amherst has been working for decades to reduce the expensive practice of awarding lifetime health insurance to employees. The town ended the benefit for most new union hires in 1977. The town’s part-time judges and council members lost it 20 years ago, and two years ago it was taken away from all the exempt employees – department heads, assistant department heads and those…

Editorials

Maybe there’s something in the water. Over here is a growing number of parents holding their children out of state tests, even though it hurts their children, and over here is a horde of protesters who vow not to obey the state’s gun control law known as the SAFE Act. Worse yet, joining in that promise is the Erie County sheriff – a man sworn to uphold the laws – making it…

The Heartbleed bug, the recently disclosed and already notorious flaw in the way that some websites send information, put millions of Americans at risk for theft of money, identity and perhaps worse. Yet, by some accounts, it was willfully exploited by the National Security Agency, which, if true, decided to leave Americans uninformed and exposed for whatever benefits it c…

Editorials

If Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo didn’t really mean to root out corruption in Albany, he never should have formed the extraordinary Moreland Commission to investigate it. Once he did form the panel, he should have left it to do its work, and not suddenly disbanded it only nine months into its mission.It was a political move, as Cuomo freely acknowledges. He formed the commission, h…

Generally speaking, there is a lot to like about the State Department of Transportation’s preliminary plan to improve – and downsize – the Scajaquada Expressway, which cuts across North Buffalo through Delaware Park.Generally speaking, there’s also a lot to like about the reaction of some residents who want to see the thoroughfare scaled back even further. In either case, …

Editorials

Legislation soon to be introduced on the county level that will require pawnshops and similar enterprises to hold merchandise for 15 days before it can be sold could be a new tool in the fight against drug abuse.As News reporter Lou Michel recently outlined, many heroin addicts turn to pawnshops when they become desperate for money. The addicts don’t care where they get go…