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Editorials

The real “War on Christmas” was waged in the America of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Puritans who settled the New England colonies thought the holiday was decadent, with too many pagan rituals, such as decking the halls with holly. Celebrating Christmas was outlawed in Massachusetts from 1659 to 1681. The tide turned in the 19th century. Clement Clark Moore’s poem “…

This unsigned editorial was originally printed in the New York Sun Sept. 21, 1897. It was the work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church and has become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial. ••• DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.” Please tell me the truth; is th…

Editorials

Facebook has made a couple of things abundantly clear: One, nothing is free and, two, we are the product. For that, and for a growing list of personal information violations, calls for greater oversight must be considered. It’s not ideal, but Facebook’s reckless conduct all but invites it. The social media forerunner’s quest for dominance knows no bounds, even if that m…

Editorials

The expression “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” comes to mind when considering the Trump administration’s proposal to rewrite federal clean water rules. The administration of President Barack Obama in 2015 issued regulations to clarify which bodies of water are subject to the federal Clean Water Act, which was issued in 1972. The Obama rules widened the defini…

It’s been a good week in funding for cultural institutions in Western New York. • Mayor Byron W. Brown announced the City of Buffalo is donating $2.5 million for the expansion project at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The gallery’s funding campaign, AK360, is trying to make the most of a challenge grant from billionaire investor Jeffrey Gundlach. Gundlach, who made a…

Editorials

A shortage of parking spaces in downtown Buffalo is a good problem to have. It means our city’s core is economically viable, that people want to come downtown for business and pleasure. It’s also true that we have enjoyed bargain parking rates for years. In what other comparable city can you find street parking for $1 per hour, and free after 5 p.m.? Parking from 8 a.m.…

Editorials

When Independent Health sent a letter informing eye specialists that using the $2,000-a-dose brand name drugs to treat age-related macular degeneration would be met with consequences, the insurer struck a nerve. Doctors were told to use off-label Avastin, instead. It runs about $50 a dose. It was the right move. Now Congress needs to act. Independent Health’s CEO, Dr…

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo should include $20 million in his executive budget next month to continue funding for housing services that help mostly low-income and middle-class residents cope with mortgage foreclosures, e-theft scams and other threats to their homes. Without a new source of funding, some of the state’s network of 89 organizations will have to sharply reduce the…

Editorials

There is no question that having good patient outcomes at nursing homes correlates with the number of staff members working there. More is better. It might follow, then, that a bill called the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, which mandates minimum staffing levels at nursing homes and hospitals, would be the way to ensure that the residents are well taken care of. It…

Crystal Peoples-Stokes, one of Western New York’s own, has been appointed majority leader of the New York State Assembly, the Assembly’s No. 2 position. That is good for Buffalo and good for all of upstate. For decades, the Assembly speaker has been from New York City and the majority leader from upstate. The last local leader to have the job was Paul Tokasz, a former a…

Editorials

The leadership style of Canisius College President John Hurley was thrown into high relief this year as a clergy sex abuse scandal roiled the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Rather than join other public figures in calling for Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign, Hurley chose a quieter path. “I didn’t feel like I should be one of the people out there calling for the bishop’…

Editorials

As climate change takes hold, we’ll take good news where we can find it. A recent National Climate Assessment by the federal government detailed some reasons for optimism for Western New York. We’re likely to have shorter winters, earlier spring weather and, unlike coastal cities, we won’t have to cope with rising sea levels and rampaging hurricanes. If being in the Gre…

Editorials

They’re planning to smother the evaluations and, chances are, they’ll succeed. With that, state education officials and the members of the Senate and Assembly will take away one of the most useful tools for improving the fortunes of New York’s underserved students. The dispute here is the linkage between students’ tests and teacher evaluations, which is of obvious value…

Editorials

Third in a series of editorials New York has a problem with democracy. It begins with burdensome voting policies and ends with voter apathy. The consequence is disengagement. Fixing those problems lands squarely in the lap of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who recently won a third term as the state’s chief executive. Here’s a measure of how bad it is. In last month’s midterm …

Jack Harzynski, a mild-mannered deliveryman for a great metropolitan newspaper (this one), turned into Superman while driving his route last Tuesday. He didn’t even need a phone booth for a costume change. A story in The News recounted how Harzynski and another man were driving between Warsaw and Attica when they saw flashing lights from an unmarked police car, then spo…