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A report from Allstate claims that, among New York’s five largest cities, Buffalo drivers are the worst in the state. We don’t believe it. The ratings were based on insurance claims. Buffalo drivers crash about every 7.9 years, compared to the national average of 10.57 years between accident claims. What the statistics don’t account for is degree of difficulty. Fi…

Editorials

Before developer Douglas Jemal bought the Seneca One tower in 2016, some real estate observers thought the vacant 38-story tower should be demolished. Another developer said the building “reflects where Buffalo has been,” not where it was going. M&T Bank’s announcement Thursday that it will bring its new technology hub – along with 1,000 or more jobs – to the sky…

Editorials

The Department of Veterans Affairs this month took a major step toward giving U.S. military veterans the option of using their federal health dollars to pay for private medical care. It’s about time. Last year Congress passed the VA Mission Act, which increases the number of veterans eligible for private health care from 8% to 40% of the VA’s enrollees. How many vete…

Editorials

The old joke goes like this: “What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm.” The compromise farm labor bill passed by the Legislature last week leaves farm owners feeling like they got half a worm, but they can console themselves with the fact that it could have been a lot harder to swallow if not for some adjustments made by lawmakers before pass…

It’s June and, yes, it is time to vote. For anyone who may have missed it – meaning you haven’t been papered with campaign flyers – New York’s primary date has been moved to Tuesday. The State Legislature this year switched state primaries from September to June, making them the same date as federal primaries. The aim is to save money (by paying for only one primary …

Editorials

It was the kind of mistake that could kill a person. The kind that happens when people get too busy, too distracted or too lulled into complacency. The kind that deliberate systems, uniformly implemented, can help to avoid. Fortunately, the diabetic resident of Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center didn’t die when, despite clear orders to the contrary, she wa…

Editorials

Since that terrible day in 2001, when terrorists took the lives of more than 3,000 Americans, the Muslim community in Western New York has worked hard to demonstrate its patriotism. Its members have shown anyone who was willing to see that the words “Islamic” and “terrorist” don’t go together any better than “Christian” and “Nazi.” By working closely with law enforcemen…

Not to make light of anyone’s needs, but … a duck? Maybe it really does serve the legitimate emotional needs of the 26-year-old Floridian who acquired Primadonna — that’s the creature’s name — but there can be little doubt that the culture is crawling with people abusing the comparatively new concept of the emotional support animal. Crawling, as in insects. And reptiles…

Editorials

Catholic bishops came out last week with their plan to deal with bishops who commit or cover up sexual abuse. Their idea is that they will watch each other, and it is wholly insufficient. It’s startling that this needs to be said, but allegations of criminal sexual abuse should be referred directly to the police — investigators who are trained to get to the bottom of su…

Editorials

Some decisions should not be rushed: Whether to have surgery, buy a house or marry someone come immediately to mind. Let’s add legalizing marijuana to the list. After fits and starts in the deliberations over a bill to allow adult-use cannabis in New York, state lawmakers hit pause and decided not to jam through a bill before the legislative session ends this week. T…

By the time you read this, Albany may have betrayed upstate. The Legislature, apparently with the assent of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, appeared ready on Wednesday to approve a bill expanding the state’s prevailing wage law in a way that is likely to cripple Western New York while giving a pass to New York City – the only region of the state that can absorb such costs. What a…

Editorials

New York State lawmakers acted in the best interest of public health last week when they approved a measure to end the practice of some parents citing religious beliefs as a justification for failing to vaccinate their children against potentially deadly and fast-spreading diseases such as measles. The Assembly approved the measure last Thursday in the midst of outcry f…

Editorials

Two items of special import to Western New York are on the table this week as the legislative session in Albany churns toward its conclusion: Expansion of the prevailing wage program for construction projects and a bill to move the Buffalo School Board elections from May to November. Lawmakers should say no on prevailing wage, yes on the election move. Wednesday is the …

It was not a full-throated endorsement, but Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard last week said he sees the value of re-establishing a corrections advisory board in Erie County. Howard’s statement to the County Legislature’s Public Safety Committee was an unexpected step in the right direction toward having much-needed oversight of the county’s jails. We congratulate Howa…

Editorials

There are two sides in the debate over moving Buffalo School Board elections from May to November. The Buffalo Teachers Federation and its state counterparts are the main defender of keeping the vote where it is. The traditionally low turnout for the May election amplifies the BTF’s influence in who gets elected to the board. On the other side of the debate is common…