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Letters to the Editor

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Students differ greatly in academic abilitiesI can’t blame Commissioner John King Jr. for avoiding confronting critics of his Common Core educational philosophy and all its test-laden trappings. The crushing of fanciful illusions by the rejection invoked by the voices of experience and common sense must indeed be painful. Perhaps the word is out; no more will parents and t…

Gaughan gives his all during every endeavorI met Kevin Gaughan at the beginning of his citizens’ movement to reform town government in Evans. I was one of his downsizing captains.Observing him in both his public and personal life, I’ve seen the energy and caring that he devotes to all his work, professional and personal. I’m not surprised that he encountered financial diff…

Standardized tests are failing childrenOur local media, state leaders and the Buffalo District Parent Coordinating Council are delivering a false narrative about our Buffalo schools, labeling them as “failing.” They want us to accept state standardized tests as the absolute measure of our children’s success. They tell us that students as young as 9 are not college- and car…

Watch for cyclists in new bike lanesCyclists in Buffalo have a problem. Don’t get me wrong – the recent Complete Streets legislation has resulted in miles of new street markings, signs and dedicated lanes. That is wonderful! The new southbound bike lane on Linwood Avenue, for example, gets me downtown much more easily; it has changed my life.However, the other day I almost…

GOP’s ‘good fight’ hurt many peopleWhen House Speaker John Boehner says “we fought a good fight,” does this take into consideration the thousands of federal workers who lost their paychecks for three weeks? Some may be facing extremely high late charges on their bills. Some may in the future have to file for bankruptcy. The GOP and tea partyers have no idea what middle-cla…

Ramirez’s cartoons sinking to new lowsAs the Republican Party slides further into desperate disarray, its paid hacks in the media grow increasingly more strident. Case in point is Michael Ramirez, so-called political cartoonist, whose incoherent scrawlings regularly devalue The News’ Opinion Page. During the recent government shutdown/debt default crisis – a crisis most sa…

Perhaps tea party has run its courseThe proverbial chickens are finally coming home to roost, and not a moment too soon. Recent headlines in the New York Times and, yes, you heard it right, the Wall Street Journal are quoting major contributors to the tea party, Koch brothers included, trying not only to distance themselves from the politicians who were elected under tea p…

City residents applaud posting of johns’ photosI must take exception to the East Amherst writer’s opinion that pictures of “johns” should not be posted by the Buffalo Police Department because they will hurt their families. While I cannot argue with his point that this pictorial campaign will not ultimately banish prostitution entirely from this area, I do wonder if this i…

Taxpayers foot bill for IDA exemptionsTax exemptions granted by industrial development agencies to commercial developers are revenues lost. Money that does not come in is a loss of income for towns, the county, our schools and the state of New York. And it is a staggering amount of money.Exemptions shift the tax burden from those receiving this benefit to all other taxpaye…

Amherst has benefited from Weinstein’s skillsAmherst Supervisor Barry Weinstein recently took an albatross that had been hanging on the neck of the town and turned it into a golden goose. Weinstein inherited a court case with the New York State Insurance Fund that the previous supervisor was not able to move forward. Known as the Bissell case, it has appeared in The News o…

Tax dollars being wasted on Guantanamo prisonersYou can’t make this stuff up. Word of how our tax dollars are spent at Guantanamo Bay comes with some health-related concerns.It seems an Egyptian prisoner who has been detained for 11 years has ballooned from 210 to 420 pounds during his incarceration. While many Americans go to bed hungry, this guy seems to be doing fine. H…

Workers do their best on difficult CPS jobsAs a former 30-year veteran of Child Protective Services, I am happy that the public and our political appointees are outraged by the death of a child, allegedly at the hands of a caregiver. It is impossible to imagine the sadness and the loss this family is experiencing.Why is it that the media seem only to care during such a tra…

Lots of us can relate to Martin’s columnIn response to Susan Martin’s article in the Oct. 11 News, “A houndstooth habit – here, there and everywhere,” I totally agree. My fondness for houndstooth borders on the ridiculous, too. It is my favorite pattern by far. I’ve owned many purses, wallets, jackets and scarves in this pattern. Recently, I spotted houndstooth throw pillo…

Forego the amenities, take care of essentialsThe front page of the paper recently printed a picture of a man outside his late mother’s house, which showed extensive roof damage. Included in the photo were a satellite dish and an air conditioner.Meanwhile, down at City Hall, the comptroller, an action-oriented politician, was striving to shovel money out the door and into t…

Legislature shuts out publicThe political make up of the Niagara County Legislature has become more one sided over the last several terms. When one regime remains in place overly long, they tend to assume ownership of power to exclusion of the people.Prior to a December 2009 resolution, there had been provision for general public input early in 7 p.m. legislative sessions.…