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We’re glad to see the government back off its proposal to create an enormous database of license plates after an outcry over the potential for abuse of the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans.The Homeland Security Department abruptly dropped plans to ask a private company to give the government access to a nationwide database of license plate tracking information. Secr…

New York has to stop abusing its taxpayersIt seems that day after day, our leaders (if you can call them that) find a new way to pick the people’s pockets. Now it is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s turn. He would like to give prisoners a college education. I’ll bet that there are millions of people (myself included) who couldn’t afford to go to college and had to try to find a job to …

Residents should plan for waterfront eventsI was very disappointed with the selfish actions of the waterfront residents regarding events being held in their neighborhood. They were given ample warning regarding these races and most of them only take an hour or two to complete. These events raise thousands of dollars for charities, and the residents should plan ahead for th…

Not everyone deserves the right to bear armsI am writing in response to the letter writer who stated the Second Amendment is the most important amendment. What about those prohibiting discrimination against sex and age, or unlawful search and seizure, or the right to an attorney?I am a retired New York State trooper who had an AR-15 pointed at me and my partner while respo…

The Town of West Seneca presented its residents with two gifts recently. A 95-gallon and a 65-gallon heavy-duty polyurethane garbage tote for each home. No charge; they were delivered one weekend morning without fanfare, with an instruction sheet attached, and suddenly we all had totes. One with a blue-colored lid and one with a green lid.The town apparently joined other c…

Opinion

When life gets stressful, Asian elephants help their pals feel better by trumpeting sympathetic noises and using their trunks to touch their friend’s — um — private parts, according to new research.In a study published last week in the journal PeerJ, animal behaviorists observed 26 captive elephants in a sanctuary in northern Thailand. The researchers said they recorded a …

Opinion

Green velvet tarantula is aiding painkiller researchVenoms from spiders and other animals, fine-tuned by evolution to stun and paralyze prey, are an abundant source of painkillers and other drugs. But screening for useful toxins can be an arduous process.Venoms contain many active toxins, not all of them suitable for use in humans. And once a potentially effective toxin is…

Opinion

Janelle Iglesias is an artist who arranges otherwise prosaic objects into interesting projects. Tree branches, a boat oar, tennis rackets, parasols, a crutch, soda straws and sawhorses come together in a kind of asymmetric balance to form near hypnotic displays. (Her previous work is at lashermanasiglesias.com/janelle-iglesias.) If this is modern art, I must admit that I l…

Let’s work together to improve schoolsIn a recent My View column, “Let’s save the dream and build community,” social studies teacher Anthony L. White II hit the nail on the head in addressing our broken societal system as the primary factor underlying the vast majority of our city children’s underperformance in school. I, too, believe that if we do not address the breakdow…

By Gale Burstein and Richard VienneGoogle the term “medication adherence” and you’ll get about 2.7 million hits, which tells you it’s a hot health care topic. Simply stated, it means taking your prescriptions as directed by your health care provider.Univera Healthcare, with a strong endorsement from the Erie County Department of Health, has launched a community engagement …

Really, I’d rather wear black. It is grown-up, understated, suitable for nearly every occasion and easily mixed and matched. Nevertheless, if you walk, jog or bike, I am here to tell you that you are utterly defenseless in black.Today I wear a visually aggressive neon parka with reflective tape on front and back, plus matching gloves and earmuffs. Not the usual fashion cho…

Editorials

The lexicon of man’s inhumanity to man has a new word – Yarmouk. It was once the bustling, vibrant heart of the Palestine refugee community in Syria, where 160,000 Palestinians thrived in harmony with Syrians of all stripes. Over the last six months, it has become synonymous with widespread infant malnutrition, women dying in childbirth for lack of medical care, and besieg…

Does city have a duty to clear snowy walks?I wonder, what is the responsibility of the city in keeping sidewalks and crosswalks passable during snowy weather? Driving on Niagara Street, I saw a person climbing over a 3-foot wall of snow to board a bus slip, fall, bounce off the corner of the bus and fall onto the street.This is also of personal concern since I’m eight mont…

Governor must stop showing favoritismAgain, the governor has played favorites, and Western New York loses out. When there was a driving ban in numerous communities around Buffalo during the Jan. 7 blizzard, the local state offices were kept open and employees had to show up or be considered absent from work that day.But when the snow hit the Big Apple and surrounding area,…

Gun advocates omit a few relevant factsWhy are the anti-SAFE Act people so unrealistic? A recent letter claimed that only lawful folks are hurt by the law. Is it really possible that the media “glamorize shootings” and cause more? Is it really true that gun rights are absolute? Fact: There are no absolute rights in the Constitution. Libel is punishable and speech is limite…