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Don’t knock Kennedy for speaking the truthLooks like it’s time to recall Caroline Kennedy from her post as ambassador to Japan. She has committed the unpardonable sin of telling the truth, made more striking by the fact that, with the exception of former president Jimmy Carter, she is the only person in my lifetime connected in any way with the U.S. government to have done…

New reports show that the National Security Agency and its British counterpart have been greedily soaking in the tiniest details of citizens’ lives through popular cellphone apps.Apparently, it isn’t enough that the agencies have been intercepting such cellphone traffic as text messages and metadata on every call from every segment of the mobile network, along with compute…

Campaign reform is key to fair electionsIf we want government that will seriously address the glaring issue of economic inequality and recognize that social justice is an integral responsibility of government, we must elect people with integrity who will serve the best interests of the whole nation, as well as their constituents. In today’s toxic political atmosphere, wors…

Inside the black, iron fence fronting Holy Sepulcher cemetery, a serene landscape is stirred only by the flitting of birds and fitful breezes rustling the vegetation. Though it is late morning, I see no one else visiting the graves of loved ones. It’s a lonely, deserted place now, but it wasn’t always this way. In times past, family members visited regularly to refresh the…

Most Catholic priests do an exemplary jobI am really tired of hearing about sexual abuse by priests, especially when it happened 30 years ago. I was fortunate enough to attend Catholic grade school, high school and college. During my years at grade school in the ’50s, the parish priests were coaches, altar boy instructors, guidance counselors and religious instructors, alo…

Let’s work together to curb puppy millsI recently attended the Amherst Town Board meeting where a resolution to discuss the new Pet Dealer Law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo was presented. The law was created to protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities, known as puppy mills.New York’s pet stores support predominantly large-scale, out-of-state puppy mills. Most puppies s…

Editorials

The farm bill that appears on its way to passage is a bipartisan compromise – meaning that no one is completely happy with it. Local farmers will benefit from a new insurance program for growers of “specialty crops,” such as the apples from Niagara County’s orchards, while protecting upstate dairy farmers from the worst of the deep cuts in farm support programs. However, t…

Young patients need West Seneca facilityCitizens should realize the consequences of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to close the Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca. The plan includes the elimination of 10 residential beds. There is a long waiting list for children seeking such residential help. The nearest children’s center outside of Buffalo is located in the Utica reg…

Amherst IDA is part of much larger problemPersonal injury attorney William Mattar can now deduct nearly $550,000 from his tax bill after the Amherst Industrial Development Agency gave him property, sales and mortgage tax breaks for the proposed expansion of his law firm. With this subsidy deal, the Amherst IDA has once again given tax breaks to a questionable project that …

Gun control laws do not work to reduce violenceThe authors of the Jan. 21 Another Voice, “Responsible gun owners support the SAFE Act,” glibly spout the talking points of the anti-rights organizations, such as New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, without demonstrating any real knowledge of the facts.They start from the premise that the NRA and SCOPE are motivated by the profi…

Each year, my friends and I have been fortunate to take an exotic trip. Whether it was on a photo safari in South Africa, climbing Machu Picchu in Peru or walking along the Great Wall of China, we all returned with great stories and insights from the people in those regions.However, none of those impacted me like our recent trip to Southeast Asia.As a financial planner for…

Most unemployed people desperately want to workAfter reading Eugene Robinson’s column in the Jan. 15 News bemoaning the fact that there has been so little outrage expressed over the Republican Party’s stand on not resuming long-term unemployment benefits, I feel compelled to add my voice to his.The idea being promoted by some Republicans that unemployment benefits encourag…

How does Will expect to be taken seriously?For the second time in a week, wordmaster George Will has some very convoluted argument to argue against universal preschool. Because more teachers will be in unions, who supposedly support only Democrats, this idea is unacceptable. Really?There are more reasons than can be listed here why preschool is a good idea, but he is focus…

Editorials

President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union address Tuesday night, and it will go down in the annals of forgettable speeches. What did he say?The most notable aspect of the speech was Obama’s clear, if belated, acknowledgment that with Senate Republicans abusing the filibuster rule and the tea party wreaking havoc in the House, his agenda has little hope of pass…