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The themes of President Obama’s campaign-style push to strengthen the economy are hardly new. But what’s needed are not new ideas, it’s the political will to agree on something.Tens of millions of Americans struggling to regain a financial foothold can only watch in disgust as Washington refuses to act.Obama started his outreach at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., last wee…

Editorials

It’s good that someone is stating the obvious: The plan to upgrade rather than relocate the Williamsville toll barrier makes no sense. It’s a hindrance to motorists and a “commuter tax” on local users.Town of Clarence Councilman Bernard Kolber offered a resolution last week calling on the Thruway Authority to drop $14 million in planned improvements to the barrier and, ins…

By Peter A. Hazzan Everyone is looking for answers to the Buffalo Public School District’s “abysmal and falling graduation rates at many of its underperforming high schools.” Some community leaders “pointed to poverty as the biggest reason.” Others said more resources and early intervention are what is needed most. How do you take a company from good to great or a profess…

My sandal-clad feet touched against the sizzling stonework on the side of Fuhrmann Boulevard. Radiant and smiling faces beamed in the waning sunlight of a perfect Buffalo evening at the outer harbor. Thousands of people, young and older, exited their cars and walked along the newly renovated waterfront region. I turned to my friend and said, “You know what would make the B…

Why didn’t road crew add a turning lane?The hard-working construction workers who completed paving the busy street on Elmwood Avenue near Forest Avenue did a wonderful job.But I am disappointed and wondering why, instead of putting white markings on this busy intersection for a right-hand turn onto Forest Avenue (it has been without any notice except for a posted sign at t…

We shouldn’t penalize people who pick trashI was distressed to learn from the Discount Diva that some local communities have criminalized thrift and resourcefulness by making trash picking illegal. In an increasingly disposable economy, trash disposal is becoming more problematic and expensive everywhere. When there are folks who see some value in the discards of others, t…

New York is moving against abusive debt collectors and, while that is good news anywhere in the state, it is especially so in Buffalo, which has grown a debt collection industry that law enforcement and consumer groups say is rife with abuses.How bad is it? Employees of some agencies have falsely – and illegally – claimed to be lawyers, sometimes threatening to have debtor…

By Sharda Sekaran This has been an intense time of reflection and critical self-examination for many Americans. In the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, there have been emotionally charged conversations about the way young black men are viewed in the United States and how valued their lives are. All the way up to President Obama we are witnessing soul-searching attempt…

Homosexuality decided by nature, not by choiceWith all due respect to the priest who, in his recent letter was obediently reciting the misguided and scientifically unsupportable official hard line of the Catholic hierarchy against same-sex marriage, the fact is that homosexuals are such by nature, not by choice.It has been estimated that as many as 5 percent of the world’s…

President’s response to tragedies is tellingPresident Obama interrupted a press conference and with a sad look expressed his remorse over the killing of Trayvon Martin. This was a touching and kind gesture.But where was his remorseful press conference when our ambassador and his guards were tortured and murdered in Benghazi?Pat GromlovitsClarence

Pro-hotel argument is seriously flawedThe East Amherst resident who is in favor of the controversial six-story Hyatt hotel in Snyder shows serious flaws in her argument.She states that it is impossible for the developer to destroy wildlife habitat to build this hotel because there presently is no green space along that part of Main Street to destroy. The proposed hotel is …

Peace in Middle East will never be attainedIn 1993, after the Oslo agreement between Israel and the PLO, I composed a letter to the editor that could have been titled, “It is a dream that will never come true.” I didn’t send the letter because I didn’t want to be pessimistic. That thought is still fresh today as Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to get the parties to…

When it comes to applying for state funding, the Buffalo School District seems to have difficulty getting it right the first time. Or, in some cases, the second or third time.Turnaround money for three schools was saved when a revised application met state requirements. Waterfront Elementary, North Park Middle Academy and Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy were each awarded…