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Former district attorneys did not decline prosecutionI was the district attorney of Erie County from Jan. 1, 1974, through Dec. 31, 1981. My experience includes service as an FBI agent, and a practicing attorney for more than 42 years. I remember well the Patti Rodriguez murder case of April 13, 1979, which occurred in Holy Cross Cemetery. I tramped and played hockey in th…

Restaurateur’s lack of compassion is sadI was appalled at the insensitive behavior of Schwabl’s owner Gene Staychock after the recent accident that damaged his restaurant. Instead of being concerned about the condition of the injured driver who was hospitalized, all he seemed to worry about was the almighty dollar. Staychock is an embarrassment, and his lack of compassion …

Special interests seem to have too much powerOn Nov. 28, “NBC Nightly News” ran a story about the oil boom: how it was bringing prosperity, providing energy independence and lowering the cost of gasoline. The story was immediately followed by a commercial for Exxon Mobil touting how the oil and gas industries are enriching our lives. It was obvious that we watched two comm…

By Michael P. KearnsThere is a political crisis in Albany, but with every crisis comes opportunity. All New Yorkers hope for an end to concentrated leadership’s control of the law by making the process open and transparent.The present crisis in Albany affords the people of New York State an opportunity for meaningful reform outside of waiting for the Moreland Commission’s …

Editorials

President Obama put it best when referring to the death of Nelson Mandela: “Today he’s gone home, and we have lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth.”Borrowing appropriately from a famous quote by Edwin M. Stanton at President Abraham Lincoln’s death, one first black president said of …

Political Cartoons

Nelson Rolihlahla Mendela. 1918-2013(Illustration originally printed in the Buffalo News Book Page on October 24th, 2010)

By Walter SimpsonLast month, just after 200 mph Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, the United Nations held its most recent climate change conference. The conference’s timing also coincided with the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.Convened in “coal capital” Warsaw, Poland, the conference highlighted growing dangers of climate change, proceeded chaotically amidst pro…

New York must act to protect wildlifeThe New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has taken a big step in the right direction by issuing an emergency rule that prohibits the import of live cervids (deer and elk) into our state. Trucking these animals from states all over the country into New York greatly increases the chance of spreading disease to our own nati…

Ramirez is clueless about ThanksgivingI was quite disappointed at the editorial cartoon choice made by the editors on Thanksgiving Day, a day given to reflecting on the many blessings of life we celebrate in our country. Instead, I find a cartoon by Michael Ramirez that mocks the sense of blessings in order to carry forth another attack that he and his colleagues continue …

A center for high-tech innovation in the tourism industry focused in Niagara Falls seems like such a natural fit that it’s a wonder no one thought of it sooner.Niagara University plans to establish the Niagara Global Tourism Institute – which would be the second institution of higher learning established in downtown, following Niagara County Community College’s Niagara Fal…

Construct bike path to connect beachesAs a resident of Hamburg, I notice that we are separated from the great bike trails of the outer harbor and the Buffalo waterfront by a short section of Route 5 through Lackawanna.As the former Bethlehem Steel site gets developed, it seems a no-brainer that a bike path needs to be included to connect Gallagher Beach to Woodlawn Beach. …

Clinton’s true character revealed in 2008 raceThe story in The News about the Clintons rebuilding their black political base was woefully incomplete. It included the fact that some African-Americans were upset that Bill Clinton did not take Barack Obama’s first presidential bid very seriously. However, many blacks did not take it seriously either. That is why most black vo…

Democrats, not GOP, are hostile to womenThe Democratic strategists who claimed that there was a Republican “war on women” obviously were unaware of their blatant hypocrisy because it seems the real war has been waged primarily by Democrats. Anthony Weiner and former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner are only the latest in a long line of Democrats who have been an absolute disgrac…

Editorials

When municipalities insist on flouting the law by refusing to turn over public information, or by holding illegally closed meetings, they are obstructing the public’s rights. They are, flat-out, undemocratic.West Seneca is the latest to disrespect the public by categorically refusing to turn over basic police blotter records regarding Robert J. Styn Jr., who was charged wi…

Sometimes, life’s important lessons come while we’re in a hurry. On a chilly morning at 11, I was arriving at my hair stylist’s salon that’s located directly behind a popular café. Thoughts of a hot cup of pumpkin spice coffee with cream and sugar lured me off course. I darted into the coffee shop and quickly placed my order.As I handed my $20 gift card to the young cashie…