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Like a number of tax-incentive programs over the years, the state’s brownfield program has come under increasing criticism for diverging from its original goal to clean up aging industrial sites in blighted neighborhoods.Most of the tax breaks have gone downstate, where developers received them for everything from upscale condominiums to office towers in Midtown Manhattan …

Erie County

A couple-hundred people braved cold temperatures Saturday to continue their pressure against the placement of seven sex offenders in supervised housing in a West Seneca neighborhood.“These guys know they’re not welcome here,” said Tony Fischione, a West Seneca resident who spoke to the crowd at Sunshine Park, the rally’s staging area, and again outside the two group homes…

West Seneca’s state representative and a community action group are upping their efforts to break through the wall of silence the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities has erected regarding its placement of seven convicted sex offenders in two group homes on Leydecker Road.Assemblyman Michael P. Kearns, D-Buffalo, is putting in writing his so-far-unanswer…

WASHINGTON – With New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposing that the state offer college courses to convicts in state prisons, Rep. Chris Collins plans to do what little he can to try to stop it.Collins, R-Clarence, said Thursday that he will introduce a bill in Congress that would prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for college courses for prison inmates.If passed, the…

Education

Just in case New York State needed another topic to fuel political controversy, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has stoked the fire with his new proposal to fund college education for prison inmates.Western New York legislators and its political leadership are all weighing in this week on Cuomo’s idea to offer associate’s and bachelor’s degrees through college classes conducted behin…

If you’ve ever tried to track down state aid numbers for a school district in the hours after the governor releases his budget, you might wonder why the report looks like its was created in the 1980s.It’s because it was – or at least the computer program the state Department of Education uses to tally up exactly how much money each district would get.

Education

ALBANY – It’s hardly a secret that upstate residents have long felt slighted by the state, especially when compared with New York City.So when the mayor of New York proposes to expand a public education program for his city to be paid solely by some of its residents, an upstate resident might ask: Why should I care?Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and other critics of Mayor Bill de Bl…

The Buffalo Bills organization Tuesday expressed its appreciation to the state and Erie County for supporting the franchise.Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he had appointed the first five members of the New Stadium Working Group as part of the state’s efforts to keep the Bills in Buffalo.Russ Brandon, Bills president and chief executive officer, Tuesday issued …

The Buffalo Bills organization Tuesday expressed its appreciation to the state and Erie County for supporting the franchise.Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he had appointed the first five members of the New Stadium Working Group as part of the state’s efforts to keep the Bills in Buffalo.Russ Brandon, Bills president and chief executive officer, Tuesday issued …

Education

The state’s top education leaders Tuesday put a proposal to give teachers a temporary reprieve from a new teacher-evaluation system on hold after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo lambasted the plan.The Board of Regents instead said it would gather public comments on the proposal to allow teachers who face being fired because their students did poorly on state tests in the last school …

Politics

ALBANY – The State Legislature’s top Republican today said he believes Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will be the GOP’s nominee to run for governor this year and questioned whether developer Donald Trump was ever serious about seeking the governor’s mansion.“I believe Rob will be the candidate,’’ Senate co-leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, said this …

Education

Today’s fourth-graders would be the first required to meet higher new state graduation requirements tied to the Common Core learning standards.And teachers in school districts that were slow to roll out the new learning standards would get some protection against being fired because their students performed poorly on state tests in the last school year and this one.Both pr…

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proclaimed February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month and is inviting New Yorkers to join in a social media campaign to support it.The campaign, led by the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, enables people to show their concern about teen dating violence by taking a photo of themselves holding oversized version…

State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is the latest public official targeting “zombie properties” that have been abandoned and left to deteriorate.Schneiderman today is expected to announce plans for legislation that would require mortgage lenders to take responsibility for thousands of abandoned properties statewide, many of them in Buffalo Niagara. His proposal wou…

Politics

WASHINGTON – Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand may or may not win this week when the Senate finally votes on her legislation putting the prosecution of sexual assaults in the military in the hands of trained prosecutors rather than commanders.But in a sense, she’s won no matter what.Gillibrand, a New York Democrat who was appointed to office five years ago and who spent her first…