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Editorials

The state’s projected $6.2 billion operating deficit was the elephant in the room – pun intended – when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo delivered his State of the State address on Wednesday. Republicans and other fiscal watchdogs will point out, rightly, that the governor needs to put forth his administration’s solutions for closing that Empire State-sized gap. Cuomo deferred answ…

Editorials

Buffalo Comptroller Barbara Miller-Williams wants to start a conversation with the mayor and his staff about the city’s reserve funds. It is a good idea: Increase reserve funds while bolstering the city’s weakening Wall Street creds. It sounds simple, but it’s a financial balancing act that includes, among other challenges, wondering whether to rely on casino revenues t…

Former Gov. Mario Cuomo made the famous observation about politics that “you campaign in poetry; you govern in prose.” West Seneca’s new town supervisor, Gary Dickson, campaigned in prose and seems more likely to govern in spreadsheets. That seems just fine with the voters who made Dickson the town’s first Republican supervisor in 50 years. The former FBI special age…

Editorials

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, as is his habit, has been serving up informational snacks to New Yorkers for the past few weeks – appetizers meant to pique interest in Wednesday’s State of the State address. All are in some way interesting and worthy of discussion. What he hasn’t fully dealt with, though, is the most urgent item on the state’s 2020 agenda: Closing a $6.1 billion …

Editorials

Several things must happen to keep the wrecking ball away from Buffalo’s historic buildings. For starters, owners of such structures must maintain their properties. For another, the city and state need to pay closer attention. Unfortunately, not all owners care, and when buildings become structurally unsound, uninhabitable and primed for the wrecking ball, it should be ea…

Editorials

The International Joint Commission can do only so much to protect property owners along Lake Ontario from damage caused by high water. The good news, if anyone wants to hear it, is that it is doing just that. Still, the binational commission may not get much credit from those lake-side landowners or state officials. They prefer to blame the organization’s new water mana…

Editorials

There have been objections to Hispanic United’s methadone clinic ever since it opened five years ago on Buffalo’s West Side. A recent story in The News highlighted neighbors’ complaints about finding used needles on the ground, and seeing clients loiter in the neighborhood, idling taxis jamming Virginia Street and some clients selling their Saturday “takeaway” doses out…

Editorials

The wife of former Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan once described her husband as “the fun parent” type of coach. At the other end of that spectrum is the old-school, demanding style of NFL coaches like Vince Lombardi or Bill Parcells. The Bills’ current man in charge, Sean McDermott, has found a happy medium. He does not suffer fools easily or let his players think they…

Well, that was sudden. Morton’s steakhouse – formally if awkwardly known as Morton’s The Steakhouse, in case you didn’t know – abruptly closed its doors in Buffalo’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on Wednesday. The house had been packed for New Year’s Eve, but once those dinners were done, it was so long, pardner. There has been no explanation for the closure as of Friday, no word…

Editorials

Wrongful conviction is always a tragedy, sometimes with disastrously radiating consequences, but in most cases, it is nonetheless the product of errors that were avoidable but still unintentional. The question today is whether that pattern applies to the 27 years Valentino Dixon spent in prison for a murder he did not commit. The Buffalo man says it doesn’t. He has file…

Editorials

When Paul A. Dyster ran for the seat of Niagara Falls mayor in 2003, the former arms control negotiator thought his background would be effective in tasks like finding common ground with unions representing city employees: “I’m good at bringing people together who think they have irreconcilable differences,” is how he put it. The jury is still out on whether he offered …

On Tuesday, Mark C. Poloncarz began his third term as Erie County Executive. Before him, only Dennis Gorski, had achieved that status, Poloncarz, then, surely understands that such longevity confers both an opportunity and a warning: Gorski lost his bid for a fourth term. Like Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown, already serving his fourth term, Poloncarz has been at his job l…

Editorials

With a new year and new decade underway, it’s time for our mostly tongue-in-cheek predictions about what 2020 might hold in store for Buffalo Niagara. January: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announces a new round of aid for Western New York under his Buffalo Thousand initiative, a scaled-back program reflecting the state’s budget gap. Grants from the Buffalo Thousand will pay for…

Editorials

In this space we proclaimed 2017 as the Year of Disruption, and 2018 the Year of Corruption. And though it ruins the rhyme scheme, 2019 was clearly the Year of Reckoning. Former Rep. Chris Collins paid a steep price for engaging in insider stock trading. The Clarence Republican in October pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and lying to investigators…