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Local Commentaries

Is Trump Solely To Blame For Lack Of Political Civility?

When Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter, belittled a Gold Star family and insulted deceased Senator John McCain for having been a prisoner of war, many Americans were understandably appalled and shocked. President Trump has publicly vilified individuals and groups of people in a way that ...

Comfort In Having Morning Routines

There is comfort in getting the day started with a morning routine. Since I am usually the first up at our house (and usually the first to get to sleep at night,) getting things started in the morning is my responsibility. My first task is to let the dog out, quickly followed by making ...

Prosecution Is Not The President’s Job

Maybe it’s my law school training, but I must admit that I have been a long-time believer in giving judges significant discretion when it comes to sentencing and the administration of our criminal laws. Recently, a judge in New York was criticized in the sentencing of former Congressman ...

Success Academy Plight Is Preventable

The students placed at Success Academy are doubly tragic because their plight is preventable. Failure starts in the primary grades. By the time failing children are in middle school, they have a real awareness of their failure status. This is demoralizing to them, incredibly stressful, and ...

Let’s Get The Party Started Again

Political parties, like so many other formal institutions in our country, have fallen pretty well out of favor to put it mildly. You know what I am talking about. I can envision the average Joe, casual political observer in a diner or at work bemoaning destructive partisanship in America. ...

New Medicaid State Waivers, A Pathway For Health Care Reform

Medicaid—the welfare program that provides health care to vulnerable, low-income individuals and families—needs to be reformed, and soon. It’s consuming an ever-larger share of spending at the federal and state level and squeezing out other public policy priorities. At the same time, ...

Point: Beyond Impeachment, Restoring Our Democracy

With the Senate’s acquittal of President Donald Trump, the impeachment saga will end. What next? It’s likely we will hear recriminations and accusations, see finger-pointing and even name calling. More evidence related to the president’s phone call with the Ukrainian president may ...

State Of Our Union

“The state of our union is good” if you are talking about the recent Super Bowl. Not so good if you watched the action recently in the House of Representatives. How can things be “good” when the President won’t shake the hand of the Speaker and she responds by ripping up his speech? ...

The Budget Deficit Is A Chronic Inability To Set Priorities

In the debate unfolding in our country over federal deficits and debt, one fundamental argument is generally overlooked: What we politely call our “structural deficit” is really a chronic inability to set priorities. In a way, we have forgotten as a nation, as a society, how to determine ...

Counterpoint: Liberal Witch Hunt Can’t Burn Trump

It’s hard to believe that the overwhelming majority of Americans — whether or not they were ever partisan — haven’t formed an opinion by now about the state of our national politics. After all, we’ve all been forced to endure years of various accusations and investigations that ...

Government Spending Gets Even More Out Of Control

The federal government continues to spend money like a drunken sailor who just won the Powerball jackpot. According to the Congressional Budget Office, “The federal budget deficit was $358 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 … $39 billion more than the deficit recorded ...

The ‘Notice’ Starts A Sad Process

Every year, about this time, the newspaper publishes a “Legal Notice” from the County with a long list (in small print) of people and entities who have not paid their property taxes. This is a requirement under state law and is the beginning of a process which could lead to the sale at ...

Labor Dept. Is Suing Companies On Stats

Malicious prosecution, fishing expeditions and hostile relationships should never be the hallmarks of a government agency tasked with promoting diversity in hiring for federal contractors. But that is precisely the troubling course taken by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ...

Who Cares About The Federal Budget? We All Should

At a donor event at Mar-a-Lago recently, President Trump asked, “Who the hell cares about the budget?” Indeed, with budget deficits on his watch tipping into the trillions, Trump does seem not to care. Gone are the days when Republicans would criticize profligate spending as they did ...

Time Marches On For Everyone

Recently, thanks to a good buddy who helped with the driving, I took a road-trip to Chicago and the Midwest to see two old friends. Both are experiencing what could be life-ending health issues. It was a reminder that “time marches on,” and that there is nothing you can do about getting ...

The Reality Of Loan Forgiveness

Reality has a habit of interrupting the stories people tell themselves. The 18th century philosopher George Berkeley constructed complex arguments to prove that matter doesn’t really exist. In response, Samuel Johnson famously kicked a rock and said, “I refute (him) thus.” Like ...

Losing Not Just A Man, But A Figure

When I read of Kobe Bryant’s death I felt an acute sorrow which celebrity deaths typically do not impress upon me. The public displays in honor of celebrities always seem performative, even self-congratulatory. I talked to my friends about it who felt similarly and struggled to understand ...

The Hot Air Is Blowing From The Superintendent’s Office

Did you feel the hot air blowing from Jamestown’s superintendent of schools office? Jamestown has had a problem for many years with high failure rates on state standardized tests (ELA 77%; mathematics 78%) and a low graduation rate of 71 percent. The superintendent, however, says, ...

Let’s Not Lose Sight Of The Lake

This is simply to provide additional information as follow-up to the January 18-19 edition’s lead article concerning Chautauqua Lake. Near the end of the article the writer refers to a 2015 guidance bulletin from the central office of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). ...

An Arena Where Politics Meet Science

Last fall, a report was issued by Princeton Hydro, an independent third-party environmental firm hired by the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (“the Alliance”) to evaluate the status of Chautauqua Lake after its second annual herbicide treatment was completed this past ...