Time to start thinking about a merger of ECC and NCCC

In the Western New York community over the past two or three decades, we have seen all sorts of consolidations and closings. There are fewer churches, elementary and high schools, libraries, supermarket chains.  There was a time when there was a neighborhood bar on practically every corner of the City of Buffalo, but even that institution is diminished.

There are still about 16 institutions of higher education in Western New York. But except for the University at Buffalo, most are going through some stage of financial struggle as the education pipeline of feeder schools is narrowing.  A smaller population means fewer candidates for college admission, and most institutions here depend on Western New York high schools to fill their college seats.  Business First reports that there were 16,103 public high school graduates in Western New York in 2008, but 14,653 in 2014, a drop of nine percent.  The 2010 Census in Western New York indicated 18 percent fewer one year-olds than 13 year-olds, so the diminishing group of future WNY college students will continue for many years. Continue reading

“The base” — first of an occasional series

All politicos know, understand, and appreciate what their political base is and how important it can be. Let’s begin with an attempt to explain what a political base is.

In order to be successful as a candidate, or in order to be successful as a legislator trying to get some legislation approved, you need to know how to count – accurately. In building your majority, or is some cases, your plurality, you start out with those who you can depend on most. Hopefully it is large enough to get you close to where you need to be. It is not likely to be large enough by itself to carry the day. That is your base – people who generally think as you do and support what you are proposing. Continue reading

Isn’t it great to see Democrats and Republicans working together?

There is all kinds of talk in the political world about the lack of bi-partisanship, the parties always fighting. And along comes a great local example of bi-partisanship. I’m not talking about the county executive working out some budget issues with members of the Republican legislative caucus. I’m writing about the cooperative efforts of Steve Casey and Chris Grant. Continue reading

Pigeongate lawyer update

I am committed to providing accurate information for this blog, and if there is something that requires a correction or an addendum, I will provide it whenever new information presents itself.

First a correction. I wrote on June 5th that of the $85,000 that Senator Tim Kennedy’s political committee contributed to the WNY Progressive Caucus in 2013, $45,000 was listed in a Kennedy for Senate committee financial disclosure, and that $40,000 was donated through some dormant committee that Kennedy had when he was a county legislator. That is incorrect. Both the $45,000 and the $40,000 Kennedy contributions were reported through his Kennedy for Senate committee. I apologize for posting the incorrect information. Continue reading