Financial and management issues at Erie Community College

Over the years Erie Community College (ECC) has had its share of ups and downs as the institution navigates the waters of higher education. The school plays a vital role in training both young and not-so-young men and women for careers or to prepare them for continuing their education at a higher level.

There are 16 institutions of higher education in Western New York. Except for SUNY at Buffalo, the local colleges all pretty much depend on local high school graduates to fill their classrooms. Unfortunately the number of high school graduates has been diminishing and the trend is expected to continue. Continue reading

A look at past election results and the political maneuvering in the suddenly exciting race in the 27th Congressional District

Last week’s indictment of 27th District Congressman Chris Collins and others on insider trading charges has encouraged another look at the possible competitiveness of a district that has been the most overwhelming Republican one in New York State. National House race political gurus have moved their reviews of the district from strong Republican to leaning Republican. That’s not a major shift thus far, but the consensus appears to be that Democratic candidate Nate McMurray’s chances have improved from where they stood just ten days ago. Continue reading

Chris Collins, stockbroker

In light of today’s indictment of Chris Collins, his son and his son’s future father-in-law, I thought I would offer some historical perspective by re-publishing a post about Collins that first appeared here in July 2017.  A link to that post follows.

Some other thoughts:

  • How does all this fit into the character of a man who prides himself on being an Eagle Scout?
  • Does Collins’ press conference today in New York City count as some sort of public event that he has so aggressively avoided with his constituents?
  • For the Republicans so eager to pile on to Albany corruption, where is the outrage about Collins?
  • The line-up for a Republican replacement candidate is already forming:  State Senator Pat Gallivan; Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw; radio host David Bellavia.  There will be more.
  • Finally, at the end of the linked 2017 post there are comments about how offended Collins was as Louise Slaughter went after him about his stock-trading activities.  Somewhere today, Louise is smiling.

Continue reading

Health care in the age of Trump

Donald Trump is obsessed with obliterating the legacy of Barack Obama’s presidency in every manner possible. That includes the national health care program known as Obamacare. Much of the Obama-obsession seems personal, but the consequences of Trump’s efforts to eliminate or radically change Obamacare will have a far-reaching, long-term effect on the health and well-being of millions of Americans.

Some folks in this country seem to feel that everyone should be on their own as far acquiring health insurance is concerned. I’ve got mine, good luck getting yours. Continue reading

Less than 100 days until the November election; pondering the next State Senate

The 2018 political pace is picking up even though we just turned the calendar to August.

The primary season is winding down, but there are still a few states left to select candidates in primaries, including New York. The marathon is coming to the final few miles. Soon it will be a sprint to the finish.

The Democratic primary for governor is still Andrew Cuomo’s to lose, and he is a smart enough politician to know how to avoid most of the potholes and minefields. Despite all the bad press about Cuomo associates being convicted on corruption charges, the polls, including one released yesterday, continue to show Cuomo far ahead of Cynthia Nixon. Continue reading

How New York voters in 2018 might send a message about Albany corruption

New York State is in the midst of a statewide election for the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller. All but the comptroller’s position are seeing hard-hitting, aggressive campaigning.

Overshadowing the elections is a new wave of corruption scandals, trials and convictions involving state officials. For the past ten years or more state residents have seen these occurrences in the offices of governor, comptroller, attorney general, multiple members of the state Assembly and state Senate and a variety of people who held appointive positions with the state or who did business with the state. Continue reading