Eight weeks to go

So the national primary election season, which stretched from March through yesterday, is finally over. New York brought up the rear. (I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not that is a pun.)

Andrew Cuomo’s campaign went through more than $21.4 million so far in 2018 (as of August 31st) to make sure that things came out okay for him. And they did. His 31 percent margin of victory would probably have been a little bigger if he didn’t get greedy by staging a grand opening for the new $3 billion plus Mario Cuomo Tappen Zee Bridge, only to have the bridge shut down the next day for safety reasons. Continue reading

The view from a pew

A guest post by Steve Banko


This is getting harder for me and by “this” I don’t mean writing these essays.  I’ve always been able to write.  But I’ve always also been able to reason and to think and much of what is happening in my Church is making it harder for me to be a believer.

The hideous sexual abusers who have ravaged our young Catholics and punched holes in our confidence in the cloth are one thing.  Hardly a day goes by without another revelation of massive abuse: 300 priests in Pennsylvania, a thousand or so in Ireland, several dozen in Western New York, another hundred in Boston. Continue reading

The Republicans’ congressional campaign in the 27th district; campaign finance updates

So someone turned off the music on the game of musical chairs that was intended to determine which Republican will succeed indicted Congressman Chris Collins in the 27th district. The candidates went round and round. Some of them felt that the game was just a charade and dropped out of contention on their own. Others either cling to the hope that it will all work out this fall, or maybe that they could position themselves for a special election in 2019. Continue reading

Financial and management issues at Erie Community College — Part III

Blog posts last week reported on financial and administrative issues at Erie Community College as well as the contract between Erie Community College and Canisius College for the provision of ECC student housing at Canisius. Today’s post concludes this series of reports by examining the use of expense accounts by senior management at ECC.

That spending is significant even while it is proportionally one of the smaller expense items at the College. Its significance speaks to the approach of the school’s leadership to their fiduciary responsibilities. College revenues, regardless of the expense category, come from the collective pockets of the students as well as county, state and federal taxpayers. Continue reading

Financial and management issues at Erie Community College — Part II

Tuesday’s post reported on issues related to developing financial problems at Erie Community College. Today’s post explores an issue that the College is touting as a win for the school:  the contract with Canisius College for the provision of student housing at Canisius for ECC students.

The two schools see the agreement as a win-win proposition. ECC would have dorm rooms available for some of its students, while Canisius, which has empty dorm rooms because of declining enrollment, would receive some much-needed revenue. Here’s part of the announcement of the deal as reported on the Canisius website on June 6th: Continue reading

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