ECC’s finance and management issues lack the transparency required of a public institution

Erie Community College is a public institution with an annual budget of $111 million, 45 percent of which is funded directly by state and county taxpayers. It is a public institution whose administration seems comfortable with talking around funding issues and how the school spends its money.

This blog has posted numerous articles about problems at the College. Last August a series of articles was posted about the financial management of the institution; its contract with Canisius College for dormitory space; and the manner in which the school’s president spends tens of thousands of dollars made available to him in two expense accounts. Continue reading

Chris Collins — right for the wrong reason

As the garbage piles up at national monuments and parks; as TSA agents and other federal security personnel go to work without a paycheck; as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s minions cut favors for their banker friends; Trumpworld spins out of control in all sorts of ways. This is all very unsettling, but probably makes Trump pals in Moscow very happy.

With all that is going on with Trump, it’s not hard to overlook some lesser political issues that are serious, but have been pushed out of the limelight by bigger developments. So that you don’t forget the less shiny objects, Congressman Chris Collins has come to the rescue. Continue reading

Off to the races for 2020, with some interesting new developments

Well, we are nine days into 2019, so it’s about time that the 2020 election began. Not! For historical reference, John F. Kennedy announced his bid for the 1960 presidency in January 1960. Everything moves faster these days.

We are, for the moment, talking primarily about the Democratic contest for the presidential nomination. On the Republican side John Kasich and maybe Mitt Romney would probably love a shot at Donald Trump, but that seems highly unlikely. There have been reports about some states (South Carolina comes to mind) where the native Republicans are looking to short circuit even the chance of a challenge to Trump by eliminating primaries. That seems so fitting giving the authoritarian ways of the party’s leader. Continue reading

A soldier’s Christmas story

Politics and Other Stuff is taking a holiday break, returning on January 2nd. In the meantime, I am re-running a post from my friend Steve Banko, a highly decorated veteran of the Vietnam War. Whether you are re-reading the article, or seeing it for the first time, the story provides a touching narrative of what is important in life.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

By Steve Banko

For me, Christmas will always be found in the music.

From those long ago days of grammar school innocence when the nuns embarked on the crusade to drill the words of every carol in Christendom into my brain, until today – with innocence a faded memory but the joy of Christmas a constant prayer, I found great delight and consolation in the music of Christmas. Some of my most enduring memories involve those nuns, the songs they taught me, and the way we sang them. Continue reading