Dec 12


Monday Morning Read

Buffalo teachers throw a tantrum and local colleges and universities wage a losing battle against falling enrollment

Treat yourself this holiday season to a free subscription to WeeklyPost, our email newsletter sent Sunday mornings. Below is the “What I’m Reading” portion of the newsletter.

Buffalo schools don’t enjoy a good reputation. Many teachers in the trenches resent the tag. Yet they acted last week to further tarnish the district by taking a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Tonja Williams. Not because she’s doing a bad job, mind you. But rather, she won’t settle contract negotiations on their union’s terms.

Bad form, people.

As former School Board Member Larry Quinn noted in a guest column in The Buffalo News, there’s a lot wrong with the district’s contract with the Buffalo Teachers Federation. Has been, for decades. The losers have been students and taxpayers.

I don’t blame BTF President Phil Rumore for working to strike the best deal possible for his people — after all, he’s elected to represent teachers, not students and taxpayers. At the same time, it’s long past time for the Board of Education to look out for its constituents, too.

Speaking of education, The Buffalo News detailed yesterday how much trouble many local colleges and universities are in. Enrollment is down — big time — at most of them, starting with Canisius College and SUNY Fredonia and Buffalo State. St. Bonaventure, on the other hand, has enjoyed a surge in enrollment.

City Hall has changed its mind and decided to experiment with a gunfire alert system that we reported last year is ineffective — at best. Study of the system’s use in Chicago concluded it was “inaccurate, expensive and dangerous.” So, of course, Byron Brown and his police department are all in.

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There’s growing evidence that the state is botching its rollout of legalized pot dispensaries, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

There are allegations that state Attorney General Letitia James has been a lot less aggressive investigating sexual harassment charges against one of her top aides than she was with those involving Andrew Cuomo.

Nationally, more and more citizens are being shot dead by police, The Washington Post reports.

Newspaper strikes were once a thing of the past. Until now. More than 1,000 New York Times employees, including journalists, staged a one-day strike last week. Meanwhile, unions at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have been on strike since early October. The paper’s owners might be the worst in the industry, which is saying a lot. Meanwhile, BuzzFeed, once an up-and-coming force, is shedding jobs.

Rule or ruin Republicans poised to take control of the House of Representatives are already taking impeachment of President Biden or one of his cabinet secretaries. No wonder that Mother Jones dubs them the Crazy Caucus in its current edition.

More savagery from the clerics clinging to power in Iran: shooting female protesters in the face and genitals.

This last item is for Donn Esmonde, my old buddy at The News. Another JFK assassination conspiracy theory, via The Daily Beast. Was Lee Harvey Oswald really in the CIA’s payroll just months before Dallas?