Jun 11


Monday Morning Read

Check out this week's recommended reading from Investigative Post

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The Buffalo News reports that city legislators want the school district and the police department to look into the use of “child identification kits” — which include DNA samples — as a tool to help locate kids who have gone missing. They might want to check out this recent report from ProPublica, which found “no evidence” such kits help find missing kids, despite claims by providers that have convinced governments to spend millions to purchase them. One critic ProPublica quoted called the kits “crime control theater.”

Also via the News, Shirley Hamilton, the late president of the Niagara Falls NAACP, alleged rampant race discrimination at the New York Power Authority, where she worked for 44 years. Hamilton died in March, but not before expressing her opposition to the appointment of Justin Driscoll, NYPA’s former general counsel, to head the agency. “She charged that Driscoll had played a role in marginalizing discrimination complaints during his nine years at the authority,” according to News Albany correspondent Chris Bragg. The Senate responded later in the week by refusing to confirm Driscoll.

PUSH Buffalo and the League of Women Voters hosted a forum for candidates running for Buffalo Common Council. None of the incumbents came, according to this Buffalo News report, and only one bothered to reply to the invitation. Zeneta Everhart, who has the Democratic endorsement for the open Masten District, didn’t show. Her opponent, India Walton, did. But the League’s rules governing nonpartisanship say that at least two candidates in a race must be present, or none of the candidates in the race can take the stage. So the 100 or so city voters who came only got to hear from four candidates for the open Ellicott District seat, while challengers vying for other district seats were relegated to the audience. You can watch the four Ellicott District candidates make their pitches on the League’s YouTube channel.

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Donald Trump was indicted — for a second time — but you already knew that. Prosecutors in Georgia say any indictments that arise from their separate investigation into Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election will likely come in August.

Life as a “mediocre” waitress in New York City: sometimes degrading, but also freeing, according to this first-person essay in Dirt.

What’s in that Canadian wildfire smoke we all were breathing this week? “[A] toxic brew of irritant gasses and tiny particles,” according to Science News, which suggests the “headline-grabbing haze might be a wake-up call to East Coast policy makers about the hazards of climate change.” For a thorough analysis of the health threats, check out this story in National Geographic.

Which brings us to this week’s musical sendoff, courtesy of the Sanford Townsend Band. Not a great song, not even a very good one, but certainly apropos.

Garrett Looker and J. Dale Shoemaker contributed to this column.

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