New Film About US Persecution of Gays Spurs Calls to Remove Hoover’s Name From FBI Building


The J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington, D.C.

As momentum mounts for taking down the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House grounds, another checkered historical legacy is coming under fresh scrutiny: that of legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, whose name adorns the FBI Building in Washington.

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Newly unearthed details about Hoover’s secret targeting of gay and lesbian Americans — featured in “Uniquely Nasty,” a Yahoo News documentary released this week — has revived calls to remove his name from FBI headquarters in Washington.

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“I don’t think his name should be on that building,” said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, after watching the Yahoo film, “Uniquely Nasty: The U.S. Government’s War on Gays.”

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Gay Couples Can Marry

Gay Marriage

Breaking News—The Supreme Court has ruled Gay couples have right  to marry.

The Supreme Court has found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, striking down bans in 14 states and handing a historic victory to the gay rights movement that would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago.

Anthony Kennedy, a conservative justice who has broken with his ideological colleagues to author several decisions expanding rights for LGBT people, again sided with the court’s four liberals to strike down the state bans. The 5-4 majority ruled that preventing same-sex people from marrying violated their constitutional right to equal protection under the law and that the states were unable to put forth a compelling reason to withhold that right from people.

The United States is now just the 21st country in the world to allow same-sex marriage in every jurisdiction.
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Hiring This Criminal Was Schad’s Treachery

A job with the Erie County Water Authority is on the horizon for a former Cheektowaga councilman who left office after being convicted of unemployment insurance fraud earlier this year.

Charlie Markel is scheduled to start Monday as a temporary water utility worker, which pays $45,260 annually, a spokesman for the agency said Monday.

“It’s not a civil service title,” said Brian A. Gould of e3communications, which handles public relations for the Water Authority. “He’s filling in right now for someone that’s on a leave of absence.”

Should an opening occur, Markel could be considered for permanent status, Gould said.
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Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies


Supporters of the Affordable Care Act hold up signs as the opinion for health care is reported outside the Supreme Court in Washington Thursday.

The Supreme Court spared a key part of President Barack Obama’s signature law in a 6-3 decision Thursday, ruling that the federal government may continue to subsidize health insurance in the dozens of states that did not set up their own exchanges.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who was the object of immense conservative blowback after he joined the court’s liberals three years ago to uphold the law’s individual mandate, again wrote the majority opinion in support of the Obama administration position. He was joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who expressed deep reservations when the case was argued about whether striking down the subsidies would coerce states into establishing their own exchanges, and the court’s four liberal justices.

The law’s challengers argued that four words in the statute — “established by the state” — meant that only people who bought insurance from exchanges in the handful of states that set up their own marketplaces would be eligible for tax credits and other government assistance. The government countered that the clear intent of the law was to provide the subsidies for all lower-income Americans who sought coverage.
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Powerful Political Bosses Must Be Beaten by Who And What is Right

Schad4

When Jerry Schad told Debbie Bucki he wouldn’t support her he used harsh words.  A witness to this belittlement became very angry with Schad.  Schad has known the Bucki family for many years.  She became the  person Schad used to get any special event done competently for the ADC.

When Schad was told his Water Authority job would be jeopardized if he didn’t cooperate with Erie County Executive Poloncarz , Jeremy Zellner and Ralph Lorigo by supporting H. Borden, Schad informed Debbie Bucki and Fran Spoth he wouldn’t support either one of them.  He made it clear to ADC members, who owe their jobs to him or Dennis Ward, that they had better carry Borden petition sheets.

Why are two very experienced and talented women, with years of service to the Town of Amherst, being rejected?  Why is Ms. Borden suddenly the choice of outside politicians?

Heavy-handed tactics used by politicians, to wield power in defiance of democracy, rules of civil behavior and Committee protocol, should not be tolerated.  It’s a Town Board seat.  Outside influence has no place in this theater and neither does bullying.

Ms. Borden’s accomplishments are diminished by being the center of this circus.  It’s surprising that someone of her position would want to be part of it. She should bow out.

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Items Stolen From Snyder Home While Residents Slept

Amherst Police w flag

Locking his windows is something Daniel Swanson normally doesn’t even have to think about – it’s automatic. But Tuesday was different.

“I said, ‘Let’s shut the air off and open up the windows.’ Then we ended up going out, and came home and just went to bed,” said Swanson, who’s lived on Bernhardt Drive for 10 years.

When he woke up, he found one screen off a window and another opened all the way. A purse and cell phone were gone.

Two blocks away, Mark Booth made a similar discovery.
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New Rules in Place for Youth at Old Home Days

Island Park Old Home Days

During Monday’s work session, the Village Board discussed new policies for youth who plan on attending Old Home Days in July.

The board met with members of the Jolly Boys of Williamsville, whose members are the founders and organizers of the event.

According to village officials, the organization is responding to growing complaints in recent years that large groups of teens have gathered at the Island Park entrance.

The Old Home Days Committee’s new policies include:

• A ban on backpacks carried by minors, younger than age 18, after 6 p.m.

• A ban on minors, younger than age 18, after 6 p.m. unless they are accompanied by an adult.

• A strict 10 p.m. end time for rides, which will be followed by a police “push” and the closing of the beer tent at 11 p.m.

• The introduction of ride bracelets from 6 to 10 p.m. to encourage families to come to the event while saving money and having a fun time with their children.

Officials said they are trying to set the stage for this family friendly event.

Old Home Days is taking place Tuesday, July 7, through Friday, July 10, with the fishing derby scheduled for Saturday, July 11.

A Main Street parade will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 7, and other activities will include rides, games, live music and a bicycle rodeo.

For a full listing of events, visit www.oldhomedays.org.

 

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Amherst Should Keep Westwood Site Green

Amherst should keep Westwood site green                 From Buffalo News

Congratulations to the Amherst Town Board for sending Mensch Capital back to the drawing board to readdress deficiencies in the draft generic environmental impact statement it recently submitted to the board to try to turn Westwood Country Club into a mixed-use neighborhood.

As an Amherst resident who lives literally across the street from Westwood and as a golf member of Westwood, I absolutely despise the fact that Mensch wants to tear up this beautiful golf course and property to build this unneeded monstrosity.

Where will all the wildlife go? What about the loss of valuable wetlands that help with flood control and provide a habitat for the wildlife? What will we, as residents, be breathing in for the next seven to 10 years during construction? What about the increase in traffic congestion and accidents? What about the sewer, drainage and sanitation issues?

These are just a few of the many issues that we, as residents, are very concerned about. Keep Westwood green!

Jackie Santa Maria

Williamsville

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Can You Help Your Community Tonight?

St. Stephens-Bethlehem United Church of Christ (UCC)'s photo.
St. Stephens-Bethlehem United Church of Christ (UCC)  750 Wehrle Dr. Amherst, NY.  Between Union and Forrest on Wehrle Dr.

Blood drive today from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Free hot dog or hamburger with blood donation!

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​Everybody Loves a Watchdog … Until It Barks

Dog-Barking
It’s not clear when the label of watchdog was first attached to the U.S. federal Inspectors General, but it has become a welcomed term for these hard-working public servants and their sta​ffs over the nearly 37 years since the passage of the Inspector General Act of 1978.

It is commonly accepted that the IGs’ mission to ferret out waste, abuse, and corruption in government is important, and there is generally glowing praise for these watchdogs. The same is often expected of government audit organizations around the world. However, in far too many instances, when one of these watchdogs has to report that there is inefficiency, ineffectiveness, fraud, waste, or mismanagement, suddenly not everyone is happy to have them around.

Indeed, the love affair with watchdogs at all levels of government, as well as their capable corporate counterparts, has not been without a few spats. Over the years, legitimate and timely work by IGs and other government audit bodies has been stalled, disrupted, or otherwise maligned by targets of queries, their supporters, or others who fear getting caught up in those investigations or called out by audit reports.

Reactions by government officials vary when the watchdogs bark, including stonewalling investigations and spinning the facts in the media ahead of the release of findings. In some instances, the response is simply to try to muzzle the watchdog.

Just last year, purse strings and politics were the focus of a legislative battle to adequately fund Delaware’s state auditor’s office. The dispute was over whether to allocate previously approved funding to make auditor pay scales more competitive. In this example, withholding resources was essentially an attempt to starve the watchdog.

Another way to quiet the watchdogs is to replace them with friendlier breeds or to delay replacing them at all.

On June 3, the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the issue of extended IG vacancies title “Watchdogs Needed: Top Government Investigator Positions Left Unfilled for Years,”

The hearing addressed the question of whether the success of the IG system has brought about a tendency by the executive branch in the U.S. to delay the appointment of qualified replacements when vacancies occur.

The Institute of Internal Auditors submitted a written statement for the hearing in which I made clear that a permanent IG brings additional independence and credibility to the office. As a former IG for the Tennessee Valley Authority, I can personally attest that a fully qualified IG makes a material difference in the effective operation of a federal agency or program.

I also warned about the dangers of filling vacancies with temporary administrators.

The IIA’s statement to the Senate hearing captures this point: “All too often, acting Inspectors General may be reluctant to be as aggressive as the statute allows and contemplates, especially if they aspire to hold the position themselves and do not want to jeopardize their chances by doing something that might be viewed negatively by the Administration.”

As one witness at the hearing aptly noted, temporary IGs often view their interim position as an audition for the permanent job, and that is a recipe for eroding independence. IGs are in place to provide a lens for the world into the efficiencies, effectiveness and economies of government operations. That important mission is undermined when temporary or acting IGs are appointed.

Independence, objectivity and free and unfettered access to agency operations and records will only the strengthen credibility of IGs and will enhance and bolster public confidence in our system of government.

The federal IG system is not perfect, but it remains one of the strongest system of oversight in the world in terms of its ability to monitor and gain insight into government agencies. Our message to public officials should be crystal clear: While you may not always like what IGs have to say, their presence adds value and credibility to everything government does.

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