Letter: Humble Pie for Chris Collins

by  The Public Staff

I recently had the pleasure of sitting next to Representative Chris Collins for a three-hour flight to Florida. Anyone seated within five rows of Representative Collins was lucky enough to hear about his intelligence, savvy, wealth, and boastful pride in the recent election results. How he has direct access to the president’s son-in-law and won’t be taking a job at the White House as he is too valuable in Congress with his expertise in the pharmaceutical industry. I never once heard him mention how the voters in the district where he lives decided after four years they no longer needed his services as county executive and voted him out of office. Is losing the state where you live and voters know you best and the national popular vote by more than million people evidence of some overwhelming mandate, or just a repudiation of Washington, DC and a deeply flawed beltway candidate like Hillary Clinton?

What has Representative Chris Collins “knowledge and expertise” done for our healthcare?

US healthcare as a percentage of GDP has grown from six percent in 1970 to 18 percent by 2016.  During the same period in Canada, Germany, and the UK it went from roughly five percent in 1970 to 10 percent today. The US is currently spending seven to eight percent more of its GDP on healthcare than any other industrialized nation with no impact on actual health outcomes as a nation.  Americans pay some of the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world, often 50 to 80 percent more than just across the border in Canada. Eight percent more of US GDP is about 1.5 trillion dollars yearly.  Money that could be spent on education, roads, and bridges, tax reductions, or reducing the $19 trillion federal debt.

Representative Chris Collins seems far more interested in feeding his oversized ego, running pharmaceutical companies in Australia, and making money with private placement stock offerings for his friends and family than in helping solve the healthcare and debt crisis we face in America. Listening to him drone on about all his accomplishments and status for three hours made me regret ever voting for him. Representative Collins seems the epitome of the “public servant” whose actions and results show he is far more concerned with increasing his own power and wealth than helping his constituents or this country.

The next time you see Representative Collins driving his red Ford pickup truck while campaigning, ask him why he left the Range Rover and Mercedes parked in his heated garage overlooking Spaulding Lake. Was he afraid they would get dirty or was it because he is embarrassed that, with all his wealth, he does not buy American-made vehicles, despite asking you to vote for him as your representative in Congress?

I’d like to know why Representative Collins did nothing when Gildan closed New Buffalo Shirt Factory in Clarence last year and moved the printing of t-shirts for companies like Nike and Disney to Honduras?  He actually told news outlets that anyone who still wanted a job with Gildan was being offered one but failed to mention most of those the jobs paid about $15 per day and were located in Honduras. Where was his outrage at a huge corporation moving jobs offshore to save 25  cents per printed t-shirt while over 150 of his constituents lost their jobs? At least Donald Trump would have embarrassed Gildan with a Tweet, just for the optics. Was Representative Collins too busy enriching himself with private stock offerings in Australia to worry about the people who live and work in his district, or just too inept and incompetent to do anything about it?

The people of the 27th congressional district of New York State deserve a representative who will fight for them. Gildan offshoring New Buffalo Shirt Factory jobs in 2016 from Clarence to Honduras happened on his watch. He was elected to fight for the people and jobs in his district, to keep America strong. Representative Collins either does not get it or just does not care. This is not about Democrat or Republican, but I demand to be represented by someone more concerned about helping his constituents than feeding his own ego and wallet. We need to send that message and a big piece of humble pie to Representative Collins in 2018. —Aaron Walker, Clarence

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Americans Overwhelmingly Say Lives Have Improved Since KellyAnne Conway Went Away

borowitz-conway-effect

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—An overwhelming majority of Americans say that their lives have improved since Kellyanne Conway went away, a new poll finds.

According to the poll, Americans have been sleeping more, eating better, and enjoying a markedly greater sense of well-being following Conway’s sudden departure.

“I had lost my zest for life,” Carol Foyler, a poll respondent, said. “Now that Kellyanne Conway is gone, I greet every day with a smile, I feel my energy coming back, and I want to have sex again.”

Across the nation, medical professionals have reported striking improvements in patients’ mental health since the White House counsellor vanished, a phenomenon some doctors are calling the Conway Effect.

“Over the last few months, we had incorrectly diagnosed a number of patients with a host of psychiatric disorders,” Dr. Davis Logsdon, the head of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, said. “It turns out it was just Kellyanne.”

Conway’s disappearance, however, has not been an unalloyed boon, because in some patients it has stirred “severe anxiety” that she might someday return “without warning,” Logsdon said.

“For patients who are worried about Kellyanne Conway coming back, I prescribe mindfulness,” Logsdon said. “Regard every day without Kellyanne Conway as a gift. Savor it. Cherish it.”

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Coalition for Open Government Meeting


Paul Wolf – Chairman of the Coalition for Open Government group

Just a reminder that the next Coalition for Open Government meeting will be Tuesday, February 28th, 5:30 pm.  It will be held at the Williamsville Library, 5571 Main Street.

Everyone is welcome.  There is no connection with our group with the village or the Town of Amherst.

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Former White Supremacists Help Others Leave Hate Groups


Shane Johnson displays some of his tattoos as he poses in his home in Tippecanoe, Ind.  Johnson was born into extremism is in the process of covering some of his racist tattoos with new ones and wears long sleeves to hide remnants of his past he regrets.

Jay Reeves

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Trump Baffles Sweden With Crime Comment, Says It Was Based On TV Report

Trump, who in his first weeks in office has tried to tighten U.S. borders sharply for national security reasons, told thousands of supporters at a rally on Saturday that Sweden was having serious problems with immigrants.

“You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden,” Trump said. “Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

President Donald Trump said on Sunday his comment was based on a television report on FOX NEWS, the only source he trusts.

No incident occurred in Sweden and the country’s baffled government asked the U.S. State Department to explain what Trump meant.

“My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden,” Trump said in a tweet on Sunday.

Fox News, a U.S. cable news channel that has sometimes been cited favorably by Trump, ran a report on Friday night about alleged migrant-related crime problems in the country.

A White House spokeswoman told reporters on Sunday that Trump had been referring generally to rising crime and not a specific incident in the Scandinavian country.

Sweden’s crime rate has fallen since 2005, official statistics show, even as the country has taken in hundreds of thousands of immigrants from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq.

Trump’s comment confounded Sweden’s government. “We are trying to get clarity,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson said.

The U.S. State Department said it did not comment on diplomatic communications.

Trump has been widely criticized for making assertions with little supporting evidence.

In recent months, he has argued that more than 3 million people voted fraudulently in the U.S. election, an assertion that election officials say is false, and incorrectly stated that he won the election by the most decisive margin in decades.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom appeared to respond to Trump’s statement about her country on Saturday by posting on Twitter an excerpt of a recent speech in which she said democracy and diplomacy “require us to respect science, facts, and the media.”

Her predecessor was less circumspect.

“Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound,” former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt wrote on Twitter.Other Swedes mocked Trump’s remark on Twitter using the hashtag #LastNightInSweden, posting pictures of reindeer, Swedish meatballs and people assembling the country’s famous IKEA furniture.”#lastnightinsweden my son dropped his hotdog in the campfire. So sad!” Twitter user Adam Bergsveen wrote.

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Trump to Roll Back Obama’s Climate, Water Rules Through Executive Action

 
President Trump signs an executive order while surrounded by small-business leaders in the Oval Office
Trump and the Republicans claim they intend to roll back protections on air and water that were the result of Obama.  The regulations resulted from the contaminated air and water of the 1950’s and 1960’s that increased health costs and risks along with waterways that had become toxic.

Now by giving free reign to the Coal Mining, Chemical, and fossil fuel industries to place profit in front of the Public Good, we will be back to waters we can not swim in much less drink within a decade.

Cleaning up the coal plants in the 1960’s curbed acid rain and stopped the intolerable acidification of the fresh water lakes of Northeastern United States.

These Trump policies will teach America that if you fail to pay attention to the past you create a terrible future.
Read more…

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Our Planning Board is Rigged and Crooked

In Monday’s Buffalo News (Feb.20) there was an article concerning the Ciminelli Corp. developing a piece of Muir Woods.

In the article, Judy Colton said that it isn’t this development which caused Amherst to build themselves into oblivion.  She has been a fighter against development which is taking our green space and causing problems in our neighborhoods.

The main group which had sold out what once was a pleasant town was our notorious Republican Planning Board which had approved of over 90% of major developers requests for their projects.  When the Planning Board selected Bob Gilmour to serve seven more years it became a collection of corrupt, greedy, sick wimps, and cowards. When hatchet man Gilmour finishes this term he will have racked up a total of 19 years of giving Amherst’s precious property to developers.

At present Gilmour, who’s occupation is a lobbyist, is Chairman of our Planning Board. The only honest and truthful person on this seven-member group is Mary Shapiro.

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President Trump Names McMaster as National Security Advisor

 President Donald Trump (right) announced H.R. McMaster (left) as his national security adviser from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
 President Donald Trump (right) announced H.R. McMaster (left) as his national security adviser from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump has tapped Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser, replacing the ousted Michael Flynn.

Trump announced the pick Monday at his Palm Beach club and said McMaster is ‘‘a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.’’

The president, who has no military experience, has shown a preference for generals in the top security roles. McMaster, who wore his uniform for the announcement, joins Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, both retired generals.

Trump says retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg who had been his acting adviser, will now serve as the National Security Council chief of staff. He also said he would be asking John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to work with them in a ‘‘somewhat different capacity.’’

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Trump made the announcement from a luxurious living room, sitting on a couch between McMaster and Kellogg. The president told reporters as he exited the room that Vice President Mike Pence had been involved in the process.

Trump brought four candidates for the position to Mar-a-Lago over the weekend for in-person interviews, McMaster among them. McMaster called the appointment a ‘‘privilege.’’

McMaster served in the first Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq. Considered a scholarly officer, he holds a Ph.D. in military history, and has authored a book called ‘‘Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.’’ He has also written articles questioning the planning for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Trump pushed out Flynn a week ago after revelations that the adviser had misled Pence about discussing sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition. Trump said in a news conference Thursday that he was disappointed by how Flynn had treated Pence, but did not believe Flynn had done anything wrong by having the conversations.

Trump’s first choice to replace Flynn, retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward, turned down the offer

The position of national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation.

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Sun Cuisines, A Popular Burmese & Thai Restaurant Opens In Williamsville

Black rice salad with avocado, mango, and cashews at Sun Williamsville.
Sun Cuisines, a popular Burmese and Thai restaurant in Buffalo, has opened a new restaurant at 5759 Main St. at the corner of Evans Street in Williamsville.

Sun Cuisines was Buffalo’s first Burmese restaurant and this is the third location to open under its umbrella. The Williamsville restaurant follows the original restaurant, which opened in Black Rock in 2010, and Sun Roll, a quick-service counter that opened in February 2016 in EXPO in downtown Buffalo.

The 3,420-square-foot restaurant seats 120 diners and features a similar menu to the first restaurant, including Burmese and Thai specialties, black rice sushi and Asian fusion dishes. It took over the former Great Northern Pizza Kitchen space.

The ribbon-cutting at noon features members or the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, local business owners, community leaders and Sun Cuisines’ Kevin and Stephanie Lin.

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Ciminelli Plans to Develop 87 Acres of Muir Woods

Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. has decided to build 133 single-family homes in Amherst.  These homes will be built on 87 acres on the east side of the site on Muir Woods.  They have done nothing on this property for 17 years.  The area they plan to build near is at the northwest corner of Amherst.

Later down the road, Ciminelli does plan to build market-rate apartments, patio homes, and additional single-family homes elsewhere on this property.  At present they have no plans to build office space or student housing at Muir Woods.

The plan is not likely to satisfy residents who live near the site, particularly those on Lynette, Joanie and Nancy lanes, off North French Road. Another group of residents who long fought the project live in the Bucyrus Heights neighborhood, off Sweet Home Road.

Judy Colton, who has waged a 17-year fight against developing Muir Woods, said the project fits the Zoning C classifications.  She said she fears for the residents of Lynette who will have to deal with increased traffic. The problem isn’t with any  one development in town but with

The problem isn’t with any one development in town but with our DECADES-LONG HISTORY OF GIVING IN TO NEARLY EVERY BUILDER WHO PROPOSED DEVELOPING GREEN SPACE.

“We have built ourselves into oblivion,” Judy Colton said.

 

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