Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 8, 2013

OUR VIEW: Cheers and Jeers

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Cheers: Late last week it was announced that Cabela’s, a store with an outdoors theme, would be opening in Cheektowaga, across from Walden Galleria. It should come as no surprise that they are building in an existing retail area: Build where the shoppers are. To us, this shows that downtown Lockport is headed in the right direction, on a smaller scale of course. Downtown in recent years has become a destination for entrepreneurs to open new and unique businesses. You can see the results: Downtown is becoming more vibrant as people add these new stores to their shopping lists.

Jeers: The City of Lockport’s insurance company recently paid out $700,000 to settle a lawsuit in which a husband and wife were killed in an accident involving a city dump truck. The accident occurred on Niagara Falls Boulevard several years ago. The coupe was in a northbound vehicle which was struck twice, the second time by the city truck, which was traveling south. We offer our deepest condolences to the family, and this editorial isn’t about them; it’s about the court system. It’s a shame that the legal system is designed in a way that behind-the-scenes decisions are based more on financial concerns, rather than right versus wrong. Under this setup, it’s possible for innocent people to decide its best to pay a cash settlement than go through the courtroom.

Cheers: Catholic Charities is closing in on the goal for its annual appeal. That’s fantastic news for them and for the thousands in need who will benefit from the generosity of those who donated to the appeal. The amount raised is a testament to the people here in Western New York who, in spite of continuing economic hardships, continue to open their wallets and purses to help those who are less fortunate.

Jeers: Could someone please add some meaningful structure to the regulatory environment? Recent events has led us to believe that Albany would rather create short cut after short cut instead of making real decisions. A bill that passed in the New York State Senate recently is a perfect example. Sen. George Maziarz sponsored the bill that would preempt the Public Service Commission from regulating electric car charging stations. According to Maziarz’s office, the legislation “will provide regulatory surety to companies that want to partner with the state in constructing, maintaining and operating electric vehicle charging stations.” We’re all for expanding the use of electric cars, but this bill is simply a way to skirt current regulations. In other words, it’s legislation to side-step legislation.