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Ask Dan Maffei about the trouble his friend Charlie Rangel finds himself in and you can see his jaw tighten. The usually loquacious congressman appears pained to have to address what he calls an “unfortunate” circumstance that has become a “political football.”Dan Maffei: Finds himself in a precarious position with his friendship with the ethically challenged Charlie Rangel. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
Women Transcending Boundaries hopes to bridge a sense of understanding regarding cultural hot potatoes
Just 240 miles from Clinton Square, a gentleman of the Muslim faith wishes to build a cultural center. Much of the media conveniently, but inaccurately, refer to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s project as a mosque. While the plan put forward by the Imam’s Cordova Institute contains a Muslim prayer hall, to call it just a mosque is akin to referring to Robert Congel’s Destiny as a food court.
Americans are uniquely equipped to push back against the threats global warming poses
It was one of the few chilly evenings of late, and my dinner guest asked for a sweater. In this hottest of recent summers I found myself visiting with a researcher on the front lines of the global climate debate. His bottom line: If we like this hot weather, keep doing more of what we’re doing.
After financial meltdown, now is the time to fix the way we purchase cars
The guy from Otisco running his pickup on firewood and the universal revulsion at the oil puking into the Gulf notwithstanding, America’s love affair with the automobile appears poised for a good long run still. Anyone who made it out to the State Fairgrounds to see those hot rods at the Syracuse Nationals or who settled into a lawn chair on Erie Boulevard to watch the cruisers can attest that automobiles hold a special place in the culture, the imagination, and the lifestyle of our community and our nation.
The late priest Frank Woolever leaves behind a legacy of social service in Central New York
In the sweltering chamber of St. Lucy’s Church on July 9, there came a moment when the Rev. Jim Mathews asked the classmates of the man being celebrated, Frank Woolever, to stand and be recognized. Six robed men, veterans of more than a half-century of service in the Roman Catholic priesthood, rose and humbly acknowledged the gratitude of the congregation. These were priests who had graduated from St. Bernard’s seminary in 1959 along with Woolever, who served this community as a priest for 10 years and for the rest of his life in a variety of roles.Frank Woolever, circa 2000: He belonged to a class of men who came of age in a church struggling with itself. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
Our obsession with Internet speed and quick downloads reeks of entitlement
I’m starting to like the guy on the Time Warner commercials. He’s the likable bumbler in the baseball cap who can’t figure out how to set up a pup tent, can’t remember his mother-in-law’s birthday, and ranks as his grandmother’s third favorite, right behind Kevin. But he likes his Internet really really fast.
Mayor Miner places the law above awards in a recent decision aimed at those who serve and protect
Barack Obama had little choice when confronted with the insubordination of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Politicians from John McCain to John Kerry, pundits from Fox to MSNBC, acknowledged that the president had to stand up for the constitutional mandate of civilian control over the military.
It’s time for Americans to grow up and become responsible consumers of energy
One of the most frustrating things that can happen early in the morning when you’re running late is to race out, get in the car and find that the gas tank is on empty. You know that you left half a tank, and you know that one, if not all, of the young drivers in the household had the car sometime yesterday. Yet none of them bothered to fill the tank. When you ask, of course, you will find out that nobody drove it ’til it was on fumes—nobody. Must have been somebody else.
A national fun ranking should finally dispel the notion that we’re not worthy, but it won’t
It’s like a summer romance made all the more delicious by knowing that it is destined to end. The Salt City’s flirtation with greatness, this time in the form of flame-throwing Syracuse Chiefs pitcher Stephen Strasburg, is a double-edged sword. It reminds us once again how terrific a town this is, and yet awakens that side of us which some have come to describe as a regional inferiority complex.Media day: Stephen Strasburg proved a poised and polished presence during his stay in the Salt City. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
The ever-spewing oil in the Gulf of Mexico is a larger environmental disaster than Onondaga Lake
Have you seen the stories suggesting that we donate our hair to mop up the oil in the Gulf of Mexico? There is something noble and uniquely American about this type of gesture. Americans love to be of help. Americans tend to think of individual, rather than societal, solutions to problems. Americans, with the exception of guys my age, have plenty of hair.