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Planning. Judging. Relaxing.

   The top and the bottom of today's Buffalo News Opinion page take local officials to task for their inability -- make that outright refusal -- to plan and govern as one community instead of dozens of rival fiefdoms.
   The lead editorial -- Planning opportunity lost -- criticizes Erie County Executive Chris Collins for vetoing, and the Erie County Legislature for failing to override the veto of -- a measure that would have finally created a county planning commission. Collins' argument that it would be an expensive and unneeded extra layer of government falters when compared to the expensive and unreasonable situation as it is.
   The status quo virtually begs each municipality to engage in the kind of zoning-for-dollars that approves the next big-box store or housing subdivision without regard for the damage it might do to existing developments and the strain it might put on roads, utilities, law enforcement, schools and other tax-supported services. 
   The Another Voice column -- Collaboration, not competition, is critical -- is an offering from William H. Hudnut III [right], former Buffalo resident who later served 16 years as mayor of the unified city-county Hudnut government of Indianapolis -- and was a key player in stealing, er, luring the NFL's Colts away from Baltimore. So he knows something about urban development. And he also is unhappy with the local resistance to community-wide planning.
   Today, regions compete, not cities. Therefore, municipal entities within a region — that is, in the same commuter shed where people read the same papers, listen to the same news and root for the same teams, the Sabres and the Bills — must learn to work together to be competitive.

   The second editorial -- Court shows good judgment -- praises last week's 8-1 Supreme Court ruling that found the strip-searching of an Arizona teenager by middle school officials looking for extra-strength Advil was a violation of the Constitution's prohibition of "unreasonable searches."
   The court made the right call on this one. It did so, not just because its members can read the law, but because at least eight of them can imagine what it must be like to be a helpless child psychically violated by a powerful adult.
   All the other opinions I can find -- including those offered by The New York TimesThe Tulsa WorldThe Los Angeles TimesThe Seattle Times and The Marysville (Calif.) Appeal-Democrat -- suggest that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is about the only person in the country who didn't have a problem with such abuse of a child.Axlerod

   And, in today's relaxing My View column -- Relaxing with Yoda at the Jell-O factory  -- Williamsville's Harvey Axelrod [right] explains the benefits, and the hazards, of a good massage.
   Massage can reduce your blood pressure and leave you lightheaded. One of the side effects is that afterward, you are so extremely relaxed, you have to get off the table slowly. In fact, you are so relaxed that you have to be very careful driving home. Road rage after a massage is unthinkable.

   Maybe they should try that in Albany.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News. 
        


  

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