It is somewhat surprising that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, usually so measured and calculating in everything he does, would allow himself to become enmeshed in controversy last week by his comment that “extreme conservatives” have no place in New York.
The governor, speaking on NPR’s “Capitol Pressroom,” was talking about the ideological battle between moderate and conservative Republicans when he said of what he called extremists: “Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
More-conservative politicos and organizations in the state took the line to mean there is no place at any table for anyone who differs from the governor’s views.
The statement, and reaction, brings to mind Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” utterance, in which he told a room full of wealthy donors that 47 percent of Americans were dependent on government and therefore unlikely to vote for a Republican. Democrats seized on Mr. Romney’s comments by declaring a presidential candidate should be willing to represent all members of society.
Now the shoe of political dismissal and exclusion is on the foot of Gov. Cuomo, one of the Democratic Party’s potential standard bearers for 2016.
STATE Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, continues her campaign of identifying U.S. military veterans in her district who have not received various medals or awards honoring their service. Through possible mistakes regarding paperwork, transfers from units or perhaps even oversights on the part of superior officers, it is actually rather surprising how many veterans in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties alone have been found by Sen. Young’s office who were somehow overlooked in receiving recognition.
Indeed, two most recent instances involved veterans who served honorably — as have all who have been recognized by the senator’s office — but they also experienced and were wounded in heavy combat.
On Jan. 17, Korean War veteran Hermon L. Foster of Bolivar received several medals and other awards, including the Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon, for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Foster was wounded three times during fierce fighting against Chinese forces in 1952.
Earlier this month, World War II veteran Franklin R. West of Little Valley received several medals, including a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, through the efforts of Sen. Young’s office. Mr. West was wounded twice in separate battles in Europe, the first time in the Battle of in the Hürtgen Forest in November 1944 and in the late winter of 1945 in Germany.
SEATTLE Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is a brilliant player who takes the field in a combination of size, quickness and speed that perhaps has not been seen at the position since Hall of Famer Mel Blount of Pittsburgh’s famed Steel Curtain days.
He’s also a loudmouthed self-promoter whose penchant for trash-talking and humiliating opponents was well-known long before he created his own personal storm of negative notoriety after last Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. Bellowing at a Fox camera, Sherman proclaimed himself the best corner in the NFL and belittled San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree after making the game-clinching play for the Seahawks.
Sherman spent this past week offering excuses and justifications for his bush-league behavior, with his apologists even suggesting that the backlash has been at least tinged with racism. Yet, perhaps the criticism stems merely from the fact that, at least still in some corners of this brash, it’s-all-about-me world, fans appreciate athletes winning and losing with grace and class, regardless of background or perceived (or self-manufactured) provocation.
Meanwhile, leave it to the national sports media to eagerly seek out — perhaps even encourage — Sherman’s brand of trash-talking, and then to stalk the guy for a week on the subject, feeding the backlash discussion.
The media was the biggest winner after the sorry spectacle of poor sportsmanship.
ABOUT 20 students at Olean High School are continuing the annual effort of collecting food items in the Souper Bowl of Caring food drive. The national youth-led program of giving and caring consists of collecting food items and donations the week before the NFL Super Bowl game.
The OHS Student Volunteers’ Souper Bowl of Caring Committee will collect food from area businesses Jan. 31 and from area churches on Feb. 2. A collection of food from students and staff at the high school also will be conducted in the school’s front entrance Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. Food also will be collected at other schools in the district.
Faculty adviser Marie Rakus said the food collected will be given to the Olean Food Pantry. She said the program has been conducted by different groups in the school district for the past 15 years.
Meanwhile, in Allegany, the SSG Shawn Clemons Memorial Benefit was held Saturday at the American Legion to raise funds for wounded veterans. Bill and Candy Clemons decided to hold the benefit instead of an annual cemetery memorial service for their fallen son at the urging of their two daughters, Kristen Keenan and Michelle Clemons.
THE CUBA Cheese Museum has settled into its new location, the Palmer Opera House, providing a boost for the ongoing renovation of the building and placing an interesting destination on the village’s West Main Street.
Established in 2004, the museum features the history of cheese making and the dairy industry, with a focus on local history. It has artifacts dating back to 1810.
A lasagna dinner fundraiser benefiting the museum, which includes raffles and a silent auction, is set for 3 to 6 p.m. today at Moonwinks.