Weekly Feature

2017-06-22 / Editorial

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West Seneca Editor

SAVE THE CHILDREN — Working for a weekly newspaper has its benefits and drawbacks. One downside is painfully prevalent today.

As you’re reading this, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering a bill that would require the state to keep the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center open in West Seneca to be run as a separate and distinct facility. Cuomo’s signature would stop a merger with the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and save the lives of countless children.

Due to the constraints of a weekly news cycle, combined with a Thursday publication date, it will be another week before we can print a story on Cuomo’s decision.

One week from now, I will be reporting the news, as I always do. The difference will be whether my head is held high alongside the patients and advocates.

When I first learned of this issue years ago, I thought there would be a timely resolution, and, foolishly, I believed in the good of lawmakers and others in power, holding strong my faith that they would make the right decision.

I was wrong.

Despite the determination of many legislators, there has been no victory for the children who have been or will be patients in the West Seneca facility.

For anyone new to this story and wondering why this has become such a controversial issue, there’s no need to play catch-up. Instead, do me a favor and drive to the address at 1010 East and West Road.

Along the way you will pass beautiful little homes, pleasant scenes of children enjoying summer in the parks and on playgrounds, schools with signs wishing students a safe summer, and a tranquility that can only come from such amenities.

The children seeking solace at the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center need to experience this peace. Their young lives have been lived in turmoil, fighting with each breath and thought for a brighter future — one where they can be part of the peace experienced by others.

The answer for these children is not an urban setting where they are housed in proximity to adults with similar problems. We can only hope that the governor makes the right decision.

LEAP INTO LEARNING — West Seneca Community Education will offer a summer Elementary Enrichment Program in English Language Arts and math — “LEAP into Learning” -— beginning Monday, July 3, and continuing until Thursday, July 27. There is no class on July 4.

Classes will run from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday for four weeks.

The program is for students entering grades one through five and is an opportunity for students to participate in fun learning experiences that will support their current skill levels.

The program will be held at Allendale Elementary School, 1399 Orchard Park Road. The cost is $160 and includes supplies and a daily snack.

To register a child for the program, call the Community Education Office at 677-3107 to sign up with a credit card. A $1 credit card fee will apply. Indicate the child’s entering grade for the 2017-18 academic year when registering.

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