It seems to us …
Funding regional health, dropping a political label and lowering your age
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York now has more than one way to promote the health of the region’s citizens.
In addition to offering health insurance, and beyond its other community efforts, the company has now launched the “Blue Fund.”
This week, in its inaugural donations, the fund awarded $2.7 million to nine health-based projects around the area.
They will benefit pre-school age children, behavioral health workers, East Side residents who lack access to fitness facilities, those who suffer from opioid addiction and others.
It’s a thoughtfully directed use of company dollars that stands to serve the region well.
Good, if artfully timed, news out of the Southern Tier: Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, announced this week that he’s dropping the “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” label that he has frequently used to tag his election opponents.
Speaking to the Olean Times Herald, the just re-elected congressman said he would “retire that label and send a message (that) hopefully by doing this that our door’s open to anyone who wants to sit down and have a rational conversation and wants to work to solve the problems that we face as a country.”
The label had become awkward, since Reed is a leader of the Problem-Solvers caucus, which styles itself as a nonpartisan group looking to find acceptable solutions to national issues.
The change is good to see, but it’s hard not to wonder how much his decision was influenced by the party’s rejection in Tuesday’s congressional elections.
Still, progress …
Here’s to creativity: A Dutch “positivity guru” – whatever that is – wants to be younger.
To that end, the Associated Press reports, Emile Ratelband has petitioned a court to let him change his birthday, so that he can be 49 instead of 69. Well, you can change your name, your address and even your sex. So why not? Eighteen, anyone? Once home I turned to the index to look for references to UB. There was but a single entry. I located it in the body of the tome only to find it told the tale of how the University of Michigan once ran up 111 points on the slaughtered Bulls.
A few years back my son Noodles attended Jim Kelly’s summer football camp. I spectated with a few other parents. There was a Q&A with a group of Bulls alum who actually made it to the NFL. Noodles was the first to raise his hand.
“Why did you decide to go to UB?”
My chest swelled with pride. Perhaps my son would follow in my sneakers and attend the school of my choice.
The players looked at each other and replied in unison, “Because no one else would take us.”
Talk about letting all the helium out of a parade balloon.
At the tail end of the 1960s UB actually lost its Division I football My View program. Over the years various administrations have given a number of other reasons, but anyone who was there will tell you it was punishment for what the marching band did.
During halftime of an extremely rare nationally televised UB game, the band from “the Berkeley of the East” broke ranks and formed a peace sign to protest the Vietnam War.
The next thing we knew there was no football program, and a few of us actually noticed.
A few years later, UB got a Division III team, and then it had to work its way through Division II and IAA to get back to Division I.
As I have five degrees from old UB, I figured I was pretty heavily invested in the school, so my parents and I went in on a couple of pairs of tickets. Let’s just say the fourth ticket was a tough sell. Girlfriends said they’d rather take a nap, which they could have done just as easily at most of the games.
These early days of Bulls redux or reflux were often tough to enjoy. It seems most weeks we lost by scores averaging about 40-3. Still, there was pleasure to be found in some of those losses.
My favorite was the game where the coach had been fired at halftime. Another coach was hired, but the original coach refused to give up the ship. At the beginning of the third quarter, “we” had two head coaches sending in two different plays at the same time with the quarterback jumping up and down wondering which one to call.
That season, whenever anyone would get up to leave the rout early, our section would yell out, “Quitter! You call yourself a fan? We might score this week!”
Yup, these new Bulls fans missed a lot.