By DON GLYNN
Niagara Gazette — A politician's approval ratings can take a plunge overnight.
If you're not convinced of that, check out the recent Quinnipiac University poll that shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo's popularity — at an all-time high last December — dropping from 74 percent to 59 percent.
Mickey Carroll, the pollster, notes that the governor lost most of that support from the Republican side. Meanwhile, Cuomo slipped 10 points with the Democrats, his own party. Even at 59 percent, however, the governor clings to an approval rating that many politicians never enjoy while holding an elective office.
How does the state chief executive account for the sharp decline in his ratings? He's not at all surprised, he told reporters. But, he adds, once those vocal opponents grasp the full range of the new legislation, they will likely close ranks and back the measure.
Too often, it seems, the overall gun control debates tends to focus only on hunters, sportsmen and collectors. There's a huge number of people who don't ever hunt — perhaps never owned a gun in their lives — but they are fully aware that the Second Amendment provides the right for people to bear arms. The new law on the books has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimate ownership of a gun, the governor insists.
Gene Olson, 85, a longtime Niagara Falls resident, is perhaps typical of many people legitimately concerned that too many weapons (e.g. the assault type used in mass slayings over the years) fall into the wrong hands. "I have never owned a gun. And I wouldn't even keep one in my house," he said, "I'd probably end up shooting myself (accidentally)."
EARLY EXIT: No matter how exciting the action is at some sporting events, there's always fans who leave "to beat the traffic," as they say.
A case in point: A retired school teacher and his wife walked out of the Gallagher Center Thursday night just as the drama was building for the Niagara University Purple Eagles' 93-90 overtime victory against Iona. The win gave NU first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Apparently the retired teacher has a reputation for trying to get the jump on any exodus. A friend said later: "He always leaves before it's over."The story goes that it's a habit the guy formed 20 years ago when he walked out of the stadium (Jan. 3, 1993) in Orchard Park with the Buffalo Bills 25 points behind Houston at half time. As countless football fans know, the Bills ended up winning in overtime, 41-38, the biggest comeback in NFL history. In those days, Rich Stadium (now Ralph Wilson Stadium) had a seating capacity of about 80,000. Subsequently, more than 200,000 area residents claimed they were in the stands that day. For the record, the Gallagher Center can accommodate 1,856 for a basketball game although that attendance figure is bound to soar within the next few years, as the "fans" start telling the story.
I know one guy — even if he was there for the tipoff — will not ever be able to give an eyewitness account of Juan'ya Green's three-pointer with one-half second left on the clock.
JOB OPENINGS: Aside from the usual chances for minimum wage work, there are also full-time positions available even in the generally depressed Western New York economy
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced Friday that its Metro Bus division is sponsoring an open house to recruit needed employees.
C. Douglas Hartmayer, public affairs director for the NFTA, said Friday there are some openings for qualified bus drivers, mechanics and technicians seeking full-time employment. The vacancies include a competitive starting salary along with a comprehensive benefit package.
The open house is set for 4:30 to 8 p.m.. Wednesday at the Cold Spring Bus Maintenance Office, 1581 Michigan Avenue (near Main Street) in Buffalo. Obviously that's an inconvenient site for many Niagara County residents, but anyone unable to attend can always download an application at www.nfta.com.
GO FIGURE: Overheard in the Lewiston Village Pub: "I was reading the other day that kilometers are shorter than miles. So I plan to save some gas and take my next trip in kilometers" — a customer who claims he graduated with honors as a math major.