Commentary

County takes opioid crisis seriously

As the opioid crisis continues to take more lives here in Chautauqua County, I commend both The Post-Journal and OBSERVER for reporting on efforts to combat this expanding scourge. It is important to educate the community as to the extent of the problem, as well as inform them of measures ...

People, not computers, know patients best

The Petya cyber attack that infected Nuance has brought to light the plight of the medical transcription profession in this country, which has been hollowed out by medical transcription companies that touted the virtues of voice recognition technology and convinced well-meaning hospital ...

Closer officials not always better

“The government closest to the people serves the people best.” So goes a popular myth. With their drinking water supply at risk from construction of National Fuel’s proposed Northern Access natural gas pipeline, how well have southtown governments served their residents? In 1987 the ...

Years add up when you’re young at heart

“Getting old ain’t for sissies,” or so Bette Davis said. I think she may be right. At 66, I don’t consider myself old, but my body is telling a different story. I seem to be falling apart one piece at a time. You’ve seen the joke, inside every old person is a young person saying, ...

Living an enriched life

Margaret shares a vintage column this week. I have been so excited because through Dr. Bernie Siegel’s book “Love, Medicine & Miracles,” I have found the answer to a question I’ve always had about my life: “How come I have lived a happy, healthy and long life?” Without knowing ...

Accord withdrawal also made sense

Writer Randy Elf outlined some of the many accomplishments of this “transformational” president in his article “Why Trump can succeed” (July 2). These included a constitutionally oriented Supreme Court, a plan for fair trade, real jobs creation, enforcing immigration laws and so on, but ...

In the eye of the beholder

I doubt if I’ve ever before had the opportunity to make the acquaintance of a creature whose formal first name is “Beautiful.” I found that appellation particularly curious because, to my eyes, Beautiful is not. What it is is a very strange looking moth: the Beautiful Wood Nymph ...

Overall, 54 percent of students who attend county schools are on a reduced or free lunch plan.

Lunch says lots about economy

More than two years after the closing and loss of more than 400 jobs from the Carriage House plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia, the financial stress factor for families in this region continues to grow. According to the U.S. Census bureau, about 18 percent of those living in this county are doing ...

Truth and Trump’s skeletons

It is said the father of our country could not tell a lie. Most people fancy themselves worthy of that claim. We bandy about the truths of our time, evoking the sources of information we esteem as true to bolster our argument when there are disagreements. But there are still disagreements ...

Four years later, little is different

This commentary was first written and published in the OBSERVER four years ago. Sadly not much has changed. The swamp is still the same, the in-fighting on Capitol Hill continues, and the powerful are still finding ways to pad their own nests, the rest of the world be damned. Maybe the ...

When silence isn’t golden

The House of Representatives were set and ready to hold hearings on legislation to deregulate the sale of firearm silencers on the morning of the mass shooting targeting members of Congress at that baseball field in Virginia. Now the Senate has a bill as well. They call it the SHUSH Act, and ...

Big benefits of small towns

Some call it “Living at the time of the Walton’s.” I call it “Living now in our small town.” And this is the way it is … Nothing embodies America more than the sedate settings of small towns across America. Indeed, western New York is fortunate to have a rich variety of small ...

Officials in Erie County have always chosen later for Zoar Valley Road.

Rough ride is from years of neglect

In an old TV commercial, an auto repairman posed a question to a car owner: “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.” When it comes to maintaining Zoar Valley Road, Erie County officials have for decades opted to deal with it later. The condition of this road over the past ...

On June 27, the Fredonia school board decided against reappointing Carol Zirkle as one of the coaches for the cross-country team.

‘Damaging’decision affecting runners

The Fredonia school board has made the sudden and surprising decision not to reappoint Carol Zirkle as coach for the 2017 cross country season, putting the entire season in jeopardy for about 40 athletes who are currently signed up for the boys and girls teams. We are asking the school ...

No cure for exodus of physicians

New York state recently received the dubious distinction as the worst state in which to be a doctor. We have the highest medical liability cost and twice as many total payouts as the second highest state Pennsylvania. Yet, instead of addressing this problem, a one-sided bill was passed ...

Loyalty often goes to the dollars

A reality of the modern world, one taken for granted, is the existence of corporations and their effects on the economy, politics, the environment and society in general. Unlike partnerships, where groups combine their resources to create businesses, the group both owned and operated, the ...

Take an inventory of bad habits

This week, Margaret is sharing a classic column. I became aware of binge drinking from seeing it on CNN night after night. Binge drinking is drinking with the goal of purposefully getting drunk. There are millions of young people doing this. It’s rampant in the colleges and many under-age ...

Needy get shaft with health bill

The Senate has released their version of the health care bill. The bill essentially takes from the most vulnerable and gives to the more wealthy. Major cuts to Medicaid are included in this bill. Who does Medicaid help? Twenty percent of all Americans on Medicaid — 39 percent of all ...

Tax cost much more than you think

We often pay taxes without realizing it. As an example, in New York state school districts and municipalities receive state aid for capital projects and because it doesn’t come out of local taxes, taxpayers are encouraged to think it’s a “freebie” that someone else pays for, when in ...

Major decisions for Minor

It seems like I’ve been making choices all my life. I have to say, however, that very few (if any) of my decisions have been a matter of life or death. But now I’m facing a big one. Life or death indeed — though I have no more knowledge of the “when” than anyone else. Still, it’s ...