Commentary

Here a fly, there a fly

The first part of my exclamation was definitely not fit for a family newspaper. Picture this: it’s a perfectly lovely summer day. You know, one of those we imagine through our long winter: sunshine, good breeze and temperatures just where you like them. Many opt for the seventies while I ...

In new era, plenty of voices

Defining truth has always been a challenge. In this era of information hysteria, finding reality has unique challenges. Yet as independent thinkers who value free speech and a free press, we need to be vigilant in safeguarding the quest for truth via a free stream of information. How does a ...

It’s not all that different

While chaos reigns in our nation’s capital with partisanship seemingly to be in control, in our neighboring village, infighting continues among trustees, and fingers are pointing in all directions. But on the shores of Lake Erie this small slice of Chautauqua County is becoming the ...

There’s nothing simple in economics

In his recent column in the OBSERVER, Tom Kirkpatrick cited 18th century philosopher Adam Smith’s notion of an “Invisible Hand” — a metaphor in economics that describes the built-in, self-regulatory nature of the free market system. It served as context for the writer’s complaint, ...

Treasured memories of a schoolhouse

We thought we had it made. Now, I know we did. I attended a one-room country schoolhouse — Boston District Number Seven. It was a school with one classroom, eight grades, one teacher, and a room of multi-aged youngsters. We had a plethora of rich learning experiences which went well beyond ...

Our area neighbors are not the enemy

What is the difference between prejudice and snobbery? Is it just a matter of degree? Prejudice is defined, in part, as “injury or damage resulting from ... disregard of one’s rights; a preconceived judgment or opinion.” A snob, by comparison, is “the attitude of people who think they ...

End ‘chaos,’ village must move ahead

Please consider this my only answer to the whole commotion and upheaval that came out of parts of the Village Hall in the last few weeks. During my campaign I put forward a vision for the village that included a safe, walkable community, open spaces, good schools and an active small business ...

Fredonia schools stalling on officer post

After months, which have now turned into years, I have sadly concluded that the Fredonia Central School District Board of Education does not want a School Resource Officer as part of its staff. If indeed they acknowledged the value of this position, it would have been filled without any ...

Tuning out while watching your step

Poor Barry Manilow. I think he’s being treated rather shabbily by a few Rite Aid stores in California. These stores are being plagued by vagrants and loiterers. The solution to their problem is to blast Barry’s tunes to drive them away. I’ll tell you what, if I was loitering and heard ...

What Heaven is like

One of the greatest curiosities for Christians is the thought of what heaven will be like: how heaven appears, what we will do, and who we will see or be reunited with at the end of our journey on earth. We are given a glimpse of heaven’s appearance in the Book of Revelation, and Jesus ...

No dilly-dallying on private-sector side

From April to October the Village of Silver Creek picks up brush twice a month. The last July pickup was scheduled for July 16, according to the schedule that the village publishes each year. As I write this it is now more than three weeks past that date and my brush container remains by the ...

Guarding the phlox

The phlox was so gorgeous this year that I not only pointed it out to guests but photographed it time after time. I do wish more than one blossom grew at the end of each tall stalk but, OK, if that’s what it does, I can accept it. Last night I looked up phlox on various websites and was ...

Keeping a healthy marriage

Last article, we met a gentleman named Madison. At first glance, he appeared to be a striking, healthy man. Sometimes, yes, appearances can be deceiving. Madison used the first session to describe himself, though almost as a former self. He was obese and carried a host of serious associated ...

District library fondly remembered

Audra Jean (Packard) Renswick left a legacy of a love of reading, kindness, and concern to thousands of Fredonia residents with her recent passing. I was one of the kids who benefited from her public service at Fredonia High School, Class of 1970. As district librarian for 25 years at ...

There’s everyday truth and fiction

Just as the world is full of a great variety of people, it is full of a great variety of opinions. While we may all appear to be seeking the same goals, we sure have a multitude of ways and means to achieve them. I may have been guilty of seeming critical of science in past articles, but that ...

City needs to somehow be recharged

I look around Third Street, Central Avenue and Main Street in Dunkirk and what I see is desolation. A city once thriving is now a barren area where stores once thrived. I look at Third Street and there is nothing there. I look at Central Avenue and all I see is freebie establishments. They ...

Tourney a ‘huge undertaking’

The Dunkirk Little League has just completed its three year run of hosting the Girls 8-10 state Softball Tournament. This tournament brought in teams from all over New York state. This is a huge undertaking in which just a handful of volunteers helped out. These people put in anywhere from ...

With control freak, freedoms at risk

On July 25, as the White House reporter for CNN, Kaitlan Collins had been doing her job of posing questions to Donald Trump in the oval office regarding his reaction to his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s tapes, relevant to the news of the day. She was told afterward that her questions were ...

Immigration mess tied to Trump

I have promised myself to speak out at every opportunity against our inhumane treatment of refugees at our southern border. The letter “Immigrants still welcome” (July 15) opened the door to a comment. Before making a statement, it is important that I divulge that I am the chairman of ...

Watching the blue jays

Thursday, just after noon (June 7), her nest is empty. I figured she’d stepped out to take care of ... well, you know. Expectant mother and all that. But, while I was watching, Dad flew in, probably ready to share lunch. Between the way he quizzically turned his head from side to side ...