Commentary

Former Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey, who faces jail time for wire fraud, served the United States in the Korean War.

EX-CITY MAYOR ALSO A WAR HERO

I have known ex-mayor Dick Frey since seventh grade – DHS class of 1949. As mayor, he did a super great job and with little to work with. Dunkirk certainly is not the rich city of when we were young. So he supposedly transferred some campaign money to a personal account – so big deal ...

An important renaissance for our country

Every Black History Month, I’m reminded how fortunate I was to have had an American history professor at SUNY Fredonia, Dr. Bill Chazanof, who took time to teach us about one of the most significant yet little known periods in our cultural history, the Harlem Renaissance. While we were ...

Ruling likely to affect future candidates

Except for the grace of God or luck, there goes a lot of elected officials in our county. Every single countywide official, county legislator, city elected, Fredonia elected, and Pomfret Town elected are absolutely required to make full financial filings with the state board of elections ...

U.S. must put families first

When I gave birth, I needed time. Time to recover. Time to learn how to nurse and care for my baby. But if you’re a working mom, then odds are you didn’t have that time. Instead, after a very short stay at home with your new baby, you probably had to make this choice: You either ...

‘Ban’ on immigrants is un-American

Stephen Kershnar (Feb. 8) has a lot of nerve to call critics of his right-wing nationalist agenda “unbelievably ignorant”; hardly a professorial or philosophical argument, I think. And a lot of local conservatives and populists wrongly seem to assume that a professor must have his ...

Political involvement can be dangerous

Did you have a nice Valentine’s Day? I did, although there’s no one left of my generation to send me valentines. I’m so glad I’m on my way out! I had a friend come to visit me and he was telling me about all the gloom and doom that awaits us in the near future. Government is all about ...

Is there democracy in small towns?

Every high school student learns that in America the powers exercised by federal, state and local officials are to be limited by a system of checks and balances among the branches of government. Here is a passage from a typical high school textbook, “Government Alive: Power, Politics and ...

Everything free comes with price

It was a typical government response. During a meeting of the Chautauqua County Legislature in Dunkirk at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in 2008, a resolution came up to authorize the Sheriff’s Department to have a boat — for free — to patrol the Lake Erie waters for Homeland ...

And the beep goes on

Tinkerbell lives! Only please ... could this not wait until I’ve at least had a cup of coffee? “Beep. Beep. Beep,” it replies. Gently. Quite quietly and, annoyingly, only about once every five minutes which makes locating the source a real puzzle. Breakfast first though my ...

Why not a second U.S. language?

With immigration issues at the forefront of national policy, strong opinions about quotas and countries of origin are abundant. The accompanying issue of native language is likely to enter the legislative arena again. Passions swirling around President Trump’s travel ban bring to mind the ...

Chaos in 140 characters

Just a little over three weeks in, and already chaos is the only way to describe what is happening in the White House and across the nation. Unrest, protests, nasty words, name calling and disbelief are the ingredients for the “soupe du jour.” Whether one gets their news from FOX, MSNBC, ...

‘Trump wave’ lowers the tide

“Purposeful deceit, willful lying by a government spokesperson is the hallmark of a totalitarian or an authoritarian regime. It’s absolutely pernicious in a democracy. The act of dishonesty and arguing about it is a big deal.” – Steve Schmidt It shouldn’t be any big surprise ...

Unlikely journey to teaching

In the early years of my youth, I had always dreamed of becoming a teacher. But I thought … being a poor farm boy … that was a “way-out” thought, if not an almost impossibility. I knew that in order to become a teacher, I would need to go to college, and I had never ever even seen a ...

Looks can be deceiving

I was going to write a tremendous — or fantastic, as our president would say — column for your reading pleasure but my computer got hacked by that darn old Vladimir Putin. You’d think he’d have something more important to do like invade Estonia, or something, but no, he decided to hack ...

Downstate’s influence still notable

I think we all know New York is a large and complicated state. Outside of the fact that they belong to the same state, the interests of Western New York aren’t all that similar to New York City and its surrounding regions. The economic and cultural disinterests are striking and easily ...

There’s two sides to D.C. march

I recently read the commentary by Cath Kestler “Standing, walking proud at march” (Jan. 31). I, for one, was not proud of the behavior that this march produced. Not only did Madonna drop a couple f-bombs in her speech, she also mentioned wanting to blow up The White House before ...

Engagement ring on Valentine’s Day

We’ve got a big holiday coming up on the fourteenth. I got engaged on Valentine’s Day. Russ asked me, “When are we going to get engaged?” Being very practical, I answered, “when I get the ring.” So he took his oldest niece, Gert Rotunda, to Buffalo and they picked out a ...

We always have disagreed — just not so vocally

What a news-filled time we’ve had in recent days; some good news, some bad and some ugly news. The good news is that the village of Silver Creek and the town of Hanover are looking into the possibility of building one municipal building to house both. The village and town, with the ...

New York winters

It was such an unexpected comment. Delighted, I stopped mid-parking lot to jot it down. (Why not? I tend to forget these things if I don’t. Too much else coursing in to think about.) “Wait!” she said. “I’ve got to put on my sunglasses.” Nothing too terribly unusual ...

It’s not always someone else’s fault

Messages that potentiate growth arrive sometimes in odd and peculiar places when least expected. A store presented as the place. As I reached for a shopping cart, two gray-haired women approached and struggled to pull apart the linked carts. I offered them each a cart to quiet their struggle. ...