Commentary

What’s in a name — and mascot?

Although the history is not entirely clear, I’ll offer a brief summary: when Fredonia’s public school was the called the Wheelock School, which sat atop West Main Street hill, the sports teams were called the “Hilltoppers.” No one was quite sure how visualize or characterize a ...

It’s the season to rejoice

’Tis the Christmas season! The brisk wintry season is here and the crisp temperatures are knocking at our doors. But the cold breezes on the outside is moderated by the warmth of citizens’ hearts on the inside. This is a season to rejoice, to renew contacts with friends, and to bring joy to ...

Non-profits are always looking for volunteers

As the time for New Year’s resolutions rolls around, I’d like to encourage everyone with available time, energy and enthusiasm to consider volunteering in 2019 for an activity that suits their talents and interests. The rewards are many, for oneself as well as the larger ...

Over years, attitudes change on immigration

Some of the stories my father told me while growing in Dunkirk seemed troubling. He was a first generation American, his father came from Italy when he was 17. I don’t remember him ever speaking English, so my dad would translate what he would say to me. He told me, finding work for an ...

Why I voted ‘yes’

Enough is enough. A front-page article in the OBSERVER headlined, “Heenan explains ‘nay’ vote for 2019” was printed on Dec. 6. Councilman Heenan neglected to explain himself during the council meeting, as is customary with a “no” vote. He expressed his opinion without having to ...

American Dream or America First?

“The American Dream” and “America First” have different and contradictory meanings and histories. The American Dream is an action ideal. Action ideals are not utopian states of complete achievement or resolution. Also known as “guiding ideals,” they serve as ongoing visions for ...

Making a drive for autographs

I have a disability, but that does not stop me from running Fun Night Out for people with disabilities or pursuing a hobby of collecting autographs of famous people. I have four albums of famous people’s autographs from Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno to Carol O’Connor aka “Archie ...

Classics make for merry memories

For me a sign that the holidays are here is not Thanksgiving or Black Friday. It’s the beginning of Christmas programming with sentimental movies appearing on Freeform, Lifetime and, of course, the Hallmark Channel along with children’s programming in the form of cartoons and well aged stop ...

Green ham and eggs

A loving companion splurged on a superb spiral ham we could share for our Christmas dinner. (Thoughts of split pea soup quickly followed.) Christmas Eve saw us together at church, followed by a delicious restaurant dinner. By then the snow was getting serious and he quickly headed for home. ...

Trouble in paradise, business

Please meet Oscar. He called a week ago and said he’d like to meet with me. He resides out of state and had been conducting business in Pittsburgh. He set a three-visit schedule to meet his time crunch. So, Oscar, I asked as we greeted in the waiting area, how was your drive? “Longer than I ...

Original sin, not Christmas, is the problem

The war on Christmas is an attempt by the government and private companies to avoid mentioning Christmas or its religious content. Schools, stores, and advertisers are soldiers in the war. Partly in response to the war, some religious folk encourage people to keep Christmas focused on Christ. ...

Audit shines light on village finances

While the auditors will make a public presentation regarding the village’s finances, I am pleased to report that we are heading in the right direction. The audit not only shows that the village is financially sound, it also serves as strong confirmation that abolishing the administrator’s ...

Intelligence is likely all around

I would have titled this piece, “What is intelligence,” but that would imply that I was prepared to give the answer, and I cannot. I’ll just chew on it awhile and see what develops. For starters I will boldly say something we don’t always think about. “All life is the essence of ...

Where do your wages go?

How can people who have no jobs live off of the taxpayers? They live better than those who are responsible for their daily existence. To live a very irresponsible life in this country, it seems that the politicians think more of these free-loaders than they do of the people who pay the ...

Weighing in on politics, love

Poor Barbra Streisand. She’s getting fat because of President Trump. She told the New York Times that his tweets and pronouncements upset her so much that the only way she can find peace again is to eat pancakes. I thought that was quite reassuring when I first heard that statement by Babs. ...

WCA event brightens holiday

A big thank you to the Dunkirk-Fredonia and surrounding communities for making The WCA Home’s eighth annual “Gently-Used Christmas” sale a huge success! The Friends of WCA Auxiliary were very pleased with the generous donations of Christmas items for the sale. There was a large ...

Frustrations arrive before Christmas joy

’Tis the season of peace on earth and good will toward men. Well, for a day or so this past week, with the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush, that was true. By now we’re back to the hustle, bustle and stress of the Christmas season. I stopped sending Christmas cards years ...

Responsibility can lead to winning

Editor’s note: This is the second of two parts. Let me give you a little story about winning and losing. When I was a young coach, on the junior varsity level, we lost a game we should have won easily. I shook hands with the opposing coach and sat on the bench, seething inside. Coach Bob ...

On the seventh day of Christmas

Call me a cock-eyed optimist. That part hasn’t changed from when I wrote this at the very beginning of January 2013. I figure I have to be for I doubt if many Bills’ fans found something good in having the final game of last year’s season blacked out. Unintended, but it worked for ...

Adams Art Center coming back to life

Where does hope reside? Surely it was present on a November weekend as the Decho Ensemble classical chamber music for two saxophones soared into the heights of the Adams Art Center with selections from Paul Hindemith to Astor Piazzola. The very next evening an overflow audience held their ...