Commentary

A viable option

As I travel Chautauqua County and talk to home and business owners the number one complaint I hear is about high property taxes.In an effort to do our part relating to the county portion of property tax, I turned to the findings and recommendations compiled by my independent deficit reduction ...

Big family in time of need

I am an orphan. The vast majority of us will become orphans at some point in our lives. It is the natural order of things. With luck, we will be well along in years before it happens.My father passed away recently. My mother has been gone for just over two years. Their loss hits me deeply. For ...

Safety in the pipelines

Unless you are ready to give up driving, you should probably be thinking of how oil can best be transported across the country so that it can be converted into gasoline and ultimately fuel your car. (These days, you might be able to shift your choice of automobile fuel to electricity, but that ...

Let’s use what we’ve got

As most of you know, I'm in WCA Home now. I've asked myself over and over, "What am I doing here? Why am I living so long?"Sunday in church I had my questions answered. I still have work to do. I'm a communicator. My work isn't done. We're learning every day. Why are people so different? And ...

Non-alarmist hopes for some warming

It's a another winter day. Outside the snow is falling again, the winter storm flags are flying and on TV weatherperson Don Paul is at his most alarmist.I have run out of places to put the snow and it appears that the village of Silver Creek has also. It seems that my driveway is growing more ...

Musings from the Hill

Early March: the temperatures have positively flat-lined. When I send in my weekly report to FeederWatch, I mark the temperatures consistently between 15 and 32 degrees (that's minus 9 to zero C which sounds even colder) - and that's for the lows AND highs.The snow doesn't seem in any hurry ...

Change is reality, not ‘hysteria’

People used to hang winter-weary hopes on dependable weather sayings. The words "In like a lion, out like a lamb" offered the reminder that March's blustery start would yield to a more benign exit into April. Any lingering bluster had its counterweight in the promise that "April showers bring ...

U.S. dismissing a ‘pivotal time’

It isn't often that religious celebrations converge with political drama, but that is just what is happened Tuesday when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on the nuclear threat Israel, the middle-east, the U.S., and the world will face as a consequence of a bad deal ...

More spin on Social Security

There's been a sighting of Tom Reed in Chautauqua County, in February, no less; this occurrence is about as rare as the groundhog we see once a year. We saw his shadow looming large against a snowy, gray day in a Town Hall meeting where we were greeted by two armed plains-clothed sheriff ...

Gift of hope is a treasure

Stephen John, a ninth-grade student at Gowanda Central, said it well when he said, "Never give up and keep working hard" in a recent OBSERVER article. Stephen was one among several other distinguished students who were recently recognized as "Students of the Month." Indeed, Stephen's comment is ...

Battling cabin fever with joy in our hearts

Everyone enjoys a good belly laugh. And now that cabin fever has ballooned into a plague, a roomful of belly laughs may be just what the doctor ordered.The good ladies of St. Joseph Parish in Fredonia have a knack for knowing just when a quick lift is needed the most. Although staging an event ...

Suspended fire chief offers his perspective

By STEPHEN PACANOWSKIIt has been over a year since my suspension and subsequent removal from the Fire Department of Westfield and it's about time that I share my side of the story that continues to plague the papers with half-truths, innuendos and misstatements.I would like to start off by ...

Park is memory of sights, sounds

Editor's note: This is the final part in a series of articles.By MAC NELSONGeysers and mountains and forests and waterfalls would be quite enough to make Yellowstone a special place if it had no animal life beyond insects and bacteria. But this place is replete with large animals, "charismatic ...

So much is going on at the WCA Home

You'd think that living at the WCA Home, I'd have nothing to write about. On the contrary. There is so much going on here! Let's take Friday, Feb. 20.We were taking a coffee break during exercise class and we got company. A mother and her three sons came to visit us with a mural five young men ...

Young misfires with SAFE Act

State Sen. Catharine Young's web site states that she " has authored numerous laws to protect families." This should include a commitment to supporting legislation that would strengthen domestic violence protection and strengthen orders of protection for abused women. However, in Senator ...

Workers exemplify cooperation

I'd like to point out some of the successes that we have had in the town of Westfield. Over the last several years, the Town Board has been working to gain funding to add reliable water service to Barcelona. After forming the new Barcelona Water Benefit District, we obtained a low-interest loan ...

King’s words, peace needed today

Turbulence, violence and killing have become quite normal in so many places including countries that have been somewhat neutral in taking a position against terrorism. The Canadian Parliament attack, the French journal, "Charlie Hebdo," massacre, and school children slaughtered in Pakistan to ...

How you can defend against ISIS

In their search for "doing something meaningful" three young women have reportedly left their homes and families to go to Syria and fight with ISIS. They are not the first, nor will they be the last. What is this demonic group of Islamic Radicals and what is the power they have that draws those ...

The mind’s endless possibilities

Now that I am in my declining years, and my life is no longer dedicated to going to work every day to support my family, and now that my energy has become a slow walk rather than an energetic pace, I find contemplating in bed in the morning to be an excellent, even inspiring activity.Lying ...

Albany’s choices hurting schools

Why are our schools being punished by our so-called leaders in Albany by something called the Gap Elimination Adjustment?What is this?It is an easy term for stating that Albany had to close the deficit in the New York state budget. But why pick on the school systems? Our tax money goes to ...