Commentary

Honest campaign observations

It appears that we are already in the 2016 Presidential election campaign mode. What role does the candidates' likeability, competence, and honesty play in this election dynamic? Time will tell. But, in my view, they are key.Unquestionable competence is essential. Likeability is a treasure. ...

Keeping faith at parish

This is in response to the commentary "Rosary on a rosebush (Sept. 13)."Considering the way our country is going when it comes to Christian religion and traditions being lost, I think it is a blessing that Blessed Mary Angela parish has a priest with the insight to bring a youth group leader to ...

Mistakes of World War II were fatal to some

During World War II, many errors were made. Some were intentional, but some were unavoidable. Such was the case during an incident which began in the South Pacific Ocean on Jan. 23, 1940, in the small port of Rabaul on the island of New Britain when it was invaded by the Japanese.Shortly before ...

Tour raises funds, awareness

The organizers and volunteers of the first Chautauqua Gran Fondo worked very hard to make the bicycle tour a success. The participants and corporate sponsors gave generously to support the organizations chosen. Among the chosen were the Wounded Warrior Project and the Chautauqua County Veterans ...

Unintended consequences of bans

The rules for cooperation in society have developed over thousands of years. They include what may, in a very loose sense, be called a ban on murder, theft, coercion, fraud, and so on. People widely accept them because they protect each individual from aggression of various types. They form a ...

Trying to find answers to the why of existence

Do you ever try to find answers to why you exist? I did, especially after I turned 90. Then Sunday, I went to Bible Study and I may have the answer. Now before I go into this, I want you to understand my motives - your freedoms.First of all, I have to obey Jesus and secondly, I care so much ...

Westfield’s closed-door process

I am writing in response to the letter to the editor by Barry Underwood last month in which he questioned what is going on in the Democratic Party here in Westfield. Can he really be surprised?If Mr. Underwood had read the paper that day, he would have seen the headline "Westfield Democrats ...

By any other name

Perhaps you were not as uninitiated as I for I thought those fields of tall yellow flowers were full of sunflowers.Actually, they are.Sunflowers masquerading under a different name: the Jerusalem Artichoke. Doesn't help if, right off the bat, I say this plant has no connection whatsoever to ...

Playing second fiddle in Dunkirk

In the OBSERVER (Sept. 22), an article headlined "Possibilities" pertaining to the harborfront project said it could be started in two years. Sorry, Kevin Kearns! As reported, the Common Council did approve it. Right?Since then, much has been done with Dr. Sheri Mason. We believe a grant came ...

Adding discomfort to district

Erie County has begun to circle the waters.?Its full-page advertisement in the OBSERVER and a website - unveiled Wednesday - that is dedicated to working with Chautauqua County proves the Erie County Water Authority is more than ready and willing to expand its operations. Already in a ...

Unlevel playing field in higher ed

With the surprising emergence of a boisterous Donald Trump and the growing concerns about truthfulness surrounding Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, a dozen leaders from significant state universities anticipate a wild fall on campus.They foresee a tortuous and razor-thin presidential ...

Can next leader bring us together?

We are a nation of laws, or so we would like to believe. And yet, too often we see things that just don't go along with the program.For instance, can the Supreme Court make laws, or is its role to interpret the Constitution? Should the President of the United States govern by Executive Order or ...

In good times and bad, press on

The 30th president of the United States was Calvin Coolidge. He was often called Silent Cal, because he was never known to be very talkative.I ran across something he was quoted as saying, and recent events brought it to mind. The quotation he is credited with is: "Press on: Nothing in the ...

Heading in the wrong direction

The direction of our current government and the cultural environment is in trouble. We are advised not to judge all Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge all gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics.Another subject dear to the workers is that Social ...

Village is invading our privacy

I moved to the village of Gowanda in 1956. At a Village Board meeting on Sept. 8, a resident did not deny that while he was mowing his lawn and the village right-of-way, some grass had gone into the recently oiled and stoned street. This resident did complain that his children came into the ...

A love of words and communicating

As a columnist, and a freelance writer I am asked many questions about what I do. Two of the most commonly asked are, how do you come up with your topics and, why do you write? How I come up with my topics is an easy one. I live.Every day my adventures with my family and friends fuel my work. ...

Jamestown airport has to improve on service

The news that the passenger count is down at the Chautauqua County airport should surprise no one.Absolutely, positively no one.Commuter-airline service began at our airport 40 years ago. For four decades, we've known that the best service for our airport is on a major airline to a hub airport ...

Cherishing our top dog

Marmaduke is surely lying at the foot of Brad's empty chair. His mournful sigh and somber eyes mirror his heavy heart because he knows his creator is gone. Friends for years, Marmaduke and Brad have shared many amusing antics that have delighted people all over the world since 1954. Bigger than ...

Social media not for everyone

The Internet is a wonderful thing as it has opened a new world of information, entertainment, and communication for virtually anyone who wants to join in.Not all information available is correct of course; some the creation of someone's fertile imagination, but if you know what you want you ...

Things to think about

I always like to give you things to think about. Today I'll begin with some of the benefits of remaining single.1. You always have enough warm water in the shower. 2. The toothpaste cover is always on. 3. You can throw out the garbage with curlers in your hair. 4. During hot summer days, you ...