Commentary

Forgetting about the Americans

Well, Mr. and Mrs. America, it finally happened. The swamp in Washington, D.C., finally showed its true identity and sunk this country into a low that has not been seen for decades. The Democrats have shown the whole nation how they really feel about those of us who are true Americans — ...

View painted unfair picture

I was outraged by the OBSERVER’s View (Jan. 24) concerning the Department of Labor’s recommendations. I was a bureaucrat for 30 years in the New York state Department of Labor. At one point, I was at a level high enough to have to reveal my tax returns, unlike a certain president of the ...

Our values include time and money

Music and singing is a longtime hobby for me. It gives me great pleasure, which is the primary reason that people have hobbies. I have spent a lot of time over the last few decades developing my ear and my voice. I have recently started developing a new skill that integrates with previous ...

Mass incarceration and local connection

For the first time since 1972 the number of people behind bars in American prisons and jails in 2015 declined slightly to 2.2 million, down from 2.4 million in 2010. That’s the good news. Fordham Law School professor John F. Pfaff, however, warns in his new book, Locked In: The True Causes ...

Cabin fever

I have a respectable (and respected) relative who swears by “Country Living.” It simply isn’t my thing. I needlepoint. I used to paint. I consider myself creative (in one way or another) but “crafts” have never been my thing. I suspect the few (very few) months I spent as a Girl ...

What’s the new ‘good life?’

You know who I am? I’m a regular American, just trying to have my version of the good life. I grew up in a 1960s suburban development of ranch houses, Cape Cods, and split levels. They were modest homes, not cookie-cutter monster houses. It was a blue-collar neighborhood, with most of ...

‘Small things’ can change our outlook

Did Russian Agents interfere with our election? Did the Trump Presidential Campaign collude with the Russians? Do you know? Do you care? Did Hillary wipe the server clean to hide her incriminating emails and dirty dealings? And what really happened in Benghazi? Do any of these things ...

The dying arts

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” — Francis Bacon The term humanities, in the context of higher education, refers to a broad range of studies that is separate from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). It is a subcategory of Liberal Arts, and ...

Going in circles in Fredonia

A quick comment on the article regarding the contention on the Village Board on Jan. 22 regarding the proposed roundabout. Trustee Doug Essek has the free will as a member of this village to initiate a petition against the roundabout, just as Kara Christina did to attempt to save JC Penney ...

We’d rather blame than solve

Pointing a finger and assigning blame to a problem, accomplishes very little and may even hinder advancement. You know, a little common sense goes a long way. We can accomplish much more, when we focus on fixing the problems that we encounter, rather than spending time on fixing the blame. At ...

In good and bad, our time is limited

I believe in love: puppy — true — at first sight — unrequited — lorn. I believe if you are in a committed relationship with someone and things go bad, there are three options; suck it up and live with it, work on it, or leave. While I’m not a big proponent of divorce, even though ...

Country facing major security issues in future

I am increasingly uncomfortable about how national security issues are being handled in the United States. In particular, the lack of concern among Republicans about national security has me both puzzled and apprehensive. I don’t mean to question the patriotism of ordinary Republicans. I have ...

THE NEXT ENDANGERED BEAUTY OF NATURE?

The Arkwright Town Board has insulted the population of Arkwright by claiming, as reported in the Dunkirk OBSERVER Jan. 9, nobody was there to protest the wind turbines 14 years ago. Yet Roger Cardot is quoted in the same article that Forestville School was used for meetings since the numbers ...

Governor aims at nation, penalizes state

If you have read my column, by now you know that am not an admirer of our governor. There is no doubt that he is now positioning himself for a presidential run, something I have mixed emotions about. If the governor were elected president, New York state would be free of his free-spending ...

Real Light takes away darkness of death

The shorter daylight hours of wintertime give us a better appreciation for the longer days of daylight. From that reality we learn that light as a metaphor can reveal many truths for our lives. The picture of light is used in many ways to help us understand that there are many things in life ...

My favorite redhead

Birds sightings remained at a minimum as last December moseyed along. There was no snow at the beginning and, for the most part, my lake remained open. Mallards, if here at all, came in flocks. The only geese I saw were overhead and, after a while, the trio of lady hooded mergansers also ...

Concerns over the sleepless nights

I generally don’t receive early morning phone calls from clients unless they are experiencing struggles. Usually, they wait for daytime. This one particular day a call came in at 6:30 a.m. A woman’s voice asked for me. An early riser, I was able to answer the call. The woman was surprised ...

Are there any lessons from Vietnam?

Many of us recently watched Ken Burns' and Lynn Novick’s outstanding documentary: The Vietnam War. What’s interesting is how little we learned from the war. The Vietnam War teaches us that there are three requirements that should be met before the U.S. goes to war. First, the U.S. should ...

A welcome move by my cat

I live with a cat. I didn’t invite her to live with me. She simply decided that this was where she was going to live. A couple of years ago in March when I went out to get the paper, this solid black cat came out of the shed where I keep my golf cart and followed me. This went on for a couple ...

Current education standards failing students, country

By DEANN NELSON This is an open letter to New York’s Four: governor, legislature, Board of Regents, and commissioner of education. “Mary,” a Jamestown kindergarten child, receives tutoring in reading and traditional math — not the ridiculous Common Core — so that she can have some ...