Commentary

Use creativity to save structure

I had a blind classmate in art school. How can you teach visual arts to a blind person? It was fascinating. What an opportunity for all of us to learn from each other. What a great way to come up with creative solutions. What a great way to start art school. Unfortunately, the university I ...

Expect political hardball on vacancies

Supreme Court nominations shouldn’t matter this much. But they do, because Supreme Court justices disagree on fundamental questions, such as: Should justices be originalists and interpret the law, including the Constitution, as written? Or should they be judicial activists and substitute ...

Closings show loss of faith by diocese

Recently the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo announced that in addition to phasing out its television production unit it was also closing the Newman Center at the State University of New York at Fredonia. The reason for these cuts was blamed on a recent drop in parish contributions. Left unspoken ...

Bond of triplets remains strong

The second session brought clarity to the forefront. Two of the three triplets, Thomas and Harold, described life in rural Ohio. The successful family owned and managed lumber mill included the triplets, an older brother, younger sister and their parents. An unscheduled visit by an Amish ...

This woman is proud to care

Yes, I am a Bleeding Heart liberal and I am not ashamed to have grown up Catholic. The term is a Protestant slam on Catholics in general and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in particular. Once there were only First Nation’s people living on this continent. Then Europeans, mostly Protestant, ...

Some lines are stars of the show

I was in a local bar the other day (heaven forbid, but an old widower has to talk to someone, once in a while). Then someone, I don’t remember why, quoted a line from that movie, “Cool Hand Luke.” The prison official, who was getting no answers to his mass inquisition of the prison ...

Legal immigrants welcomed for years

On the front page of the OBSERVER on June 29 was an article headlined “Families belong together: City to take part in national rally.” The Chautauqua County Women’s Action Group, a group that was created to take political action toward social injustice, along with the Chautauqua County ...

Meals, wheels hurt establishments

What happened at the supposed “public hearing” at the June 25 was a total disgrace. And why was our present village attorney not present at such an important meeting? Why did they even bother when it was stated that they would listen to the people who were there when they had no intention ...

The strangest nester

It seems quite customary for a robin to create a nest on a drainpipe just beyond my front door. Do you suppose it’s the same family (or same mother perhaps) who returns each year to stake her claim to this particular piece of metal? Now she flies off a wee bit, settling in a nearby tree to ...

Meeting in the middle, even in D.C.

I have just returned from a trip to Northern Virginia. I’m pleased to announce that the District of Columbia is still standing. The president hasn’t tweeted it into the Potomac. The subway is clicking along on its usual sprawling, multi-state course. The streets are filled, as usual, with a ...

Celebrating our independence

The words “Independence Day” mean different things to different people. For instance, to the young man or woman who has graduated from college, gotten a job, and moved from their parent’s home, that’s their “Independence Day.” To the father or mother who have returned to the ...

Cherishing freedom, our way of life

At this stage of my life, I find myself taking more trips down memory lane, especially when holidays roll around. And as I grow older the recollections are more vivid. For example, when I thought about Fourths of July past, what came to mind was one in the 1950s. The Furnace Street gang ...

Words of wisdom — now and then

Spirit Brother John and I have been drinking and talking about a range of topics, from the Bills and Yankees to local gossip to world events. He is past cynical now and starting to get serious, reaching for the profound. Suddenly aware of his slumping posture, he straightens, pours a shot, ...

Cherishing America’s greatness

Independence Day, and we shall not forget. It was George Washington who said on Jan. 8, 1790: “Among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defense.” We believe today that American Exceptionalism is unique and is worthy of ...

Governor’s power play on the grid

The New York Independent System Operator has come under blistering criticism for their extraordinary imposition of a $114 million bill for re-hooking Dunkirk’s power plant back into the grid. “We need to shine the light of accountability on the NYISO,” it’s been observed by County ...

‘Dunkirk Look’ comes to NCCS

I call it “The Dunkirk Look.” If you live here, you’ve seen it time and time again. It’s that unmistakable dazed expression with a bit of raw angst thrown in. And it’s crossed many a face immediately after surprise announcements of numerous plant closings in the city. Ditto with the ...

Towers are one more blow to area

On a recent spring day as I drove along Route 20 from Silver Creek to Fredonia I was struck by the sight of wind turbines, in various stages of construction, climbing up the slopes of the Chautauqua Ridge. The towers had probably been there for a while but I hadn’t noticed them in the gloom ...

Powerful feelings — and the traps

Before I get into this month’s article, I would like to thank the people that have called and given positive feedback about the REBT articles. Your response has been appreciated by this counselor. The Irish have a saying that states, “If you are going down a road, and a wall springs up ...

A brother’s secret is revealed

Last article we met three gentlemen, triplets in fact, who were on a business trip. They are part of a successful family lumber mill business situated in rural Ohio. They had met a vacationing Amish gentleman who checked out their operation. A connection ensued and the three took up an offer ...

Overspending, underdelivering in education

When considering New York’s spending on K-12 schools, it is worth considering Stein’s Law: If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. New York spends a staggering sum on education. In the 2018-19 academic year, according to Syracuse.com, roughly, the average (median) spending per ...