Commentary

Polka Fest an engine of opportunity

What we saw Sunday, Aug. 12 in our city of Dunkirk was a rebirth of what we had years ago! We all believe our prayers are being answered! The Polka Fest at Blessed Mary Angela, with Chicago recording artists Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push had it all! People came from Cleveland, Erie, ...

Chaotic call leads to early session

I was packing up my gear following a busy work day. I had just said goodbye to a client. Though darkness had fallen, clearly I could detect snow on the ground. At the moment, I was preparing for the drive home. Years of slow, careful driving following a long work day didn’t prepare me for the ...

Why you put your name to it

Anonymity! When is it important to remain anonymous? Is it when we are afraid that our lives or the lives of our loved ones are in danger? Is it a cowardly act or one made truly out of necessity for self-preservation? If the anonymous author of the op-ed that was published in The New ...

Growing through politics

It might have begun with John F. Kennedy, a Democrat and a Catholic, whose assassination left an indelible mark on my young mind. Certainly it was reinforced by my mother, who was a teacher, and later by the hippie/anti-war movement of the late ’60s when the radical stirrings at Fredonia ...

Cherishing honest, open dialogue

Healthy and honest communication is to be cherished. There are times when political speech and personal conversations leave one confused and frustrated. Indeed, effective and trusted communication helps one to better understand a person or situation and enables one to resolve differences, build ...

Nickel and diming over a state license

I just renewed my driver’s license. Warning — don’t ever name a male child a junior. If you do you can depend on creating the inevitable complications sometime in his life. I am a junior. My passport does not have me as junior but my expiring license did. I wanted to scream, “Thanks a ...

College vote significant in District 23

By TRACY MITRANO The start of a new school year brings excitement and promise-but at a cost. Many students at Jamestown Community College and the State University of New York at Fredonia face challenges financing their education: they take out loans to pay for food, rent, books, and other ...

Cuomo, Hochul serve area well

By WILFRED ROSAS Thursday is an important day in New York, and an even more important one for those of us living in the city of Dunkirk. We will be going to the polls to determine who the Democratic candidate for governor and lieutenant governor will be in the upcoming November ...

Separating the noise and truth

I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again. I am a grammar Nazi. When I hear a newscaster use the wrong tense of a word, I cringe. When I hear a politician use a double negative, I want to shake them! These people know better. They are highly educated and there is no excuse. However, when I ...

Reform New York primary elections

Any time — not just primary-election time — is a good time to recall why New York should reform how political parties select candidates for governor and lieutenant governor. Some states elect governors and lieutenant governors entirely separately. Sometimes those elected this way work ...

Runaway costs for education

A recent OBSERVER Publisher’s notebook made for interesting reading. The message was that many school boards and administrators are not acting wisely in the face of declining enrollment and ever-increasing school budgets. Budget increases that outpace the inflation rate are putting ...

What did you with the kids?

Summer Solstice. June 21st. “Fledgling: a young bird just fledged.” All right. Let’s go try that again: “Fledged: having the plumage or feathers necessary for flight.” Or let’s try fledge (which my computer won’t even acknowledge as a word): “to bring up (a young bird) until ...

Washington’s impacting our home

We are living in monumental times. Does that sound like hubris? Bear with me; I make this claim sincerely. A nearly palpable excitement is fueling the growing optimism of free-thinking Americans. We have been through some dark times. For a long time. But people are seeing light at the end ...

Lessons from a Catholic scandal

Like Lucy, the Catholic Church has some ’splainin to do. This year, a Pennsylvania grand jury released a report that found that in six of the eight Roman Catholic dioceses there were over 1,000 identifiable child victims of sexual abuse. It guessed that there were thousands more. It ...

Reminders of everyday fortunes

Years ago I was lost. I wasn’t sure where I was. My car was crashed against the concrete abutment of a railroad bridge that crossed over the road at the bottom of the hill. It seemed that there was someone in it that needed an ambulance, but I couldn’t recall who, or why, or whether there ...

State in losing battle with Cuomo

What has happened to sanity in our state capital of Albany? Some 24,000 parolees were pardoned by state Gov. Andrew Cuomo to restore their right to vote. I always thought as in the past that when a person violates our laws they no longer have that right. But Cuomo thinks in his own mind that ...

Leader was part of a war that left many veterans bitter

As a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, I’ve been through many changes in attitude toward Vietnam veterans in particular, and veterans in general. At first, one had to be careful even admitting Vietnam service, as it might cause a negative reaction from many people, and on a few occasions, ...

Senator had respect Trump is missing

This week is completely about Sen. John McCain. Agree with his politics or not, it is undisputable that this man lived and died with service to his country being his most important goal as he traveled his path on earth. He was the first to admit his imperfections and often used them as ...

Division makes country weaker

I’d like to broach a subject with you today that is not discussed nearly as much as it needs to be. I wish to talk about Sept. 11, 2001 and it’s lasting impact on us as a nation, as a collective population. This is a topic that is either avoided or given superficial acknowledgement draped ...

Plenty of choices for Democrats

Though the general election actually decides who will represent us, Democrats have never been shy about having a free-for-all in the primary elections. It is part of the “fun” of being a Democrat. In the federal Democratic Primary Election for Congress held in June here in the Southern ...