Commentary

Connecting the dots on economy

Recently, we have heard and read much about the state of the economy. Almost daily, we are kept informed of the changing economic trends. If any 20th-century economist was a up-to-date individual, it was Friedrich Hayek. He made fundamental contributions to the field of economic thought. ...

We’ve lost the ability to have a conversation

On July 24, CNN political commentator Mary Katherine Ham had a heated argument over racism with a former senator of Ohio Nina Turner live on television These kinds of conversations occur daily between news commentators, politicians, family members — anyone who wants their opinions heard. We ...

In pursuit of the perfect accessory

What a fool I am. I thought this Christmas was going to be different. Christmas 2018 was going to be the Christmas where I finally had obtained the perfect gift for my wife. I had visions of my wife becoming uncontrollable in never before experienced joy when she unwrapped the world’s most ...

Silent suffering in mental illness

One of the most vast, unexplored areas on earth is the human mind. Scientists are only now beginning to unlock the mysteries of how the brain functions, adapts, and heals itself. Mental illness doesn’t have the stigma it used to, but it is still looked at with skepticism. A person dies by ...

I’m a recovering news-channel junkie

This past fall I realized that I was an addict. It wasn’t a common one like drugs, alcohol, sex, food, or social media but it was an addiction. It was causing me to lose control of my life and driving me to try and hide it from family and friends. Today I can now say that I am a recovering ...

Bringing ‘it’ home

I welcomed it most enthusiastically into my home on Nov. 7. Oh all right, so it was a pickup. No objection (obviously) and I was happy to carry it into the house. OK, so what is it? A bird’s nest, obviously. Oriole was my first thought till I could find no opening. So it had to be a ...

Plenty to think about

The second of three articles reviewed a system of a family financial business complete with years of collaborative skills professionally and personally. Oscar, my client, is the leader of a Board of Trustees. He provided an overview that might be cause for envy. The married couple brought ...

Natural gas can help lower power prices

The promise of electric deregulation in New York and elsewhere were lower rates and customer choice. For those watching both closely, there is more to the story. The two states with the lowest average electricity rates in the nation (as of April 2017) are Louisiana and Washington, weighing in ...

A not-so-comforting future

When people in Europe enjoyed the end of the Belle Epoque, they had no idea of the massive change to people’s lives that would accompany World War I and its aftermath. Similarly, in the next two decades, the degree of change and the speed with which it will occur will usher in radical ...

Lack of communication delayed term vote

In October, the Dunkirk OBSERVER editorialized about the referendum to change the terms of the Dunkirk City Council that was, according to the editorial, to be voted on at the November 2018 General Election. The problem was that neither the staffers in the County Board of Elections office who ...

Life filled with bouquet of goodness

Music, flowers, and dogs all come in a great variety of forms, for whatever the occasion human life calls for. Isn’t the most glorious yellow, of any flower, the radiant yellow of the dandelion? Yet we don’t usually see it that way because it outdoes the pure undiluted green we try to ...

Values, responsibility begin at home

Discipline means mental and moral training, obedience to rules, training, chastisement. My question today is: how many parents are in that category when it comes to discipline? Let’s look at what today’s parents are responsible for toward their kids. Some are responsible only for ...

Discrimination evident in policies

I was in my ninth-grade math class when I felt my cheeks get hot — almost as hot as the tears of embarrassment running down my face. I had been asked to step out of class: I was showing too much shoulder skin and had to go change into an old gym shirt, or I would have to be sent home. At that ...

No fairy-tale endings in Washington

While it is looking like 2019 will be ringing in breaking news bulletins even faster and more furiously than 2018, with tweets by the source from which all news flows flashing in cyberspace like a strobe light, it is very hard to develop a commentary on current events. Upon the day of this ...

Publisher’s remarks are a lot of hot air

In a recent Publisher’s notebook (Nov. 30), John D’Agostino chastised local towns for not doing enough to improve efficiencies through participation in shared services with other towns. From my perspective — as an elected official in the town of Arkwright — I see that unless you border ...

Add districts to Ripley tuition plan

Recently I watched and listened to Betsy Devos, the current United States Secretary of Education being interviewed on Fox News. The wealthy Devos is an outspoken critic of public education, particularly the disparity in funding and state test results for inner city school districts such as ...

Tough decisions, sad outcomes

Editor’s note: This is the second of two parts. The first was published on Dec. 29. I have sometimes been accused of being too tough on people in group or individuals. No one has ever cared more about helping people than yours truly, however, in group, it is my classroom. When I ask you ...

A day at the opera

Because of the demands on the human voice, “Semiramide” was revived by the Metropolitan Opera only after a quarter of a century. Happily, the Met filled every role with an exceptional singer who could also act. Set in ancient Babylon, the scenery was as stupendous as one might hope. ...

Our double-standard with animals

“NY State Police investigating after cows thrown from moving vehicle.” This headline beamed at me through my phone while scrolling through Facebook. I was not surprised to see anger pouring out of the comments section on Facebook: “When you see them, feel free to shoot them first and ...

Change, it’s coming! Welcome 2019!

Not that 2018 was horrible, although it could have been better, but I am ready for it to end. There was a time when I may have felt a little sad to see the current year end and hear the tinkling of champagne glasses, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” (which translated means “Old Long ...