Commentary

High court fills huge priority

We hear much about the U.S. Supreme Court these days. The under-girding purpose of the American judiciary is to interpret the laws of the land in light of their constitutionality. This underlying function is vital to the maintenance of our Republic and to sustain the blessings of liberty to ...

Holiday memories stick with us

You might call this the “ghosts” of Christmas past. That old Andy Williams song It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year speaks of the tales of the glory of Christmases past. Now that Christmas is over, I, too, find myself reflecting on many holiday moments over the years. On Christmas ...

We’re paying price for power deregulation

In New York state and elsewhere, competition to manufacture electricity was introduced a couple of decades ago. Many states took a wait and see approach, and seem to be fairing much better allowing utilities to continue owning power generation and carefully regulating that critical need. The ...

A counselor’s higher calling

Editor’s note: This is the first of two parts. “When you fall down, get back up.” “When you fall down, get back up.” “When you fall down, get back up.” This was the passage that we used before every game when I coached basketball, and when people would relapse in chemical ...

Giving songs a ‘Cold’ shoulder

Many are now saying that the war on Christmas has ended. However, it is also apparent that the war on common sense goes on. The recent holiday season furor over the lyrics of Frank Lessor’s 74-year-old tune “Baby It’s Cold Outside” had me scratching my head. To begin I’ve never ...

Different months

For a great many years I was a member of the Book-of-the-Month and other similar clubs. Oh, no, not the others which I, seeking erudition considered trash, those offering romance or mystery, which I might actually have read. The “good” books piled up, moving with me across Nebraska, ...

A whole new relationship

Last article we met Oscar, the head of a board of trustees representing a successful financial company. Country drives were an enjoyable activity. A city dweller, Oscar used country drives for clearing his mind. He’d been at a meeting in Pittsburgh and had added several days for unplanned ...

Official makes a call for term limits

By MICHAEL P. KEARNS The origins of executive term limits go back to the ancient republics. In one of the earliest definitions of democracy, Aristotle listed as a key characteristic of democracy that “no office should ever be held twice by the same person.” Accordingly, Greek city-states ...

Home is special at holidays

On a recent Sunday, I witnessed a wonderful children’s service at our church in the morning, attended a terrific holiday musical concert at the Civic Center in the afternoon, and wrapped up the day with a magnificent dinner with friends in Lakewood. To be honest, two days earlier I had been ...

Has Christmas lost its innocence?

The first Christmas I remember was in 1931,when I was just 4 years old. Those were days when we were still struggling with the depression of 1929. We lived in Minneapolis at the time. I recall my older brother and I each got a flashlight for Christmas. We took the Sunday comics into a dark ...

The Stars of Christmas

I’ve been fascinated by the Star of Christmas for as long as I can remember. I first heard about one of the holiday’s most recognized symbols in Sunday school at First Baptist in Little Falls. Matthew’s nativity narrative (Ch.2:1-12) featured the “Star of the East” which guided the ...

Christmas memories always shine bright

One of the most pleasant memories I have of Christmases past is driving around looking at the light displays; seeing who has the brightest, gaudiest lights; who has the most tasteful, sophisticated display; whose lights are the most animated. When I was a kid there were three houses in a row ...

We’re responsible for water’s future

Everyone concerned with Chautauqua Lake’s stewardship and optimum management agrees on the basics: The lake is 17.3 miles from end to end, has a maximum depth of 75 feet and spans 42 miles of shoreline. The lake drains 33 streams and 10 major watersheds and 10,500 people rely on the lake, ...

Student finds life lessons at Boys State

At the end of my junior year attending Gowanda High School, I was offered to go to Boys State. Boys State is a leadership program sponsored by our local American Legion Post 409. This program helps boys transition into men through physical and mental training thanks to the U.S. Marine Corps. ...

With windmills a reality, Arkwright needs new hall

Most times I agree with the views of the OBSERVER (Dec. 17), but this time I see things a bit differently. As many know I am, and was, against the windmills ever being built. They took away our beautiful countryside and replaced it with mechanized turbines which are noisy along with other ...

Pursuing wellness is a resolution we must keep

New Year’s resolutions are often punishing, such as resolving to do sit-ups each morning when you get out of bed, eliminating all sweets or banning all swear words from your vocabulary (including when you hit your thumb with a hammer). Impossible! No wonder we all abandon the plan after ...

Criminal justice reform gets a chance

Republicans and conservatives dating back at least to Richard Nixon have used the slogan “tough on crime” and its corollary “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” as electoral red meat. The problem is what to do when inmates are released with few skills, fewer job prospects and a bleak ...

Managing the manger

Last year I mused on the assorted animals various artists placed in their creches. I vividly recall the poodle in the scene at the Metropolitan Museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall, described in the picture much better than seen among the 71 figures gathered there. Donkey. Sheep. Camel. Oxen ...

Our country cannot ignore climate change

Recently the fourth climate assessment was released for the United States, with dire predictions for devastation to much of our country if temperatures continue to rise due to burning of fossil fuels. The report found climate change is affecting the natural environment, agriculture, energy ...