Commentary

Celebrating Ripley’s special moments

Once a year in May, something wonderful happens in Ripley; the Annual Community Banquet. Started in 2000 by then town Supervisor John Potter, the Annual Community Banquet continues to celebrate the good in small town America. The banquet and awards ceremony is hosted by the Ripley Women's Club, ...

Considering four-letter words

How often have you thought about words? I love words. Good words lead to good actions. Good words have a ripple effect. They affect the people around you. This morning (Saturday) I was in Tuscany's. A woman came up to me and asked if I was Margaret Valone. To tell the truth, I was glad she ...

Wonders of a family tree

Last fall my son Kiley, my granddaughter Ally and I made a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.We spent an autumn Sunday there and then before returning to our hotel decided to make a visit to the Kirkpatrick family plot in St. Mary's Cemetery or as it is called locally, the ...

A squishy gold bug

Like yours, my every day is filled with exciting wonders.When "working" outdoors, I tend to have my camera looped around my neck with an old shoelace. Inside, it has its place and must be there so I can grab it quickly trying to remember of course to put it back when I'm finished. My old ...

Area’s weekend is jam packed

Lifestyles reporter Vicki Notaro had a difficult task last week. As the staff member who compiles the events taking place around our region for our "What's Up?" calendar, Notaro had to pick and choose from everything that is happening this weekend.It almost was not fair.To her credit, she did ...

Lots of complaining, but little action

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter publicly blasted the Iraqis' will to fight at Ramadi, a key city that recently fell to ISIS.Aren't criticisms like that best said privately to your allies? And what hypocrisy! President Obama's weak campaign has had little effect on ISIS in a year. We might ...

Partners in life, higher education

There is an interesting issue as to whether universities should hire the partners of other faculty and do so without judging them better than other job candidates.In academia, only about a quarter of instructional faculty get plum tenure-track positions. Professors who are romantically ...

Waffling on medical marijuana

There seems to be a great deal of confusion out there whether Congressman Tom Reed actually supports the legalization of medical marijuana. The question thrown out there exists and is all too real to those affected by this dilemma.In an online publication, The Joint Blog on April 27, it was ...

Giving threats ammunition

What if you got a message on your Facebook account from someone you knew was angry with you that read, "There's one way to love ya, but a thousand ways to kill ya." You might be a bit worried, right?What if that person continued to write things like, "I'm not going to rest until your body is a ...

Small business a big deal

Within the past two days, I went to our local grocery, the local pharmacy and hardware store. I stopped by at the local shoe store to buy a pair of outdoor work shoes.I went to the local clothing store to buy an outdoor work jacket, and on my way, I stopped at the local filling station and ...

Library is a cultural asset to city

I intend to vote a resounding "yes" when it's time to vote on this month's efforts to fund our library via the public school system. It is the right thing to do. It is the intelligent thing to do.The issue is this: Do the people of Dunkirk want a vibrant community, one that is alive with a ...

An unfriendly visit to the area

In the last year I have been the victim of highway robbery at the hands of the city of Dunkirk and the state of New York - twice.While vacationing in Chautauqua County last year I was stopped by a state trooper for using a cell phone while pulling into a shopping center. I was surprised by this ...

Table will serve up new memories

A ?favorite childhood activity of mine was soaking in a warm bath, staring up at the wainscoted ceiling. I would find hidden pictures in the wood's knots: a mother duck with babies in tow, a fox chasing a rabbit, a couple sharing a first kiss. The stories within these planks brought me comfort, ...

Washington warned us early on

During the senior George H.W. Bush's presidency (1989-1993) Saddam Hussein's forces invaded Kuwait. The Iraqi leader posed his reasons regarding the invasion, one was claiming that Kuwait belonged to Iraq, but considering the historic shuffling around of the various middle-eastern nations' ...

Putting others first is best

Are you sure summer is coming? You could have fooled me. I've had the furnace on. The good news is Josie Christopher paid me a visit Sunday and brought me a beautiful green and white lap robe made by the Freitas sisters (three of them.) Charlotte used to work for us. Another sister works at the ...

Early arrival can affect baby’s health

By MATTHEW BARTELSOne-third of babies born in 2013 in upstate New York were delivered before they were full term, and a third of those early term babies were delivered by cesarean section according to data compiled for a Univera Healthcare infographic cautioning against early elective ...

A plant to remember

Ever have one of those days where what YOU wanted - perhaps even had planned - doesn't seem to make a diddly-darned bit of difference?I wanted to dedicate this column on papyrus to the very patrician woman who gave me the plant.I had a good title which disappeared before I could get it to paper ...

County exaggerates ‘efficiencies’

Give Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan credit. At least he is trying.But his recent list of "multi-government efficiencies" with the county being the lead agency is far from impressive.Some of those glorified highlights, which have been forwarded to the New York State Division of ...

Even with nature, money can talk

Americans are blessed with lots of land. Natural space is an abundant gift to be treasured and carefully tended, whether it's in the Western mountains or right here in Chautauqua County.Spring is the perfect time of year to renew a healthy relationship with the world around us. Who doesn't ...

Political scene getting crowded

How many people are running for public office these days? When it comes to the 2016 Presidential race, there are no less than 20 individuals either declared or in a stage of "consideration" to declare. And then we have the local races, the village of Fredonia and city of Dunkirk, among others. ...