Newsmakers of the Month

Plugging the leaks of change

New initiatives, no matter how celebrated and successful, often come with growing pains. Look no further than the North County Water District. Now online and providing water to areas west of the city of Dunkirk, there is an issue with billing that ultimately comes down to communication. Town ...

Where does that money go?

Within the last year, three communities in our region have been the recipient of a combined $7.5 million. The city of Dunkirk and the village of Gowanda won the smart growth grants from New York state last October while just two weeks ago, the village of Fredonia received the award. All three ...

Trustees allow misinformation to flow

Without the assistance of the village of Fredonia, neighboring municipal entities have become part of a historic and desperately needed cog to the region’s economy: a North County Water District. It is a shining example of cooperation that is being hailed by New York state officials, ...

Newsmaker of the month: Abusing executive sessions

Fredonia’s Maureen Blackburn and Michelene Comerford are two residents who have one thing in common: they do not appreciate — or accept — executive sessions. Both, at school and village meetings, have spoken out about the happenings. Blackburn has been more vocal recently, especially ...

News flash: government is ‘hostile’

Thursday’s phrase of the day in Fredonia was “hostile work environment.” That is how outgoing village administrator Richard St. George, at right, characterized the setting in the offices at Church and Temple streets. To understand how true that statement is, village residents need to ...

Region appears to have lost fight for NRG

Nearly 2 1/2 years ago, Oswego County was in the same boat as northern Chautauqua County. Its James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant was in a fight for its life. Instead of keeping its fingers crossed, officials there went on the offensive with ad campaigns aimed at pressuring the state ...

Building some trust for project

Building projects for area schools almost always are a waste of taxpayer dollars. Just how much expansion do we need at small schools such as Forestville, Brocton and Westfield where student enrollment has plummeted? School boards and administrators often tout the state aid formula, which can ...

Sounding off on public hearings

On the evening of April 12, a number of area residents gathered at the Fredonia Opera House in the hopes of getting their message across to the state Department of Transportation. Simply speaking, there were many more in the audience opposed to the proposed roundabout at Routes 60 and 20 than ...

No empty promises, just lots

Give an inch, they want a mile. For years, the Revere Inn was an eyesore in Silver Creek. In December, thanks to the Chautauqua County Land Bank, the building was demolished. But village officials still were not happy. In February, village Mayor Jeffrey Hornburg voiced his displeasure on the ...

Uneasy ride for retail in area

There has been quite a shake-up in the last eight months along a bustling Vineyard and Millard Fillmore Drive. It all started last spring with the announcement that JCPenney would be leaving the D&F Plaza in July. All those familiar with the store knew it was turning a profit, but ...

Unpopular choices often bring silence

Just like with any other government meeting, if a controversial issue is not at the forefront a Board of Education meeting is likely to seem inconsequential. Sure, there are bills, appointments and tenures to be approved. But controversy usually comes when it involves a personnel ...

Big disparity in education funding

Area educators and school officials could get a harsh lesson in New York state finances if they closely follow what’s happening to State University of New York institutions. Earlier this month, the new chancellor of the SUNY system — Kristina M. Johnson — spoke to a group of staff and ...

Newsmaker of the month: Dunkirk gets attention in state

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo rarely shows emotion publicly — good or bad. That being said, he seems to have a special fondness for the city of Dunkirk. In his first visit here in December 2013, he was overcome by the more 500 area residents who packed the Clarion Hotel Marina & ...

With aid, city at state’s mercy

Declining populations cannot keep up with growing budgets for municipalities and schools. It is one reason the tax cap in New Yok state has been so effective. It forces these institutions to look at other avenues instead of just asking residents to pay more annually. Dunkirk, however, is ...

Another chance on Central Avenue

Maybe the purchase of the buildings on Central Avenue and Lark Street in the city of Dunkirk by the United Secular American Center for the Disabled Inc. was a good thing for Dunkirk. Last summer, a number of residents voiced concern over the purchases of six buildings in downtown, specifically ...

Cott sale brings another jolt

Employees and local officials cannot help but be a bit unnerved regarding last week’s news that Cott Corp. has sold its beverage business to Refresco, a Netherlands-based company. As we all know from the past, when these deals happen it does not always translate well for the area. It took ...

Making regionalism pay off

Chautauqua County’s attempt to win $20 million from New York state for its efficiency efforts is a big deal. Considering just how much money it costs to operate the city of Dunkirk each year — about $23 million — there is a realization this application is not small potatoes. This ...

Councilman too far out on a limb

If an accident happens and medical attention is needed, it is an emergency — no matter what the language. On April 12, a man who was attempting to cut down a limb became pinned between a tree and the ladder he was using on King Street in Dunkirk. City firefighters responded to the scene and ...

Where are the voters?

Village elections in our region proved once again they are no model of American values and democracy. Besides the fact many races go uncontested, the bottom line is residents are not voting. Consider some of these woeful numbers from last week: ¯ Cassadaga — 58 voters in a village of ...

In chaos, Reed stood tall

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed kept his word. Even after learning many who disagreed with his positions and support of President Donald Trump would attend his scheduled town hall meetings last weekend in Chautauqua County, Reed showed up and took the heat. He even kept his composure during what turned ...