Publisher’s notebook

No comedy in errors for city resolution

For starters, let’s place the blame evenly when it comes to how Dunkirk Common Council and the county Board of Elections have handled a botched resolution on a referendum to increase terms of office in the city from two years to four. That guy on the left — yours truly — watched as the ...

Making one more trip for Welcome Center

Heading westbound on Interstate 90 and exiting New York state, it is not long until travelers are greeted by a Welcome Center. It highlights what the commonwealth of Pennsylvania has to offer, specifically along Lake Erie’s grape country. Travelers coming from the east, entering Chautauqua ...

In Shakespeare and life, Mac a class act

On a summer day back in 2008, I became reacquainted with Mac Nelson, English professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Fredonia. We both arrived at the Shorewood Country Club parking lot in anticipation of a Rotary Club meeting where he was going to speak about his book ...

St. Gianna’s mission is labor of love

Great gifts do not come only at Christmastime. Many are delivered daily, especially at the Brooks Memorial Hospital maternity unit in Dunkirk in the form of newborn babies. Often, those bundles of joy arrive to thrilled parents and family members. But sometimes, life gets in the way for those ...

We’re still not at ease with backup plan

It was supposed to be New York state’s greatest Christmas gift to Dunkirk and northern Chautauqua County. But five years later, it is — quite possibly — the city’s largest piece of coal in its stocking. How ironic. For decades, our region relied on that coal-fired power plant for ...

Efficiency efforts boost municipal rankings

Not all tax problems begin in the New York state capital of Albany. Most begin right in your back yard. When communities refuse to work together, that costs property owners more money. Consider, for instance, police coverage in the village of Fredonia. Counting the municipality’s own ...

Shooting scarred country, a generation

Fifty-five years ago, our nation was in disbelief and mourning. President John F. Kennedy Jr., less than 24 hours earlier, had been assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Those who were alive on that day remember where they were and what they were doing when they learned of the ...

Albany won’t look fondly on county votes

While on the campaign trail in Dunkirk last month, state Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said all the right things in urging voters to back two Democratic candidates. In her typical upbeat style, she handed out compliments to everyone in the room of the Steelworkers Union Hall, including Dunkirk Mayor ...

Is our community open to dialogue on race relations?

Going by the most recent U.S. Census numbers, Dunkirk could be considered one of America’s real melting pots. The city is filled with great diversity. Of its 11,849 residents, 31 percent are Hispanic or Latino while the African-American population is 6 percent. Educationally, the city ...

In game of politics, incumbents call shots

Political debates are hardly ever a party decision. Instead, those discussions are almost always dictated by the incumbent. This year, state Gov. Andrew Cuomo decided on only one face-off with challenger Marc Molinaro. It occurred on the evening of Oct. 23 in the WCBS-TV studios in New York ...

Kicking the can on the NRG gap

As Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas unveiled his 2019 budget proposal at a press conference in City Hall on Oct. 12, he made the same promise that has been made in previous years by other administrations: there will be no tax increase. On simple mathematics alone, it appears to be almost ...

Floundering GOP stymies Molinaro run

Marc Molinaro knew he was likely fighting a losing battle. In early April, the Dutchess County executive announced his intentions to run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo this November to lead the Empire State. “I won’t lie, the path ahead is not easy,” Molinaro admitted in the Poughkeepsie ...

Can there be limits to free speech?

Freedom of speech can be a fine line. As Americans, we often take it for granted. We can say what we want, when we want. It is a part of who we are, thanks to the First Amendment. But those benefits do come with disadvantages. People who disagree with an opinion can provide a different view ...

Job conundrum is a work in progress

Maybe the 50-year population exodus of residents from upstate has finally caught up with the region’s job market. A look at unemployment rates in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties reveals fewer people are working but the percentage is going down when compared to last year. According to the ...

Membership growing for $100,000 club

Let the number crunching begin. Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello kicked off the fall budget season by presenting his first proposal to the Legislature on Wednesday evening. From this point, legislators will look at where they can begin chopping before they put forth a final plan to ...

Deficits bring no worries for governments

DAYTON — This rural town of just under 1,900 in Cattaraugus County knows what it is like to be out of the media spotlight. Until recently, there was little that caught the attention of this newspaper other than minor infractions reported by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department or the ...

In Catholic turmoil, priest keeps upbeat spirit

Right before the 11 a.m. Mass on Sept. 2 at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Dunkirk, the unexpected heavy rainfall let up. Rays of sunlight began to enter the sanctuary through the cupola above. It was a moment that did not go unnoticed by the Rev. Daniel Walsh, pastor. In welcoming the ...

No ‘squabbling’ with district’s team effort

PORTLAND — Pomfret town Supervisor Don Steger, in his exuberance, did not need a microphone. A podium had been set up for the speakers as part of the “Turn on the Tap” event that took place Wednesday morning in front of the blue water tower off Route 5. He shrugged off the audio — and ...

Quiet Fredonia homicide haunts family, friends

His final text arrived to her phone at 2:30 a.m. July 21. It was a meme with a saying, “Don’t let a man’s social media fool you. I’m here, I exist. ...” Ellyn Mancuso of Dunkirk will not delete that note or the string of communication that preceded it. They are the last of many ...

Mitrano facing uphill battle for Congress

It was a reintroduction of sorts earlier this week. Tracy Mitrano, winner of the Congressional Democratic primary in July after the counting of absentee ballots, was officially getting back to business and the campaign trail. In opening her first conference call with the media across the 23rd ...