Publisher’s notebook

OBSERVER Photo
A parking lot at Brooks Memorial Hospital was created after a former church was demolished in 2012 at Fifth Street and Central Avenue.

New Brooks is ‘opportunity’ for area

There is no turning back, Dunkirk. Brooks Memorial Hospital is poised to move forward with its selection for a new site within the next 22 days. What should be a reason for at least some celebration, has become a conundrum of worry for many who have lived in northern Chautauqua County all ...

OBSERVER Photo
Randy J. Cimino died after a battle with cancer on Aug. 20.

A final goodbye with a cup of coffee

Up until the day he died, Randy J. Cimino never missed his daily cup of Tim Hortons’ coffee. For those who work at the restaurant on Lake Shore Drive East in Dunkirk, they loved his company. On Wednesday, Cimino gave one last time — to customers and those employed at the city business. ...

OBSERVER Photo: Non-panelist Christine Schuyler contributed to the Community Forum on Poverty in Dunkirk on Wednesday.

In impromptu role, Schuyler shines

Christine Schuyler took a front-row seat in Wednesday’s Community Forum on Poverty in Dunkirk. The county’s commissioner of Social Services and public health director seemed to be in attendance more to listen to concerns and the views of seven panelists who were speaking on the assistance ...

Putting a priority on the 
waterfront is a smart step in city development.

Looking on the brighter side

Being upbeat in Western New York and Chautauqua County is not easy. Over the last four decades, we have seen plenty of loss and heartache in terms of population decline with an exodus of business and industry. Just when you thought things hit rock bottom, it somehow got worse. So much pain ...

Zen Olow, right, Chautauqua County Fishery Board chairman, weighs a catch from Roger Corlett’s boat.

Thriving waters face threats

Big boats and important people took to the waters earlier this week for the Chautauqua & Erie County Sports Fishery Advisory Boards 2017 Lake Erie Experience. In its ninth year, the Wednesday event was by far the largest, drawing more than 150 including elected officials from Chautauqua ...

Bob Bankoski is leaving the post of Dunkirk’s Department of Public Works supervisor.

Still a rough road for DPW chiefs

More than a year ago, this space spotlighted a public-service position that was growing less popular by the day. As evidenced in our region’s two major population centers of Dunkirk and Fredonia in the last year, it may have hit rock bottom. On Monday night, Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas ...

Allen Crick of the Falconer American Legion, left, Rebecca Martel of the Brocton Legion and Jack Hood of the Dunkirk American Legion stand ready to help veterans.

Movie, assistance keep focus on veterans

Last week’s release of the movie “Dunkirk” brought another spotlight for some worthy local residents: our veterans. Not only did the movie turn back the clock on the glorious Dunkirk to Dunkerque Days that took place here in 1946, it gave us a reminder at a time that was not Veterans ...

Overall, 54 percent of students who attend county schools are on a reduced or free lunch plan.

Lunch says lots about economy

More than two years after the closing and loss of more than 400 jobs from the Carriage House plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia, the financial stress factor for families in this region continues to grow. According to the U.S. Census bureau, about 18 percent of those living in this county are doing ...

After plenty of debate, the village of Silver Creek eliminated its police department.

In 10 years, government lessens

What a difference a decade makes. At this time in 2007, Chautauqua County and its municipalities were digging in their heels and fighting any possible discussions on downsizing or consolidation. Today, it is a much different story. Government locally has been reduced and there is a lot more ...

Basil A. Smikle Jr., left,  says Vice President Mike Pence is “terrifying for New York.”

‘Chaos’ gives Pence prominence

There are no in-betweens when making reference to our country’s commander-in-chief. President Donald Trump garnered just enough support to win the White House, but had fewer total votes than his competition. Openly, news reporters are consistently sparring with press secretaries. His ...

Pilots Jim Tobul and Scott Yoak are part of the Class of 45 portion of the Dunkirk air show this weekend.

Air show’s high honors for service

On the weekend before the Fourth of July, pilots Jim Tobul and Scott Yoak will be part of an all-American display at the Dunkirk-Lake Shore Air Show, which takes place along the waterfront from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Both are aviators of the planes that make up the “Class of ...

Marc Ruckman had support 
from voters, but on the Village Board he was only one.

When one vote doesn’t count

Marc Ruckman, who abruptly resigned as village trustee earlier this month, understands — probably better than anyone — the frustrations that come with being elected to office as a vocal minority. For the six years he served, his record of voting “no” on budget increases, rate hikes and ...

Fewer tips of hats to grads

Discussions on consolidating or merging schools is never simple arithmetic when emotions get factored into the equation. With the annual celebration of high school graduation only a week away, just how much smaller are those classes locally today than they were more than a decade ...

It’s more than natural wonders

NIAGARA FALLS — Buffalo Avenue is right in the heart of where the spill-over pedestrian traffic of this fallen Western New York city should be. Within walking distance to the rapids, Goat Island and the world-renowned falls, the streets and sidewalks were not filled with hustle and bustle ...

Dunkirk is destination for summer

Get ready for the second act showcasing our summer activities. Nine days ago, the OBSERVER unveiled our annual Spring and Summer Events Guide, which focuses on the seasonal highlights and events that take place from southern Erie County to portions of Cattaraugus County, here and ...

Communication is a two-way street for many entities, unless Fredonia is involved.

In Fredonia, mum means no

Take a cue from downstate, Dunkirk-Fredonia. During a meeting this month at the State University of New York at Fredonia Technology Incubator on Central Avenue, a senior development consultant from New York City emphasized there are opportunities in marketing both the village and city as one to ...

Dr. Roger Firestien proved many times to the 100 in attendance that habits can hold us back.

Thinking positive about failures

Creativity is what drew Dr. Roger Firestien to Western New York. Originally from Colorado, he came to Buffalo to receive a Master of Science degree from the International Center for Studies in Creativity in 1979. He was a trailblazer of sorts. Back then, he was the seventh person to earn that ...

This image, courtesy of the Darwin R. Barker Museum, shows the Fredonia Normal School in 1867

$100,000 gamble of 1866 was winner

It is a lesson that Fredonia and its residents must never forget. As told — and documented — by one of the village’s most prominent deans of the past and present in Sam Drayo Jr., the start of the State University of New York at Fredonia was not humble at all. It was a major gamble that ...

A college is born in Fredonia

Did you ever wonder what events and forces led to the establishment of a State College in the Village of Fredonia? It's an interesting history and one which the people of the Village should be proud of. The following article outlines this impressive and memorable period in the history of the ...

Patrick J. Gorbett, who heads up Great Lakes Cold Storage, won his zoning battle, but lost to a status-quo community.

We’re too comfortable to grow

Our April 9 edition included an editorial in favor of the proposed cold storage facility in Dunkirk. Like many other issues we decide to take a stand on, it is a delicate balance. No matter what our opinion, it is going to be met with some sort of opposition. Take, for instance, our stance on ...