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Publisher’s notebook

An air of objectivity in turbine debate

PORTLAND — There has been an uneasy feeling in this town in recent months. A proposal for at least 10 windmills with each about 325 feet high that will generate up to 10 MW of power and stay local has placed a wedge between some neighbors. It is apparent in the “No wind turbine” signs ...

Opera House celebration is a tribute to community

As the crowd’s anticipation grew in the Fredonia Opera House for the featured showing of “Downton Abbey,” Rick Davis took advantage of the engaged audience to offer an invitation. This Sunday, the executive director told the crowd, a special 25th anniversary celebration “Fredonia on ...

Early voting set tone for many results

It appears those who lean left were more apt to take advantage of the early voting, which was offered from Oct. 26 to Sunday in three locations across Chautauqua County. Once the polls closed at 9 p.m. Tuesday, the county Board of Elections did an excellent job of informing the public about ...

Queries, quips fill banner election season

Though voting has already begun, there are many who will continue a tradition of heading to the polls on the true Election Day this coming Tuesday. Numbers for the early voting have been somewhat impressive — and the process has taken pressure off those who may have had some type of conflict ...

A RIDE FULL OF U.S. PRIDE

Around 7 a.m. Oct. 17, the Sons of Liberty set out on a mission they will never forget. About seven members from northern Chautauqua County, bundled in their leather coats on motorcycles, were headed to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport to be a part of a miraculous return home. Sgt. ...

Sweating the small stuff at election time

Early voting in Chautauqua County and the rest of New York state begins in eight days. Judging from the recently held League of Women Voters debates in Dunkirk and Jamestown, many seem ready to make their selection today. One more gathering, which is hosted by the League’s Chautauqua County ...

St. George’s commitment ‘larger than life’

Gramps would have been proud. As Dr. Joshua Bald began the eulogy on Monday morning during a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Anthony’s Church in Fredonia for Charles St. George, he recalled some advice from that respected man when it came to addressing a crowd and giving speeches. “Go from ...

Symptom of silence still prevalent at Brooks

It was an unusual voice mail message, but not unexpected. J. Gary Rhodes, former interim chief executive officer at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, was disappointed with our continuing coverage in 2014 about the mounting deficits and job layoffs at the institution in a changing health-care ...

Private, public partnership keys big deal

Wells Enterprises Inc. announcement this week to move forward with an $87 million investment in the Dunkirk Fieldbrook Foods plant is not something that happened overnight or by accident. It does, however, come from a recipe that includes key ingredients of communication and relationship ...

Can’t count on full Census participation

Six months from now, many residents here and throughout the United States of America will be participating in a process that occurs every 10 years: the 2020 Census. The exercise helps determine the number of seats per state in the House of Representatives and how some $675 billion in funding ...

Area’s profile appeals to wind developers

PORTLAND — Motorists driving along Route 20 are beginning to see lawn signs regarding a divisive issue that has become highly talked about in this town: the prospect of wind turbines. This is far from anything new to the north county region. Around 15 years ago, the towns of Westfield and ...

It’s never simple arithmetic with schools

Ripley Superintendent William Caldwell found a lot more than just a lucky penny. When the district he oversees was closing the books on the 2018-19 school year last month, staff members discovered an additional $70,000 in its coffers, courtesy of New York state aid. What did the district do ...

A new way to begin the weekend

Welcome to our new and enhanced Sunday OBSERVER. It arrives to you, our readers, one day early complete with your favorite features from both editions in one. Filled with the latest news and sports, it also includes an expanded Opinion section, color comics, our weekly calendar and the ...

Campaigns heat up after Labor Day

Possibly after this holiday weekend, the local political rhetoric will start revving up again. As is typical over the summer months, residents here do not want to be bothered with the major and minor issues facing our communities on days they can spend outside. Save it instead for the overcast ...

Unorganized ‘race’ full of troubled waters

There is no one voice that resonates locally regarding last weekend’s Great Lakes Offshore Grand Prix, which took place for the second year in Dunkirk. On social media, critics complained about the lack of boats that showed up for this year’s event. Supporters also were evident, especially ...

Waking up the disinterested voters

Having the privilege to cast a ballot in the United States also gives you the right to be an uninformed voter. As long as you are registered with the county Board of Elections, you can go to the polling sites with a blindfold on or flip a coin for each of your choices. It sounds crazy, ...

Negative spin builds against lake turbines

Right before the summer season officially began along the lakefront, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed made a stop at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club in Dunkirk. Though the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was a key part of his agenda, he also wanted feedback from the charterboat captains who were ...

Energy wishes stress state’s power system

New York state is trying to have it both ways. Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, the administration is attempting — very hurriedly — to move away from fossil fuels when it comes to powering our state. In the process, as we have witnessed during recent heat waves, New York is relying ...

Lackluster council puts themselves first

How the tables have turned when it comes to the major local governments in the last 12 months. Nearly one year ago today, this corner was focused on the continuing chaos with the village of Fredonia administration. Transitions were taking place regarding the administrator position and still in ...

Fancy footwork adds boost to annual Run

Fredonia High School senior Jake Skinner is more than just an all-star football athlete. If you have seen him in action locally on Friday nights, you know he has quick feet. Those were definitely on display during the morning of July 9 on Vineyard Drive in front of the Tim Hortons in Dunkirk. ...