Retrospective

Twenty years ago — 1998

Congressman Amo Houghton attended a special meeting with selected members of the Hispanic community at the Chautauqua Opportunities Center in Dunkirk. The congressman’s visit to Dunkirk was part of a town meeting tour planned to discuss the problems and possible solutions to issues minorities are facing in New York state. Dunkirk schools currently have a 40 percent minority student base and 37 percent of those students are Hispanic. The congressman made it clear that a solution will not come overnight. He said the political process takes time and everyone involved in the matter should understand every concern.

Thirty years ago — 1988

An independent audit of the city of Dunkirk’s financial records for 1986 indicates that the city broke a state law by borrowing against 1987 taxes for that year’s operating expenses and spent more than was authorized to assist with a public housing project. The technical violation of the state law occurred in the last quarter of 1986 when the city issued a $900,000 tax anticipation note against its 1987 tax receipts. Such notes are routinely used to help fund municipal operations during the lean first months of a new year until property taxes roll in. The city used a large portion of the money, however, for expenses incurred in 1986. And that, according to the auditors, is not allowed by state law.

Forty years ago — 1978

Ernest Tietz, masonry foreman with Meister Contracting Co., points to the unusual brickwork on the west wall of the new OBSERVER office building at Central Avenue and East Second Street in Dunkirk. Work is continuing on the building during the winter months. The new structure will replace the present OBSERVER building on East Second Street≥

Fifty years ago — 1968

A Dunkirk soldier, presently serving in Vietnam, met his 2-month-old daughter for the first time as she was being prepared for heart surgery at Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. Sp-4 John Lanski of 620 Eagle St. had previously only seen pictures of his infant daughter, Karen Elizabeth.

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