The OBSERVER’s View

Higher, but not all better

Just what do we take from the recent state Education Department report regarding recent graduates? Only that we are getting a little bit better in Chautauqua County. As we noted last week, the graduation rate of the 2016 class fared 1 percent better than those in 2015 with 84 percent making ...

Highs and lows: Some of the best, worst of the week

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST BOWLED OVER — Congratulations go out to Fredonia Hillbillies bowling team. For the first time in school history, the team won the Section 6 Class C high school bowling championship. It’s Tom Battaglia’s 16th year coaching ...

Easing burdens a smart step

Apparently Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is more at liberty now to do the right thing. No wonder. She has a conservative Congress to back her up — and a president unlikely to veto its actions. This week, Yellen testified before the Senate Banking Committee. One of her key points ...

Town Hall meetings should continue

If you would like to see Rep. Tom Reed in person, you’re in luck. Reed will be making four stops on Saturday across the district. Two stops will be in Chautauqua County — at the North Harmony Senior Citizens Center at 9:15 a.m. and at the Pine Valley VFW Post #2522 in Cherry Creek at ...

Economy: Horvath’s key role for area

State University of New York at Fredonia President Dr. Virginia Horvath has a large role to play in our region’s future. Last week, she took on an important leadership position — that of co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. The announcement comes at an ...

Our region needs some snow

Another winter storm warning missed the mark on Sunday night and Monday morning. That may be good news for many, but it is taking a toll on others. One of the drivers of our winter economy is snowmobiling — and usually at this time of year it’s plentiful. However, those looking for ...

NYCOM: Group’s ideals full of flaws

At least two local mayors, Willie Rosas of Dunkirk and Athanasia Landis of Fredonia, are in Albany today taking part in the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials gathering. The lobbying group, which survives by charging municipal members — your tax dollars — is not ...

Showing up builds trust

Fredonia village trustees Doug Essek and Phyllis Jones did something more area elected representatives need to do. In seeking out information, both attended the meeting regarding the north county water district Thursday at the Jamestown Community College North campus in Dunkirk. It was a ...

Highs and lows: Some of the best, worst of the week

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST SPECIALITY STEEL — It’s great to hear that Dunkirk Speciality Steel, LLC is looking to invest millions of dollars to make the facility more competitive and eventually increasing employment levels. In 2016, the company ...

Values of U.S. do matter

Donald Trump is president in part because many Americans disliked his predecessor’s habit of refusing to recognize the exceptional nature of our government and the American people. Too often, former President Barack Obama cited our nation’s challenges — and there are many — in ...

NFL: Help Bills ‘reverse the curse’

Seventeen years have come and gone since the last time the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs. It’s also been 17 years since the Bills practiced at SUNY Fredonia. With the New England Patriots just winning their (gulp) fifth Super Bowl under coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, we ...

More teaming for learning

We are going to miss Fredonia Superintendent Paul DiFonzo, who is retiring in the coming months. For nearly 10 years, DiFonzo has been an outspoken critic of the overabundance of county districts. Running one of the largest in the north county, he understands those who attend the small ...

Disappointment, but no jail

For 10 years, Richard Frey’s tenure as city mayor was like a roller-coaster. There were plenty of good days — and some that were bad. Now at 85, Frey faces another battle: potential jail time after pleading guilty to wire fraud last week. Prosecutors said, from January 2003 to June 2012, ...

HIGH FEES: Clerk is expert on spending

How soon Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore forgets. In criticizing a number of proposed increased Department of Motor Vehicle fees in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget, Barmore at least seemed sympathetic to those he serves. “Combine that with all of the other fee increases in the proposed ...

Hanover-Silver Creek: Joint effort is refreshing

Hanover and Silver Creek have the right idea. No single government — or group of taxpayers — can possibly take on the high cost of building or the renovation of a new facility. So why not do it together? That possibility is currently being explored — and brings some enthusiasm. When you ...

Highs and lows: Some of the best, worst of the week

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST DUNKIRK DAVE — For 40 years, our region’s very own Dunkirk Dave has been predicting the weather every Groundhogs Day. Some may groan that Dave saw his shadow which means six more weeks of winter, instead of an early spring. ...

TRAVEL BAN: Quick order is a start

President Donald Trump’s order banning travel to this country by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries certainly could have benefited from more planning. For example, denying re-entry to travelers who resided here, then left the United States intending to return within days or ...

Regional plan worth effort

We applaud members of the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corp. for their continued push for a health-care consortium between municipalities. As many tied to local governments know, health-care costs are a major expense to the annual budgets. The consortium, which could be made up of other ...

Sports: Bowling team rolling along

Dunkirk’s football team is still receiving plenty of publicity and accolades for their state Final Four season. But even that team cannot compare to the success of the Dunkirk girls bowling team, which put together a 40-0 season. “The way they got along this year was wonderful,” Coach ...

Big savings in dissolution

On Thursday, Cherry Creek becomes the third village within the past year to consider dissolution in Chautauqua County. In November, Forestville solidified its first decision to eliminate village government in 2015 and more recently, Sherman voted to keep its village by a narrow two-vote margin ...