The OBSERVER’s View

Tough policy is appreciated

District Attorney Patrick Swanson’s first policy act since taking his oath of office is a good one. Last week, Swanson discussed with Chautauqua County legislators a new policy in the county District Attorney’s office that will end the practice of plea bargaining for those who commit a ...

SHERIDAN: Bitter pill for taxpayers

David Roach’s eight months of pay for no work is exactly why people get fed up with the public sector rules for workers. Roach pleaded guilty to stealing equipment from his employer, the town of Sheridan, last April, in Hanover Town Court. His reward for the theft? Nearly $50,000 in total ...

GOWANDA: Battle lines on policing

By all accounts, especially through his communication with this newspaper, Steve Raiport was doing an excellent job in overseeing the Gowanda Police Department. He also, regionally, was seen as a leader in working with those in the community who were being treated for drug addiction. But as ...

Some of the best, worst of the week

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST ¯ MOVE OVER — Spurred by the unfortunate death of a New York state trooper years ago, the Move Over law in the state has been expanded to include protecting volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. The law is fairly ...

New leadership boosts hopes

An improved economy means more jobs and better ones. Even those who claim our inaugurated President Donald Trump will be bad for low-income and unemployed Americans have to concede that. Now, the International Monetary Fund has revised its forecast for the U.S. economy during the next two ...

Roundabout: Businesses need to be part of discussion

If a roundabout gets constructed at the intersection of Routes 20 and 60 in Fredonia, many believe it will hurt local businesses. Who’s opinion is that? Local businesses, individuals, and now the Chautauqua County Planning Board. During a recent planning board meeting, Senior Planner ...

JAMESTOWN: Cuomo’s help is one-shot deal

One Chautauqua County municipality that is thankful for state Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent State of the State message is the city of Jamestown. During his regional announcement in Buffalo, Cuomo earmarked $5 million for the National Comedy Center while adding another $2.5 million for economic ...

Sharing wealth on water

Northern Chautauqua County could be in for some additional funding, according to a recent proposal by state Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In his recent State of the State addresses, the governor called on local municipalities to come up with regional solutions to better the product and service of water ...

IN MEMORY: King’s message still relevant

Four days before the United States inaugurates a new president, our nation remembers a leader who focused on bringing people together, not driving them apart. Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. empowered many to be a part of a movement of equality. At the time, his effort was ...

SHARED SERVICES: County is out in front

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has empowered the county executives to make consolidations and shared services happen. It is not a perfect solution, but there is hope for more progress in Chautauqua County. As part of his State of the State initiatives, Cuomo wants the county executives to help drive ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST POLAR BEAR PLUNGE — Let’s face it; last weekend was COLD! We had highs of only 13 degrees on Sunday. But that didn’t stop more than 60 brave souls to jump in Lake Erie for the annual Polar Bear Swim in Silver Creek. ...

Re-establishing with allies

President Barack Obama’s eight years in office have been a time of frustration for many of our nation’s allies. His shoddy treatment of Israel makes headlines regularly. But our second-most-reliable ally, Jordan, seldom makes the news. A terrorist attack there in mid-December, in which 10 ...

Free with some catches

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal on free tuition for middle class students in many ways seems too big to become a reality. But it is on the drawing board and needs to be debated. Here’s one piece of this proposal that needs to be addressed. Our area has struggled with the so-called ...

GOWANDA Holiday comes with setbacks

Four reported heroin overdoses in 11 days would be significant for a small county. Consider the horror, however, that all of these happened in the 2,600-resident village of Gowanda. On Tuesday, we learned horrific news about one of our communities and the crisis its police department dealt ...

High taxes from locals

It bears repeating. During his second State of the State address Monday at the State University at Buffalo, Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted that some of the highest property taxes in the nation are right here. In a graphic during the speech, Chautauqua County was spotlighted as being eighth highest ...

NEW YORK: Power struggle may loom

State Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been pretty good to Western New York and Chautauqua County during his six years in office. Last February, Cuomo came to Dunkirk to announce a major development with Athenex and the potential of 900 jobs here. In 2013, he arrived to a large, appreciative crowd in ...

Agreements with dissent

Right before the Christmas holiday, it was the tale of two contracts with public employee unions. One, in Dunkirk, that came before council for a third time. In Mayville, however, it was a one-shot deal. Both were approved, but in the eyes of many taxpayers, they are flawed deals. For the ...

Some of the best, worst of the week

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST PRO BASKETBALL — There wasn’t a lot of fanfare for the Chautauqua Hurricane last year. The Premier Basketball League team started out playing at SUNY Fredonia for its home games, and after a few games with lagging ...

Don’t delay appointments

Democrats in the U.S. Senate have vowed to use every roadblock they can find to delay confirmation of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees. They have speculated they could drag the process out for as much as two months after Trump is inaugurated on Jan. 20. That would delay the ...

Firefighters: Volunteers make a difference

There has been a lot of talk over the last few years about trying to recruit more volunteer firefighters. That’s because volunteer fire departments have seen their numbers drop. People are working longer hours and some have second jobs. Many healthy retirees move out of the area, either for ...