The OBSERVER’s View

MEMORIAL DAY We owe everything to them

On this Memorial Day 2019, hundreds of thousands of graves have been added as the final resting places of those who served our nation — us — in uniform. They fell in the miserable jungles of Pacific islands, the bitter cold of the Ardennes Forest, in the air over Ploesti and in the ...

DUNKIRK: Silence reveals lack of caring

One week ago, this corner asked for some leadership with regard to the tensions and grieving that were affecting the city of Dunkirk after a 15-year-old girl died from a stabbing altercation. To our disappointment, we did not see any action taken by the mayor, Common Council or the city ...

highs and lows Some of the best, worst of the week

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST NEW GRADUATES — Congratulations to the recent graduates of SUNY Fredonia. Many of those students are not from here, but we hope some were able to find employment and stick around the area. Winter may be long, but spring, summer ...

IRAN Tensions on rise in Mideast

Any number of individuals, organizations and even nations in the Middle East would not be displeased in the slightest at a military conflict between the United States and Iran. Islamic terrorist groups, for one, understand that would divert U.S. assets from targeting them, to at least some ...

UPSTATE: Nothing funny about reality

More than two weeks ago, a “Simpsons” episode took a number of shots at upstate New York. It made a mockery of the declining populations, the loss of Eastman Kodak in Rochester and also featured a beautiful image of downtown Buffalo in the evening that ended with a sudden snowfall. Gov. ...

PUBLIC FUNDS: Even small thefts leave black eye

It is one more violation of trust after the theft of public money, albeit small, from a local government agency. Debra Kelley, the former assistant treasurer of the Chautauqua County Water and Soil District, was charged with petit larceny after the state comptroller’s office discovered a ...

MEMORIAL DAY: Making a call for the flags

With Memorial Day only six days away, John Miga of the American Legion Post 62 sent us a reminder that’s worth repeating. American flags are being placed in cemeteries across our region near the graves of our veterans. Miga noted in an e-mail to the OBSERVER: “During the next several days, ...

SINCLAIRVILLE: Petition interest is significant

Slowly and surely, residents are chipping away at our burdensome system of too many municipal governments. The villages of Forestville and Cherry Creek in recent years have been dissolved by voter approval. When dissolving governments, it is best to start with the smallest. Within the last ...

DUNKIRK Tense times need leadership

Since late March when a shooting took place at an area establishment on East Second Street, there have been a number of other disconcerting incidents in the city of Dunkirk. On April 9, gunshots were reportedly fired in the area of East Beaver and Second streets. On May 7, there were ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST MOCK DWI — For many years, area high schools have been holding mock driving while intoxicated accidents for students. Silver Creek, Cassadaga Valley and Clymer were among schools in Chautauqua County that held once this past ...

MILITARY: Coming to aid of the families

After generations of foolish failure to understand the contributions women can make to national defense, the U.S. armed forces finally seem to have awakened to the previously untapped potential. Important issues regarding how females can serve the nation best in uniform may remain to be worked ...

CITY SCHOOLS: Tradition allows for struggles

Four elementary schools in Dunkirk are three too many. But you may not be able to break a stubborn tradition in the city any time soon. Last week an OBSERVER Retrospective noted that 30 years ago, there was an effort to build a consolidated elementary school. Of course, it failed. In 2005, ...

Westfield: Many help out with special tribute

Westfield and other local officials late last week dug in for a special ceremony: the groundbreaking of a tribute for first responders. The site will be at the former Portage Inn at 18 N. Portage St. in the village. “We’ve had a fantastic committee that’s been working on this project ...

Annual Dinner Special salute to dedicated member

There were some significant names at the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters annual dinner held at the Fireside Manor last week. Both Dunkirk and Fredonia Mayors Wilfred Rosas and Athanasia Landis were in attendance as well as Roslin Smith, a SUNY Fredonia professor, who put together the ...

CASSADAGA Solving issue creates problem

MaryJo Bauer made the right decision last week. The former mayor of Cassadaga tendered her resignation due to the fact she does not live in the village. If she had not left the position, she would have been breaking a state law that has a residency requirement for public officials. But her ...

WATER DISTRICT Village can be real partner

We’re optimistic that Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis and the Village Board are intent on cooperating with the North County Water District. But the time has come for a lot more than just lip service, which is what Monday’s approval was. Within the last year, Landis has become a believer ...

HIGHS AND LOWS: Some of the best, worst of the week

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST SILVER CREEK KINDNESS — Kudos to the students and staff at Silver Creek Central School. They are planning a month of Acts of Kindness projects like planting flowers, putting together care packages for members in the military, ...

Terror: Treat teens as adults

Juveniles who support terrorist groups actively can escape serious prosecution under federal law because of a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, The Associated Press reported this week. Already, that has prompted federal prosecutors to skip proceedings against some minors, allowing state courts ...

Pine Valley District’s loss is an opportunity

Superintendent positions are never easy to fill, especially in our county that is oversaturated with rural school districts. Last week, the OBSERVER reported Pine Valley is losing its leader of the last four years in Scott Payne. As with any leadership position, decisions Payne made did not ...

Fredonia: Costs unclear in Wheelock plan

Many Fredonia school board and community members are hailing the district’s decision to once again use the Wheelock school on Chestnut Street. At last week’s meeting, board members endorsed the idea of moving the kindergarten programs back to the facility in September. “I’m definitely ...