The OBSERVER’s View

Four get nod in Legislature

There are four contested races for Chautauqua County Legislature in our region. Legislators Robert Bankoski, District 2 in Dunkirk; Christine Starks, District 4 in Fredonia; Terry Niebel, District 5 in Cherry Creek, Sheridan and Villenova; and Mark Odell, District 7 of Brocton and Portland, are ...

Our choice for city judge

Dunkirk City Court Judge Walt Drag commands respect. For more than three decades, Drag has been strict and fair in handing down decisions to those who have appeared before him. To his constituency, he is a model citizen. Whoever fills his position, for the next 10 years, has big shoes to ...

We’ll pass on this race

Four years ago, we did not endorse in the race for Chautauqua County clerk. We will go the same route again this year. From the outside, it looks as though current Clerk Larry Barmore has done a fairly solid job of running the office that was efficiently run for so many years by Sandra Sopak ...

ENDORSEMENT Borrello gets nod for exec

Accomplishing anything in the Chautauqua County Legislature never came easy before 2010. During that era, partisan politics ruled the roost. It may have been comfortable for many who served — some for far too long, but for outsiders it was a portrait of dysfunction and frustration. Back in ...

ENDORSEMENT: Making choices on council

On paper, there are two contested races for Dunkirk Common Council. City residents, on Nov. 7, will see incumbent Donald Williams Jr. is being challenged by Dennis Welka in Ward One. Welka, right before the primary, announced he was discontinuing his campaign due to health issues. Williams, ...

Endorsement Leaning ‘no’ on convention

Hidden on the back of your ballot on Election Day will be a proposition asking if New York should host a Constitutional Convention to rewrite the state constitution. Voters need to remember to flip their ballot and vote “no.” The idea behind a Convention is a good one. Every 20 years, ...

Endorsement: Two propositions deserve ‘yes’

Besides the more publicized Proposition One regarding a Constitutional Convention, there also are two others that voters need to decide on and are fairly less controversial. Proposition Two asks voters to allow the complete or partial forfeiture of a public officer’s pension if he or she is ...

HEALTH CARE: Too good to be true

As we pointed out years ago, billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies funneled to insurance companies by former President Barack Obama were a coverup. They were not authorized by Congress, as the Constitution requires. For that reason, President Donald Trump was absolutely correct in saying ...

Tough to change city hall

Dunkirk needs to get with the times when it comes to credit-card payments. Unbelievably when you enter city hall, you are greeted by a sign with the major credit cards crossed out like the “ghost-buster” image from the 1980s. Real welcome message that sends. In the 21st-century realm of ...

Smart idea on the roads

One Dunkirk Town Board member is asking all the right questions. Harry Walldorff, after looking into equipment and costs, is beginning to wonder if it is really worth having a highway department in the municipality. “I think we need to really seriously consider about whether we need to run ...

DUNKIRK: In the dark on the hospital

Do Dunkirk Common Council members wear blinders? How in the world did they not see the relocation of Brooks Memorial Hospital coming? In putting together a long-overdue resolution last week — more than a year after the facility announced its intentions to look for new sites — council ...

NFL: Player has self to blame

Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who kicked off the "take a knee" controversy in professional football, has filed a formal grievance with the NFL. Here's hoping it gets the short shrift it deserves. Kaepernick is accusing NFL team owners of colluding to deprive him ...

Federal help would be a boost

It’s reassuring to see Chautauqua County has a lower percentage of structurally deficient bridges than the state average. Thirty-five of the 307 county-owned bridges are functionally obsolete, according to a recent report by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Many counties have much higher ...

Dunkirk Plan has eye on future

It is not perfect, but it is a solid plan. That’s what Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas put forth late last week in a $22.3 million budget. One of the biggest piece to this year’s budget comes from New York state: more than $2 million in transition aid, an increase of $275,000 from last year. ...

Local effort makes difference

There’s a campaign currently going on that allows northern Chautauqua County residents to make a difference every day in the lives of thousands. If it sounds too good to be true, it is not. It’s the United Way campaign. A number of non-profit agencies and individuals benefit from giving ...

Combined effort benefits all

After a significant ground breaking, it will not be long until many area residents — who support regional efforts — can drink to that. A number of officials from around the region took part in the hard-hat and shovel event on Friday outside Dunkirk Town Hall. The symbolism is huge. ...

FREDONIA WATER: Interconnect funds arrive

Fredonia’s water system, which needs millions of dollars in future repairs and upgrades, received nothing more than a life preserver from New York state last week. The village was one of the Chautauqua County communities that received funding for infrastructure ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST FEEDING FREDONIA — Help a neighbor in need. From Oct. 16-20, a number of local businesses have agreed to be a drop-off site for non-perishable food items during their regular business hours. The items will be sent to the Fredonia ...

HOLLYWOOD: Dark behind the curtains

Entertainers are eager to point out the alleged moral failings of the rest of us. Meanwhile, they inhabit an incredibly sordid culture, the likes of which would not be tolerated in other businesses. Revelations about entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein continue to tumble out in a steady ...

BUDGET: Drugs take toll in county

Discussions over the Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Department’s 2018 budget quickly turned to drug abuse — and with good reason. Christine Schuyler, county Health and Human Services director, told legislators roughly 75 percent of the county’s 360 Child Protective Services ...