The OBSERVER’s View

Fredonia spurs town increase

What choice did the town of Pomfret really have when it came to water and sewer fees? Despite some opposition by Town Board members John Sedota and Christopher Schaeffer, the board approved a hike. Sedota and Schaeffer have a point, but Pomfret is at the mercy of Fredonia, which provides ...

GOWANDA: Village takes on new battle

There is an energy in downtown Gowanda that is not often found in small town Western New York. Most comes from loyal shop owners and business people, the Chamber of Commerce in particular. It is one of the reasons the community continues to come back despite horrible flooding that has ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST ¯ SHAKESPEARE OUTDOORS — There was quite a buzz last week over the Shakespeare on the Lake event, which ran from Wednesday through tonight. We’ve got a fantastic cast of people who have done theatre all over the ...

VENEZUELA: Watching over troubles country

Quite a few countries have shaky economies, with double-digit unemployment, crumbling treasuries and even food shortages. One of them has the largest petroleum reserves in the world. It is Venezuela. Months of demonstrations in the streets have left nearly 100 Venezuelans dead and at least ...

Big cleanup makes progress

It was a proud cornerstone to Dunkirk’s past. The Al-Tech Specialty Steel plant provided work for thousands of city residents when it was going full gear. But, as with many other factories over the past five decades, it closed shop and left a major problem. Over the past year, a major ...

Reversal proves reform need

ethics The recent reversal of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s corruption conviction is just the latest reason why New York state needs tougher ethics laws. Silver had been convicted, in short, for his role in a three-part scheme that used his position as Assembly Speaker to make ...

EFFICIENCIES State aware of successes

There was at least one familiar face listening to Chautauqua County’s proposal in the Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition last week in our state capital. Right before the major Athenex announcement in 2016, Dierdre Scozzafava spoke at the annual Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce ...

DUNKIRK: Recalling city’s kindness

Dunkirk’s history with its sister city of France has been in the spotlight for more than a week. With filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster “Dunkirk” movie raking in huge audiences, there could be even more nostalgia to come. That would be a good thing for our city. On Friday at ...

DUNKIRK ‘Union peace,’ higher costs

By all accounts, the little the public and this newspaper know about the approved contract between the city of Dunkirk and its firefighters is fair. The four-year deal, retroactive to July 1, includes no pay hike for this year, a 0.5 increase for 2018, 1 percent in 2019 and 1.5 percent in ...

HIGHS AND LOWS: Some of the best, worst of the week — July 22

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST FAIR TIME — Get your tickets and head to the Chautauqua County Fair! The fair opens on Monday. New this year, rising Nashville star Ruthie Collins, a Fredonia native will be singing opening night. Of course there will be many ...

MOTORCYCLE SAFETY: Bike, vehicle drivers need to be alert

This month alone, we’ve had two motorcycle fatalities in Hanover and another fatality out-of-county involving a Mayville resident. Every case was different. The first one a driver was charged with failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign. In the second case, one car struck another ...

DUNKIRK: Celebrating city’s movie tie

Dunkirk takes center stage, so to speak, this week. On Friday, the movie “Dunkirk” by filmmaker Christopher Nolan will premiere around the nation. Of course, our city bearing the same name, has plenty of history to go with what many will view. Nolan’s movie highlights the evacuation of ...

Dunkirk: Let governor send message

No one needs to speak for state Gov. Andrew Cuomo, especially in Chautauqua County. During the Dunkirk Common Council meeting, city Mayor Willie Rosas reported good news regarding the NRG Energy Inc. repowering and the Athenex project. However, the follow-up comments were not needed about the ...

Coaching change brings noise

It is not often the Fredonia School Board hears protests from parents and students. But last week’s meeting did bring plenty of concerns and questions from those who attended. On June 27, the school board quietly approved a number of coaching appointments for the athletic teams. Missing ...

GOVERNMENT Job openings tough to fill

Here is one more reason to consolidate our local governments: no one really wants to be at the table. Last week, Fredonia officials lamented the fact that since former Trustee Marc Ruckman resigned, there has been no one who has stepped forward for the position. “I don’t have anybody to ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST WRETCHED GROUP TRIBUTE — The Wretched Group rock and roll band is returning to the local area for two performances — July 20 at Rookies on the Lake and July 22 at The Clarion Dockside Cafe. These performances will be a bit ...

CAPITAL: Step in getting the job done

Most Americans have to stay at work until whatever tasks need to be completed are finished. The knowledge we have to do that makes us work harder and smarter. It makes our bosses schedule tasks realistically. That isn’t how life works on Capitol Hill. Regardless of how many critical issues ...

State will help with costs

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week announced three communities that recently held dissolution votes will all get funding. The three communities are Hanover (for Forestville), Cherry Creek and Sherman. Both Forestville and Cherry Creek voted to dissolve, while Sherman rejected dissolution by two ...

LILY DALE: Butterfly idea spreads wings

Some of nature’s greatest gifts somehow seem to be under constant attack. Recent reports of a tiny mite affecting the honeybee population is of concern as well as the Emerald ash borer, which has the ability to kill a number of trees. So last month’s opening of a butterfly habitat in Lily ...

Road projects get in gear

Motorists may not like the delays, but vehicles are likely in for a smoother ride as road construction season has kicked into high gear throughout the county and state. In Fredonia, Main Street is getting a makeover of sorts as crews have been taking paint off the road since last week. Other ...