The OBSERVER’s View

Damage is getting worse

The fight to protect the county’s lakes from invasive species has gotten a lot of attention over the past several years. New York’s trees need similar attention. Five prominent species of ash tree in the eastern U.S. have been driven to the brink of extinction from years of lethal ...

FORECAST: Summer not ready to end

Friday’s forecast makes you want to take a double take on the calendar: sunshine with a high of 80 degrees on the first day of autumn. Where was this weather one month ago? For those of you who felt cheated at the end of August with cooler, fall-like temperatures, you can take some ...

Going ‘proud’ for 50 years

Fifty years of sweetness in the annual Festival of Grapes came to a conclusion on Sunday. The three-day event, which was well attended, highlighted the county’s famous crop, community organizations and past participants. It brought plenty of life to downtown Silver Creek. “We’re just so ...

FREDONIA: Smart move on trustee

Catherine Creeley has been there, done that — and it makes a lot of sense for the village of Fredonia. Last week, Creeley was appointed to the open trustee position previously held by Marc Ruckman until he resigned in June. It is a situation that is quite similar to when she was appointed ...

HAFFA CASE: A stunning error at trial

Anyone who has watched “Law & Order” more than once likely knows of the Brady rule, which stipulates that a prosecutor must turn over all evidence that may exonerate a defendant to the defendant’s attorney. That’s why it was so surprising earlier this week when a Brady rule ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST RIPLEY PLAYERS RETURN — After a three-year hiatus, the Ripley Library Players will return tonight with a performance at Noble Winery in Westfield. The shows had been put on hold for several reasons, including the death of ...

HURRICANES: Dont forget the Islands

Texans and Floridians hurt by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are on the minds of millions of their neighbors throughout the United States. But what about our other fellow Americans in the U.S. Virgin Islands? If anything, devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma in the Islands is worse that what is ...

A bad bet on impact

A few years ago, New York took a gamble on casinos to provide an economic boost. In 2013, state voters approved a constitutional ballot referendum that allowed the state Legislature to authorize as many as seven new casinos in the state. The proposition was couched as an economic development ...

GAS WELL: Digging in for history

Can Fredonia dig it this weekend? An archeological dig is planned for Friday and Saturday at the gas well location at 85 W. Main St. “Michelle and I are members of the Hart Gas Well Committee, which is a citizen’s group here in Fredonia dedicated to achieving historic site status for what ...

Today’s votes set the stage

Today marks a decision, but not a final one. Voting party members in Dunkirk and Hanover go to the polls to decide on judges, a council seat in the city and supervisor in the town. In Dunkirk, five are vying for judge and each party line — with one exception — is crowded. Today’s ...

SEPT. 11: Take time to remember

Sixteen years ago this morning, Americans watched in horror in their homes, schools and workplaces as terrorists showed no mercy in attacking our country. Evil men piloted planes into landmarks and buildings in Washington and New York killing thousands of innocent citizens while bringing grief ...

AREA COURTS: Better system can be found

Chautauqua County in August began a process that makes a great deal of sense, especially to a number of attorneys: a potential reduction in the number of municipal courts. As many readers know, we still have too much small local government. An ingredient of that is the court system. For every ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST BUILDING COMMUNITY — A dilapidated home in Westfield is reaping the rewards of some dedicated volunteers. Habitat for Humanity has taken on bettering the Beckman Avenue house for a future family. If you’re looking for ...

North Korea: Tests continue to alarm

Diplomats sometimes engage in hyperbole to make their points. But what Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said this week may be the literal truth. Haley spoke during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. It was called after it was confirmed that North Korea has ...

RECYCLING: Taking on the plastics

Dr. Sherri Mason, the State University of New York at Fredonia professor and plastic pollution researcher who led a successful effort to ban the use of products with microbeads, is correct. Society needs to reduce its reliance on plastic bags. One of the main concerns surrounding plastic bags ...

Some insight into judge race

Voters may get a clearer picture of the race for Dunkirk city court judge tonight. In an event sponsored by the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters, the five candidates seeking the position are expected to be in attendance tonight. James Scott Dimmer, John M. Kuzdale, Joseph Price, ...

SAFETY: New road missing something

Fredonia and the state Department of Transportation did a nice job with Main Street over the summer. A bike lane was added, thanks to a push by the village, and the road is much smoother than it was three months ago. But there is something still missing: crosswalks. In the downtown area — ...

Area ready to rise again

It is a Monday that many in the work force are happy to wake up to: a well-deserved day off. Today is Labor Day, which is marked on the first Monday in September. It is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers, notes the ...

STATE UNIVERSITY: Enrollment is bright spot

One of the most welcome surprises of the late summer season has to be the new energy at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Right before opening day, the university announced its second-largest class of first-year students were arriving for the fall semester. Even Frank Pagano, ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST HURRICANE DONATIONS — We are always glad to see people in our community step up to help those in need. A team of volunteers is collecting donations of clothes, linens, nonperishable food, pet food, diapers and more for victims ...