The OBSERVER’s View

Comedy Center: New day dawns for county

Today, the National Comedy Center, one of the crown jewels of Jamestown’s continued redevelopment opens. We’re not sure there has been a premiere this eagerly anticipated since Lucille Ball herself returned home to Jamestown for the premiere of “Forever, Darling,” in 1956. Jamestown ...

Marker gets a makeover

It is a name synonymous with a village, library, museum and fire company. But the marker by the grave of Darwin R. Barker in the Forest Hill Cemetery had become unreadable. A committee of four took action — and made a difference. Paul and Karen Trippy, George Tadt and Ken Haas, owner of ...

District Attorney: No simple math for office

Felony and drug arrests both reached a 10-year high in Chautauqua County as did other felonies while violent felonies are at their highest levels since 2010 and 2012. It stands to reason if police agencies are arresting more people, then county prosecutors are handling more cases. Chautauqua ...

PLANNING BOARD: Will winds of change continue in county?

Two town boards face a tall order in the coming weeks. Both Villenova and Hanover have to decide whether to allow windmills that tower up to 600 feet. Last week, the Chautauqua County Planning Board in a 6-3 vote rejected the request for the Ball Hill Wind Energy Project. “Many were ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST COCKAIGNE PLANS — We’re enjoying this wonderful summer and we’re not in a rush to see winter anytime soon. But when the time does come, we’re looking forward to seeing Cockaigne ski resort back in action. During this ...

Still cleaning a big mess

Ho-hum. Another day, another secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. So, what else is new? Precious little, and that is the problem. This week, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Robert Wilkie as VA secretary. He becomes the second person in the position in just 18 ...

Program’s future now in limbo

New York officials love to pay for programs without adding it to the state budget. Sometimes, it’s by using state agencies and authorities to carry out state programs. This is the way the Buffalo Billion was paid for — an avenue that invites fraud, waste and corruption because the ...

Fredonia: Entrance tells a sad story

Just how bad are the village of Fredonia’s finances? Judging by the Church Street entrance to Village Hall, it’s a lot worse than the caution tape. For more than a year, the right staircase to the entrance has been closed to residents due to unsafe steps. The left side, however, closed ...

Talking proud about Westfield

Last week’s battle for the Little League girls 8-10 state softball title in Dunkirk was filled with excitement, especially with a hometown team battling. Westfield opened with a loss in the double-elimination tournament, but fought hard — all the way until Saturday in the semifinals. In ...

Weathering those winters

We remember how rough and long the 2017-18 winter was. Cold temperatures mixed with plenty of snow and lots of wind. Hanover beach residents continue to see the remnants of the harsh season. Last week, OBSERVER reporter Mary Heyl noted large amounts of rocks and gravel had washed up on some ...

No repowering, higher costs

NRG’s failure to repower here does nothing to help high electric rates in our region. On Friday afternoon, around 5 p.m., Western New York was paying some of the highest rates for power in the state. According to the New York Independent System Operator zone maps, our area was paying $51.92 ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST SUPPORTING 4-H — A big thank you to the individuals and businesses who every year show up on the Friday of the Chautauqua County Fair to bid on and purchase the animals for sale during 4-H’s annual meat auction. The members ...

Even in agony, classy result

Some of the best stories in sports happen off the playing fields and courts. Consider the aftermath of a World Cup soccer match in Russia recently. Japan’s team had been leading Belgium, 2-0, during much of the game. Then, in the closing minutes, Belgium came back to win, 3-2. It was a ...

Entertainment: Area stars shine at lighthouse

Last summer, the area embraced the first Shakespeare on the Lake event at the Lighthouse in Dunkirk. In presenting “Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 2017, all shows were sold out with more than 500 attending the plays. This year, there are two plays being presented at the Lighthouse, with ...

DEVELOPMENT: Infusing change in the city

Dunkirk received some good news over the weekend regarding the former Edgewood property on Roberts Road. The Krog Group of Buffalo will develop the site into a cold storage facility that will be utilized by Fieldbrook Foods. “This is a project that saw many challenges along the way and I am ...

Ray of sunshine at Holy Trinity

It has been a rough year for the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Buffalo. No one can deny that. But there was a shining moment of sorts on Sunday in Dunkirk. On that day, the Rev. Daniel Walsh celebrated 50 years in the priesthood. It was an overwhelming and proud event, to be certain. ...

Fenner House: SUNY keeping public involved

Credit the State University of New York at Fredonia in offering two possible options regarding the historic Fenner House on Central Avenue. Last week, the university announced it would either attempt to sell or demolish the property. The problem with selling is the estimated cost for repairs. ...

NRG: Permit lapse tells story

A day some never wanted to see — and others saw coming has happened. NRG Energy Inc. in Dunkirk is no longer powering our mammoth plant on the waterfront. Of course, we in Western New York are always looking for someone who will be the fall guy for the failure of the company to convert the ...

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

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week: BEST TO THE RESCUE — Two individuals were rescued by Dunkirk Firefighters from cliffs on Lake Erie Monday following the loss of their kayaks. The fire department deployed its jet skis and brought them back to the maria where they ...

Bad behavior doomed Pruitt

Bad politicians do not translate automatically to bad policy. Scott Pruitt was not an acceptable administrator of President Donald Trump’s environmental policies — but that does not mean Trump should change them. It appears he has no intention of altering course. Pruitt resigned as ...