The OBSERVER’s View

Make schools even stronger

Voting "yes" Tuesday in a straw vote for the consolidation of Brocton and Westfield schools will not change a thing. All residents in both districts will be doing - with that "yes" vote - is approving to continue a process of exploring how neighboring districts with similar characteristics can ...

Some of the best, worst of the week

Here are some of the best - and worst - of the week:BESTGREAT LAKE EXPERIENCE - Today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Great Lakes Experience will host its first festival in Dunkirk. The festival will focus on the environment and ecology of the Great Lakes and the heritage of our region. There will ...

LABOR BOARD: Will Senate uphold ruling?

Hundreds of rulings handed down by the National Labor Relations Board since January 2012 are, in effect, null and void. That is because three of the five NLRB board members were appointed illegally by President Barack Obama.Obama's reaction to the federal court ruling on the matter, in January, ...

Last call for NRG project

On Monday night, Power Up committee member Doug Stock attended the Fredonia Village Board meeting to offer a reminder to trustees: show your support for the repowering of the NRG facility in Dunkirk.According to WDOE radio, Stock made the plea due to the economic benefit the area would reap if ...

Relay for life: ‘Amazing’ effort in 15th year

It was another milestone for the Relay for Life.In its 15th annual gathering on Saturday, the Dunkirk-Fredonia event aimed to raise some $127,000 to help support cancer research. With thousands of survivors and family members in attendance, the goal was in sight."From what they used to raise, ...

Will IRS outrage continue?

Democrats in Congress may well be facing a test of whether their allegiance is primarily to Americans and the nation's ideals - or party loyalty.To their credit, Democrat lawmakers who have spoken out about the Internal Revenue Service scandal, in which conservative groups were singled out for ...

Summer: Get children to open a book

In two weeks, summer officially begins with the end of the school year. But that does not mean the learning should stop.Our two state representatives, Sen. Catharine Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, are hoping area youth continue to read during July and August so that they are ready for ...

Village already past ‘decline’

When you consider some of the comments made by residents at last week's Silver Creek Village Board meeting, you begin to understand why Western New York's taxes are some of the highest in the nation.A sampling of opinions from residents, who favor a village Police Department, included: "I like ...

Some of the best, worst of the week

Here are some of the best - and worst - of the week:BESTPLAYING FOR STATES - Good luck to Pine Valley softball, Pine Valley baseball, and Fredonia baseball. The three teams today are in the final four for state competitions. It's been a great season so far. We're proud of how far the teams have ...

IRS CHIEF: Conference not yesterday’s news

"Taxpayers should take comfort that a conference like this would not take place today," assured acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Danny Werfel last month. He referred to outlandish, inexcusable spending of taxpayers' money in a 2010 conference of IRS employees held in Anaheim, ...

Gowanda: All government is ‘broken’

One less position in the village of Gowanda will not bring large savings, but it does shave the payroll.During a recent board meeting, by a 3-1 vote, the village eliminated the position of assessor and will use the town's assessments. The change for Gowanda will be no different than what many ...

Honors: Area men answered call

Two men who have dedicated their lives to fire service in the county were recently celebrated in Mayville.Neil McNeight of Fredonia and Denny Barmore of Gerry, who have a combined service of 110 years, have been honored with plaques and bay doors that bear their names. One of McNeight's major ...

Even winners pay to play

After years of an inferior product on the field, New York state is handing over some $124 million for upgrades to the Buffalo Bills' Ralph Wilson Stadium. Earlier this spring, the Empire Center for New York State Policy sounded off about the plan in a commentary in the Times Union of Albany.In ...

Government Ripley is one of many

In a potential lawsuit against the Ripley Central Schools and its board for acting illegally, a quote from the attorney Steven M. Cohen made us laugh out loud."We have evidence of self-dealing, nepotism and misappropriation of funds which we are turning over to the comptroller," Cohen said.Is ...

A lack of leadership in years of downturn

Founded in 1980, the Business Council of New York State is synonymous with the decline of upstate.Rarely has the organization taken a strong position on major reform to change the high-taxing structure associated with the massive number of governments or the far too many school districts in ...

End partnership with council

It is time for the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce to end its affiliation with the Business Council of New York State.Last week, in a stunning and unexpected announcement, the council announced its disapproval for the $500 million private investment plan to repower the NRG Dunkirk ...

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

Here are some of the best - and worst - of the week:BESTSILVER CREEK LACROSSE - Congratulations to the Black Knights for winning their fifth straight Section 6 class C crown. Much of the team's success has been due to senior Zeddie Williams, who scored eight of the team's 17 goals in their ...

IRS: Tax crimes not ‘irrelevant’

Whether the Internal Revenue Service broke the law in harassing conservative political groups "is irrelevant," White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer told a reporter.Really? Really?!Pfeiffer elaborated on the point, insisting that what is important is for President Barack Obama to ensure such ...

Schools: Clarence plan worth watching

While the latest chapter in school budget votes has concluded locally, other Western New York districts are struggling to put another plan up for approval by district residents.In Clarence, where the median income is more than $80,000, a nearly 10 percent tax rate increase was defeated last ...

IRS: Government at its worst

Rest assured that if liberal political organizations had been harassed last year by the Internal Revenue Service, heads would have rolled, on President Barack Obama's orders.But it was conservative groups - exclusively - that were targeted by the tax agency.Acting IRS Commissioner Steven ...