I had the privilege of being present at our county executive's excellent address to our Chamber of Commerce this month in which he emphasized the importance of a positive attitude in facing our current challenges.
A few days later, I read a "pamphlet" (more like a book) entitled, Historical and Descriptive Review of Dunkirk, Chautauqua, NY," published in 1889 and submitted to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. 125 years ago!
On the cover appeared, "The sender of this pamphlet calls your attention to page 66." On page 66 a heading implored the reader to, "Read This, if Nothing More." It is proof positive that some things never change. Here are the first two sentences of that section.
"The old fogies who are ever ready to discourage any development, and prophesy that Dunkirk and Fredonia are dead, who believe that Western New York is not worth having, and the lake region getting poorer ever day, should be retired into the obscurity which they so richly deserve. Progressive citizens, who are not waiting for something to turn up, but have put their shoulders to the wheel and given material aid to the development of manufacturing, mercantile or agricultural pursuits, are worthy of special mention, and with pleasure we have devoted a fair share of this pamphlet to their varied interests."
I had Copy Boy print some copies of this extensive pamphlet and I am giving one to our energetic County Executive Vince Horrigan, to show him how much I, and our predecessors, support his approach to one's challenges. I believe he is exactly correct about emphasizing a positive attitude and equally important, how we all need to get involved. As he said at the conclusion of his talk, "I can't do this all by myself."
Lastly, I would like to thank our retired Dunkirk firefighter, Allen Hollander, for sending me this pamphlet which he received from his son, Scott Hollander. Scott just received the "SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service." Scott is at the University of Buffalo where he is employed as the libraries' web manager and interim coordinator of digital collections.
Congratulations to Scott Hollander and to our County Executive Horrigan, both for being "on the ball." Now let's get going. I suggested to Vince that since a big nursing shortage has been predicted with all the baby boomers aging, we should encourage Jamestown Community College to team up with SUNY Fredonia to offer a four-year nursing program. The only nursing program currently in this region is a two-year degree offered by JCC. The biology department at SUNY Fredonia could work hand in hand with JCC and offer a four-year registered nurse degree as well.
Roger P. Orcutt, Ph.D., is a Dunkirk resident.