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Commentary

An acquaintance with Joe

It was hate at first sight. Yes, yes. I hear my mother’s voice before that first sentence is even complete. “There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us that little behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us.” No reason that can’t as well apply to ...

A sudden change in attitude for Bernie

We met Bernie, a married man who reports a history of mental and emotional abuse from his wife. We’ve not met her, and, therefore, only have Bernie’s information. His wife, I understand only conceptually requested he seek therapy. Due to the immediacy of Bernie’s plight, treatment must ...

Herd immunity and vaccinations

There was an alarming report recently out of California from San Quentin Prison. Out of a population of 3,260, there have been 2,200 infections and 25 deaths — the latest being a guard at the prison. About two-thirds of the prison population has been infected but the prison still hasn’t ...

Small business, farms drive economy

Our fruited plain area of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Erie County (an area of which I have a ninety year familiarity, first as a young farm boy) is noted for the excellence of small business establishments and productive farms. This is an area where people have found that there is greater ...

State ‘heartless’ in slashing services

Slashing funding for addiction services by 20% amid a surge in overdose deaths is not “New York Smart” or “New York Loving” or “New York United,” instead it is “New York Shortsighted,” “New York Heartless,” and “New York Divided.” Predictably, here’s what’s already ...

New York needs creativity to find funds

As things stand, and without any federal aid, New York state will face austerity for the next four years or more. Some in Albany have suggested cutting all public spending by 20% as a solution. That means solving austerity by imposing more austerity! But the solution lies in our own hands: ...

Waiting game with forget-me-nots

I didn’t know if it was a wildflower or not but it should be for it has a mind of its own. I have a photograph and description in my wildflower album though this patch can’t legitimately qualify for a packet was given to me in memory of a very special mom. I felt honored to be able to ...

Inactive voters are worrisome wildcard

Registered voters in New York State fall into two main categories — active and inactive voters. I contend that sending mail-in ballots to inactive voters is problematic. This is not to be confused with absentee voting. New York state has had absentee voting for a long time. If someone ...

Do we ever get back to normalcy?

Now a few of my observations on the COVID-19 pandemic. It goes without saying that the pandemic has caused a lot of changes in our society affecting a lot of people. Some of these changes are good but with others, only time will tell. While working from home was common for a few occupations, ...

Be ready … by mail or in person

It’s here! The election season is in full swing. Starting with the Democratic National Convention this week and to be followed by the Republican National Convention beginning on Aug. 24. And then, of course, the debates! All of this sums up to two-and-half months of mud-slinging, half-truths, ...

Court’s Title VII debate worth reading

A June 15 Supreme Court opinion on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is worth reading. Title VII makes it unlawful “for an employer to ... discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such ...

Local election boards need federal aid

The COVID-19 crisis has had a detrimental effect on just about every aspect of our society. Its insidious and prevalent nature has changed how we interact with each other in every facet of life. This is especially true in our most basic tenant of our Democracy, the right to vote. Election ...

No justification, just excuses for clinic

An article on July 25 in the Weekend Life section by Mike Tramuta discussed the opening of a methadone clinic in the city of Dunkirk. It is to be located at Main and Third streets, which will be near a shopping center and school. This clinic will be operated by Hispanics United and could be ...

Despite COVID-19, momentum continues

A lot has changed in 2020. COVID-19 has caused modifications to the way we live. The impact is not only being felt in Chautauqua County. Life has changed all around the world. Schools have closed. Businesses have closed. People have lost their jobs or have been furloughed. Some places we love ...

Our care system taking an unhealthy toll

In this time of COVID-19, millions of Americans have lost their employer based health care. For someone with diabetes this could be a death sentence. That is not the case in every country. Not even the price is the same everywhere. In the U.S., insulin can cost more than $350 a vial. The ...

Do warblers warble?

But first I had to check my albums. Do warblers even return in the fall? Indeed they do though, according to my records, their appearances are scantier: fewer of them with shorter visits. That said, I have marked the Black-and white in October, the Blue-winged in August, Connecticut in ...

Volunteer’s ‘little things’ were big deal

As city historian for the city of Dunkirk and past president of the Historical Society of Dunkirk, I would like to acknowledge the recent passing of Patricia Rosing. Pat served as board member for the Dunkirk Historical Museum for many years and worked also as our ...

Combative relationship hurting marriage

We met Bernie whose cursory description of a marriage in conflict. He was rigid both physically and emotionally as he sat in his initial session. Before I could customarily get some biographical items such as date of birth, wife’s name, address, place of work, medical information for ...

Elites have power, wrong ideas

The elites in this country are surprisingly unified in accepting and promoting terrible ideas. The mystery is why this is so. The elites are the people who control the commanding heights of academia, business, and government. First, academia skews hard left. Faculty at 40 leading ...

Organization advocates for balance at Chautauqua

CHAUTAUQUA — Sometimes renewal movements start with what could seem like small gestures. Such as a longtime Chautauqua Institution visitor’s 2018 newspaper ad. Was it a lost-and-found ad? Sort of. Chautauqua Institution, a national treasure, can’t achieve its potential without ...