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Commentary

Getting away and finding trouble

I had just finished lunch at my desk and had time for a short siesta. I leaned back in my chair and placed my feet on the desk. Yes, I put my feet up on the coffee table sans shoes at home. I closed my eyes and then I heard a voice yell out “Hello, anyone here? Hello!” So much for the ...

Another perspective on the protests

Two claims drive the recent protests, riots, looting, and white people prostrating themselves before black people. First, racism today is causing blacks to do poorly. Second, the criminal justice system is racist. Both are likely false. Consider the first claim. Racism today is causing blacks ...

An example of government working

The other day I drove down the road which runs parallel to the lake in the town of North Harmony and saw what looked like surveyor stakes with small red flags attached. It tweaked my interest enough to call the sewer district to see if they were related to extending the sewer up the lake and ...

Attitudes can be contagious

My wife Elaine taught school for 36 years. Over the years, She worked with young children at several different levels. Often, Elaine would speak about the critical importance of helping each child to develop a positive attitude toward self, and a constructive attitude toward work and ...

What We Believe: A literal six day creation

The Creation vs. Evolution debate is perhaps the oldest conflict in modern day religious thought, and the debate dates back centuries, to the time of the Reformation. Yet even within the belief of Creation by God as the source of all matter and all life, the theology is challenged: the idea of ...

Only path forward involves unity

Facilitating cooperation and compromise is critical to maximizing our success in addressing issues involving Chautauqua Lake management. While thoughtful people might disagree on the priorities facing Chautauqua Lake, a consensus strategy is much better than endless conflict and the threat of ...

Challenging times bring opportunity

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Chautauqua County residents have struggled with the uncertainty of when our region could reopen, dealing with record high unemployment numbers around 15.5%, a severe reduction in tourism dollars to the area, and housing instability due to people not being able ...

Unsettling times in nation, state

We are living in historic, crazy, often frightening times. The killing of George Floyd was a horrific act played out graphically on television for all to see. Having been caught on tape there was no doubt that the police were in the wrong. What was disturbing was not just the actions of the ...

City costs are nearing breaking point

“I want my street paved, cleaned, plowed and maintained on a regular basis. I want my trash picked up weekly and to have clean drinking water. I want clean beaches, parks and public places and I want all of these things now, tomorrow and the next day as well! I don’t want to pay one ...

‘Created Equal’ is worth seeing

You wouldn’t think a two-hour movie that is largely an interview with a husband and wife would be this engaging. But it is. The movie, called “Created Equal,” is largely a biography of him. In his life, she has played no small role. Her upbringing was far different from his. She tells ...

Government needs to hear our voices

What is government for? Why even have something so expensive and constricting? When our Founding Fathers wanted to define good government they lifted the Iroquois “Great Law of Peace.” We know of it as the preamble of our constitution. “We the people of the United States in order ...

We’ve come far, but still lack answers

In the old testament of the Bible, Proverbs 23;7 it says: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Isn’t that a reasonably self evident fact. It is truly amazing that such insights have been with us, in many forms, from many sources, for thousands of years, and yet many still live in ...

P-TECH vital to manufacturing

Pathways in Technology Early College High School Program (P-TECH) is an important resource for the future of local manufacturing. Unfortunately, the Jamestown City School District has proposed discontinuing their support of students enrolled in P-TECH. This decision will negatively impact the ...

High-cost projects, little tax benefit

On the front page of the OBSERVER on May 28 was a large photo of a drawing of an architectural new building for The Chautauqua Center that is expected to be constructed at Third Street and Park Avenue. The $5 million facility is being partially funded by New York state taxpayers through a $3 ...

Mourning losses, moving forward

When I initially thought of this headline, I thought of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has affected the entire world, including Chautauqua County. More than 100,000 people have died in this country alone, and at least four people have died from it in our county. We also mourn the loss of ...

Masked men, women are today’s heroes

“Who was that masked man?” Citizens of an old west town would ask as the Lone Ranger rode out of sight on our black and white TV sets back in the 50’s, and the phrase is still part of the popular lexicon today. Symbolically we are still viewing in black and white today. Our TV screens ...

Needing to relax? Distance from social media

In 2016, at the peak of the Trump vs. Clinton presidential race, I lost one of my best friends. No, he did not die, fortunately; he “unfriended” me on Facebook. Why did he unfriend me? I can’t say for sure, but the conflict began after I posted something about how I wish we could care for ...

Reflecting on the finches

I am blessed with birds that have color even in the drabbest days of mid-winter. The cardinal is a regular, if not steady, visitor. On these bleak days, even the female adds a joy of color. The red-bellied woodpecker is also becoming more familiar at my backyard feeder. Always the male, I get ...

Joyce: a man, poet and hero

I always enjoy reading commentaries written by local writers. Richard Westlund’s, “A simple, but masterful poem,” OBSERVER (May 26) brought back good memories of my high school American Literature class, circa 1962, when I first read “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. Westlund ponders ...

Having guilt over the pain

Last article, we met Aida, a married woman working in the corporate world. Her job called for travel and time away from home. Steven, her husband, works at home and is essentially a house husband. They have three grown children on their own and one that still resides at home. Aida focused ...