Commentary

Open minds allow for knowledge

Epistemology: “How do we know that we know?” I looked it up, and my Webster said it was “A branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge.” I think I like the first, off the cuff definition better. It gave simple me a quicker ...

Brooks: Mismanagement and insanity

A recent OBSERVER front page headlined “Approved” in large letters showed a drawing of the new Brooks Memorial Hospital that is destined for the village of Fredonia. What will happen to the current facility in Dunkirk? It seems no one knows. One thing we do know is there has been a ...

Fredonia performances worth a listen

Over the past several weeks, I have been in the presence of a group of gold medalists. But this group of people didn’t come from the track, gridiron, or diamond. No court could be found. They were from the stage. Many local residents may not be aware that the Fredonia High School Symphonic ...

Not ignoring the struggles of everyday life

It’s hard to be invisible. You have feelings, just like everyone else. You get tired, and hungry, and sad; but no one seems to notice, or care. Life on the streets is a dangerous and harsh existence. While on a recent trip to Niagara Falls, Ontario, I met a man begging for a hand out. He ...

Area needs voice to push back on downstate policies

By GEORGE BORRELLO We were all surprised by Sen. Cathy Young’s sudden retirement from the state legislature. She was a tireless advocate for our region and we are feeling the impact of her absence. The radical New York City agenda in Albany is now more out of control than ever. So, choosing ...

Region facing a new reality

There is a big Republican Primary election coming up on June 25, and you would hardly know it. Things have been very quiet in the race for the Republican nomination for State Senator from the 57th District-Cathy Young’s former position. We all know that our County Executive, George ...

Plenty pitch in to assist area Meals on Wheels

On behalf of Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank all of the supporters who made it possible for us to continue operations after a sprinkler malfunction resulted in a devastating flood that completely destroyed our offices last ...

Subsidy for Jamestown airport questioned by legislators

MAYVILLE — The newest proposal to bring commercial air service back to the Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport through a local subsidy, to go along with federal funding, barely passed through a Chautauqua County Legislature committee. On Monday, the Public Facilities Committee met with ...

Party needs support for Williams, Civiletto in city

I am writing to ask the registered voters of the Working Families Party to vote for our endorsed candidates, Donald Williams for Dunkirk City First Council Ward and Michael Civiletto for Dunkirk City Fourth Ward in the Working Families Primary on Tuesday. The Working Families Party believes ...

Renewed Life

Ah summer! With the warm weather and longer daylight hours, this time of year brings thoughts and plans for various kinds of outdoor recreation. With such thoughts of taking time to relax and enjoy ourselves is also an opportunity to bask in the reality that we may not only enjoy some ...

Who’s that a’tapping

I work at my desk, the retriever at my feet. His bark is its usually ballistic warning when we hear knocking at the door. This is polite but insistent. We are both surprised — I think — when I open the door (he’s ready to charge though the wagging tail signals his real intent that ...

Borrello’s immigrant post full of flaws

In a recent social media post shared by one of my classmates who still lives in Silver Creek I spotted an excellent example of cleverly disguised misinformation. The post my classmate shared was one of George Borrello, candidate for New York state Senate in the 57th district. The gist of the ...

Silly season is already here

Why wait till fall when you can have it all — right here, right now. I’m referring to silly season, the time of the year when wannabe politicians gear up to take a shot at the incumbents. And for city of Dunkirk residents, this year is going to be a real horse race right down to the ...

Our ‘dysfunctional’ weather relationship

This is a great time for grousing about the weather. During the winter we expect bad things, and though we complain, there is the sense of inevitability as we resign ourselves to the usual torment. But now spring has already performed its vanishing act and we are aching for the kind of deep ...

Gift of hope is a treasure

A teacher of mine once said, “Robert, never give up, have hope, and keep working hard.” Truly, this comment is a statement of hope-filled advice and indeed it is worth remembering. Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams become a reality. ...

President’s promises to veterans unfulfilled

President Donald Trump promised to improve the lives of military veterans with improved medical care, education and other support. “We will get our veterans the care they need wherever and whenever they need it. ... No more excessive red tape. Just the care and support our veterans have ...

Area promotes dignity, inclusion in classrooms

I read, with dismay, the OBSERVER’s decision to post an online poll question to our community on June 12: “Should special education children be integrated into regular classrooms?” As an educator and school system leader at Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, I’m especially attuned ...

Flower delivery job not all roses

Editor’s note: Former State University of New York at Fredonia professor and OBSERVER columnist George Sebouhian was preparing to write his life story when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2013. He died three years later, having left behind hundreds of pages of research notes, poems and ...

Where are my geese?

“I wonder what the geese are doing tonight.” Sung to one of my favorite (but aren’t they all?) songs from”Camelot,” it hangs in my mind day after day — well now into the second month. Yes, what are the geese doing? Their pattern hasn’t changed in all the years I’ve ...

Magic in meeting at Lake Erie beach

I want to share with the readership an experience that struck a chord deep into my heart. This experience, although relatively brief in time, compelled me to offer it up. My family has enjoyed the Lake Erie beaches. We picnic, walk the beach and beach-comb for glass. Occasionally we stay ...