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Commentary

Politics is a dirty business

Every political entity, whether on a national or local level, has its movers and shakers as well as its detractors and destroyers — our city on the shores of Lake Erie is no different. As I have watched much of what is happening in Washington this past week, I have found many similarities ...

Fixing the system is up to all of us

You no doubt remember the old line attributed to Ben Franklin when he was asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had created: “A republic, if you can keep it!” Well, I’ve noticed an interesting thing in recent years: It’s got bipartisan appeal. Last fall, for ...

Things still spinning out of control

The wind turbines are getting out of hand. Now the state of New York wants those turbines in Lake Erie to be called a wind turbine farm. Even some of the people who were in favor of these turbines are having second thoughts because of the constant noise and the danger it presents to anyone ...

Dreamers, misfits related to late musician

I came home from playing another exciting five-hour session of Dungeons & Dragons at my brother Gareth’s house this past Friday, Jan. 10, to discover that one of the most influential rock’n’ roll drummers of all time had passed away at the age of 67. To me, Neil Peart was more than a ...

Children must not go hungry in schools

A Google search for “paying school lunch debt” reveals a long list of recent news stories about good Samaritans paying off the school lunch debt of children whose families cannot afford it. A Fredonia man paid off $2,000 in school lunch debt in his area, helping 140 families. A Rigby, ...

Bipartisan days are gone — for now

I am a Democrat, so it might seem strange for me to be concerned about the future of the Republican Party in Albany ... but such is the case. Though the Republican Party is dominant here and in many upstate areas — as a statewide political force, it is in decline. Today, the Republican ...

Union decline hits U.S. in the wallets

Union membership has declined by 50 percent from 1983 to 2016; in 1983 it was 20.1 percent, in 2016 only 10.7 percent. Membership in 2016 was 14.6 million. In 1983 there were 17.7 million union workers. This decline reflects Republican ideology favoring ownership and owner’s influences. ...

Getting the word out

Too late to learn new things? Never! I love words. I keep a special spiral notebook of words new to me. Once, of course, I’ve looked up their meaning so both can be recorded together. Many words appear once and then disappear. The New Yorker seemed to enjoy making up (well, I ...

What happened during the night?

I noticed an unrecognizable number displayed on my telephone. Along with countless others, I received robo calls sporadically. Was this another or real? I said hello and a voice inquired if I was Marshall Greenstein. Who’s this please, I asked. “My name is Karl. Are you Marshall ...

Gender and perspective in institution

There are some interesting issues related to women in high tech industries and academia. Institutional leaders don’t want to discuss them. When a diversity program at Google solicited feedback, one of the people who attended it, James Damore, wrote a memo entitled “Google’s ...

Dialed in on saving the planet

Al Gore really started something about 25 years ago when he used his public loudspeaker to scare us all into global warming. As I recall, we were all going to be under water by now. I’ve always been a doubter, because in our history the world has always had temperature ups and downs, due ...

Friends are special treasures

This time of the year, particularly — December, January, and February — we remember with special fondness our friends, and “auld acquaintance” is not forgotten. Friendships are a treasure of unsurpassed value. It has been said that “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” This was an ...

Termination is all about revenge

It’s unfortunate that we are living in an age where innuendo, gossip and political partisanship have more power than the truth. l was hired as the human resources director with the city of Dunkirk to accomplish some much needed and very specific goals. While completing these goals as set ...

Election tactics are not new

Recently, a Fredonia writer submitted a letter to the OBSERVER (Jan. 4) in which she criticized three Sheridan Republican candidates, who were running for re-election. In the article she raised her concern with a sample ballot mailed to Sheridan voters identifying our positions on the ballot. ...

Your taxes aren’t just going to welfare

It’s property tax time again. The bills are arriving in the mail. Grrrr. And just so we’ll know why those taxes are where they are, we get a little explanation of what makes up the tax levy. Sure enough, Medicaid, and county tax make up a whopping 92 percent of my property tax. Grrrr. ...

Some relationships are just a royal pain

Unless you’ve been in a cave for the past few months, you probably know that Prince Andrew was a pretty good friend of Jeffrey Epstein. That’s almost as bad as being a good friend of Bill Clinton. Being a friend of Epstein will not help you get a job working as a high school cheer leader ...

One century later, a fight to vote is worth remembering

The year 2020. This is going to be a year of unending puns and jests: Hindsight is 2020; We see the world with 2020 vision; etc. Who knows? Maybe our vision will clear and we will see what we are doing to our planet. I’d like to talk about some anniversaries during the year 2020. Some ...

‘Unnecessary’ article spooks public

Recently, the front page of the OBSERVER’s Publisher’s notebook had a headline “Fragile Brooks may be on last legs” (Jan. 3). Such dramatics and histrionics are unnecessary and only serve to alarm the public while not including key facts. Moreover, blame is being placed in places that ...

What We Believe — The Sanctity of Life

The celebration of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is set for Jan. 19. This is a yearly event that some churches actively promote, while others only make mention, and some not at all. And so, it becomes timely in the continuation of our “What We Believe” series that consideration be given to ...

Lessons from inside my dryer

I am positively amazed how much I can learn with my head inside a dryer. No, not a hair dryer. Those days stuck with the big puffy rollers in that machine are long gone. (At least for me). I imagine back then the gossip must have been entertaining. I’m thinking of a clothes dryer and, ...