Commentary

Mental illness takes a toll on many

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. One of the most vastly unexplored areas on earth is the human mind. Scientists are only now beginning to unlock the mysteries of how the brain functions, adapts, and heals itself. Mental illness doesn’t have the stigma it used to, but it is still ...

Cap wipes out need for vote

In New York state, since 2012, school districts and municipalities have had to adhere to a tax cap. If the taxing entities went over the cap, there needed to be legislation that was approved by the municipal government or the school districts needed to have voters give 60 % approval to spending ...

Fire chief sounds alarm on inaccurate times

During a trustees budget meeting for fire and police in the village of Fredonia on April 16, information was presented to the village board that does not reflect an accurate picture of the response time of the Brocton Fire Department and its Emergency Squad. In reviewing our response time ...

‘I wasn’t always this way …’

Editor’s note: This letter, by William Haskas who is co-director of the architectural firm plusFarm, is written through the eyes of the Adams at Sixth Street and Central Avenue. It was a Thursday morning back in January 2018. The snow was falling so quickly it was impossible to see, and so ...

Once out of prison, road blocks remain

With each criminal conviction the state of New York state matter-of-factly tells the defendants how long they will spend behind bars. Hidden from view, in the “fine-print,” is a long list of additional penalties attached to these convictions. Only upon leaving prison and while attempting ...

In remembrance

Memorial Day is a time of remembering. The holiday began with a desire to remember and honor all our soldiers who have died. Flags of our nation are flown at half staff until noon. Veteran organizations and many families take time this day decorating their graves with ornaments and flags and ...

Patterns to look for in recovery

Editor’s note: This is the first of two articles. In this article of REBT, I will be dealing with lifetraps as they relate to chemical dependency. A lifetrap is a pattern that starts in childhood and reverberates throughout life. It began with something that was done to us by our families ...

A feather of a different color

A photograph of a mallard male has sat on my desk waiting for my thoughts and observations ... apparently for a few years. The iridescence on his head is obvious in the picture, what I felt made him so spectacularly special. I have tried many times since to get more pictures but the birds ...

A caution in communication

The second session with Anna and Pedro was telling. She was surprised that he’d come to the first session. He knew that their relationship was in trouble. Her patience was waning. Her major complaint referenced a lack of communication. She talked freely, he was quiet. That Pedro opened up ...

Neighborhood schools a healthy choice

The OBSERVER’s view, “Tradition allows for struggles” (May 16) asserts: “In this day and age, we don’t need neighborhood schools.” The argument presented suggests that Dunkirk’s four elementary schools should be reduced to one, following practice in Chautauqua County central ...

Misfit characters are on TV, around us

People my age tend to judge the younger generations based on what we recollect as a universal set of values from “back-in-the-day.” Of course there is always the risk of romanticizing the past. Memories can be selective without our knowing. Time is a prism through which images of the ...

A day of gratitude and remembrance

Memorial Day will soon be here, and Armed Forces Day has just passed. Many of us recall the words of John F. Kennedy when he said “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to ...

Swamp alive and well in your utilities

The Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) determines your electric bill, sets taxes on gasoline, regulates hydroelectric dams and the water behind them, and governs the building and operation of natural gas, oil lines, and high-voltage electric transmission lines. The agency was created ...

Casting some other alternatives

This is in reference to the new pier improvements, I would like to introduce some ideas from my point of view. What is the city thinking? I feel as a city resident, fisherman and boat owner for the last 35 years, I can offer some insight into what is currently taking place. First, we ...

Mayor’s accusation done in wrong venue

I often watch or listen to the Village Board meetings on TV or YouTube as was the case of the May 6 meeting. I then read with interest Mayor Athanasia Landis’ comments in the OBSERVER (May 8). While I was watching the meeting, I wondered why the mayor would make such comments about a ...

Teen experiences growing pains

Roy’s younger years were rife with chaos and change. As an orphan in depression-era New York City, he bounced around from foster home to foster home until, at the age of 12, he was reclaimed by his birth father, George Sebouhian and his large Armenian family. For much of his life up to that ...

What We Believe: the Commands of God

It stands as the most basic tenet of Christian faith: the 10 Commandments. And over the centuries the Commandments have been misinterpreted, misconstrued, modified, rationalized, declared antiquated or just plain ignored. Yet they still stand, even though they are attacked as an ...

Horrors at Kent State … and war

The recent article in the OBSERVER about the May 1970 Kent State shooting and the impact that it had on the Fredonia State campus brought back memories for me of that time nearly half a century ago. When the Kent State shooting occurred, I was days from the conclusion of my year in Vietnam. ...

More than just snap, crackle

I really thought he was pulling my leg. For all his endearing qualities (and I’ll happily attest there are many), I couldn’t count an outrageous sense of humor as being among them. But he told me he worked for Quaker Oats shooting rice out of a gun to make the puffed rice cereal we ...

Drayo served village with professionalism

This is to publicly thank and commend attorney Sam Drayo Jr. for his many years of dedication to the Village of Fredonia, and for his continued service in that capacity. A bit of history is in order. The following anecdote comes from the The Fredonia Censor, a weekly newspaper published from ...