Commentary

The Christmas card … inal

It wasn't until I researched the evening grosbeak for last month's column that I learned the cardinal is also a member of the finch family. That said, the family tree spreads so wide that the most commonly shared feature is their short conical beak.I wrote about cardinals way back when and I ...

Terror from afar — and this already here

Who are we? That's the million-dollar question lately, and the recent House vote to limit Syrian refugees cuts to the very heart of our patriotic identity as a nation of immigrants.It's hard to make decisions in the forge of hot emotion, but we depend on our representatives to do just that. ...

Finding a return to ‘high ground’

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said unto them, do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy ...

Points of a better direction

Memories from way back when, to me are often like still photographs. Sometimes they're like short movies of just a few frames, but the one I relate here is just a still picture, of a brief moment. I remember where I was, and what the moment entailed, but related happenings may be understood, ...

We can’t be too sympathetic now

In the Nov. 22 OBSERVER, there was an article that stated U.S. religious leaders make forceful appeal to admit refugees. This was a rare agreement across faith and ideological lines.American religious groups have condemned proposed bans on Syrian refugees, contending a legitimate debate over ...

A great, but reluctant, war hero

During World War I, American Army Sgt. Alvin York earned fame but he never sought it and sometimes it embarrassed him.A tall redhead, he was born in the deep Wolf Valley of Tennessee seven miles from the Kentucky border. His parents were poor sharecroppers and Alvin was the eldest of their ...

Our state’s dirty little secret

There is a disturbing trend in New York state to import more electricity to service the state's power needs.Exporting jobs and local tax revenues while importing power is not good policy. New York state energy independence is critical to security and economic stability. It preserves and grows ...

Is the glass half empty or half full at Blessed Mary Angela Parish?

Come Tuesday, parishioners at Blessed Mary Angela Parish in Dunkirk may finally get some long-awaited answers to questions regarding their two churches, St. Hyacinth and St. Hedwig.One question that comes to mind: Is the glass half empty or half full?Thus far, parishioners have listened to ...

Good people are the best rewards

By the time you read this, Thanksgiving will be over. Last week, I talked about family. I value families so much. Parents play a vital role in the kinds of lives their children have. We were taught to have a heart for the needy, like the bums off the railroad tracks, widows and the sick to whom ...

Giving thanks, remembering a friend

The 2015 Gary Tripp Memorial Golf Tournament committee is very thankful at this special time of the year. We are thankful for the many family members who make it possible to carry on a tradition of keeping Gary's memory alive.He is dearly missed by his family and friends.The seventh annual ...

A love for life

Does he even hear me?I can tell he's deaf for he reacts to few sounds.Does he even see me?Most of the time I know the answer to that is a definite no. I'm amazed he sees at all with the deep cataracts which by now cover both eyes.And yet ... yes, and yet ...He holds on to life with the greatest ...

You say zucchini, I say bikini

Editor's note: This column appeared in the OBSERVER in the summer of 2003.I dusted off my food processor on Wednesday morning to prepare for the baking of my first two loaves of zucchini bread for the season. The arrival of rain, coupled with the dip in temperature made for a perfect baking ...

State slams door on possibilities

As New York state begins to look at another winter heating season, it is timely to take a look at recent developments for natural gas, the primary home heating fuel consumed in the state - 56 percent of all homes are heated with natural gas. Recent headlines have been positive relative to the ...

A pattern in campus protests

The academic world is focused on recent protests at University of Missouri and Yale University.At the University of Missouri, black students and their allies claimed the administration was racially insensitive. This led to protests, a threatened boycott by the football team, and a single ...

Refugee system in U.S. is working

There seems to be a lot of misinformation and outright lies being perpetuated about the refugee process and the Syrian refugees. I would like to give you some true information I obtained from an immigration lawyer who has been specializing on matters of immigration for over two ...

Pomfret has an unfair burden

I am writing to find out why the village of Fredonia receives special treatment from the town of Pomfret.Let's go over some facts. I contacted all the assessors for the towns in the north part of Chautauqua County that also have villages within their limits including the towns of Westfield, ...

Solar power flexing its muscles across upstate

New York is embracing new ways to generate, distribute and consume electricity, which is translating into an expansion of clean energy and improved consumer choice and affordability.Thanks to these forward-looking and smart efforts - like community net metering and wholesale-distributed ...

Getting out of our comfort zones

We all have hopes and dreams. For some people, those dreams stay off in the future and may be called permanent potential.Others achieve their dreams and go way beyond. There is something that separates those two categories. Some people do possess physical characteristics and innate talents that ...

Town Board taking smart steps

In a recent letter in the opinion section, a writer questioned the political "problems" in Westfield. No doubt there are some, but there were a number of statements that were, I believe, factually incorrect.There was a reference to the voting restrictions of town residents. It is certainly ...

Thankful for our surroundings

Thanksgiving is a time "we gather together" and recount our many blessings. There is much for which all of us can be thankful, including the spirit of giftedness all around us.Look around in your surroundings, you will discover a treasure of giftedness. Recently, I was privileged to interview a ...