People’s column


Getting ahead of NRG issue


I applaud the efforts of Dunkirk Development Director Rebecca Yanus and Congressman Tom Reed regarding the planned feasibility study for NRG. It’s also very assuring that a representative from NRG responded to John D’Agostino’s call and has offered to participate in finding a solution to the vacant NRG property. Let’s not forget that they still own the facility. It’s imperative that we have them on board with this crucial decision.

The Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with NRG is set to expire. Our area is also being weaned annually from the state funding that has assisted in filling the budgetary gaps for local municipalities and the school district.

Government is usually reactive. These efforts by local officials show proactivity. I hope the efforts are successful.



Rays of sun on troubled days


I feel in my heart that I want to write this letter.

I was very poor growing up in the ’50s and ’60s. I worked my way through St. Monica’s School, Bishop Timon High School and South Park summer school. I attended Niagara County Community College for one and a half years.

In my sophomore year, I went totally blind for three months. There was a cold in the nerve of my eyes. I was cured.

Next, I went into the regular Air Force. I worked in computer accounting. I took psychology at WSU in Wichita. I took some sociology in Wichita. When I was discharged, I took French and economics at U.B.

I went to Burguard Night School for auto mechanics. I took music lessons from a teacher in South Buffalo. I took a course in solar energy at the Fredonia BOCES. I took gourmet cooking there, landscaping, heavy equipment, operation, etc. I took art lessons from a woman in Sheridan. I can paint in charcoals or acrylics.

Anyhow, I worked two jobs for years.

Now, I bought a cottage in Sunset Bay. One winter I gutted my shed in January. I had drywall put in there and a ceramic floor.

After that, I faced a number of health ailments. I am writing this letter to thank friends. The police and a deputy and my first responders. I was on the floor one day. One of the first responders got me out to a stretcher. I was back and forth to ERs. I spent three days in Buffalo General.

The doctors and nurses, the police and first responders helped me. I’m very grateful. They were sharp, too.

Besides all this, years when I drove, my car hydroplaned on Route 20. I went right in front of an 18 wheeler. The next day, my car turned over on its side and down again on Oak Hill outside of Silver Creek.

Since my best friend drove a fire truck, I hired him to drive me around.

The girls at A Cut Above were real nice to me. Also, a couple of neighbors helped plow my area this winter.

A good man came with his son and took my garbage.

It’s nice to have friends.



Put planet first with energy


My Catholic faith compels me to work to protect this planet and the people who are already suffering due to climate change. One important step our country can take is to enact a carbon fee and dividend policy which would place a steadily increasing fee on fossil fuels. This would incentivize energy efficiency and development of clean alternative energy sources.

The fees collected from fossil fuel companies would be distributed to U.S. households. I am pleased that this policy has finally been introduced as legislation in the House and Senate.

The bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 has drawn applause from the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, which said, “If enacted, this proposal is expected to result in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. At a time when the dangerous effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, the need for legislative solutions like this is more urgent than ever.” I beseech my fellow Catholic Rep. Tom Reed to support this bill now.

Passage of this legislation will be a major step toward protecting the Earth, our common home, and all our sisters and brothers who share this planet with us.


Bemus Point


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