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People’s column

Morgan can help those in need

Editor, OBSERVER:

Austin Morgan, a bright young man from a small rural town called Freedom in Cattaraugus County, New York, is running to become senator of New York state District 57, which includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. He is the first generation of his working class family to attend college, where he earned a degree from Cornell University studying rural poverty and child development. in 2018 he worked in Albany as a legislative analyst. His education and experience make him well qualified to help solve one of America’s most pervasive problems, child poverty.

Fifty-five years ago President Johnson declared War on Poverty. It has since won a significant victory over elder poverty with public safety nets such as Medicare and Social Security but the war still rages on. Children are its largest casualty. 17.5% of American children experience poverty. Child poverty often leads to adult poverty with problems that cripple society like mental illness, crime, addiction and joblessness. These problems become more difficult to fix the older one gets. Poverty is more than just physical deprivation. It is also psychologically debilitating so that by the time a child suffering a lifetime of poverty reaches adulthood he or she is less mentally able to get out of poverty, even with help.

Expanding government sponsored public safety net programs for children would help break this cycle of poverty. For while it is hard for an adult reliant on food stamps to achieve self sufficiency, many opportunities are still possible for a child in an early intervention program.

This November, we voters in the 57th New York Senate District have an opportunity to place a sympathetic, knowledgeable representative in a government position where he can help children in poverty and consequently help us all. That person is Austin Morgan.

TINA SCHERMAN,

Conewango Valley

Mayor’s work earns second term

Editor, OBSERVER:

Mayor Athanasia Landis has my vote in the upcoming election to continue her good work on behalf of the village and its residents for another term.

Here’s the bottom line for me: every citizen of the village, a modern, well-appointed community, should have a reasonable expectation of access to clean, potable water, and certainly in the case when our community has more than once been noted as having the best water in the state. And for the first four decades of my residency here, that was my experience: access to the very best tap water readily delivered.

Then we moved to a new neighborhood in the village and learned that not every Fredonia resident had confidence in the water supply, and with very good reason. Our water was dirty, yellow to brown, and we learned that others in the streets abutting and adjacent to ours had suffered with the same for years upon years. Village officials assured us the water was potable — except when it wasn’t — and that all that could be done was being done: the lines were flushed when the complaints accelerated. Flushing provided very temporary improvement, and like others in the area, we relied on bottled water rather than drink and cook from the tap, a necessity particularly after I was diagnosed with a recurrent form of lymphoma, rendering my immune system permanently compromised.

We were frustrated that “nothing could be done” but then happily surprised when Mayor Landis was elected, filed for a grant, submitted a plan and enacted it in quick succession, fixing a supposedly unfixable problem and bringing my neighborhood clear, clean water for the first time in decades.

A good mayor learns of a problem, recognizes it as a problem, and works to rectify that problem. Mayor Landis is a good mayor, and she has earned my vote in her re-election bid.

ROBERTA CORCORAN-ANDRASIK,

Fredonia

More reasons to come to Dunkirk

Editor, OBSERVER:

I am a college student attending Fredonia State. In the past, the only thing a college student could look forward to was drinking and partying in the bars in Fredonia, but now we have reason to come to Dunkirk — and not just for the bars. The lake is a natural and beautiful escape from the hours of studying and the different events make it even more attractive. I came to Dunkirk before the end of the Music on the Pier, and I am glad that I did — this was a wonderful experience.

Last year there was a winter fest with ice fishing, volleyball, street hockey, and hot chocolate; I’m looking forward to participating in this event again this year. There are lots of things to do in Dunkirk and I’m glad that the current mayor and his administration has reached out to college students — thank you Mayor Wilfred Rosas, you will be seeing me around.

KAYLEIGH KUJAWA,

Dunkirk

Woman sends note of appreciation

Editor, OBSERVER:

Thanks to everyone for your cards, prayers and contributions. All so very much appreciated. I am truly blessed.

MARYLOU DYKAS,

Dunkirk

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