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People’s column

Another side

to Amish article

Editor, OBSERVER:

I am writing to give my opinion of the article that appeared on the front page of the OBSERVER on April 20 in regard to the “Amish not distancing.”

First, in the article it stated “the local Amish still continue to gather at school and for church.” I know for a fact, that the Amish started home schooling the same time the public schools were closed. As far as church, the only ones that attend are the Amish.

Their churches are in their homes and no English (as they call us) attend their services.

As far as the “construction crews” go, they use these crews to construct their own barns, houses, etc. We should take a page out of their book and help one another without seeking anything in return. How many “English crews” are working around the county? Take a ride down to Routes 20 and 60 and see how many are working on the round-about.

It angers me to hear people speak unknowingly of the Amish without finding out the true facts about this humble, honest sect.

My husband, Jim, and I have known “our wonderful friends up on the hill” for more than 40 years and they have never disappointed us in any way. Jim has always said, “English young ones should live with the Amish for a few months and they would quickly learn about respect and manners!” I have never heard an Amish child talk back to their parents or any adult.

Do you realize that they do file income taxes, pay taxes and will not accept a refund from the government? How many of us would turn down a refund?

If and when they get their stimulus checks, they will not accept them. They do not take aid from the government. Too bad a lot of recipients that do now, would not accept all the “freebies.” The Amish “work to live and live to work”… some days it seems like their days never end, but they never ever complain.

In closing I’d like to say that we should not be so quick to judge and make statements until we investigate the facts.

PATTI FARRELL,

Portland

Federal workers boost our region

Editor, OBSERVER:

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Chapter 267 is proud to salute members of the federal family during Public Service Recognition Week. Chapter 267 represents the federal family in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Southwestern Alleghany Counties.

While the letter carriers of the Post Office are the most visible, over 95,000 feds work in agencies across New York state. Some 94,000 retirees and survivors — just over 4,200 in the 23rd Congressional District — use their monthly retirement annuities to pay property and school taxes, shop at local stores and eat at local restaurants, support local theaters and contribute to local charities.

Federal employees provide vital services that benefit Americans every day, yet much of this important work goes unnoticed. We see them when hurricanes strike, floods destroy communities and pandemics spread worldwide.

We know that they help land our planes safely and perform inspections to maintain a healthy food and water supply. But for every image you see on TV, thousands more work behind the scenes to keep this country running.

They process tax refunds, small business loans, stimulus payments, Social Security checks, and loans for college students. They track biological threats and alert Americans to treacherous weather conditions, among other critical and life-saving tasks.

COVID-19 is the latest crisis during which we expect our civil servants to work tirelessly and often around the clock. I take comfort in knowing that our country is fortunate to have dedicated professionals who continue to selflessly serve their fellow man all for the greater good.

Throughout the year, but especially during Public Service Recognition Week, May 3-9, we should gratefully acknowledge their service. While we remain shuttered indoors to fight the invisible enemy among us, let us recognize and appreciate civil servants for what they truly are: the heartbeat of America.

ARNOLD F. ZDROJEWSKI,

president,

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Chapter 267,

Jamestown

During crisis, we all have time

Editor, OBSERVER:

I am out of work because of novel coronavirus. The Department of Labor still has not decided whether to approve my application for unemployment benefits. There is no one to blame for this, the system is just overwhelmed.

The shutdown is necessary to save lives, maybe even my own. But practicing “social distancing” at home is making me tired of my own company.

For almost forty years I have worked in a local restaurant. You can’t work in a place that long and not care about it. I miss the hustle and bustle; the getting after it and the getting it done.

Even more, I miss my boss, co-workers as well as our regulars. Knowing that others are counting on you to show up and do your best, even when you don’t feel your best, means that in order to master a job you must master yourself.

Good habits become virtues and I realize now more than ever, how much I need the structure that a job provides and the discipline it demands.

I have been to the restaurant, now vacant. I have walked its empty parking lot to pick up litter left by others (old habits die hard) and talked to ghosts that seem to vanish in the morning mist.

How long will the shut-down last? When it ends how long will it take for business to return? How will it be different?

I don’t know the answers but I have time to think about it.

DAVID POSSEHL,

Fredonia

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