People’s Column

New meters would help water revenues


An editorial, “Fredonia: Consequences are spilling over” (Feb. 17) comments on concerns about the village water system.

The editorial asserts, first, the system costs have increased because of lack of investment. In fact, those costs have increased primarily because of a recent switch from gas to powder chlorine disinfection in the interests of staff safety.

Second, “there’s a three-way division” among those who want a) reliable water, b) reservoir preservation, and c) regional integration of water systems. In fact, everyone wants reliable water. There is no division on that issue.

In a letter to the OBSERVER published in December 2021, I pointed out that greater water revenue for the Village would follow if under reading water meters of great age and wear were replaced with new meters. This replacement would primarily benefit staff understanding of water system flow. I conclude that a water rate increase is probably not necessary to balance the budget.

Michael C. Barris, Ph.D.,


Trustee during 2018 and 2019

Urgency needed

for Gaza victims


Can we, a small group of Quakers in Western New York, find the words that will help our senators and representatives in Congress feel personally, as if it were their own loved ones in jeopardy? There is an importance in getting all available humanitarian aid available into Gaza now, before the famine spreads, before more people die, before hope for survival is gone. How do we find the words that persuade our senators and representatives to do all that is possible to secure the release of the hostages held by Hamas, as if those hostages were their own family?

Wars don’t last forever. Eventually, a ceasefire will be declared. Political solutions will be found. There is a positive example of the village of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, with 45 years of Jewish and Palestinian Israelis living, working and educating their children together, bilingually, with equality and mutual respect. From nursery through adulthood, with programs and schools focused on dialogue, they learn to live with conflict while caring for each other.

The Israeli destruction of property and confiscation of Palestinian homes requires what the World War II German confiscation of Jewish homes and property required: the restoration of the property or compensation for its previous value. Just as Americans supported the Marshall Plan to rebuild Germany after that war, we can lead the way into support for a Marshall Plan to rebuild Gaza and the West Bank.

Whether it is a two-state solution, or a one-state solution with equal citizenship for all, all people need to have food, water, shelter, education and security. Everyone — Jewish and Palestinian — needs security. Just as Americans seek to provide security for everyone here, so must there be a commitment to security for all Palestinians and Jews in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank.

Of immediate importance is getting all available humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and a return of all hostages held by Hamas. We pray every day that our words may be useful, in any small way.



Fredonia Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers),



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