Publisher’s notebook

Wave of interest growing for city beach cleanup

By 10 a.m. Friday morning, Dunkirk resident Jeff Robinson had the answer he was hoping for: residents and neighbors from around the region care about the condition of Dunkirk’s beaches. That response was evident in his wife’s email, which had 25 inquiries from people stepping up for ...

City man vows day at beach for volunteers

Dunkirk resident Jeff Robinson understands the city has a gem in its waterfront. It is a great place to fish, watch a spectacular sunset or gather with friends at a hidden treasure in Point Gratiot. But he would not recommend the use of the city’s beaches to anyone, especially visitors to ...

Michigan city has right idea with waters

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — This community of nearly 11,000 residents has a lot in common with our similar-sized city of Dunkirk. Located on the eastern shore of a Great Lake, it was once a bustling manufacturing and industrial corridor. And, it knows just how crippling lake-effect snows can ...

Democratic mayoral duo build special bond

It is not often that Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown takes a back seat to an elected official in Western New York. Brown, who did that while making a stop in Dunkirk last week, has been at the helm of the second largest city in the state since 2006. That year was definitely not the best of times ...

Democrats add twist to Republican primary

Republican primary candidates George Borrello and Curtis Crandall were not the only ones debating the issues of the 57th New York state Senate District earlier this week. There was one other engaged participant, though he was not invited to be seated at the table. Recent Cornell University ...

Conservatives, U.S. keep adjusting to Trump

CELORON — It is a dramatically different political landscape when compared to the last presidential election. Democrats and Republicans in the summer of 2016 were struggling privately and publicly when it came to throwing support behind their party’s candidate. Both Hillary Clinton and ...

Creativity can be an engine for county

Talk about having an identity crisis. When many residents in Western New York hear the term Capital Region, the first thing they may think about is Albany and state politics. That is not how Maureen Sager, executive director of the Alliance for the Creative Economy, would want us or anyone ...

County stays mum on turbine dilemma

They are already too tall to ignore in Arkwright. Villenova’s turbines will someday sky even higher while the towns of Charlotte and Hanover will soon be having additional towers erected for the wind-energy business. Is this what we, as Chautauqua County and Western New York residents, want ...

Music, arts set tone for safe environment

Dunkirk High School’s cafeteria had undergone a transformation. On a recent Friday afternoon earlier this month, it was no longer just a place for students to grab a bite to eat at breakfast or lunch. Instead, the room was filled with artists, educators, musicians, parents and about 35 ...

School budgets don’t disclose savings stash

If public hearings in Fredonia and Dunkirk over the last eight days are any indication, it could be an uneventful Tuesday at the polling booths when it comes to the annual school budgets. Not one word was uttered at either meeting to discuss spending plans at the two largest districts in our ...

Burns’ leadership shapes ‘fantastic’ force

Ann McCarron Burns was in unchartered territory when she was hired to oversee Public Safety at the State University of New York at Fredonia. In accepting the position, which was offered by then college Vice President Robert Coon, she became the first female chief in the SUNY system. “It was ...

Deadly masterminds put us on defensive

Fourteen-year-old Christian Helms was a powder keg ready to wreak terror in Socastee, S.C., in September 2010. He had an account on Twitter, which was still in its early years, that indicated a disturbing timeline. Paper journal entries in a diary were even more horrifying. Helms, who was ...

‘Big Daddy Duck’ still reaching new heights

LAKEWOOD — Matthew Terrill addressed more than 200 outdoor enthusiasts in attendance at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club on Monday evening to share his appreciation and admiration for someone he considers as his grandfather. The timing could not have been more perfect. James E. Farrell, a ...

Many got us hooked on idea for outdoors, fishing show

Former Harbor Commission chair Jim Nichols provided a gentle, yet forceful nudge when it came to making the first Lake Erie Outdoor & Fishing Show happen last spring. It began on a June afternoon in 2017 while I was in the OBSERVER offices. “You’re coming to the next Harbor Commission ...

Belated thanks boosts veterans’ morale

Vietnam veteran John Miga remembers coming home to what appeared to be an ungrateful United States after serving his country. Miga, a Dunkirk resident who currently serves as the Eighth District Commander of the American Legion, reflected on those moments from the 1970s during Wednesday’s ...

With company’s exit there’s a chance to reinvent our shores

Dunkirk’s waterfront, like so many other rust-belt cities, is a victim of its past industrial era. During the city’s heyday, waters were treated as an asset for transportation of raw materials and products. But when those same manufacturing plants and the steel mills were running full ...

Government has its hands in public access

Vicki Westling was only being polite. At the Feb. 28 Dunkirk Board of Education meeting, the city employee — and assistant to Mayor Wilfred Rosas — asked if the public access channel could televise the district’s scheduled public gatherings. Key word: “public.” City school board ...

Numerous positions, far too many visions

How many elected positions does it take to run Chautauqua County every year? Far too many. For the coming November elections — in the county, cities, towns and villages — around 200 seats are up for grabs. Those posts include legislators, treasurers, trustees, clerks, judges, supervisors ...

Albany’s ‘physical toll’ is one long road

Almost every Monday morning started with a similar routine for William Parment when he represented Chautauqua County for 28 years in the state Assembly. He would wake up early, leave his North Harmony home at 6 and begin his 386-mile, six-hour journey on Interstate 86 to Albany. “It was the ...

There’s lots to lose in separating state

Call it a potential self-destruction by separation. Once again, there is a call by an elected official in upstate to look at the possibility of splitting New York. Within the last month, an Albany-area Republican has asked Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to study the idea. “The state of New ...