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Publisher’s notebook

Symptom of silence still prevalent at Brooks

It was an unusual voice mail message, but not unexpected. J. Gary Rhodes, former interim chief executive officer at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, was disappointed with our continuing coverage in 2014 about the mounting deficits and job layoffs at the institution in a changing health-care ...

Private, public partnership keys big deal

Wells Enterprises Inc. announcement this week to move forward with an $87 million investment in the Dunkirk Fieldbrook Foods plant is not something that happened overnight or by accident. It does, however, come from a recipe that includes key ingredients of communication and relationship ...

Can’t count on full Census participation

Six months from now, many residents here and throughout the United States of America will be participating in a process that occurs every 10 years: the 2020 Census. The exercise helps determine the number of seats per state in the House of Representatives and how some $675 billion in funding ...

Area’s profile appeals to wind developers

PORTLAND — Motorists driving along Route 20 are beginning to see lawn signs regarding a divisive issue that has become highly talked about in this town: the prospect of wind turbines. This is far from anything new to the north county region. Around 15 years ago, the towns of Westfield and ...

It’s never simple arithmetic with schools

Ripley Superintendent William Caldwell found a lot more than just a lucky penny. When the district he oversees was closing the books on the 2018-19 school year last month, staff members discovered an additional $70,000 in its coffers, courtesy of New York state aid. What did the district do ...

A new way to begin the weekend

Welcome to our new and enhanced Sunday OBSERVER. It arrives to you, our readers, one day early complete with your favorite features from both editions in one. Filled with the latest news and sports, it also includes an expanded Opinion section, color comics, our weekly calendar and the ...

Campaigns heat up after Labor Day

Possibly after this holiday weekend, the local political rhetoric will start revving up again. As is typical over the summer months, residents here do not want to be bothered with the major and minor issues facing our communities on days they can spend outside. Save it instead for the overcast ...

Unorganized ‘race’ full of troubled waters

There is no one voice that resonates locally regarding last weekend’s Great Lakes Offshore Grand Prix, which took place for the second year in Dunkirk. On social media, critics complained about the lack of boats that showed up for this year’s event. Supporters also were evident, especially ...

Waking up the disinterested voters

Having the privilege to cast a ballot in the United States also gives you the right to be an uninformed voter. As long as you are registered with the county Board of Elections, you can go to the polling sites with a blindfold on or flip a coin for each of your choices. It sounds crazy, ...

Negative spin builds against lake turbines

Right before the summer season officially began along the lakefront, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed made a stop at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club in Dunkirk. Though the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was a key part of his agenda, he also wanted feedback from the charterboat captains who were ...

Energy wishes stress state’s power system

New York state is trying to have it both ways. Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, the administration is attempting — very hurriedly — to move away from fossil fuels when it comes to powering our state. In the process, as we have witnessed during recent heat waves, New York is relying ...

Lackluster council puts themselves first

How the tables have turned when it comes to the major local governments in the last 12 months. Nearly one year ago today, this corner was focused on the continuing chaos with the village of Fredonia administration. Transitions were taking place regarding the administrator position and still in ...

Fancy footwork adds boost to annual Run

Fredonia High School senior Jake Skinner is more than just an all-star football athlete. If you have seen him in action locally on Friday nights, you know he has quick feet. Those were definitely on display during the morning of July 9 on Vineyard Drive in front of the Tim Hortons in Dunkirk. ...

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 ...