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The OBSERVER’s View

COVID-19: Infections taking major area toll

COVID-19 is taking its most devastating hit on our region at this time. Twice within a seven-day span, capacity levels were so high at the Brooks-TLC Hospital System in Dunkirk that the Health Department had to issue a surge diversion. Simply put, that means the staff-to-patient ratio is at ...

PRESIDENCY Biden’s message all about ‘respect’

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy used his inaugural address as a time to ask Americans to look to the greater good. “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” Kennedy said in one of the most often quoted lines from ...

High praise for hospitals

Much has been made about the vaccination problems relating to COVID-19. There is no downplaying that. However, there has been a couple shining stars locally when it comes to getting the job done. Last week, both the Brooks-TLC Hospital System Inc. in Dunkirk and UPMC Chautauqua were mentioned ...

Redistricting still has plenty of flaws

Make no mistake about it, the allegedly Independent Redistricting Commission approved by state voters back in 2014 is far from perfect. Republicans’ in that nearly decade-old negotiation wrote supermajority voting rules into the redistricting process that would give them the ability to ...

GOWANDA Therapy dog plan worth considering

It’s an idea that is all about the dogs — and in the Gowanda Central School district it appears as though there could be many barking their support. A proposal for a therapy dog in the district was led by Gowanda Elementary School’s social worker, Carmen Muscarella, and school resource ...

REMEMBERING Without luncheon, donations assist

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the local Juneteenth committee decided that even if a luncheon could not be held to remember and celebrate a legacy it could do something just as significant: offer its assistance to the community. Due to COVID-19, the annual King day luncheon that ...

FREDONIA Village not far from a crisis

Judging from the most recent Fredonia Village Board meeting, there is a definite divide among trustees and Mayor Doug Essek. Adding to this current problem is the lack of two representatives on the board as well as the growing amount of major issues that face the municipality. At this ...

Leadership fails country, customers

U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has a lot of explaining to do, as some in Washington are saying his removal this fall of mail sorting machines at postal facilities is partly to blame for challenges the U.S. Postal Service faced in getting packages delivered during the Christmas season. Of ...

Center cluster is a nightmare

What is happening at the Chautauqua Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is absolutely heartbreaking. In the last three weeks, the care facility has reported more than 70 positive cases of COVID-19 that have impacted the staff and patients who are staying there. It is one more cruel result of ...

Interim choice ‘best’ for department

Whoever replaces Dunkirk director of development Rebecca Wurster has some big shoes to fill. Wurster, who quietly made things happen in her position during most of Mayor Wilfred Rosas’ term, has taken on a new role with the Chautauqua County Planning Department. It is, however, nice to see ...

DUNKIRK Local volunteers make a mark

COVID-19 failed to slow a dedicated group of volunteers in the city. Revitalize Dunkirk, through the pandemic, continued to contribute to a better way of life by cleaning, planting and helping beautify a city that is doing its best to make a comeback. “Other 2020 activities included the ...

NEW YORK STATE: Moving cautiously with revenue plans

Desperate times usually bring desperate measures. That appears to be the direction state Gov. Andrew Cuomo is headed when he begins to unveil his virtual State of the State message today. Two controversial items, which were announced by Cuomo last week, are being looked at to boost revenues in ...

CONGRESS: Reed rises to occasion

Some in Congress have enabled President Donald Trump’s behavior since the November election. U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, has not been one of them. In July, when Trump wanted to delay the election, Reed disagreed with the president. Reed was clear, after the election, that once any court ...

UNITED STATES Our responsibility in bringing unity

“I toast democracy not alone for what it is, but chiefly for what it may become; not merely for what it has done, but also for what it makes possible for us and our children to do. ... It leaves our destiny with no limitations except those which our own minds impose and no pitfalls except ...

Area’s big three in the postseason

Has there ever been a time so many area pro football fans have been ready for the playoffs? Three teams closely connected to our region — Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Cleveland — have qualified for the postseason. It all kicks off with the Bills on Saturday at 1 p.m. hosting the Indianapolis ...

Gowanda: State makes right decision incorrectly

The news that the state plans to close prisons in Gowanda, Watertown and Dannemora is another shot in the gut to our region economically. It is absolutely understandable that employees at the facilities are upset. State officials have said staff at the three prison facilities will receive ...

VACCINES ‘Warp speed’ is best we can do

Distribution of millions of doses of vaccine effective against COVID-19 was no Christmas miracle. It happened only because many people at private drug companies worked hard and at top speed — encouraged by the federal government — to develop and test the vaccines. And they were released ...

NEW YORK STATE: Downward trend marches on

Unless something surprising happens, New York stands poised to lose even more of its national clout when the U.S. Census results are announced next year. According to the Census Bureau’s latest estimates, New York’s July 1, 2020, population of 19,336,776 was down 126,355, or 0.65%, from ...

Stay optimistic in new beginning

We have entered a brand new year. It can be a fresh start for all of us ... but there is a lot on the horizon. Choices to be made in 2021 will be monumental — not just for individuals who might be hoping to lose a few pounds or save a little money, but for our nation as a whole. Resolve to ...

Let’s make 2021 a better year

There won’t be huge crowds and big parties to send 2020 on its way. Few will be sad to see this year come to an end, with its daily pandemic updates, the struggles to see loved ones, particularly those in nursing homes; the effect of COVID-related shutdowns on our economies and the ...