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The OBSERVER’s View

Small, positive U.S. signs emerging

It is not difficult to understand why so many are optimistic we have turned the corner in our fight against COVID-19. Hopeful signs are everywhere. Earlier this month, the Institute for Supply Management reported the U.S. services sector showed record growth in March, as states ease ...

Property owners get major shock

We understand the sticker shock some town of Chautauqua residents are feeling. It’s hard to look at our local economy and justify how a property tax assessment on a swamp can increase more than 300% from one day to the next. Of course, the property in question didn’t appreciate that ...

Quick response deserves applause

For everyone involved in the response to Monday’s unfortunate gas leak around 11 a.m. in Dunkirk, there is plenty to applaud. Within minutes of the incident, first-responders — particularly the city Fire Department — took action to make sure everyone was safe. Of greatest concern, ...

DUNKIRK Gridlock brings council choices

Dunkirk voters will definitely have a choice when it comes to Common Council representation in 2022. According to the county Board of Elections, all seats are being contested. For councilman-at-large, the Republican candidate will be David Damico with the Democratic nominee being Nick Weiser. ...

NEW YORK STATE Painful proposal looms at pumps

Can we get a show of hands for anyone who wants to see gas prices increase 55 cents a gallon in New York state? How many of us either want to or can afford to spent 26% more on natural gas to heat our homes in the winter? If you answered no, then email every legislative Democrat in the state ...

TOURISM: Staying upbeat for the summer

How optimistic should Chautauqua County be when it comes to tourism this year? According to Andrew Nixon of the Visitors Bureau, things are looking up when compared to last season. According to Nixon, our county has many advantages as a destination for travel, especially coming out of the ...

Spending Infrastructure plan gets quite expensive

Most of us think of infrastructure as something physical: bridges, roads, pipelines, power lines and the like. President Joe Biden says he wants to expand that dictionary definition to include workers, families and people — and therefore to include schools and housing, for example. That ...

Another way to find an appointment

One more way to register for the COVID-19 vaccine is not a bad thing. Earlier this week, the OBSERVER was alerted to a one-stop web site that helps Western New Yorkers find appointments. Vaccine Hound was put together by the State University at Buffalo and is being supported by volunteers as ...

Budget proves loss of Cuomo’s clout

The biggest takeaway from this year’s state budget isn’t the record spending, the legalization of mobile sports betting or the $2.1 billion the state will spend for those who weren’t eligible for unemployment benefits during the pandemic. What should be striking to everyone in the ...

FREDONIA Making noise can have benefits

Voices of the people still matter when it comes to local government. Within days after unveiling a proposed Fredonia budget that included a 17% property tax increase, Mayor Doug Essek had a change of heart after hearing plenty of criticism through social media and around town. He sent ...

COVID-19 City rabies clinic a success story

We have all learned to do some things in new ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these practices have been difficult while others are full of success. Dunkirk’s drive-through rabies clinics is one of these items that has worked very well. Within the last month, the latest clinic ...

SCHOOLS: What to do with windfall?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. That old axiom must be ringing in the ears of local school board members and district superintendents as they finish their 2021-22 budget proposals and look ahead to future years. New York is promising a lot with its recently passed ...

IMMIGRATION Proposal is only a starting point

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has suggested a 90-day moratorium on immigration to give Congress time to make the issue a priority. He is right to try to inject a sense of urgency in tackling the issue. Most Americans cannot fathom living in a place where it seems preferable to live in ...

Hospital pitches in for protection

There is no shortage of personal protective equipment, but the need remains great for a number of providers. That was more than evidenced at Westfield Memorial Hospital. On Tuesday evening, the facility helped area first response departments take in some of that important gear. “Today ...

It’s time to talk about Gowanda Correctional Facility’s future

There is much about the closure of the Gowanda Correctional Facility that does not make sense. That shouldn’t be surprising seeing New York state government is involved. Now that the last prisoners are out of the facility, though, now is the time to stop thinking about what New York state ...

Vaccinations Shot availability was not the issue last week

For the first few months they were available, COVID-19 vaccinations were the hottest ticket in Chautauqua County. Clinics would be announced and fill up within minutes. Is that trend reversing? A clinic at Jamestown Community College announced late March 29 did not fill up quickly. In ...

New Ambulance EMS crews could become quite costly

A new county-owned ambulance in the north county will play an important role in backstopping volunteer fire departments in the region. Chautauqua County recently obtained a new ambulance by giving the village of Silver Creek $5,000 a year in Advance Life Support credits for six years to pay ...

Easter Familiar themes in an unfamiliar time

“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you ...

COVID RELIEF Delaying mail not acceptable plan

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has an interesting plan for fixing the struggling U.S. Postal Service: lower expectations. In discussing an expected $160 billion loss for the agency over the next decade, DeJoy said he plans to slow mail delivery standards and cut hours at some post ...

Questionable actions by democratic legislators

What were Chautauqua County legislators thinking last week when they proposed appointing Loren Kent as the next Democratic election commissioner? We aren’t quibbling with Kent's qualifications, nor are we opposing the appointment of the Luz Torres, the Dunkirk resident chosen for the post ...