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The OBSERVER’s View

Plenty of concerns facing mayor, city

Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas has broken the mold when it comes to his annual State of the City addresses. After years of residents being told about small dreams and big problems, Rosas changed all that with plenty of pizazz. He opened the council’s chambers in City Hall to nearly 120 to 150 ...

No winners in sports dispute

Nothing has been fair since March until now. Children have been in a game of tug of war throughout the school year. One moment they are in a hybrid model, the next they are totally remote. Northern Chautauqua Catholic School in Dunkirk, however, has bucked that trend. It has remained in ...

NEW YORK STATE Cuomo misses mark with budget

So much for hearing any real budget answers from Gov. Andrew Cuomo in last month’s budget address. Once again, Cuomo has kicked the can down the road, putting forth two budget plans dependent on an upcoming federal aid package. If the state receives $6 billion from the federal government ...

SUNY FREDONIA More ‘discipline’ for new semester

Spring has arrived for many State University of New York at Fredonia students. Effective Wednesday, classes begin for a new semester. Like so many other SUNY campuses, Fredonia delayed the start due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the fall — after a rough beginning — the campus was able to ...

Newsmaker of the month: A whole lot of nothing going on

A letter writer posed an interesting point last week in a commentary in this newspapers regarding Dunkirk Common Council: “Taxpayers have the right to know what the Common Council achieved during the year 2020 for the betterment of the city.” In a municipality that has a population of ...

SCHOOLS: Different formulas working in area

It is a great experiment that is being handled delicately by every school district in Western New York. Should students come back to buildings for classes despite the risk of COVID-19? Apparently, the answer is yes. Last week, Dunkirk moved forward with allowing children to return to a ...

IRS: Challenges rise for federal agency

This year’s 2020 tax filing is shaping up to be another nightmare and, all considered, perhaps a nightmare much worse than what was experienced last year. In a normal year, the IRS would begin allowing people to file returns in late January. This year, because the federal tax agency ...

No cold shoulder for manufacturing

Even during a pandemic, it appears the ice cream business is booming. During last week’s county Public Facilities Committee meeting this week, members agreed to modify a resolution that would allow the Roberts Road Freezer, LLC, to purchase another 7.5 acres of land. “There is a great ...

New ice rink adds magic to city

There is no escaping winter in Western New York. We deal with the wind chills, heavy lake-effect snows and sometimes icy conditions. That is not always a bad thing — and it could be something to embrace. A group known as Small Town, Big Minds is doing just that. It created an ice rink ...

DUNKIRK DAVE: COVID’s shadow on area tradition

A Dunkirk tradition will be very different this year. Groundhog Dunkirk Dave will be coming out on Feb. 2 to see if it sees its shadow as a prediction of a prolonged winter or early spring. However, it will be done in private. Bob Will, the groundhog’s handler, said COVID-19 is forcing the ...

SCHOOLS Forum debates a safe return

At a community forum held last week by the Dunkirk City School District, there was a glimmer of hope that students could return. The panel included Lisa Barone, director of infection control and employee health at Brooks Memorial Hospital; Nichole Dispense, School 7 nurse; and Julie Lawrie, a ...

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 ...