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The OBSERVER’s View

More darkness for local sports

For now, the games cannot go on. The State University of New York Athletic Conference on Monday announced the winter season of sports will not be taking place. “This was not an easy decision and I empathize with all of our student-athletes across the SUNYAC,” said Erik Bitterbaum, chair ...

Alarming week has some risks

This has been a bad week for Chautauqua County when it comes to COVID-19. The county reported 118 cases from Oct. 11 through Oct. 18 — more than half of them tied to an outbreak of COVID-19 at Tanglewood Manor. Of course, that means that half the cases are from community spread; which ...

TOURISM Can’t always bank on visits

Andrew Nixon, Chautauqua County Visitor’s Bureau president and CEO, thinks the local tourism economy will recover from COVID-19. That good news is followed by sobering news — it may take more than three years for that recovery to be complete. Coming off of two strong tourism seasons ...

CITY BUDGET: Big questions on state funds

Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas’ city budget proposal for 2021, at first glance, seems reasonable. There’s no planned tax increase during a worldwide pandemic, but fees for garbage pick up and sewer rates will be rising. “This budget this year, in my five years of being mayor was the most ...

Vaccine delay cannot happen

When will we have an effective, safe, vaccine against COVID-19? That depends. Federal public health officials who are in the know and without any political agendas have said deliveries of vaccine can be expected sometime in January. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts a ...

Special salute to Honor Guard

Members of the Brocton American Legion Post deserve plenty of thanks. Last week, an officer from the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council arrived at the organizations’s meeting and took time to recognize some outstanding individuals. “We want to express to the Honor Guard our undying gratitude ...

Getting giddy over Gateway

Gowanda has reason to be proud. The Gateway Park, located where the world’s largest glue factory called home years ago, has received a clean bill of health — so to speak — from the Environmental Protection Agency. During an event held at the park last week, officials hailed the removal ...

COVID-19 A better gauge for infections

When it comes to onerous restrictions, Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf isn’t much better than Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But one thing Pennsylvania has done each week should be done here in New York state, starting immediately. Each week, Pennsylvania releases a weekly status update that breaks the state’s ...

Fredonia Return to school goes at slow pace

We never thought we would be saying this, but the Fredonia Central Schools are behind the times. Only last week did the district begin to announce a plan to bring the student body back to the buildings. But even that communication was incomplete. Only grades three to five were addressed as ...

Social media brings dilemma

Fredonia Mayor Doug Essek is taking some heat from the social media world after he removed the village’s Facebook page on Tuesday. During the Village Board meeting last week, Essek gave his reasons for the removal. “The page is highly unmonitored and it was apparent that users were ...

STIMULUS Remembering the big picture

Many sectors of the U.S. economy continue a slow but steady recovery from the COVID-19 slowdown. By the end of September, the unemployment rate had dropped to 7.9%, down from 8.4% in August. But as we and many others have warned, some businesses — and millions of their employees — ...

Need for food remains great

Just how much need is there for food as we move into the seventh month of the COVID-19 crisis? Judging from this past weekend, it remains quite high. In less than two hours, 1,000 boxes of food were distributed to those in need. Items included were locally sourced meats, dairy products, ...

Showing respect through ceremony

Fredonia’s American Legion deserves plenty of credit. The organization, like many others, has faced a number of obstacles during the pandemic. Its doors have been closed. Activity has slowed. But the post still puts on a proper tribute. Recently, members held a flag-burning ceremony. It ...

Village eyesore finally down

An eyesore for more than a decade has finally come down. Last week in Brocton, crews demolished the decaying structure at 10-14 E. Main St. It was a long time coming. Not only was the structure detrimental to the downtown, it was very unsafe. Portions of the building were falling little by ...

COUNTY Another spin on budget plan

At first glance, Chautauqua County’s proposed 2021 budget looks great for taxpayers. County Executive PJ Wendel is proposing a 5-cent per $1,000 of assessed valuation tax decrease for county taxpayers — with a further tax rate decrease required so that the county meets the state’s 2% ...

Future worries with system

For Fredonia water users, the recent crisis was a huge headache. Twenty days of having to boil water to consume is far too long. Making matters worse, however, was the lack of communication that came from the village administration and its board. Until the mayor’s press conference on the ...

PRESIDENCY If it happens, change will be ‘orderly’

President Donald Trump often shoots verbally from the hip. Many voters like that. Many others deplore it. But Trump, while holding the most powerful office in the world, understands fully that he is bound by certain rules and traditions. One of them is that when we hold an election, the ...

Rosy projections not warranted

We have learned over the years not to doubt Charles Nazzaro, D-Jamestown, when it comes to Chautauqua County’s budget. So we took it to heart last week when Nazzaro told Jason Sample of WRFA-LP that the Jamestown legislator has concerns over the amount of sales tax County Executive PJ ...

Learning while using caution

It is a return to school like no other — and some districts still are taking it slow. In Dunkirk and Fredonia, the youngest of the children are beginning to learn in the buildings. Monday was opening day in the city. “We have three different sites where they’re dropping off, site ...

FOOTBALL: Excitement mixes with empty sense

It’s been more than 20 years since it has been this fun to watch the Buffalo Bills. Quarterback Josh Allen already has more than 1,000 passing yards through three games. Coach Sean McDermott is the best leader since the Marv Levy days. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot be at ...