Local Commentaries

Help Stop The Fleecing Of Taxpayers

Southern Tier TEA Party Patriots (STTPP) launched “Operation Push Back” in fall 2016 with its document (request a copy at sotierteapatriots@gmail.com). The NY state government dictum is “We Create, You Pay!” Policies and spending levels are mandated without examining their consequences ...

Effort Should Be Used To Protect All Animals

In regards to recent news articles indicating that New York and New Jersey may institute bans on the declawing of cats, it would seem to me that the time and effort to enact these laws would be better spent working on legislation to protect other animals who suffer far worse cruelties. While I ...

Trump Deserves Benefit Of The Doubt

Regarding the article “Will Trump Make American Great Again.” I do not have reason for concern like the writer suggests. Give Trump a break. We have heard it all. He has been in office for two weeks. What the heck do you want from the man? As far as his cabinet nominees drawing ...

Westfield Is Full Of Hard-Working Residents

As winter marches towards spring this is also the season when villages and school districts form their operating budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. Over the course of this winter two important articles appeared in both the OBSERVER and Post-Journal, which should cause residents of Westfield ...

It Matters Where The Tower Goes

It was a wonderful thing to sit at the zoning board meeting in Lakewood on Thursday night and see democracy in action. This is governance at its best: villagers gathered in an old room with a dusty wood floor where the business of our local government has been discussed for many years. Good ...

Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina

Early in my experiences penning this column (and using today’s title as the opening line of a 2010 piece, which carried a similar theme), I was approached by many people who were offering me condolences over “The Decision,” by LeBron James as to where he’d be taking his basketball ...

National Soup Month Comes To A Close

Tis the time of year for soup contests and chili cook-offs. It is amazing to see the recipes that people come up with. In a local contest they featured a photo of a spicy lentil soup that looked delicious. I am sure that I would enjoy it because I like Indian spices. Although it did not ...

Birds Of A Weather

The rest of the year it’s quite an ordinary tree. Large, growing here long before my home was even a dream, and some kind of pine – it stands just west of the deck beyond the room where I eat, and basically live. Its top stretches higher than I can see above the transom unless I were to ...

Taxpayers Should Keep An Eye On Lawmaker

I think we all know New York is a large and complicated state. Outside of the fact that they belong to the same state, the interests of Western New York aren’t all that similar to New York City and its surrounding regions. The economic and cultural disinterests are striking and easily ...

Big Labor Hits A New Low

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its annual report on union membership. For organized labor, it was bad news. The number of employees belonging to a labor union in 2016 hit an all-time low. Only 14.6 million U.S. employees were union members last year-a drop to 10 ...

A Tale Of Two Days In The Federal City

This week we sat down to dinner with great friends over many years.   They had gone to D.C. to attend the Inauguration of Donald Trump.  We had gone primarily so that my wife, daughter and other family members could attend the Women’s March on Washington. One of the pluses of living in a ...

How Many Chances Does Trump Get?

I’ve been hearing a particular phrase often, as of late: “Give Trump a chance.” So, I thought I would take some time to reflect on that. In a very real sense, I have no choice but to give him a chance. He is my President and the only one our nation has right now. I also must give him a ...

Response To Important Questions Raised For Common Core Curriculum

For the past twelve and a half years, I have been proud to be an educator at Frewsburg Central School district. When I tell people that I am a teacher in our district, it is always followed by positivity and compliments. They say I am lucky to work in such a great district, and I wholeheartedly ...

NYS Constitutional Convention Is Nothing But A Con

This year, one of the most important legislative issues that will confront Albany legislators will be to approve a ballot proposition slated for November 7, 2017, to hold a constitutional convention. On its face, a convention makes sense given the many issues that have stalled in Albany’s ...

Partners In Crime, And Comedy

Many of us can say that while growing up, or attending high school, or even in our adult lives, we have/had a best friend with whom we did things together, or went places together, setup lemonade stands with, or with whom we had sleepovers, or shared backyard campouts. We were partners in crime ...

Waiting Goose

Sadly, seeing one goose at the end of the season occurs more frequently than I’d like. Honestly, it’s an hapenstance I’d prefer to never see played out. As a column the subject would be more appropriate for December — even November, once in a while — but I prefer to see the year end ...

The Sewing Box

When I was growing up my grandmother had a sewing box where she kept her buttons, thread, scissors, and assorted sewing supplies such as hooks and eyes and snaps. I remember that box being all over the house.  Sometimes it was near her sewing machine in the upstairs bedroom.  Sometimes it was ...

When I Was A Pirate

Humbleness is one of the finest of the human virtues. We’re beholden to remember that none of us are more special than the rest; everyone puts on their pants the same way in the morning. The good news is that life has a way of rolling over us with a cement truck enough times in our lives ...

An Open Letter To Pessimists

I sometimes wonder whether I am a pessimist or a realist. I think it could be argued the line between the two are so blurred at the moment that they have become interchangeable. One thing that is certain, though, is that I’ve never been one to wear rose-colored glasses. It’s just not my ...