Local Commentaries

The Geography Of Hope

As the longer days of spring and the warmer travel season approach, I’m reminded that I always hope for the best.  Perhaps I’ll see something I’ve never seen before or do something I’ve never done before.  My motto is, “Where there’s hope, there’s adventure.” Two years ago, ...

We Have Good News

I wanted to share our good news with you, dear readers: we will be welcoming a new baby girl into the world in May. My kiddo is thrilled – she has been telling everyone she comes in contact with that she is going to be a big sister. She doesn’t just tell them, either. She practically ...

The CWC completed many projects in 2016, including several improvements at its Chautauqua Creek Oxbow Forest Preserve in the town of Chautauqua.
Photo by Jonathan Townsend

CWC Needs Your Help

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy had an incredible year in 2016. With the addition of a new staff position dedicated to managing and caring for our preserves (that’s me!) and filling a vacant conservationist position, we had more staff power than ever before in our history. This has ...

Trump Victory Fits The Pattern

Funny, isn’t it? Some of those who never foresaw the election of Donald Trump continue to try to explain why he won. Yet many of them don’t grasp that this first-time candidate uniquely had his finger on the electorate’s pulse. Nor do they grasp what has been on this page over the ...

Finding Sufficient Sewer Money Sooner

A quite remarkable nature/human asymmetry has been in process at a location in the middle of Chautauqua County, aptly called Chautauqua Lake. This Lake and successive generations of human lives have somewhat cheerfully coexisted for a couple of hundred years already. But now this relationship ...

Why? … Why Not?

A quote heard often, and one I’ve used in this forum a few times, was one credited to George Bernard Shaw when he once said “Some men see things as they are and ask, Why? I dream things that never were and ask, Why not?” This saying was also a favorite quote and used by the late Senator ...

Politics At Lunch

It’s a harmless little tag, to be sure, and probably helps keep the peasants from starving. Only — harmless or not — I find those little stickers on my fruit to be a royal pain. The geography lesson escapes me since I have to unpeel each label from its skin — so far apple, pear, ...

Scarves Are In

Have you ever worn a babushka?  Do you even know what it is? A babushka is a kerchief of scarf worn on the head.  The dictionary credits this word as from the Russian language and is designated for a grandmother. Maybe you have seen pictures of old women with scarves on their heads. When I ...

The Laws Of Nature

I was recently visiting with a friend who is outspoken on the topics of social, economic and political current events. He is well-read on these and other matters in the news. When we visit, inevitably the discussion will turn to a controversial issue. That day, we talked about Mother ...

Creating A Business Environment Where Our Members Can Thrive

This article is part of a series highlighting our efforts to create a business environment in the region where our members can thrive. Our organizations are built to deliver on a five point focus to deliver value to businesses in our region. The five point focus was built around the input and ...

What Is Real?

We interrupt your present life to bring you this special announcement: a group of highly revered scientists believe life is merely a simulated computer game being played by an advanced civilization. That would mean we are merely characters playing a role in a simulation that only seems real ...

Ground Feeding Winter Sparrows

The stars of backyard feeding stations dominate visually.  Cardinals and blue jays are spectacularly beautiful.  Chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches sparkle with personality.  Woodpeckers entertain. But some species, by comparison, lack visual excitement.   Native sparrows, often called ...

Flooding at the Audubon, and around the area, forced many animals to relocate to higher ground.

Nature’s Perfect Flood

The recent flooding at the Audubon Community Nature Center provided a rare opportunity. With water a foot deep on many parts of the property, wildlife became concentrated on the high parts of the forest. Many animals had nowhere else to go without swimming, so I took advantage of the wet by ...

Man On A Wire

I was reminded this week how much of life is a balancing act — a metaphorical rope that varies in width depending on circumstances sometimes outside of your control. When things are running at an optimum pace, the rope is wide ... sometimes you can do (try and do) cartwheels on the rope. And ...

Even The Amish Know Economics

Amish people are an interesting lot. They are real people, just like everyone else. They have all of the human needs and wants, and they have the same human intelligence to fill those needs, but they also feel a need for cultural resistance, to be separate from the modern world and its ideas ...

Rain Makes For A Garden

As I drove in to work Tuesday, the sky was overcast, the rain spilled out over my windshield and the sun was nowhere to be found. But, somehow, my heart was filled with a quiet joy. Maybe it was because it wasn’t snowing, or because it was warm enough for one coat to suffice – I’m not ...

Equity Leads To Fairness, Fairness To Love

The news of our world is saturated with serious business. Wars, famine, climate change, politics. I can go on longer. I listen professionally to the seriousness of clients presenting problems. My silliness with family, friends and yes, sometimes strangers, enables me touch in on the lighter ...

I Write The Songs

It’s been seven years and a few odd months that I’ve been fortunate to be able to write this column. In that time, I have received face to face remarks, written cards and letters, Facebook comments and messages, online statements, and text and email communications, all ranging from ...

Finding Another Way

Have any of you made fruit soup?  I used to make it quite often as a side dish when I made rice pudding. This is nothing like the cold soups that they serve on cruises, but it is very good. I used to buy a pound package of mixed dried fruit for the base. That contained dried prunes, peaches, ...

What’s With The Thirteens?

We’re pretty much acquainted with the Ides — and, yes, they do occur other months besides March though that of course was an especially unlucky date for Julius Caesar. I stand corrected. (Thank you, Mr. Webster.) The ides are the 15th day of March, May, July or October or (get this: on) ...