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Editor’s Corner

‘Positive’ Vision

David C. Bryant had a knack for looking ahead while reflecting on the past. It was a part of his love for life and passion for this community. You could see it in his brilliant smile — and in the relationships he built that led to a renovation of many historic structures that dot the ...

Diminishing District Misses Memo On Crisis

Here’s the real problem with the public sector’s perception of the $16 billion deficit that is currently facing New York state. It can be summed up in three words: Ripley Central Schools. Smallest of the 18 Chautauqua County districts, serving less than 160 students from prekindergarten ...

Decisive DOT Rarely Detours On Plans

Ready or not, it appears a change that goes through the heart of downtown Jamestown is just around the corner. For some, the adjustment will take us out of a comfort zone. Last week, state Department of Transportation representatives held a virtual public hearing regarding the proposed ...

Power Of Compromise Is Food For Thought

State Sen. George Borrello was taking a page from U.S. Rep. Tom Reed’s playbook. In order to make things happen, do it collaboratively and for the greater good. In this instance, it was a perfect and unlikely match. Republican and upstate representative Borrello teamed with a downstate ...

Reps Walk Tightrope On Local Logjams

GOWANDA — Big names gathered outside the Gowanda Correctional Facility just days before Christmas. Only 24 hours earlier, state Gov. Andrew Cuomo let the bomb drop that has the potential to change the pulse in this community for years to come: the prison was slated for closure. Republicans, ...

Government Theatrics Are A Sorry Act

Tempers had been simmering for the first 11 months of 2020 in Dunkirk City Hall, but it was nothing like this. After Common Council approved a $24 million budget that included increases to the sewer rate and tipping fee — which goes toward garbage collection — at the beginning of December, ...

New Leaders Up To Pandemic Challenge

Exactly 29 days before life as we knew it dramatically shifted from coming together to staying apart, Michael Mansfield attended his first Dunkirk Board of Education meeting. The lifelong Chautauqua County resident was being announced as its new superintendent. “We want to improve ...

Lake ‘Threats’ May Rise Above Waters

Keeping one of Western New York’s greatest natural assets as pristine as can be relies on cooperation and goodwill from neighboring states and cities as well as Canada. Last week, during a press conference in Erie, Pa., 13 organizations released a blueprint designed to protect the Lake Erie ...

Virtual Meetings Muzzle Public Comment

Twenty viewers were able to watch what was happening during the Dunkirk Common Council meeting via the feed from Dunkirk Access through the YouTube Channel on Tuesday night. Pictures, however, did not tell the whole story. In a meeting that lasted about 21 minutes, the audio difficulties ...

Raise Hands For Better Representation

Chautauqua County Legislator Lisa Vanstrom’s prayer, offered Wednesday night to begin the monthly Legislature meeting via Zoom, has gone unanswered in Mayville for the last five years. “Strengthen (local elected representatives) with the wisdom and the grace for the heavy burdens they carry ...

Schools On Front Lines With COVID, Fiscal Realities

SILVER CREEK — Surrounded by plastic dividers in a conference room while being 6 feet apart and wearing a facial covering, Superintendent Todd Crandall spoke with pride in the work done by his staff as students were entering the high school building on Monday. Coming through the front door in ...

Irrelevant Dems Bail Out Weak County GOP

As an election approached, a battle was brewing inside the membership committee of the Chautauqua County Democratic party. It had nothing to do with the upcoming vote involving three local candidates vying for positions of importance and influence. It instead revolved around the appointment ...

Reopening Remains Far From Relaxed

Economically, we were stuck in neutral. Many area businesses, in the midst of a global pandemic, had been forced to close their doors while restaurants could only serve take-out meals as New York state endured some 64 days in a “pause.” From March 15 to May 18, only essential workers were ...

No Debating GOP’s Absence From Event

State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell was losing his patience. While making a point at an October 2018 League of Women Voters debate, during a rebuttal session with then challenger Judith Einach, moderator Marcia Merrins interjected. She asked the incumbent to stay on the topic about whether ...

Downturn Doesn’t Slow Free-For-All Spending

Nearby rivalries may play well in the arena of athletics, but they continue to prove costly to residents and taxpayers of Chautauqua County. With a population of 127,000, this portion of Western New York continues to refuse to accept its bloated way of life. What was acceptable during the ...

Thirst For Change Lacks In Water Crisis

Fredonia Trustee James Lynden began choking up. During an emotional 12-minute response defending an unstable, failing water system near the end of Monday evening’s Village Board meeting, Lynden kept referring to studies and costs involving the plant and reservoir that have been done within ...

Chancellor On Mission To Corral Cases

Entering the State University of New York at Fredonia from Central Avenue in the village during the recent holiday weekend brought a sense of serenity. It was a low-key day and few students could be seen out and about. But those who were appeared to be doing all the right things. Gatherings ...

Runaway Numbers Have Us All On Hot Seat

This upcoming holiday weekend could be the most pivotal three days in Chautauqua County’s battle with COVID-19 since the middle of March and the month of April when the pandemic began. Can this community get a grip, especially the north county, on an alarming surge in cases that are ...

Drastic Rise

Monday afternoon’s press conference came far too late. Some workers and individuals who could have received a warning long before Aug. 21 regarding the cluster of positive COVID-19 cases at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk ultimately became victims. It was a cruel and unfortunate outcome, but ...

COVID-19 Adds To Trauma At Small Hospitals

Long before the COVID-19 crisis, rural hospitals across the United States were facing a dire situation. Forbes recently reported 2019 to be the single worst year in the last decade for these types of facilities as 19 of these health-care institutions went dark. On a local level, 2020 began on ...