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Local Commentaries

DOT Fiber Tax Discourages Connectivity Investment

The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for reliable and fast internet access in all corners of the state, as connectivity is no longer a mere perk or frill but a veritable necessity of modern life. Prior to the unprecedented public health crisis that forced us to shift so much of ...

The GOP Must Keep Its Promise

Supreme Court nominations matter. That’s because justices have significantly different understandings of the court’s proper role. To oversimplify the matter: ¯ On the one hand we have activist justices, who are inclined to varying extents to base decisions on their own policy ...

RSVP: A French Phrase, And An Important Task

There are many times in our lives when we are invited to attend events sponsored by groups with which we belong, or friends with whom we socialize or work, or even family. It may be a dinner sponsored by the group, or a family or friend wedding, or a birthday, holiday, or company dinner or ...

Musings On The Concept Of Singularity

It’s not a word I can recall ever using. I don’t know why I would. But it popped right up when I needed it. Singular (the definition I was seeking is #2): “unusual or strange; odd; different.” It can also mean more positive things but that’s not what I wanted to use to describe a ...

Disappearing Culture: Places, People

You might remember Paul Prudhomme, that rotund, cheery chef from Louisiana that took the nation by storm in the 1980s and 90s, spreading his love of Cajun cooking by way of his cookbooks and through our television sets. My brother introduced his recipes to our family and for thirty years we ...

Chautauqua Women’s Club Stands Out

CHAUTAUQUA — On Jan. 21, 1935, 903 members of an organization at Chautauqua Institution met for a luncheon at a member’s home. The member and her husband resided in downstate New York and were living temporarily in Washington, D.C. At 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Yes, the White House. The ...

Lost For Words? Some Writers Can’t Be

“Were you ever at a loss for words? Writer’s block, that sort of thing”? The question came from people who meet in and around Brookville from time to time to talk about writing. We include geezers like DuBois radio’s Joe Taylor, and myself, who have written day-in and day-out for more ...

Devoid Of Nourishment On Many Levels

Ramon and Marla came for family counseling. They had spoken with their family physician a week earlier. Marla presented a frightful story about her mother, Cicily, who resided with them. I barely explained privacy laws when Maria burst out crying. Ramon held her tight in his arms. He whispered ...

Politics Not The Way To Progress

Progressivism is the idea that progress can be made by using political power to force people to do good, things that benefit society rather than the individual. Even those who say “This is for your own good” generally do not care about the individual or his or her rights, but only about the ...

Watch Debates But Ignore The Coverage

Presidential and vice-presidential debates are at hand. Voters need to listen to - not just watch - all four debates. And not for one liners or gotcha moments. Listen to arguments, and seek to understand candidates’ underlying philosophy, even when they don’t articulate ...

Maybe The Light Isn’t A Train

ORCHARD PARK — Buffalo Bills’ fans, listed as the “12th Man” on the team’s wall of fame, as a whole are among the National Football League’s most enthusiastic. Lots of other words describe them. “Loyal” is at or near the top of the list. Bills’ fans face all sorts of ...

Unprecedented Times And David Moments

Today, I sent my eldest kiddo off to school, sanitizer in her backpack and a handmade mask from Grandma on her face. Normally, we’re worried about getting to school on time, whether she’s brushed her hair or if she has forgotten her lunch. However, this school year, we have a few other ...

Lockdown Robs Kids Too

As our children return to school, in person or virtually, teachers, parents and the children themselves are noticing that the COVID-caused early end to last season’s school year has caused this year’s returnees to lose more than some knowledge of geography or algebra. School-age children ...

Invitation Springs From Liberty

Dierdra McCloskey, professor of economics and history, has offered powerful insights for several decades, culminating in her multi-volume work with the theme of “bourgeois dignity.” She explains why, for most of history, poverty was so pervasive, and why the standards of living in western ...

The Humility Factor

When I was growing up, my dad would sometimes caution me with the words “don’t get a big head over it.” It was advice which usually came when I was bragging about some great accomplishment I thought I had achieved. My father was a proponent of the biblical admonition: “Humble yourselves ...

Time For A Bipartisan Convention To Cut Spending

Party time is over. Republicans have just ended their national nominating convention, while Democrats capped theirs off last week. Throughout both conventions, speakers directed their firepower at the “enemy,” the opposing political party incapable of doing anything well. But what ...

Labor Day Then And Now — Is It Still Relevant?

Ask people what comes to mind with the mention of “Labor Day,” and you will most likely hear two responses: “Back to school” and “Can’t wear white.” This is a far cry from the holiday founders’ intent and might make one wonder whether Labor Day has lost its relevance. A look ...

You Have The Power To Help Your Local Economy

People have a lot of power to improve the economy where they live. Most don’t realize how much power. They also don’t know how easy it is to make a big difference. Few like to see their hard earned tax dollars go to other communities. Most think that the money the government takes out of ...

Solve The Lake’s Weed Challenges

Imagine the impression of Native Americans who, however long ago, first laid eyes on Chautauqua Lake. With all of their respect for the natural world, they must have thought this lake was a treasure. The first Europeans to encounter it, just over two centuries ago, must have thought the ...

In Normal Times, August Would Bring Tourists

In normal times, August would see Jamestown welcoming tourists from far and wide for the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Because of the ongoing pandemic, this year’s festival had to be cancelled. Hopefully, summer 2021 will see things return to normal on what will be the 70th ...