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Local Commentaries

The Queen’s Speech

Though we don’t have a monarchy in this country, I think we have, in a subconscious way, adopted the British Royal family. In that regard, I thought the Queen’s speech on April 5, 2020, was one of the most inspiring I have seen about the need to rally and support efforts to beat the ...

Citizens United Is Widely Misunderstood

Welcome to the first reader-inspired edition of this regular column. What was the inspiration? To explain briefly what the U.S. Supreme Court’s widely misunderstood decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission does and doesn’t do. Let’s back up. Political-speech law ...

Hope For The Best, Plan For The Worst

This week Governor Cuomo announced that all schools in the state will remain closed through April 29. He also restated his decision to close schools every two weeks. Because the Governor has tied state aid to this order, schools are abiding by the two-week extensions and are not closing for ...

There Are No Words For This

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The guns fell silent on the War Between the States 155 years ago this month. But for some they never fell silent. America is among the world’s most beautiful countries and has many sites worth seeing. Cities and towns. Mountains, plains, and beaches. Rivers and ...

Giving The Governor His Due

As readers of this column know, I have from time-to-time been critical of Governor Cuomo, especially of his opposition to natural gas ... a critical energy source if we are going to protect the reliability of the electric grid and provide fuel for home heating needs. But, right now, such ...

We Have Come Upon Tough Times

We’ve come upon tough times. America too, has come upon tough times. We are all in this together, and together we will get through this. We always have, and America always will. America, the worlds most powerful, productive, prosperous and peaceful nation on the face of this earth. A ...

This Is No Ordinary Time We Are In

These words, spoken by Eleanor Roosevelt just before World War II, describe the time we are in right now. I see it in the eyes of the young clerks at our local convenience store, I see it in the empty shelves of toilet paper at the grocery, I hear it from owners of restaurants laying off ...

Standing In Support Of Employees

As the CEO of NFI Group, the parent company of New Flyer, my number one responsibility is to ensure the well-being of our employees and their families. So when The New York Post published an article that our employees were not abiding to our strict policies implemented during the COVID-19 ...

Students Can Still Acquire Needed Skills

Ever since the first humans walked this earth, it has been the family and community that have been at the core of educating children. In the beginning, education surely included the knowledge and skills required to survive and enjoy a certain quality of life. Today, while we do not have to ...

Using Apostrophes Is Simple

Mark Twain’s encounter with a particular foreign tongue inspired an essay called “The Awful German Language.” Welcome to a new feature of this column. We won’t call it “The Awful English Language.” Yet it will focus on challenges of English for all of us. Many aspects of ...

Say A Prayer, Give Thanks To The Frontline

Whenever I have met an Army veteran wearing a medal/badge with a rifle on a blue background resting on a laurel wreath, I take special notice. This is one of the highest honors, in my view, that can be attained in the U.S. Army—the Combat Infantryman Badge. It means, “yes,” I have been ...

In These Times, How Are We Helping?

Without truckers, UPS and Fed Ex, what would keep food on the shelves and other vital products delivered? They keep the lifelines of society from breaking down. You have to include the farmers on that one for sure. This is just the short list. It is helpful to thank them and especially the ...

During This Pandemic, It Wouldn’t Hurt To Have Affairs In Order

Every church youth group has a least one of them — an enthusiastic, extroverted teen who is the life of the party and always delighted to meet someone new. And when she does, she naturally begins with an icebreaker: “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” Yes, in the midst ...

National Press Ignites Panic, Fans Flames

Sometimes errors by the press are small. When this columnist was a newspaper reporter, another reporter wrote in a hilarious April Fool’s Day story that a local library was imprisoning – in its dungeon – patrons with overdue books. The story understandably omitted mentioning what in ...

A Letter To Our Community

To our neighbors, colleagues, and friends: We are living in an unprecedented time where our world, our nation, and our community, is faced with the threat of an international pandemic known as COVID-19. This novel virus is unlike any flu or disease we have seen in modern times, and has the ...

What We Achieved This Week

Each day, COVID-19 appears in more counties, more communities across New York. It is inevitable that the virus will appear in Chautauqua County, although at this point, there are no confirmed cases. We are monitoring several individuals and waiting for test results. Because of community ...

How We Proceed Is Our Choice

When I lived in Potsdam as a student in 1998 we endured a spectacular ice storm that brought life in the North Country to a standstill for weeks. For seven days I lived with about 1500 others in the college’s fieldhouse, waiting for news from the state about when our power would return. On ...

Coping With Quarantine

When I was a kid, there was a TB (Tuberculosis) hospital on a hill near the Cassadaga Lakes. It was meant to be in a rather isolated, rural area because TB was known to be very contagious…it could spread easily. I remember being sad that people with this disease had to be “quarantined ...

Coming Together In Chaos

Wash your hands. Avoid large gatherings. Stay home if you’re sick. Cough into your elbow. We’ve heard these instructions constantly the last few weeks and will continue to as the COVID-19 pandemic response is still in the early stages. Our federal government was disastrously unprepared. ...

We Were Fortunate For 18 Years With Houghton

I first got to know Amo Houghton in the mid 1970s when I represented Chautauqua County in the New York State Assembly. He was chairman of Corning Inc. and would periodically call together all of the state elected officials representing the Southern Tier to discuss common problems and issues ...