Local Commentaries

Chautauqua Lake Needs More Science, Less Emotion

Everyone concerned with Chautauqua Lake’s stewardship and optimum management agrees on the basics: The lake is 17.3 miles from end to end, has a maximum depth of 75 feet and spans 42 miles of shoreline. The lake drains 33 streams and 10 major watersheds and 10,500 people rely on the lake, ...

Spending Christmas With Friends

On a recent Sunday, I witnessed a wonderful children’s service at our Church in the morning, attended a terrific holiday musical concert at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts in the afternoon, and wrapped up the day with a magnificent dinner with friends in Lakewood. To be honest, two days ...

Lawsuits Cost Money That Could Help The Lake

The Court has dismissed the Chautauqua Institution’s (Institution) suit against the Town of Ellery, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Chautauqua Lake Partnership (Partnership). More specifically, in its Dec. 21, 2018 ruling, the Court held that, ...

Beware Of Billionaires Who Come Bearing Gifts

More and more frequently, we hear of mega-size donations to charity by the wealthiest people in our society. We’re especially likely to see them around this time of year, as the season of giving really gets underway. From Bill Gates to Jeff Bezos to Mark Zuckerberg, Forbes magazine’s ...

Viewing The U.S. Elections From Scotland

Since we were going to Scotland to visit friends, we voted absentee this year on election day. That also meant that we viewed the U.S. elections from abroad which was interesting in itself. Our Scottish friends are Conservatives (Tories,) and so each day we would read The Daily Telegraph to ...

Why Not Use Mechanical Voting Machines?

The U.S.A has spent millions of dollars “upgrading” to electronic voting machines and the results are not good. Our elections these days are a mess. These new electronic machines have created a myriad of problems that frankly did not happen with the old mechanical voting machines. The ...

Consider Impact Of Holiday Purchases

New Yorkers of all political persuasions and geographic placement are finally united. Upstaters, downstaters, Liberals, and Conservatives joined in condemnation of Amazon’s decision to locate their new headquarters in Queens, NY with the help of a $3 billion subsidy from the state. Governor ...

Jackson Showed Value Of A Good Response

On the evening of Wednesday, November 24, 1937, United States Assistant Attorney General Robert H. Jackson, then heading the Antitrust Division in the U.S. Department of Justice, spoke in Washington at a private gathering of young, liberal Members of Congress. The group included Senator ...

The Kiss Of Amazon Comes At A Very Dear Price

Having run around the country as a modern Prince Charming in search of Cinderella, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s boss, has decided that two hopefuls fit the slipper: Crystal City, Va., and Queens, N.Y. But these Cinderellas aren’t to be carried off to live happily ever after in Amazon Castle. No, ...

Holidays And Politics: Rebuild Civility

With the chill in the air and the leaves already falling, the holidays are just around the corner. Whether you’re hosting or being hosted, the old rule of not discussing religion, money, or politics serves as a reminder of the issues which can divide even those who love each other the most. ...

Post-Election Analysis: In Congress, It’s New Gridlock, Same Old Divisions

The 2018 midterm election is over. Republicans expanded their Senate majority while Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives. For the next two years, we will have a divided government; it would be nice for Congress to come together, put aside partisan rancor and incivility, ...

Death, And Taxes, And Death Taxes

Governments use taxes to do two things: raise revenue and alter people’s behavior. Taxing to raise revenue is painful, but necessary if we want government to do anything at all. Taxing to alter people’s behavior is more controversial. Sin taxes are aimed at reducing alcohol and tobacco ...

You Should Have A Cruelty-Free Thanksgiving

To The Reader’s Forum: While President Trump is pardoning two turkeys for Thanksgiving, every one of us can exercize that same presidential power by choosing a non-violent Thanksgiving observance. And here are some other good reasons: ¯ You can brag about pardoning a turkey - like ...

Trade Deficits Are A Symptom, Not The Disease

The United States imported $2.895 trillion worth of goods and services from foreign countries in 2017 and exported $2.329 trillion, causing a deficit of $566 billion, which is expected to be even higher this year. Many influential people think that is a bad thing, and President Trump has been ...

Time To Deal With Lake’s Big Issues

Looking out over Chautauqua Lake at Burtis Bay, it is difficult to understand how it has been allowed to get this way. The Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA), the self-appointed “Stewards of Chautauqua Lake,” and county and state government have let us down. Thick, green, solidly-packed ...

The Rule Blocking Apprenticeships

By most measures, the economy is booming. Unemployment is at a 49-year low of 3.7 percent. The economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent last quarter. Recent data from the Department of Labor finds wages and salaries rose 3.1 percent in the third quarter, the largest increase in a ...

The Pipe Bomb Panic: Partisan Violence or Partisan Press?

To understand why American conservatives are uncomfortable with the conversation over rhetoric and political violence inspired by the recent pipe-bomb panic, consider the cases of John Hinkley and Jared Lee Loughner. If you think Hinkley shot President Ronald Reagan in the name of partisan ...

Why I Love Being A Veteran

If you had told me how I’d look back with fondness on the time I served as brigade commander during the worst of Diyala Province in 2006-2007, I would have smirked. Of course I’d love being a veteran, I can imagine my younger self thinking. It meant I would be anywhere but Iraq. Ten years ...

The Goodness Of America Depends On Our Rights

Having just gone through election season, we have all had our fill of political dishonesty and general terribleness, and we have witnessed bias and lack of basic integrity in the news media. We know that big businesses, big labor unions, and big so-called-non-profits and foundations pay big ...