It appears one of the major issues in the Democratic primary for the District 23 race comes down to a railroad station. Why else would a candidate - from Topkins County - be pushing for an Amtrak stop in Dunkirk?
While the merits of the stop in the city for convenience and accessibility are something no one living here can disagree with, we just fail to see how the proposed stop is something that will benefit a company like Amtrak, which has faced financial issues for years.
Our newspaper made a conscious decision to not play up the Amtrak train stop discussions until something significant happened to make it news.
Unfortunately, this happened when candidate Nate Shinagawa came to Dunkirk to endorse this effort.
But the train station and Amtrak stop is something that has been discussed numerous times in the past - even when Dunkirk was a city of 15,000 - and has not come to fruition. Why play it up now?
Simply put: because the train station is a distraction. It distracts from the numerous other issues facing the city in the coming year. It distracts from the issue of high welfare rolls and less private development. It also distracts us from what is really strangling Western New York, which is high taxes and an overabundance of government.
So if an Amtrak station opens in Dunkirk, this newspaper will cover it - and hope that it somehow helps our area grow and prosper.
But hoping a train station can do that is not realistic. It also continues to overlook what has ailed our region for 40 years: an unfriendly business environment that is made even more unfriendly by continuous tax increases.
That is what has really put our area on the wrong track.