Here are some of the best - and worst - of the week:
WALKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE - On Monday, Jim Hatala of Dunkirk took off on foot to Erie County Medical Center. Hatala was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday, but was walking to the hospital in Buffalo as a fundraiser and to raise awareness for the RO Foundation, an organization through Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation that assists individuals in need with the costs incurred by traveling for medical care.
SPIRIT BOOSTER - Cassadaga Valley students have always believed in cougar pride. Now they have more reason. Roger Storer, a 1957 graduate who now lives in Trout Creek, Mont. mounted two cougars that were harvested in Montana. His son, Rodney Storer, transported one to Cassadaga Valley, where the statue will be placed after a trophy is constructed. A plaque will be placed on it that states, "Harvested by Glen Smith, donated by Roger Storer, grandfather of Brandi, Garrett and Taylor."
CHAUTAUQUA SEASON - This week wraps up Chautauqua Institution's summer of events. This year we've had multiple thought-provoking topics and good entertainment. Next year's themes are already posted on Chautauqua's website, and includes topics such as "America in 1863; Our elegant universe, the pursuit of happiness and more. If you haven't had a chance to visit there this year, there is still an opportunity this weekend. And remember, gate tickets are free on Sundays.
GAS PRICES - We've all been lamenting how gas prices are going back up once again. On Monday, gas prices nationwide hit $3.72 a gallon, a record high for that date (not for us in New York state). Just to give you a perspective how much gasoline has gone up, on Aug. 20, 2007 gas was $2.76 a gallon nationwide. On Aug. 20, 2004, gas prices were $1.87 a gallon nationwide. On Aug. 20, 2002, gas prices were $1.40 a gallon. That means the cost of gasoline was about one third (37.6%) as it is today. Has your salary tripled in 10 years?