Here are some of the best - and worst - of the week:
NEW FACES ON CAMPUS - SUNY Fredonia's international population has grown by more than 60, with the arrival of the newest class of students, representing Japan, China, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. These new students are getting a lesson right now in Western New York winters. Local residents may encounter them at a grocery store, restaurant, bowling alley, church, or other places in town. If you do happen to see them, extend to them a welcoming smile, handshake, or other simple gesture. Remember, these young minds are going to be the future leaders of their countries. We hope when they leave Western New York, they will remember it being cold when they first arrived, but finding warm hearts and hands the rest of their stay.
PALMER AWARD - In Monday's OBSERVER was a profile on WDOE's Dan Palmer, who has been nominated for the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place Feb. 18. For more than 35 years, Palmer has been a fixture on WDOE, covering high school sports since 1975. In fact, he's been the play-by-play voice for more than 2,000 regular season and playoff games. Palmer's nomination is a nod well deserved.
READY TO RELAY - On Tuesday, relayers from across Northern Chautauqua County will gather for Relay for Life's kickoff at the Fredonia United Methodist Church. Locally, this will be the 15th year of Relay for Life, which helps raise money to fight cancer. This year's national theme is "Dream Big, Hope Big, Relay Big." Our local chapter helps us do just that - dream, hope and relay!
PLEA BARGAINING - In his executive state budget proposal, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing to restrict drivers from pleading down speeding tickets while adding an $80 state surcharge to lesser traffic offenses. But let's take a different case. Earlier this week former Salamanca teacher Shane Riethmiller, 40, of Dunkirk, pleaded guilty to sending inappropriate texts. But originally the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department alleged that Riethmiller had sexual contact with a 15 year old. He was also accused of sending nude photos of himself and receiving nude photos of an underage female with his cell phone. But those charges were eventually reduced. So, according to Cuomo, the courts can reduce charges of sexual contact with a minor to inappropriate texts but they can't reduce a speeding ticket of 43 mph in a 35 mph zone to a parking ticket? Where is the justice?