News, Politics, and Culture from 14895

By Lacey Gardner

Words From Wiser – Preaching to the Choir


   From Chuck Wiser, 9/3/21         

I’m not entirely sure of the target of this rant as I am pretty sure that with it I am “preaching to the choir”. This is again off target of what I intended to write about today but maybe I can get there at the end of this lead in topic.

Once again, recent items in the Olean Times Herald have triggered this thought, and thus Words. First was a picture and headline regarding protesting against mask wearing in buildings and attendance at school and its functions. Second was the statistics for Allegany County and the continued resurgence of Covid outbreaks, not only in this county but in most other New York counties as well.

Regarding my preaching to the choir comment. I suspect that a good percentage of those who frequently read the Sun are of the age group and demographic that support vaccinations and taking precautions against getting and spreading the virus. However, if we who feel that way remain silent, then there may be a perception of our acceptance of the actions, or inaction, of those who don’t get vaccinated or mask up in public.

I know! I do not, myself, like confrontation and generally avoid it at all costs. I am not a good “in person” debater or arguer. I get too emotionally involved and my brain shuts down losing the cohesiveness and ability to convey my point of view. Thus, I sit on the sidelines and write about them. But at least I am doing that.  I am uncomfortable with confrontation, even among family members. I have expressed my opinion and it has been at a cost. Enough said.

Allegany County added 61 infections during the week ending August 29th. Allegany County is the LEAST VACCINATED county in the entire state of New York, still at only 40.1% with at least one of the vaccinations and less than 40% with all required.

The second Times Herald article that directed my focus back to this topic was a Cattaraugus County “Parents Protest” regarding mask requirements for school attendance. The fact that the second article is from another county is moot as that county is in the same statistical high risk “danger” classification as we are. The argument that being vaccinated, or having their children vaccinated are the same. They don’t want their rights “to choose” taken away from them. They are “being forced to” do something against their will. The “right of self governing is walking away from the democracy that this country was founded on” (paraphrased). The children’s compliance is “taking away the freedoms of their children.” “We are forcing things upon the next generation.”

I argue that my generation allows this generation, and successor generations, to be free of such diseases as Polio, Smallpox, Mumps, and until recently, Measles. How? Why? Because we were vaccinated “en masse” without worrying about rights or freedoms or privileges being taken away.

This current generation includes the many who are heard on my scanner calls to have called 911 because: “I can’t get my 8 year old to get in the car”. My “two children are fighting in the back yard”. “There’s a 4 year old walking down the street unattended”. “My 12 year old child is out of control”. I mention those references only as an observation that people are willing to hand off control of their children to others because “they don’t or can’t”, and yet we are not allowed to dictate their safety, their well being, or the safety of others from them, by getting themselves and their eligible children vaccinated. In my opinion, you have every right to put yourself at risk, but you do NOT have a right to put others at risk, even including your own children.

Changing the subject, but one also of “public concern” relates to additional discussions regarding an “historic landmark building” in Wellsville that for all appearances has been abandoned and left to deteriorate beyond repair. Social media comments from former Wellsville residents visiting from out of town often mention the old railroad depot in Wellsville and its sadly dilapidated condition. Truly it is an eyesore, and its ruin certainly is saddening, but it appears that nothing can be done to bring it back to life. The owner is a known individual who, for whatever reason refuses to sell it, and refuses to fix it. Many feel that it is beyond restoration. Many others feel that “it has good bones” and is not beyond saving. I have not been to any Village meetings where its future has been discussed and would just be speculating as to the feelings or attitudes of the village officials. The unofficial or “social media” word is that the owner has been approached about selling it numerous times but refuses to do so.

Just as the County did when it began the process of “Eminent Domain” to take over, with just compensation, a farmland for a business expansion, some feel that this process would be justified by the Village of Wellsville, to eliminate an eyesore, public disgrace and likely unhealthy or unsafe building and property. It’s “across the street neighbor, the old Super Sound building should be included as they are twin eyesores.

As long as I am on the topic of “abandoning” buildings, let me expand upon that to include businesses abandoning the area, apparently for greener pastures. Several years ago, the closest to us “Arby’s” in Olean, NY,  pulled up stakes and left making room for a different business. The word or thought at the time was that they would relocate elsewhere in Olean, in the near future. That has not happened. My fervent hope when the “Crossroads” was discussing additional tenants, was that it would be an Arby’s. Bath or Dansville are a bit of a drive and are only convenient if traveling East or North to other shopping areas and stopping by is practical.

More puzzling yet, is the departure from Rochester, of closest to us, Sam’s Clubs. They lost not only one, but both of their local Sam’s Clubs. I just can’t wrap my mind around the “business rationale” of that. Based on my many visits, to the Henrietta store at least, they were always busy and well attended by shoppers.

The rise and fall, or replacement, of other retail establishments of interest is somewhat “generational” in that previously, one that had replaced another, was said to be a tentative victim if Wellsville was to have been blessed with a Walmart. Local residents defended the likely demise of “Big Box K-Mart”, which ironically displaced the Ames store nearly a generation earlier. That seems to be a trend of “attrition” for many such establishments.  K-Mart went out of business anyway, without being pushed out of business by a competitor.

With the Labor Day weekend upon us, Drive Safely, be respectful, considerate and courteous.

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