Reader’s Forum

Protestants Wish Catholics Well In Pope Search

To the Readers’ Forum:

Hardly anybody could believe the news that Pope Benedict XVI had announced his retirement. It was unthinkable, but it’s being done nevertheless. As a non-Catholic, I wish Catholics well in their search for the next Pope. But I feel sad that the current Pope is leaving. Pope Benedict XVI, the former Joseph Ratzinger, was one of the finest teachers and theologians in recent history of Christianity. Consider, for example, his willingness to be interviewed for a question and answer session that resulted in the book Light of the World. His answers, as in all his many writings, were totally frank and non-evasive. How refreshing in an age of politics and spin. And his answers were full of details and content. In other words, Catholics and all Christians are losing one of their most articulate spokesmen.

Should such a one retire? I for one would rather have him continue, even in a diminished capacity, because it’s not often that Christianity has such an excellent teacher in such a high profile position. No, he doesn’t have the energy of a younger John Paul II. Yes, there certainly are others who could lead the Catholic Church more energetically. But could anyone lead the church with more wisdom and knowledge? It’s almost as if because the Pope is humble enough to give up his power and position that almost underscores the point that he’s probably the right man to hold such an office. What would happen if all around the world Catholic laity and Catholic clergy refused his resignation? Could he be persuaded to stay on? The expectation of a Pope established by John Paul II of flying all around the world and running here and there would be put aside, for the benefit of having a wise and older man continue at the helm.

I personally believe Benedict XVI still has important gifts as a Pope the church vitally needs. Maybe he just needs a second vote of confidence by Catholics around the world. What would happen if the cardinals met in Rome for the papal enclave and decided to re-elect the Pope again, a second time? Of course, he’d probably turn it down, but at least they could try – and at least he would feel the love and support of the church one last time.

Pastor Jeff Short


Minimum Wage Hike Much Needed

To the Readers’ Forum:

After reading the comments and article related to a minimum wage hike in New York state, I have to say that I am concerned with the negativity. When I was in high school I worked at a grocery store in Jamestown and received minimum wage which was adequate for myself as my parents supported me financially. After working at this grocery store for awhile, I noticed that all the cashiers were not like me, some were single parents, some were college graduates working to pay off loans and some were elder adults who had retired and were working to make a little extra money. Many of these individuals were the financial provider for their families and for them the minimum wage is far too low and does not allow for individuals to pay for health insurance, daycare, save for retirement and a variety of other things that any job should allow someone to do.

Deindustrialization began in this country about 40 years ago and with it American businesses began to outsource jobs overseas thus leaving a lack of good paying middle class jobs in our economy especially in manufacturing (the classic middle class American job). Since then we have seen the middle class shrink drastically with many people falling into the service sector of our economy, which is dominated by part time, low skill, minimum wage labor. Many adults in today’s society are forced to support a family on these service sector jobs as they are the only jobs readily available to people who do not have a college degree and, obviously, not everyone can obtain a degree.

Thus I believe that this minimum wage hike is desperately needed by the working class of America and I’m glad to see New York State is stepping in the right direction. But, if anything, this legislation does not go far enough as I believe all workers should be entitled to living wage which gives all workers the freedom to live and pay for things like insurance and even possibly save for retirement so they can hopefully provide for themselves when they retire rather than simply collecting public assistance. Currently, Ithaca, N.Y. pays many employees within the city a living wage ($12.78 an hour) and this has had great success in bolstering the local economy, maybe a progressive idea like this would benefit us all?

Kevin McElrath


Herbst Was One

Of A Kind Editor

To the Readers’ Forum:

An event of considerable consequence occurred in the county since our southern escape. Our Post-Journal editor for the past 30 years, Cristie Herbst, retired. To say she served us well is an understatement. She will be a tough act to follow.

A good newspaper editor is the heart and soul of the publication. Daily they focus on the heartbeats of local, state, national and international sectors. To do the job right they must be possessed of considerable erudition, the ability to make well informed decisions and the courage to pursue them, popular or otherwise.

Cristie fulfilled these and unmentioned requirements to a fault. Her tenacious and courageous involvement with the Chautauqua County Home controversy is a case in point.

Ms. Herbst is a devout Christian as well as a devoted Republican. Her Christmas greetings were always a wonderful evocation of Christ’s birth. And the same is true of other occasions. She always has been there, editorially, for every worthwhile person or cause as well.

During her tenure, the editorial page has always had a good mixture of both Republican and Democratic writes with perhaps more than a slight edge to the former. We never had a problem with that. Her selection of guest commentators with timely columns has been unerring. A recent example was an article by Pat Buchanan on the decline of labor unions.

She presided over a sports reporting staff assisted by editor Jim Riggs, that is second to none. government at all levels, education, business and industry, entertainment and the list goes on, were and still are daily subjects. Filling a huge niche for decades in all the fine arts is the inimitable Bob Plyer.

A year or so ago, I noticed an interesting phenomenon in the newspaper. First, there was a wrong photo atop an obituary column. Then photos of Republican weekly columnist Mona Charon appeared above her column and also above her Democratic counterpart, Froma Harrop’s column. Some days later, the perpetrator simply exchanged their photos.

This ”photo phantom’s” most grievous assault was the front page, full-figure photo of mayor of Lakewood, who wasn’t the mayor of Lakewood. Apparently he ceased operations before Cristie could catch up with him.

I reiterate, Cristie Herbst was one of a kind.

Thomas J. Harte

Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Condemned Homes Should Be Fixed

To the Readers Forum:

I seem to see a lot of “CONDEMNED” signs littered throughout the area, and just thought I had to comment. We’re more into throwing lavish and expensive parades and fixing up the old train station than we are fixing up our own community. What an eyesore come tourist season, being that Jamestown is home to Lucille Ball and Natalie Merchant. Fix these homes and work on bringing lavish paying jobs instead of putting on a show every year.

Ronald Forsythe,