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The shocking stabbing of author Salman Rushdie at Chautauqua Institution last week left many residents of Chautauqua Institution — and throughout Chautauqua County — feeling violated. We view the Institution as a safe space where the ideals of free speech, polite speech and respectful dissent can thrive. Chautauqua is a place where civility reigns.

Outside the gates of Chautauqua Institution, our county is a year-round paradise for tourists who enjoy our lakes, golf courses, hiking trails, museums, wineries and much more. It is also a place where many have always felt safe raising their families in an environment with low crime rates and neighbors looking out for each other.

This incident is also a warning signal. None of us are immune to the increasingly pervasive culture of violence. Locally, many organizations have been tackling these issues for years. Schools, governments, and many social service organizations have long-standing safety plans in place. Law enforcement and mental health professionals have worked to root out the causes and stem the tide of assaults in our communities.

The episode at Chautauqua Institution was very clearly a targeted assault on a public figure. Targeted attacks can happen anywhere, and they don’t have to target a public figure. Conflicts occur all the time between individuals and sometimes they get worse.

All businesses and organizations should have a security plan. Regardless of the size of your organization, incidents can happen anywhere, anytime. It may not be a violent act that affects your business, but general emergencies can occur at any time. Beyond the obvious call to 9-1-1 if someone has a medical emergency or a fire, do all your employees know what to do in the event of another situation? Do they know what to do if there is a water emergency or they smell gas? If there was a burglary or robbery at your workplace, would your employees be safe? When you have a big event and you expect a lot of people, do you let them know where the emergency exits are? These are questions that all businesses should ask themselves at some point.

We urge every business owner or manager to review their security plans, make decisions, and create lists of points of contact and procedures to follow. No one knows your business or organization as well as you do, and no one can make plans for your business like you can. You might want to ask some employees to step in and think about a variety of scenarios that could impact your facility. Then write it down and make sure all employees know what to do in an emergency.

Chautauqua is resilient and its residents, guests and staff will recover. By resuming programming and immediately tightening their admission requirements, they are already on the road to renewal. Our hearts go out to Mr. Rushdie as he continues to recover, and to the Chautauqua settlement as its people continue to rise above a flagrant act of violence that has permeated our entire region. Whether it’s a “teaching moment” for your business, always keeping safety and security in mind as we move forward.

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Sincere thanks to everyone who golfed, volunteered and sponsored the annual Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament this year at the Peek’n Peak Resort in Clymer. We were proud to welcome 136 golfers and were lucky to have perfect weather. Our sponsors were: A Automotive, AES/Empire Solar, Blackstone-Ney Ultrasonics, Brooks-TLC-Kaleida Health, Chautauqua Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Chautauqua Patrons Insurance Company, Community Bank, Dahlstrom Roll Form, Dave Warren Auto Group, DFT Communications, ErieBank, Express Employment Professionals, Jamestown Container Companies, Jamestown Kitchen & Bath, Jamestown Mattress Company, Koester Associates, LaBella Associates, Lake Shore Savinbs Bank, Lawley, National Grid, Nestle Purina, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, R&R Property Services and landscaping, Shults Auto Group and Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union.

GET TICKETS NOW FOR HOPS AND POPS SEPT. 15

The Community Chambers of Commerce of Dunkirk and Fredonia are proud to present Hops and Pops, a great evening of beer and wine tastings, which will be held on Thursday September 15 at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 30 Lake Shore Drive East in Dunkirk . Enjoy local wines, beers and appetizers! Samples will be available and you can buy by the bottle or by the case during your stay. Plus, there will be five $100 raffles throughout the night for a total of $500 – plus additional raffles and giveaways. The cost is $15 per person or two for $25. Proceeds help support the Dunkirk and Fredonia Community Chambers of Commerce scholarship funds. Hops and Pops is sponsored by Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Farrell Roofing and LaBella Associates. Purchase tickets through the Chamber’s web calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org or call the Chamber at (716) 366-6200 or (716) 484-1101 for the box office nearest you.

AFTER HOURS BUSINESS AT BEMUS GOLF CLUB

IS SEVEN. 27

Join your fellow Chamber of Commerce members for a Business After Hours networking event and visit this lovely spot at Bemus Point! The Bemus Point Golf Club & Tap House is located at 72 Main Street in Bemus Point. Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar while you network with other business people. Chamber member companies can send two people free of charge. The price is $10 for non-member business people or for additional members in addition to the two free ones. Be sure to bring business cards for our sweepstakes and be prepared to give a quick (30 second) overview of your business so other attendees can get to know you. The sponsors of this event are DFT Communications, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER and The Post-Journal. Register now through the Chamber’s Web Events Calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org. We look forward to seeing you there!



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