Social economy, silver lining of an unhealthy county


The village nestled in an idyllic valley. Kids up and down the block. Riding bikes everywhere. Trudging up hills and sledding down at high speed. Building ramps hard as ice. Over the guardrail ramp, skidding onto the frozen creek. Intense backyard football and baseball. Youth football and Little League. Winter soccer, summer soccer. Adventures by night– manhunt, campouts, the cemetery, which also had the best sledding hills. Nintendo, Gameboy and Sega Genesis, but no algorithms, and lots and lots of outdoor time.

That was growing up in the 80s and 90s in Portville, NY, a small town in Cattaraugus County. Picture the lower left-hand corner of the state, about two hours south of Buffalo, right on the border with Pennsylvania. Down the road from the city of Olean and St. Bonaventure University.

I left fifteen years ago now. But of course, those days will always be special. It was with dismay then, that I saw in the Olean Times Herald earlier this month, “Cattaraugus County remains among unhealthiest in state.”

Pick your poison. Think why the richest country in the world has to rank its citizens at all.

#cattarauguscounty #economy #healthcare


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