Cheers and jeers

JEERS – To political theater. Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner are running for elected positions in New York state. We are sure you are well aware of their comeback campaigns. As non-New York City residents, we don’t have to make a decision to vote nay or yea for either candidate. As New York state residents, we are, or should be, very interested in our governor’s opinion of the political scene. When asked by a CBS reporter to comment on the two individuals’ political return, Gov. Cuomo stated, “It’s great political theater. It’s part of the charm of New York. We tend to have the eccentric. We tend to have the entertaining. And this is a little political theater, and I think that’s all people think of it. I don’t think they think anything more of it.” Governor, you failed to take an opportunity to encourage integrity as a characteristic for an elected official. If it’s theater you like, watch for the next show starring “Carlos Danger.”

CHEERS – To filled dashes. Often, our community reads about the death of a person who will be missed by scores of people who were affected by that person’s good deeds. Such is the case in at least two obituaries published this week. In reading the words penned for two men who reached their 90s, John Cridland and Paul Valachovic, you saw a snapshot of how they lived their lives and what they did for their community. They are examples of people who loved and served their country, family and community. Linda Ellis’ poem “The Dash” speaks to how your time is spent from a birth date to the date of death. It ends with “So, when your eulogy is being read, ?with your life’s actions to rehash ?would you be proud of the things they say?about how you spent your dash?” Cheers to two men who filled their dashes.

CHEERS – To coming back. For a number of years, the displays in the windows on the southwest corner of Fulton and Main streets in Gloversville would have heads turning to look at antiques. Then, the business left and the windows were empty, and members of the Gloversville High School class of 1963 took the initiative to fill the windows until a new business would take over. Well, a takeover did occur, but not by a new business. Terry’s Antiques returned. After a short relocation of the business, it appears the owners of the antique shop and the owners of the building are back in a great working relationship. Welcome back.

Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To an opportunity to give. After seeing the devastation from the flooding in Montgomery County many of us felt the compassion to do something to help. Johnstown residents Misty Houser, Beth Connelie, Bobbi Jo Havery and Lisa VanAernam apparently had those same thoughts but have taken it a step further. Through all of the Johnstown elementary schools’ PTAs, they are getting the word out to stuff a bus filled with school supplies to be given out in the Fort Plain community. The day to bring donations of school supplies is Wednesday, in conjunction with “Get Out and Play Night” at Knox Field from 5 to 8 p.m. These ladies are demonstrating a great example of caring and taking action that is surely being seen by young children, both on the giving and receiving ends. Now it is up to us to stuff that bus!

CHEERS – To an inspirational person. John Robinson was born without fully formed arms and legs, but that hasn’t stopped him from being a productive member of society, participating in physically demanding activities and enjoying life. Robinson, 44, the founder of the group Our Ability and the author of the book “Get Off Your Knees: A Story of Faith, Courage and Determination,” recently undertook a bike trip from Buffalo to Albany to raise awareness “of the ability inside of everyone.” He stopped in Fort Hunter during his ride along the Erie Canal. Robinson – who stands 3 feet, 9 inches tall and has given motivational speeches and lectures about his challenges – is an inspiration not only to people with disabilities, but to anyone who doubts his or her own potential. If you search “John Robinson – Get Off Your Knees” on YouTube, you can watch video postings about this remarkable person.

JEERS – To lack of responsibility. The condition in and around Gloversville’s Darling Field is about as far from “darling” as you can get. The field was a gift to the Board of Education in 1923 by Hiram Darling to use as an athletic field and be accessible to the public for various purposes. Since that time, there have been some changes, and the city and the school district co-own the park. Recently, the mayor of Gloversville apparently discovered the overgrown grass, litter and other deterioration in the park and did a call out for community help to clean up. We commend the mayor for taking action, but this is not a one-time cure-all situation. The school district owns the major responsibility for maintenance of this property, and people only have to open their eyes to see that it is certainly not a priority. One excuse given was the school district is short-staffed in the building and grounds department – but that should not be an acceptable excuse. If maintaining the field is in the budget, then the responsibility to do so also should be there.

Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To Johnstown American Legion Post 472. The post contributed more than $12,000 to the Research & Recognition Project, which is working on a treatment project intended to help veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress order. Not only is the post helping the study – and veterans – by donating money, it’s also raising awareness about PTSD, a mental health condition triggered by traumatic events.

JEERS – To a misguided law. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently signed a law that imposes a $10,000 fine and up to six months in jail for anyone who publishes “any information contained in an application for a concealed handgun permit or any information regarding the identity of any person who applied for or received a concealed handgun permit.” The law makes allowances for information released under court order or that a permit holder has released on his own, but it fails to provide for information leaked to news organizations. Supporters of the law say they are defending the Second Amendment. Have they forgotten about the First Amendment?

CHEERS – To a strong village. Fort Plain last week suffered a major blow from devastating floodwaters. For a week, the village, with the help of emergency crews and volunteers, has been cleaning up the mess and trying to repair the damage. The people there have shown great fortitude. Despite the tragedy, residents still found a way to celebrate the Fourth of July by having their annual 4th on the 3rd celebration. In the face of adversity, Fort Plain has shown tenacity, patriotism and optimism.

CHEERS – To positive economic news. Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties have high unemployment rates, but the good news is the rates are going down. According to the state Department of Labor, Fulton County’s rate went from 10.5 percent in May 2012 to 8.9 percent this past May. Montgomery County’s went from 10.2 percent to 8.7 percent, and Hamilton County’s went from 9.2 percent to 7.6 percent. Let’s hope the positive trend continues.

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