Cheers and Jeers

CHEER — To Gloversville High School student Jordan Lacerdure and his recent gesture of kindness and empathy. While most students get new shoes for the start of the school year, Jordan gave his shoes away to a person in need.

Jordan said that while playing a game of basketball at the Elk Street playground after the first day of school, he noticed a man he had seen before walk by.

“I saw that his shoes were torn up and ripped and I had shoes on my feet and he could use them more than me,” said Jordan.

That gesture, unbeknownst to Jordan, was noticed by someone, who then posted it to social media and Jordan was recognized for his generosity.

What is most inspiring about Jordan’s gesture is that he has what cannot be taught — empathy for others. People without empathy are incapable of putting themselves in someone else’s shoes and usually only look out for themselves.

Jordan literally put his shoes on someone else and people like him are just the kind of neighbors we want.

CHEER — To the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth and the Montgomery County CEO Roundtable for joining forces to promote change and growth in Gloversville.

The Roundtable formed a committee to develop and implement downtown initiatives that will aid in efforts to obtain grants, most notably, the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award offered by the state.

Priority projects were identified five years ago as part of the application process, including streetscape improvements, connection of the Rail Trail to downtown and a skate park at the corner of Bleecker and Church streets, but those projects languished as no one moved them forward.

Geoffrey Peck, CRG board of directors chairman, rightfully pointed out that demonstrating progress on the city’s priority projects could spur current revitalization efforts and improve the city’s chances of being awarded the $10 million grant.

The CRG presented three areas it felt could be addressed right away — the blight of the Burr Street area, which abuts South Main Street, by investigating who owns the properties, addressing the owners’ future plans for the properties and identifying areas for redevelopment; partnering with a not-for-profit organization that is willing to work with the city to develop a plan for the Elk Street playground, known as “the cage”; and develop a clean street initiative where volunteers from local businesses and organizations would “adopt” a city street and mow lawns and clean litter.

By taking action, Peck says the state might see Gloversville was serious about wanting to grow and change and could possibly put it in the running for the money.

The initiatives could also help to spur involvement by others when they notice changes actually occurring. It is much like what Maria Cilley, author of “Sink Reflections,” said in her book about becoming organized and decluttering your home.

To paraphrase her, Cilley said that if your kitchen sink is clean and shiny, you feel a sense of accomplishment, and before long, you will find other parts of your life become clean and shiny as you slowly organize and declutter your life.

Once residents start seeing Gloversville shine and they can see themselves in its reflection, they too will want to take part in improving it and keeping it that way.

It is a win/win for everyone.

By Kerry Minor

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