Cheers and jeers

JEERS – To government waste. You don’t have to go far to see an example of taxpayers’ dollars foolishly managed by elected representatives. More than 15 years ago, $70 million was spent to build Turboliners that were going to be a part of a plan for high-speed rail transportation. You may have seen them sitting outside at the Glenville Industrial Park as you drove by, wondering why they were there. As years passed, they became rusty from neglect. This week, they sold at auction for a high bid of $420,000. The successful bidder apparently will be the only taxpayer realizing any benefit from the four trains and corroding equipment when they are taken apart and sold for salvage.

CHEERS – To a bittersweet sale. Gloversville’s well-known Washburn’s Dairy is getting new owners. Whenever a business changes hands, people wonder about what may happen to it. Fortunately, it appears the Washburn family’s choice of a buyer, Fieldbrook Foods of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, is a mirror image of what Washburn’s has reflected for more than 90 years. Washburn’s now has 50 employees, but we can multiply that figure over and over when looking at people during these nine decades who got their start or made a career at Washburn’s bottling and delivering milk, making the best milkshakes in town or processing the now-famous ice cream. It appears the new owners have values similar to those of Washburn’s, which always has been a strong community supporter. Published letters to the editor in the Observer in Dunkirk include thanks and appreciation to Fieldbrook Farms for donating to Relay for Life, senior citizens groups and school events. We all need to hear the words of Richard “Butch” Washburn, who said of the sale, “I hope the city embraces the people taking over and helps them any way they can. I wanted to keep the business local, and I am pleased we could do that.” To Louis, Alfred, Richard, Butch, Bill and all involved, thank you for 90 years, and welcome Fieldbrook Foods.

JEERS -?To plywood windows. The sheets of plywood covering windows of the former Bleecker Square church in Gloversville are keeping out the elements, but they are a sad sight. The plywood fills the holes left by the removal of the beautiful stain-glassed windows in February 2011. The owner, Church of God of Prophecy, was ordered by a court to restore the windows, but nothing has been done. The next move will need to be taken, again, by the city of Gloversville, which has tried repeatedly to work with the owners and resolve the situation. We encourage the city to continue to seek a resolution.