Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To an excellent choice. As a part of Law Day, each year, the Fulton County Bar Association awards the Liberty Bell to a person who gives of himself or herself to community service. The selection of the Rev. R.W. Williams is a true reflection of what the award stands for. Some may think community service automatically comes with his chosen profession. That is not the case. As with anyone, his community service comes after his “job” and includes serving as chaplain at the Mountain Valley Hospice, working with the Fulton County Mental Health Crisis Prevention program and the sounds of his voice on the airwaves of radio station WENT-AM. Congratulations, the Rev. Williams.

JEERS – A sad reality. In the May 4, 2000, edition of The Leader-Herald, a headline read, “Pastor’s vision of new church a reality.” The story said the Rev. Robert A. Lair had a vision in which hundreds of members the Church of God of Prophecy would meet in the former First United Methodist Church in Bleecker Square. The Church of God of Prophecy of New York had purchased this beautiful piece of architecture in April 2000. Unfortunately, that vision has become an eyesore where there should be a perfect downtown setting for Gloversville. It’s a shame; this should not have happened. Today, 13 years later, the former stained-glass windows are plywood, and the spots where the plywood has come apart are entrances for pigeons. There have been legal actions and court orders, but the eyesore remains.

CHEERS -?To the White House. Not the one in Washington, D.C., but the building at Knox Field that 10 years ago became home to the Johnstown School Museum. Thanks to the vision and energies of many in 2003 – including William Pollak, Kathryn Zayjicek, Phil Conner, Noel Levee, school administrators and the Knox Foundation – thousands have walked through the door and into rooms filled with interesting history. Ten years ago, we encouraged people from this region and beyond to explore the rich history of the city and its school district by visiting the museum. If you haven’t visited, the good news is you still can.

JEERS – To spreading the negative word. Some people found it necessary to place a quirky local news story on Internet sites that accelerated the process for it to “go viral.” The charges surrounding the “turf war” between two local ice cream vendors put those of us who live here in an unwelcome light. The instant, widespread publicity this story garnered reflects the power of today’s electronic media, but may we suggest those who make something go viral pick a news story that gives our area the positive recognition it deserves?