Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To a great example. The Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown branch of the American Association of University Women hosted the 14th Sister-to-Sister event. That itself deserves a loud cheer. This year’s theme for middle school girls was science and technology. Not that long ago, girls received little encouragement to pursue higher-level math and science courses in high school or beyond, but with today’s technologies touching every aspect of a person’s life, advance knowledge in these areas can be an exciting goal in a young woman’s life. Those attending the summit heard firsthand from a local professional engineer – a woman who was educated locally, graduated from college, went on to get her engineering degree and returned home and secured a professional position in our region. The organizers of this year’s successful event couldn’t have chosen a better person than Chandra Casline Cotter, Johnstown’s city engineer, to speak and interact with tomorrow’s leaders. Thanks to our local AAUW for once again providing this opportunity to challenge and build confidence.

JEERS – To a proposed law. You just knew it was going to happen. Two New York state lawmakers, Assemblyman David Wepin, D-Fresh Meadows, and Sen. Toby Stavisky, D-Flushing, have presented a bill that would prohibit smoking in cars in which minors younger than 14 are passengers. If passed, drivers in volation of the law would be fined $100. The need for this apparently has nothing to do with safe driving, but with secondhand smoke. With all the laws involving driving a vehicle, law enforcement soon may be able to simply sit on the corner, pull over car after car and fill the state’s coffers with fine money.

CHEERS – To community spirit. In March, Johnstown Mayor Sarah Slingerland appointed a six-member committee and pledged $1,000 to ensure Main Street once again would feel the beat of the drums in a Memorial Day parade. Friday night, to the delight of many, it happened. In our area, the Johnstown parade was the kick-off to a weekend of Memorial Day events. On Monday, it is Gloversville’s turn to wow spectators with its popular Memorial Day parade, thanks to the efforts of Robert Perrella and Linda Bullock’s organizing committee. To all participants, thank you for making this a great day for all who enjoy the fruits of your work.