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.