Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To a joint effort. The Gloversville Common Council’s passing of a resolution this week to approve seeking a Brownfield Opportunity Area grant with the city of Johnstown will allow the grant-application process to begin. We agree with Gloversville Mayor Dayton King’s statement, “Anytime we can get both our councils to unanimously support something in the two cities is fantastic.” The elected officials of both cities made the right decision. A little extra cheer goes to the teamwork between Johnstown City Engineer Chandra Cotter and Gloversville Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones. Let’s keep our fingers crossed the cities become a recipient of this grant.

JEERS – To the texting driver. We challenge you to see for yourself how many drivers, coming toward you, sitting next to you at a light or in your rearview mirror, have either a phone to their ear or on the steering wheel as they text or read. Seeing how many distracted drivers there are, you may just want to take up walking. We’ve even read about recent reports of bus drivers and school bus drivers texting while driving. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently introduced “texting zones” to the state’s highways to remind drivers to pull over before answering texts or emails. Anything that may help fight this growing hazard is welcome. If you are a distracted driver and the possible consequences of injury aren’t enough to stop you, maybe new penalties will wake you up. Distracted driving is punishable by five points on a driver’s license and up to a $150 fine. At 11 points, a driver’s license is revoked. At eight points, a driver’s license is reviewed with the possibility of revocation.

CHEERS – To good competition. As teens charged with trespassing, partying and vandalizing at a summer home of a former NFL player in Rensselaer County continue to make headlines, we interrupt that coverage to cheer the actions of some young people in our area. A part of the Amsterdam Rotary club fundraiser is the annual chicken parm dinner. Proceeds have benefited local flood victims, food pantries and family emergency programs. Two years ago, local Boy Scout troops benefited, and the young Scouts sold a record 500 tickets. This year, the Oct. 10 dinner, to be held at the Raindancer, will see proceeds benefit Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, Community 202 of Amsterdam. The competition and determination to exceed the 500 tickets sold in 2011 is in full swing. Cheers to all our local Rotarians for their contributions to a large number of charities and for setting an example, and working, with young people as positive role models and partnering to make a difference. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased from any Amsterdam Rotarian, but if you know someone involved with the Girl Scouts, well, records are made to be broken.