Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To a 2014 calendar. The Johnstown Historical Society has created a unique, fun, interesting and educational way to raise some money. Thanks to the diligent research work of Lance Lord, a 2014 calendar has been produced. What is so unique about the calendar, titled, “The History of Johnstown One Day at a Time,” is it not only has a historic photo honoring each month, but highlights historic local facts each day. As is stated on the calendar, “some are sad, some are funny. Hopefully, some will be thought-provoking.” A couple of examples: Today (Oct. 19) in 1961, the First Methodist Church celebrated its 50th anniversary; and tomorrow, in 1908, a fire at Johnstown’s freight house of the

FJ&G Railroad resulted in damages estimated at $20,000. You will have to read each day to find out when a woman was convicted of bigamy in County Court. We are sure other people had a hand in crafting this calendar, including City Historian Noel Levee, who can be contacted for more information about the calendar or the Historical Society. Right now, you can find calendars at Thomas’ Hallmark, Mysteries on Main Street and the Mohawk Valley Co-op. The donation is only $10; reading a year of interesting facts is priceless.

CHEERS – To the right actions. At the recent football game between Amsterdam High School and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, a group of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake students in the stands became boisterous, making tasteless cheers in reference to Amsterdam’s Hispanic population. It was an incident that could have accelerated. But the immediate actions of Burnt Hills head coach Matt Shell, who told the crowd if the chanting didn’t stop, the game would, brought the chanting to a halt. This football coach became a life coach at that moment. School officials followed Shell’s example with public apologies and a letter of apology to Amsterdam High School. The chanting was inappropriate, it was recognized as such, and sincere apologies have been given and accepted. We hope some have learned, as the apology letter stated, “the importance of respect for diversity and good citizenship.”

JEERS – To not attending meetings. This is directed toward those candidates who apparently have not attended meetings of the governing bodies they are seeking to serve on. It takes time to campaign for a public office. We understand this. What we don’t understand is the failure to attend the meetings of a city, county or town a candidate seeks to serve. During several recent interviews with candidates, we have found too many of them are uninformed about major issues facing our community. We continue to encourage voters to learn about candidates’ qualifications. Uninformed candidates are not the right choice; they become the ones who, if elected, spend valuable time trying to familiarize themselves with issues they should have researched before running for the office. People who are elected should be prepared to make important decisions from day one. Candidates who took the time to attend meetings and understand the issues often make better local leaders.