Cheers and jeers

JEERS – To getting out of jail free. In Rensselaer, John Halacy, accused of sexually abusing two girls, ages 13 and 14, walked out of court Wednesday a free man – for now. He had been facing 19 felonies, including rape. He didn’t walk out because a jury of his peers judged him to be innocent, but because a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office failed to follow paperwork procedures and time ran out to indict him. This situation has left many people frustrated. In addition, anonymous people have posted vicious comments on TV?websites attacking the girls, their parents and everyone but the person accused. It’s frightening to think the people posting the comments could end up being peers on the jury. This was not the first time Halacy has been arrested; we’d be surprised if it’s the last.

CHEERS – To 15 amazing years. It all started after the Amsterdam High School Marching Rams participated in the Peach Bowl in 1998, when then-booster parent Linda Selbert and band members drove down Peach Tree Street oohing and aahing at the lighting display. Selbert thought this could be done in Amsterdam. That is how it began, and it’s still glowing strong in 2013. The holiday light display, which raises money for the Marching Rams, has been at the same location for 15 years – the Brookside Avenue home of Linda and Bob Selbert. Thanks to the boosters of the Marching Rams, along with an enchanting display on Lyons Street offered each year by local businessman Dave Falso, Amsterdam is the place to go to be engulfed in the spirit and glow of the holidays. Light Up The Sky opens Dec. 4 and runs through Dec. 23.

CHEERS – To a unique tour. There is an abundance of special events and opportunities to be taken advantage of in our community -?an unbelievable abundance. One of the events is a church tour in the city of Johnstown. The Historical Society once again has stepped up to take an idea of one of its members, Jahnn Gibson, to visit five of Johnstown’s churches. They are Grace Lutheran, Holy Trinity, First Presbyterian, Hellenic Greek Orthodox and St. John’s Episcopal. There will be short histories, music, refreshments and a firsthand look at exquisite architecture and stained-glass windows. It all starts at 2 p.m. next Saturday. So much to do, so much to see, so many great volunteers coordinating these events. Take advantage.