Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To faithful walkers. Last week’s local Relay for Life events attracted hundreds who showed up to offer support for those affected by cancer, bring awareness to the disease and raise tens of thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society. In Gloversville, people walked for hours around the running track outside Park Terrace School. In Amsterdam, people participated in the event at the Amsterdam High School track. In addition to a fundraising event, the Relay for Life is a night of camaraderie. Teams and individuals socialize with each other, enjoy food and entertainment, remember loved ones, celebrate survivors and unite to defeat cancer. People who participate in and donate to this event are making a difference. Cancer research is making strong progress. On Jan. 1, nearly 14.5 million children and adults with a history of cancer were alive in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. We must continue to step up the effort.

JEERS – To a cold-hearted killer. James F. Dibble shot his mother to death in her home and stole from her house. Police arrested the Ephratah man, and a jury later convicted him of second-degree murder and other charges. This week, a Fulton County judge sentenced Dibble to 25 years to life in prison for killing Gwenda Lisman. During the proceeding, Dibble showed no remorse and little emotion. In court, Lisman’s loved ones talked about her life and how she tried to help her son. Dibble just stared at the floor and table in front of him. One of Dibble’s aunts said he was “born with an evil spirit.” We suspect he will take it with him to his grave.

CHEERS – To Bailey Wind. Wind was severely injured in a car crash that also claimed the life of her boyfriend and another friend in 2012. A drunken driver struck the car they were in. Wind’s recovery has been a struggle, but today, she’s turning a terrible tragedy into a way to warn other young people about the dangers and potentially horrible outcomes of drinking and driving. Wind speaks to schools about her experience. Last week, she stopped at Mayfield High School. Wind has written a book called “Save Me a Spot in Heaven” about her relationship with her boyfriend before the accident and how she has been doing since he died. Every high school student should hear her story. Hopefully, those who do will learn from it. Every day in America, 28 people die as a result of drunk-driving accidents, according to data compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.