Cheers and jeers

CHEERS — To new beginnings. While the world welcomed the beginning of a new year, two area families celebrated the beginning of life. St. Mary’s of Amsterdam delivered the first area baby at 9:29 a.m. on Jan 1. Trentyn Burnhardt-Martell, a 5-pound, 13-ounce, 18-inch baby boy was welcomed by father Mike Martell and mother Kari Burnhardt. At Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, the first baby was born at 3:06 a.m. on Jan. 2. Brayden Dominick Herringshaw-Arket, a 5-pound, 14-ounce, 17-inch baby boy, was welcomed by mother Melissa Arket and father Christopher Herringshaw.

CHEERS — To mixed bins. Fulton County will begin seeing single-stream recycling later this year. The program will allow county residents to mix all recyclable items –plastic, paper, metal, glass –together loosely in one container with a lid. Except for shredded paper, recyclables will not be allowed in plastic bags. Area residents not having to separate the recyclables themselves is a great idea.

CHEERS — To attracting businesses. The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth has hired Jennifer Jennings as the new Gloversville downtown development specialist. Jennings, market manager for Schenectady Greenmarket, is tasked with helping bring new businesses downtown. It’s great to have a plan in place and someone solely focused on stimulating and redeveloping a much-needed downtown Gloversville. We just hope things get on track immediately so we can start to see changes taking place.

JEERS — To not having a plan. The large Kingsborough Elementary School playground has been permanently closed due to safety concerns. It has been closed off since October after a child was injured. According to the Gloversville Enlarged School District, the playground will be removed. Superintendent Michael Vanyo said in December that the district is reviewing its options, and may expand the remaining smaller playground. If a proper inspection of the playground had been completed before the school year began, then the accident may have been prevented.

CHEERS — To making a splash. For the 10th year in a row, area residents gathered to celebrate the new year with a jump in a freezing cold Caroga Lake. It’s great that events such as this exist to raise funds for the Caroga Volunteer Fire Department. It’s also great to see folks show up — 28 sponsors ($50 each) participated. Plus it’s an opportunity for the fire department to get some practice since members don ice rescue suits and enter the lake to make sure everyone who enters the water can get back out.

CHEERS — To unity. Fulton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Charles Potter donated a 48-star American flag to the Fulton County Museum. He said he wants the flag to serve as a “symbol of unity” locally. In times such as these, where division is strong amongst all levels of society, a message of unity is a welcome one.