Cheers and Jeers

CHEERS — to an amazing young lady. In this day of teenage entitlement, it is encouraging and gratifying to know there are young people like Emily Clizbe. The Johnstown High School junior took it upon herself to organize an anti-hunger crusade, raising enough money to help feed more than 10,000 people around the globe. Working with Rise Against Hunger, a worldwide organization based in North Carolina, Emily raised enough money to package 10,152 meals. She not only showed tremendous discipline and self-motivation to pull this off, but she proved herself as a leader, organizing about 50 student and adult volunteers to help her package the food kits. We think this was a pretty remarkable effort by an exceptional 16-year-old. Bravo, Emily.

CHEERS — to snow-removal personnel and Good Samaritans everywhere. This week’s major snowstorm tested us in so many ways — and continues to test us as we dig out from this historic event. It’s easy to gripe if your street didn’t get plowed when you wanted it to, but think about the big picture, and how many hundreds of miles of roadways were buried under nearly two feet of snow in most places. DPW crews and private plowing companies did a remarkable job of getting us back on the road within 24 hours. Tuesday’s storm also underscored the goodness of most people There were Good Samaritans everywhere — friends, co-workers and strangers pushing or shoveling out stuck vehicles, clearing driveways and sidewalks for the elderly, and, mostly, putting others above themselves in some really taxing weather conditions. Say what you want to about living around here, but this week’s snow event revealed the true character of our people.

CHEERS — to smart policing. A little over a week ago, Gloversville police unveiled a new Safe Exchange Zone directly in front of the police station at 3 Frontage Road. The Safe Exchange Zone is part of a nationwide response by law enforcement to prevent criminal activity, domestic violence or fraud when parties are making an exchange of some kind. This zone gives parents a safe place to drop off or pick up children in custodial situations. It’s also intended to prevent situations such as the incident in which a Glens Falls man was attacked during what he believed was a vehicle exchange. The victim was lured to a secluded area by a man who attempted to rob the victim of $1,000 cash. There was never a car for sale. The Safe Exchange Zone is directly under a street light and is monitored by video cameras. We think this is a smart idea that should be duplicated in all of our towns and villages.

JEERS — to rushing legislation without thorough analysis. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice has recommended raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18. According to Division of Criminal Justice Services’ statistics, the number of arrests among 16- and 17-year-olds statewide in 2015 — the last year for which data is available — was 27,281. Under the proposed change, those youths would be shifted from criminal courts to local probation departments. One major problem: who’s going to pay for the extra staffing and related costs heaped upon local probation departments? This past Monday, the Fulton County Board of Supervisors went on record opposing the proposed legislation for just that reason, and we back their objection. Perhaps Gov. Cuomo should have done his homework and and consulted with the people most affected on the local level before he tried to make political hay.

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