JEERS - To a major swindle. The objection light on the tote board in the offices of the New York Racing Association should be flashing non-stop. And the ruling should be they are scratched for good. In 2008, NYRA allowed the cutting of payouts on certain bets at the tracks it has the franchise to operate - Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga - by 1 percent to help balance its books. This was a temporary fix, like so many others, that should have expired, by law, on Sept. 15, 2010, but they kept paying winners too little, if you can call $8.5 million "too little." This shortchanging was deliberate, and this should be the final straw. Enough is enough.
CHEERS - To an attractive middle. This isn't about liking the Vail Mills roundabout, hating it or never giving it a thought. It is about the attractive landscaping that is being developed in the grassy center of it. This type of enhancement to any area gives the impression of pride in a community.
JEERS - To choices. The list of candidates who filed to run for local school board seats is disappointing. The disappointment does not lie in the quality of those who filed, but in the fact there are so few candidates. A number of districts did not even have enough candidates step forward to run for the open seats, resulting in write-in efforts. The number of people going to the polls continues to decline. We will be persistent in our reminders that voter turnout is essential in maintaining the integrity of the election process.
CHEERS - To a home run for readers. The Gloversville Public Library kicked off a new reading program recently. It's called Gloversville Reads! 2012, and it has a baseball theme. Throughout the program, the library will host baseball-themed events. Children are encouraged to read Ernest Lawrence Thayer's 1888 poem "Casey at the Bat," and adults are encouraged to read W. P. Kinsella's "Shoeless Joe." Events are scheduled over the next three months, ending with a trip the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. If you want to hear the words of "Casey at the Bat," the next time you see Christine Pesses, ask her to recite them. She won't strike out. For more information about the reading program, see www.gloversvillelibrary.org.