Cheers and jeers

CHEERS — To remembering your roots. Fifteen Fonda-Fultonville alumni came home on Jan. 6 for the second annual Returning Students Day. The 2010 graduates shared their world experiences with current students in hope of inspiring them. The alumni brought back with them a range of experience from being a college freshman to having a full-time job. The diverse group had a background in science, medicine, business and communications. Alumna Brit Hotaling said during the event, “I hope the current students take away that no matter what they are looking for, they can make their voices heard and there is always a way to accomplish that.”

CHEERS — To charitable contributions. Stewart’s Shops and the Dake Family Foundation on Jan. 6 announced a $100,000 donation to the ongoing capital campaign at the Gloversville Public Library. Susan Dake, president of the Stewart’s foundation, described the library’s renovation as vital to the community. “The renovation and expansion of the Gloversville Public Library is key to revitalizing the community and expanding fundamental education opportunities for children and families.”

CHEERS — To the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s Buffalo field office for investigating allegations by Gloversville Housing Authority employees who signed a letter of complaint Dec. 29 alleging improprieties by GHA Executive Director Tim Mattice. They also allege Mattice has created a hostile work environment. On Monday, the GHA Board of Directors held a meeting, but did not allow one of its board members or our reporter to attend. Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, said the board is subject to New York state’s Open Meetings Law, which means the board should have convened in public session before voting to go into executive session. He also said there is no valid reason to exclude a board member from executive session. The GHA board of directors should adhere to the Open Meetings Law.

JEERS — To making a commotion. Former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato of New York was escorted off a plane Monday for being unruly, according to the Associated Press. The incident, which occurred in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, included the 79-year-old Republican ex-senator leading a chant. After a 6 1/2-hour delay, JetBlue passengers who paid for extra legroom were asked to switch seats because of weight and balance issues. That’s when D’Amato, who was in a regular seat, began the chant, “Make them move.”

CHEERS — To starting young. Area girls and women gathered Thursday for a free event aimed at education and empowerment of girls. The Yellow Roses club held a domestic violence prevention workshop at Fonda-Fultonville Central School. The workshop consisted of a self-defense lesson led by a trained officer of the Amsterdam Police Department, a speech by Montgomery County Domestic Violence and Crime Victims Services advocate Ginger Cato. She discussed how to avoid an abusive relationship, signs to look for and ways to get help.

CHEERS — To joining forces. The Amsterdam Fire Department and Montgomery County have joined in a new inter-municipal agreement to appropriate $10,000 to the city’s fire department. According to County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort, the funding will assist with training, equipment and to respond to hazardous material incidents or confined-space rescue.