Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to fire departments across the community participating in RecruitNY open houses this weekend. We have recently detailed the troubles facing our volunteer fire departments. While the state can make changes to make it easier to volunteer, it’s also good to see volunteer fire departments opening their doors and trying to help themselves. Anyone interested in volunteering should call their local volunteer fire department or visit to see which local departments are participating.

Thumbs down, courtesy of an email from a reader, to the brick crossing on Second Street near the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. It is the second time the brick crossing has sunk into the ground, creating a suspension rattling pothole that is impossible to avoid. At some point this summer, the crossing will be taken out and the area leveled. If the crossing can’t be engineered to prevent it from sinking into the ground, it should simply be paved over and forgotten.

Thumbs down to those who seem to be taking things a bit too personally. At a recent Southwestern Central School board meeting, Mary Jane Price, president of the school’s teacher’s union, took offense at “smirking and eye rolling” by board member David Turnbull when Price was discussing the union’s concerns about proposed job cuts in the district’s budget. Turnbull responded Tuesday that not only did he not smirk or roll his eyes during Price’s comments, he is physically unable to do so because of permanent paralysis on one side of his face. Education is a tough enough business, especially in these days of declining enrollments, rising costs, tougher state mandates and the state’s 2 percent tax cap. This sort of childish back-and-forth does nothing to help us make the tough decisions we may have to make and should serve as an example of what public conduct to be avoided.