Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to all those participating in the annual Laurel Run. The event began Friday with the Jamestown-to-Dunkirk flag rally and continues today with a motorcycle dice run that starts and ends in Silver Creek, an 8-kilometer run; a 5k walk; a 1k fun walk; children’s runs; and “Laurel’s Lap,” in which people with disabilities rake a lap around the track at the ballfield downtown. There also will be a party in the Village Square featuring live music, free refreshments, prize drawings and other fun activities. The annual run is the perfect reminder for all of the contributions those with disabilities make to our society each and every day.

Thumbs up as well to Chautauqua Striders’ selection of Ben Lindquist as its new executive director, replacing the retiring Deb Kathman. Lindquist is an area native who brings to Striders eight years experience in athletic management, higher education and coaching. Chautauqua Striders provides mentoring, tutoring and athletics to Chautauqua County youth with programs linked to elementary, middle and high schools throughout the county. Its Lighted Schoolhouse Program offers tutoring in various subject areas while the athletic component of Striders provides students gifted in track and field events the chance to compete in local, regional and national races. Lindquist, who recently spearheaded the inaugural ”1 Ball” Tournament for Testicular Cancer, is a good choice to continue the Chautauqua Striders’ work into the future.

Thumbs up to two new traffic lights installed on Baker Street near Southwestern Drive as part of the federal High Risk Rural Roads Program. John Bentley, Lakewood-Busti police chief, recently told The Post-Journal officers have written several tickets near that dangerous intersection for drivers driving 15 to 20 miles an hour over the 55 mile an hour speed limit. More than 97 percent of the project was paid for with federal and state dollars and includes a similar light on a road in the northern part of the county. Perhaps the lights will help accomplish what several serious car accidents haven’t and convince drivers to approach the intersection with caution.