Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to being a county that pitches in. We had a public example of that Wednesday when noted sportswriter Peter King’s bus became stuck in the field near Russell E. Diethrick Park on Falconer Street. King popped into the city to catch a few innings of the Jammers’ game before leaving for Berea, Ohio, chatting with fans and enjoying some minor league baseball. When the time came to leave, however, King needed some help to get his bus unstuck. In the end, several people, including the Jammers’ ground crew, led by Josh and Jim Waid, freed the bus and King was on his way to Berea – though King made sure to thank those who helped out. ”Felt part of an Amish barn-raising tonight in Jamestown, NY. Scores of great folks. All they wanted was to help get our RV out of a ditch,” King posted on his Twitter page late Wednesday night. We often hear and read about the bad in our community. It’s nice to see reminders of the good as well. Another reminder, provided by Susan Rowley of Frewsburg, will appear on Sunday’s op-ed page.

Thumbs up to the Martz Observatory, which will host two presentations in the coming week by noted scientists. Dr. James LoPresto, a Jamestown native and retired Edinboro University professor of astronomy and physics, will present a lecture about the Green Flash and Black Holes at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the observatory, which is on Robbin Hill Road near Frewsburg. Ted Wolfe will then give a slide presentation entitled “Looking Up At Our Fascinating Universe” at the observatory at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. There was a time when nearly every child wanted to be an astronaut. It’s harder to get children interested in science, but presentations like LoPresto’s and Wolfe’s certainly can stoke the imagination.

Thumbs up to those who bring county residents a steady stream of quality programs. In less than a year, Chautauqua County has hosted one-third of the Supreme Court of the United States, played host to Olympic gold medalists and professional LPGA golfers and seen several noted entertainers take the county’s stages. The county has also played host to some of the nation’s top fishermen when it hosted the Jack’s Links World Series of Bass Fishing and rodeo luminaries each year at the Gerry Rodeo. None of this happens by accident. Simply getting such noted people and performers to come to Chautauqua County takes much negotiation and planning, but that is only half the battle. Once the contracts are signed, work begins backstage and an army of volunteers is needed for each event to make sure things run smoothly. It’s not easy – but the results are worth the effort.