Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

There are plenty of entertainment and festival options Sunday to celebrate the Labor Day holiday, but thumbs up to The Hotel Lenhart in Bemus Point for hosting its annual Ecumenical Honduras Promise Children’s Mission fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. The day will include volunteers rocking on the front porch for donations, a large “Chautauqua” themed basket to give away, 50-50 giveaway, refreshments and five live musical acts including Randy Grahm, Adam McKillip, St. Luke’s Episcopal band, and Karen and Rob Suber. All proceeds provide school uniforms, shoes, and school supplies to the children in the Promise Children Mission Project.

Thumbs down to those who have abused the STAR program in the past, making it necessary now for everyone to reapply for the program. It is only a one-year hassle for homeowners, but it is a hassle that shouldn’t have been necessary if people could follow a pretty simple set of rules – claim the exemption only on your primary residence. With fraud rampant in the system, the state is double-checking eligibility with the re-registration process. Homeowners in Chautauqua County should get a letter in the mail instructing them to reapply for the Basic STAR program online or by phone. Homeowners will need to verify their salaries, Social Security numbers and primary residences. The new registration for Basic STAR will only be required once, and homeowners will not have to re-register in future years. It is also important to note the re-registration only applies to Basic STAR recipients; senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption are not impacted. In order to continue receiving Enhanced STAR, seniors must continue to apply annually or participate in the Income Verification Program.

Thumbs up to Bruce Piatz, owner of the M&M Sports Den on Main Street, Jamestown, for his donation of a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle to Harry Snellings, Jamestown police chief. The rifle is valued at $1,500 and will be assigned to the department’s sniper observation team. Receiving the rifle as a donation will free up money for the city police department to buy other equipment.