Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

As the air turns much colder, thumbs up to area high school teams battling out on football fields, soccer fields, volleyball courts, cross country courses and pools throughout Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. High school sports teach our student-athletes valuable life lessons regardless of the final score. Thumbs up to all of the athletes who have put their time and efforts into competing during this fall sports season.

Thumbs up to some old-fashioned entertainment that takes center stage this weekend at the Robert H. Jackson Center and Lucille Ball Little Theatre. The Jackson Center will host “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, A Musical Journey” at 7:30 p.m. today and 7 p.m. Sunday featuring Jamestown writer and storyteller Paul Leone’s dramatic recitation accompanied by three local musicians. Cindy Lind Hanson, director of music at First Presbyterian Church, heads up the musical team on piano. Sarah Marchitelli, staff member at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Studio, performs on saxophone and flute and Jamestown High School senior Kirstie Hanson on violin. The Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem explores the effects of transgression against the natural order in a world populated both by human beings and invisible spirits malevolent as well as benevolent, and Leone’s interpretation harkens back to a time before television and movie theaters. Meanwhile, 75 years of barbershop harmony will be celebrated in this year’s annual show of the Jamestown Harmony Express on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Lucille Ball Little Theatre. Tickets are $12 at the door.

Thumbs up to John King, state education commissioner, for not only reinstating public forums on the Common Core State Standards but for expanding them to include a meeting in Jamestown, though the date for the Jamestown meeting has yet to be announced. Forums will also be held in Rochester, Westchester, Schroon Lake, Binghamton, Amherst and Syracuse, along with two each in Suffolk and Nassau counties. Under a new format, the meetings are being moderated by local state legislators. King and other state officials need to recognize they are speaking to a passionate audience and should be prepared to hear vociferous dissent from the crowds who attend these meetings. Reinstating the meetings was the right move. We encourage those who attend to be considerate and present any opinion with common courtesy. Any opinion presented any other way is likely not to be heard in the light it was intended.