Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to all those whose combined efforts resulted in Friday night’s downtown Christmas parade – an event enjoyed by the thousands who lined Third Street. Tiffani Conti at the Jamestown Renaissance Corp. and all of the JRC’s volunteers created yet another parade for the ages. Kudos also go to Lee Harkness, Jamestown Gateway Station general manager, who helped secure the steam engine and caboose that served as the first and last units in the parade. No event so large happens without the efforts of those who volunteer their time and talents, and the downtown parade is a wonderful declaration of the arrival of the Christmas season.

Thumbs up as well to the Erie BayHawks, a NBA Developmental League team which made its way to Sherman Central School for a practice and community night on Wednesday. A crowd nearly filled the school gymnasium for the practice, which featured many names familiar to college basketball fans who spend time in the NBADL readying themselves for a shot in the NBA. Such events do more than just fill the gym, as BayHawks player Jeremy Tyler so appropriately said, “It’s good to show people where everything starts here in practice. We come out here and work hard every day and not everyone gets to see that.” The youth basketball players in attendance Wednesday surely learned a few valuable lessons in addition to being entertained for a couple of hours.

Thumbs up to the 1,000 people who made their way to Jamestown High School on Wednesday to make their feelings known about New York’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Teachers, youth and concerned parents filled the JHS auditorium- a fine showing by area residents. Implementation of the Common Core is a serious issue that affects all of us, and it was a pleasure to see so many come to the public forum with obvious thought put into their comments. Thumbs up to those who abided by the rules of the forum and made their points in a civil manner.

Thumbs down to those who, even though they were making serious points, couldn’t abide by those rules. And thumbs down to those who felt the need to interrupt speakers with boos and catcalls, making, at some points, Wednesday’s forum resemble a taping of the Jerry Springer show. Having strong feelings about an issue is no justification for such behavior.