Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to the Lawson Boating Heritage Center for its oral history project focused on the steamboat fleet that used to ferry passengers from one end of Chautauqua Lake to the other until the early 1950s. Lawson Center officials want to capture memories, stories and interesting historical information from area residents who rode on, worked on or enjoyed watching the ships. The center is home to a large collection of steamboat artifacts and photographs, including some of the last surviving pieces of The City of Jamestown steamer. The center wants to add human stories related to the steamboat era – funny, romantic, scary, technical or simple memories. Those with stories to share can call David Colburn at 386-3907 to set up an appointment for an interview and video-taping session.

Thumbs down to the cost of mismanaged paperwork. Forestville taxpayers are bearing the brunt of a hefty tax increase of up to 445 percent in part because a 2009 building demolition costing $250,000 and the $150,000 waterline replacement on Bennett State Road. The demolition’s bond anticipation note would reach its five-year maturity in November, but because of an unfulfilled conversion to a revenue anticipation note, the debt is considered delinquent and must be repaid this year. Because the demolition debt and the Bennett State Road waterline bond anticipation note are with the same bank, the bank has refused to renew the waterline bond anticipation note, effectively making that debt due this fiscal year. Forestville officials are asking for the county’s help in paying for the building demolition and are also investigating selling some land to help lessen the village’s tax increase. One promise not fulfilled means taxpayers in Forestville could see the highest property tax rate in New York state this year.

Thumbs up to the Southern Tier Xpress, the new name for Jamestown’s North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) hockey team. The name, devised by Bud Tomassi, was announced Monday after a month-long “Name the Team” contest and accounts for the region’s history with the railroad, the Gateway Train Station on Second Street and the I-86 corridor. The NA3HL is a top level Tier 3 league in the North American Hockey League association. The Xpress will also encompass a pair of youth feeder teams including an under-14 and an under-16 team. Tryouts for the feeder teams will be held on April 21, 23 and 24 from 6-9 p.m. at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena with tryouts for the Xpress NA3HL team set for May 16-18 at the arena.