Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to lending a hand to help our environment. Jamestown Community College will host its Earth Day festivities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. Weather permitting, Earthfest will be held outside the Hamilton Collegiate Center near the pond. Otherwise, the program is held in the Student Union. At noon, a display of live birds of prey will be presented by falconry expert Mike Dupuy. Co-sponsored by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Dupuy’s program focuses on falconry as a sport, a profession, and a metaphor for universal human aspirations. Earthfest also features various educational displays, the sale of ecofriendly products and food, and a tree seedling adoption made possible by donations from the Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District. A “Nature Art and Literature Corner,” featuring works by JCC faculty and students, is a new addition to this year’s Earthfest. Area residents more interested in physically pitching in can participate in the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s clean-up of its Whitney Point Preserve on April 26 and the annual M&T Bank Hands on Jamestown Cleanup sponsored by the Jamestown Renaissance Corp. on May 17.

Thumbs down to irresponsible burning. A Lakewood resident learned the hard way why the state has a ban on open burning from March 15 to May 15 when a trash fire spread to his garage. New York adopted tougher restrictions on open burning in 2009 to help prevent wildfires and reduce pollution emissions. “It’s an important law. We’ve had some (brush fires) that have moved toward buildings – they can cause some serious fire events,” Sally Carlson, North Harmony town supervisor, recently told The Post-Journal. The regulations allow residential brush fires in towns during most of the year but prohibit such burning in spring months when most wildfires occur. Fire department data for 2010 through 2013 showed a 56 percent reduction in wildfires during the burn ban period for these years as compared to the previous five years. If you must burn trash in the spring, please do it carefully.

Thumbs up to a summer full of events for Civil War buffs. The Cattaraugus County Museum will host its Civil War Event Series at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Thursdays of the month starting June 12 and ending Aug. 28. Events include Earl McElfresh speaking on “Mapping the Civil War: Lee vs. Sherman,” Allen Hopkins speaking on “Songs of the Civil War,” Rush the Growler speaking on “Music of the Civil War/154th Regt.,” Craig Braack on “Prisons of the Civil War,” Larry Kilmer on the topic “Railroads During the Civil War” and Craig Senfield on “President-Elect Lincoln.” The museum will cap the summer series with a celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the dedication of the museum on Sunday, Sept. 7, from noon-4 p.m.