Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to the biggest family reunion to visit Chautauqua County this year. More than 2,000 relatives of Buffalo Bill Cody have been invited to attend the four-day Cody Family Reunion, which features a festival, art, music and antique guns on display at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station, wild west shows, a parade at 9 a.m. today and speakers at Chautauqua Institution. Thumbs up to Lee Harkness, who has been working on this particular reunion for more than a year and to bring the Cody family to Jamestown for a reunion for at least a decade. For a complete list of events, visit www.jamestowntrainstation.com or www.cody-family.org.

Thumbs up to a $2.5 million improvement project to improve the conditions around Ben Weitsman of Jamestown, 610 W. Eight St., Jamestown. The scrap yard will now have more than 4 acres of new blacktop and green space to eliminate the dusty environment surrounding the business. The project will also include a retention pond for stormwater management, a new 6,000-square-foot metal shop building, a new office building facade and four new containment structures. New curbs, sidewalks and landscaping will be added along West Eighth Street. The Weitsman property is located near a key piece of the Riverwalk system and has also been the source of numerous complaints from neighbors. The improvements will certainly make the area more attractive for Riverwalk users, while we hope it assuages the concerns of neighbors who have took their concerns to the City Council as recently as April about noise, dust and debris in the area.

Thumbs up to the Southwestern Schools Education Foundation. The foundation recently celebrated its 10th anniversary as the only active foundation working to benefit a school district. The foundation raised $590,000 toward a $2.7 million renovation of the district’s track and football field, including a $100,000 for future repairs and maintenance; provided $15,000 in equipment to the middle school music department, $6,000 for new middle school laptops, $1,500 for the elementary school science lab, $1,500 toward the elementary school arts programs bronze sculptures, $9,000 for new mobile bleachers, $7,000 for a new sound system for the football field, $20,000 to upgrade the desktop computers in the Middle school and Elementary school as well as provide new Smart Boards for the high school, $5,000 for the Teacher Innovation Grants and $4,000 in scholarships for graduating seniors. For more information, visit www.swcsfoundation.org for more information on the foundation.