Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to another outstanding LucyFest by the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy and the official groundbreaking today for the Comedy Center Park behind the Gateway Train Station in Jamestown. The first three days of LucyFest have brought dozens of comedy luminaries to Jamestown, including Caroline Rhea and Tom Cotter before Jay Leno takes the stage tonight for his sold-out performance at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena – which deserves its own thumbs up for partnering with the Lucy-Desi Center by opening up its arena for Leno.

Thumbs down to a pair of continuing problems that plague area residents. Twice in the past week, parking lots in the Chautauqua Mall have flooded people’s cars. It’s not a new problem – excessive water in the area has been a problem since the 1970s. Unfortunately for people who work in the mall and nearby restaurants, this decades-old problem comes at the cost of damaged or destroyed vehicles. Another continuing problem is Falconer’s mosquito issue, an off-and-on nuisance for years but particularly during West Nile Virus scares. We note stories from The Post-Journal archives dating back to 1998 about mosquitos in Falconer, including the village’s hope that installing bat houses could help mitigate the issue. As recently as 2003, county officials hadn’t decided whether the cause of the mosquitos near Millrace Park were caused by environmental factors or manmade issues. Both problems, unfortunately, will likely take hefty sums of money and further study to solve – meaning mall parkers and Falconer residents will continue to deal with these nuisances for the time being. They shouldn’t be happy about it.

Thumbs up to legislation signed recently Gov. Andrew Cuomo to strengthen the vetting process for volunteer firefighter organizations by requiring applicants to submit to a background check for any prior sex offense convictions. The bill would also allow individual fire companies to determine if the prospective volunteer is eligible to become a volunteer member of such fire company if that person has been convicted of a registerable sex offense is found. We’re not aware of any issues locally, but this is something families who call their local volunteer firefighter shouldn’t have to worry about.