Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to the early success of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities’ residential recycling credit program. David Leathers, BPU general manager, recently told City Council members that weekly recycling rates are between 60 and 65 percent, an increase of 25 to 30 percent compared to recycling rates before the program began. Leathers also said 80 percent of BPU customers are receiving the monthly credit. Recycling is important for the environment and in keeping BPU rates steady. It’s good to see the first several months of the rebate program have resulted in more recycling in Jamestown.

Thumbs down to a wasted trip that, it is now revealed, came at least partially on the taxpayers’ dime. Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders took a goodwill trip to Israel. Cuomo said the trip would be paid for with money from his campaign fund. Unfortunately, according to a story this week in the Albany Times Union, taxpayers paid for Cuomo’s 24/7 security team. It’s unknown how many officers were assigned to the Israel trip, but public money will pay for their airfare, hotels, meals and other expenses the Times Union estimated at $13,000. It may not seem like a large sum of money, but it is money that could have been spent on any number of community projects around the state. There are several non-profit human services agencies in Chautauqua County that could have put such money to good use. Instead, it was used to pay for security for the governor’s joyride to Israel.

Thumbs up to the upcoming Jack Carlson Memorial Lawn Mower Poker Run on Saturday, Sept. 6. For years, Carlson mowed the lawns of neighbors and those of several people who couldn’t do it themselves. Once he finished, he would drive his John Deere to American Legion Post 493 in Mayville and park it. Soon after, other tractor riders, including his friends, joined him in the activity. Carlson was diagnosed with cancer and passed away, but the fundraising event that he inspired among others in the community continues in his memory, raising money for Hospice Chautauqua County. The ride begins at the legion, 144 S. Erie St., Mayville. Registration is $15 and will begin at 9 a.m. with the riding of lawn mowers starting at noon. The pack of lawn mowers will follow a course on Rails To Trails property, with a scheduled stop to draw poker cards at area establishments before finishing at the legion. For more information, visit www.hospicechautco.org or call American Legion Post at 753-7591 or Tom Przepiora at 753-6090.