August 20, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: Aug. 20, 2012


---- — JEERS to people who dump tires alongside North Country roads. One of our reporters was walking his dogs along field-lined Hayford Road in northern Clinton County — a seemingly idyllic setting — when he noticed four tires that had been discarded in a ditch. We hope this sounds as reprehensible to you as it does to us. Most civilized people get exercised enough about cigarette butts discarded thoughtlessly on our beautiful region’s streets and highways. Fast-food litter is worse still. It’s unimaginable that thinking human beings could live with themselves after tossing a bag — even a small bag — of trash out the car window onto the road. But tires? That should tax the understanding of even the most tolerant among us. In the first place, it’s an out-and-out transgression of our responsibility to make the area look as beautiful as we portray it to outsiders, hoping they’ll come in and share it with us. How can you tout yourself as a tourist area and abide tires dumped into a ditch? But it’s also an unconscionable ducking of one’s duty to protect the environment and to pay the minimal share in the operation of our highway departments and landfills. That evasion will eventually wind up costing all of the rest of us for the unnecessary service. We all have a fundamental obligation to one another that most of us understand and live up to. If you have some tires for which you’ve outgrown your need, do the right thing: Dispose of them according to what we all accept as the right and responsible way to get rid of them. Don’t dump them into a ditch on a remote road and drive away perfectly satisfied that the rest of us will make things right and you’ll be off the hook. Basic human decency calls for us to have some sense of community with one another.

JEERS to motorists who pass dangerously in order to save time. It’s a complaint we heard about frequently in Speakout and one that everyone has witnessed at one time or another. You have a car roar by you on a double solid line in an effort to get to a destination more quickly. Just recently, one of our reader reported seeing a truck passed a line of cars on a double line on Route 22 and speed off in a cloud of dust. A few miles up the road, there he was, stopped at a red light. So much for beating everyone to the traffic signal. Was it worth the effort? He could have caused a serious accident with his indiscreet driving skills.

— If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, email it to Editor Lois Clermont at