March 5, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: March 5, 2012

CHEERS to Sigma Tau Gamma members, who went out into the streets after our first big snowstorm of the season, on Feb. 24, to help clear walkways for neighbors. The fraternity of Plattsburgh State students has a house at the head of William and Couch streets, and when the storm filled up sidewalks and driveways, members got out shovels and started clearing the way for city residents who live nearby. We had a call from the pleased daughter of an older woman whose walkway had been shoveled. We all know that fraternities and sororities occasionally get into situations that don't show their members in the best light. But far more consistently, these young women and men are out in the Plattsburgh community, doing good deeds, taking part in fundraisers and providing volunteers for events sponsored by local nonprofits. The snow shoveling was a spontaneous, unrequested example of good community service, offered with no expectation of personal reward. People who grumble about "kids these days" obviously don't know much about the Greek organizations at Plattsburgh State and other area colleges.

JEERS to drivers who can't follow the George Angell Drive traffic signs in the City of Plattsburgh. We do this Jeer about once a year because drivers continue to defy the law at this awkward intersection of Rugar Street and the street that runs between Plattsburgh High School and Plattsburgh State's Sibley Hall. During morning dropoff time and afternoon pickup hours, long lines of cars would get backed up on George Angell Drive by drivers waiting for a break in the busy Rugar Street traffic so they could turn left onto Rugar or go straight onto Prospect Avenue. It's been a problem for years, so the city tried to alleviate the traffic backups by installing signs that seem simple enough. They say that from 7 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m., you can turn right only. No left turn. No going straight. You have to turn right onto Rugar and either head east into the city or turn left onto Olivetti Place to backtrack to other places. Yet, day after day, obstinate drivers still insist on holding up traffic and creating a hazard that could lead to accidents. And it's not usually the teenagers leaving school who are to blame. Most of the offenders are parents, who can't blame their ignorance on driver inexperience. Why they think it's OK to inconvenience an entire line of cars so they don't have to drive a block out of their way is anyone's guess. We would love not to have to write this Jeer again during the 2012-13 school year, but we aren't optimistic.

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

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