July 2, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: July 2, 2012

JEERS to customers who load up on groceries or other goods and head directly for the self-checkout. Those devices are supposed to be for shoppers with limited items. The devices are there to be expeditious and eliminate long waits for people who will require only a few moments to conclude their transaction. Instead, customers sometimes have to wait for a shopper who has a sizable load of groceries in the cart. Store management should have means in place to redirect customers to the conventional checkouts, but, realistically, no manager wants to alienate spenders by counting out items at the checkout and ordering the purchasers into another line. At the same time, though, the managers are risking good will among the responsible shoppers if they don’t act. Some stores have signs posted reminding customers that the self-checkouts are for those buying only a few items, usually limited to 15 or 20. A better effort needs to be made to reserve the self-checkouts for the customers for whom they were intended. More importantly, a better sense of right and wrong needs to be in play among the shoppers themselves.

JEERS to dog owners who walk their pets without leashes in residential areas. Many communities, including the City of Plattsburgh, have leash laws, but you still see dogs wandering free or — worse yet — walking unleashed, with their owners somewhere in the vicinity. An owner being nearby does not mean the dog is under control. The Press-Republican has received calls and emails from some people who are disgusted with roaming canines defecating on their lawns and others who are frightened by having a big dog run up to them, even if they are called back by an owner. Fellow dog owners are among those irritated by these people because unleashed dogs can pick fights. One person wrote: “I have had to make several detours and backtracked my steps toward home because the other dogs would follow us, rousing my dog’s attention. And when I mentioned it to the owners that their dog should be leashed, their apology is always a dismissive, ‘I’m sorry.’ But then, the following day or two, I notice the same people walking their dogs off leashes, oblivious to the other dog walkers who are obeying the law. They simply do not care.” City Police can ticket offenders, if they catch them in the act. It would be nice if it didn’t take a fine to force these dog owners to show some courtesy.

— 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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